Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Young Children and Their Families

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Standard #3: Observing, documenting and assessing to support young children and families. Q1.-In your opinion what are some important uses of assessment? Why do we need to assess? Assessment is often thought of as a punitive exercise. But the purpose of assessment is to ensure that students meet specific standards of progress and to rectify learning deficits before a child falls too far behind. Assessment can also identify a child's strengths as well as his or her weaknesses. As well as comparing the child's performance with his or her peers, the teacher can assess specific learning needs, learning styles, interests, aptitudes, and other critical components of the child's developing learning personality. Without assessment, there is no opportunity to keep track of benchmarks of improvement and no sense of progress. Assessment provides a time for reflection for the teacher as well as the child. The teacher may need to revisit his or her approach to teaching, based upon student's comprehension and input. Also, on a very crude level, assessment can encourage students to perform to a higher level: "Whether we like it or not, most students tend to focus their energies on the best or most expeditious way to pass their 'tests'" (Scanlan, n.d.). Q2. - What are some tools and approaches that are most appropriate in assessing children's learning and development? The primary types of assessment are formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments take the form of

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