This week and next we are slowly but surely finishing our report card testing. There is never a perfect time to test kindergarten children but it seems particularly inappropriate during the pre-holiday break weeks when everyone is just a wee bit hyper. We do the best we can!
I don’t attempt to sit down with each child and test them for all of their required skills. They would quickly get bored and distracted, especially since I have to test them in the classroom while their peers are doing other things. Instead I test one skill each day. Last week I tested five language skills. This week we have been testing math skills, so yesterday each child came to my desk and counted from 1-50 for me. Today each one will show me that they recognize the numbers 1-20 in random order. Some skills can also be tested on paper as a group activity. I put all the test results on a checklist and later I transfer the scores to individual files and report cards.
I spend a lot of time observing my students and listening to them. I also look at their daily work. But nothing is more revealing than the time-honored standard of show-me-what-you-know testing. None of us like it. We probably do too much of it. But it is a fact of life….little Johnny isn’t going to walk up to my desk and say, “Hey, you know I really can’t say my days of the week.” So I’m left to figure it out for myself.