Sunday 26 February 2017

Assessment and Tracking

Assessment and tracking in an SK/1 can be hectic. Balancing play-based learning, inquiry, and scaffolded instruction - while differentiation for your spectrum of learners can be mind-boggling at times. Post-It Notes with your observations are easily lost in the mess.

I've figured out what works for me.

1. Assessment Tracking Binder

Each student has a section (I use hold-punched file folders.). In their section is a curriculum checklist for their grade level, copies of diagnostic assessments (Sound Skills, DRAs and PMs, Phonics and Letter Screeners, Sight Words, etc.), their IEP, and samples of notable student work (especially work of concern for an Occupational Therapist or Educational Psychologist and other paraprofessionals).

When I observe a student demonstrating an understanding of curriculum expectations (through play, inquiry, conversation, or completion of an assignment), I make a note in their section on my curriculum checklists. I use green for "understands it," yellow for "with support," and red for "not yet" or "with extreme difficulty."

Here is an example of the new Ontario Kindergarten curriculum.
The curriculum repeats several expectations throughout itself.
Here, I've quickly jotted down observations.

As you can see, I do the same for Learning Skills.

Here is an example of a Learning Skills page.
This was useful when completing the Learning Skills section of the report card.
It is also useful when communicating with parents, pediatricians, and educational supports.

After the 1st term, I take these out and create new copies for the 2nd term. I found that if I kept the papers for the 1st term in the binder, it gets too full and heavy.

2. Routines, Skill Checks, and Checklists

We always start our math time with a routine. Students and I come up with 4 things we will practice - for about 4-6 weeks until we change it up. I give the questions on our iPad and SmartBoard and every student answers it using individual whiteboards. I can easily check off who gets it, who's almost there, and who doesn't get it. These are stored at the front of my assessment and tracking binder - which I have open with me while we are doing our routine.

For the students who are not quite independent yet - those are the students I bring over for more 1-on-1 or small-group conferencing for additional revision of these knowledge and skills.

The checklist was created using a table in Microsoft Word. For the headers, I just merged cells.

Student names are listed vertically along the left-hand side. When we began in September, I colour-coded my Grade 1s with one colour and my SKs with another colour. Along the top are the 4 skills of our routine. I can easily check or X and make notes when students show me their whiteboard answers. I can also easily see who hasn't completed any answers, been absent, or I haven't observed for some reason yet - those are the students who I look for next time and/or bring over for individual conferencing to see if they have these skills and knowledge.

I also use these checklists when I use my Skills Check. These are completed during individual conferencing - usually during Daily 5 time or blocks of play-based learning time.


3. Expectation-Grouped Checklists

I usually used these when teaching Grades 1/2 - but I have used them for my Grade 1 students in my SK/1 room. Usually used with Math, I pull expectations from across the 5 strands that relate to the unit we are on. Then, through assignments, play-based learning, conferencing, conversations, observations, et cetera, I make notes on student achievement. These are stored at the front of my assessment and tracking binder.

How do you keep track of student learning in your room?


  1. Wow great system you have here Amy! Do you have a template for your assessment records? Always looking to better organize my notes. I especially like your learning skills chart! Would love a copy if that's okay.

    1. Hi there!

      The Learning Skills can be downloaded at and is also a part of my full curriculum checklist at .

      I'm not sure what you mean by template - do you mean the checklist? It can be downloaded as a WORD file here and you can change the expectations at the top if you like :)

      Hope that helps!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.