The Creative Curriculum offers an evidence-based way to teach in the early childhood setting, using the most current research in child development, learning and educational objectives. Formerly the Creative Curriculum Assessment, the makers of the curriculum, Teaching Strategies, now offers their GOLD assessment package to evaluate the young child's learning. If you use the Creative Curriculum, you'll conduct a thorough, ongoing assessment to support positive development.
Teaching Strategies' GOLD product is specifically created to go along with the Creative Curriculum. The assessment uses 38 objects that are based in the most up-to-date research to predict and assess the young child's scholastic ability and development through continuous observations. An ongoing, informal assessment tool, you will evaluate the child on a regular basis throughout the school year to get a broad picture of his development. This evaluation includes collecting facts and observing the child during everyday play periods, lessons and activities.
Move Through the Objectives
The 38 objectives are broken down into multiple categories that include social-emotional, physical, language and cognitive development as well as literacy, mathematics, science and technology, social studies, the arts and English language. Throughout the course of your time with the child, you'll check her development at regular intervals in each of these areas during classroom lessons, activities and free play times. The specific objectives to look for include developmentally appropriate skills and abilities. For example, you would look for a preschoolers' ability to use math concepts such as numbers when counting and connecting the numerals to the amount that they quantify. This step isn't always necessary for every area. If the child isn't engaging in a specific behavior or a content area isn't covered in class time, you won't be able to observe and evaluate it.
Online Evaluation Tools
While assessing students, you'll have the opportunity to use technical types of evaluation tools that the GOLD assessment package offers online. Create developmental profiles for the students first, and as you make observations, organize the data on your computer using report forms. Another option is to use the tool's app to quickly collect and upload data to your assessment profiles. You'll also see a color-coded progression based on where the child should be according to current developmental research. You can use this to check off a child's development over the course of a year or from infancy through preschool. Summarize the facts and use the information from observations to use the online weekly planning forms or to share the assessment data with school administrators or parents.
As you're entering your observation data throughout the school year or a longer time period, you can compare the child's development with the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and math. For example, if your 5-year-old students are doing a themed unit on numbers, you observe the children and note what they are doing during counting activities, take photos of their work or of them working, and upload this data into the GOLD tool. After making the observations, taking notes and collecting other data, the next step is to compare each individual child's progress to the age-graded learning standards.
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