Observation is the key method of assessment
in kindergarten. Educators learn what the
children know by watching them, listening
to their conversations, and engaging them
in conversations. In the above scenario, the
educator was able to gather valuable assessment
information. By adding materials gradually and
focusing on specific areas to observe, the educator
could assess children’s approach to materials,
their understanding of the properties of water,
how they were applying skills of inquiry, their use
of language, and their social skills. Furthermore,
by observing their conversations, the educator
could build on their interests and needs, and plan
activities that would capture their imagination
and extend their knowledge and skills.
Educators may find it helpful to visibly link the
learning at each centre to expectations from the
kindergarten program. To make the learning
more visible to parents, volunteers, and other
adults in the classroom, observable behaviours
and skills can be posted at each centre. This will
also serve as a reminder of the purpose and the
potential for learning.
For tracking observations of children at learning
centres, it may be helpful to set up a template
grid with all the children’s names. Following
is an example for recording observations. This
particular example uses an overall expectation.