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Bridging
Assessment for Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Classrooms, PreK-3

Edited by:

Foreword by Samuel J. Meisels



June 2007 | 352 pages | Corwin

"Blends holistic authentic assessment with purposeful, specific assessment experiences that are also child and classroom friendly."
—Vicki Hawley, Early Literacy Training Project Coordinator
Center for Early Education and Development
University of Minnesota

"Explains the research base, the reason for the assessment process, and current trends in assessment practices for early childhood education, and offers easy-to-use assessment tools that address the whole child."
—L. Kathryn Sharp, Early Childhood Instructor
University of Memphis

Use familiar classroom activities as an assessment tool!

Effective teaching requires skill in implementing challenging and inviting curricular activities. It also involves evaluating children's learning in order to extend their development through the school year. Being able to implement and evaluate at the same time is a tall order but is at the heart of good teaching. Written for PreK–3 educators, Bridging blends curriculum planning, implementation, and assessment into one seamless process, providing a practical, performance-based approach to early childhood assessment.

Encouraging teachers to assess both what (content) and how (process) children learn, the authors have developed 15 activities across five curricular areas—language arts and literacy, visual arts, mathematics, science, and performing arts—with guidelines for implementing, interpreting, and "bridging" observations of children to classroom teaching practices. The book provides ways to:

  • Identify children's current status in content area learning and development
  • Determine which children are ready to learn in upcoming weeks and months
  • Make informed instructional adaptations to meet developmental needs, and more!

With a built-in facilitator guide for designing and leading preservice and inservice professional development, this resource offers an instructional framework for everyone committed to aligning sound early childhood curriculum with national learning standards.

 
List of Tables and Figures
 
Foreword by Samuel J. Meisels
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Section I. A Guide for Teachers
 
1. Introduction to the Process of Bridging
Assessment and Teaching  
Bridging in Classrooms  
Overview of Bridging  
Distinctive Features of Bridging  
Bridiging for Preservice and Inservice Teachers  
Overview of the Bridging Handbook  
 
2. Assessing the Content of Children's Learning
Diversity and Individual Differences  
Diverse Curricular Areas  
Promoting Underlying Concept Development  
Key Concepts and Skills  
Performance Rubrics  
Learning Profiles  
Actual and Potential Development  
 
3. Assessing the Process of Children's Learning
Approaches to Learning  
Defining Approaches to Learning  
Rubrics to Measure Working Approaches  
Sources of Variability in Working Approaches  
Working Approaches in the Bridging Process  
 
4. Activity as the Unit of Analysis in Bridging Assessment
Unit of Analysis in Child Assessment  
Activity as the Unit of Analysis in Bridging Assessment  
Conceptual Framework of Bridging  
Bridging Activities as Basic Activities  
Bridging Activities and Play  
 
5. Task Parameters in Bridging Assessment
Task Parameters in Bridging Assessment  
Task Goals  
Key Concepts and Skills  
Materials  
Social Arrangements  
Structure of Tasks  
Summary  
 
6. Teacher Roles in Bridging Assessment
Overview of Teacher Roles  
Decision Maker  
Participant  
Observer  
Interpreter  
Translator  
Integrating Roles and Teacher Development  
Bridges to Effective Teaching  
 
Section II. Implementation of Assessment Activities
 
7. Implementing Bridging
Implementing Bridging in the Classroom Context  
Becoming Familiar With Activity Protocols  
Planning the Assessment  
Conducting Bridging Activities  
Interpreting the Assessment Results  
Linking Assessment to Teaching  
 
Activities: Language Arts and Literacy
What We Know  
What Bridging Provides  
Why These Three Activities  
Standards and Language Arts and Literacy Bridging Activities  
Reading a Book-Child's Choice and Teacher's Choice  
Dictating a Story  
Acting Out a Story  
 
Activities: Visual Arts
What We Know  
What Bridging Provides  
Why These Three Activities  
Standards and Visual Arts Bridging Activities  
Experimenting With Crayon Techniques  
Drawing a Self-Portrait  
Making Pattern Block Pictures  
 
Activities: Mathematics
What We Know  
What Bridging Provides  
Why These Three Activities  
Standards and Mathematics Bridging Activities  
Creating Pattern Block Pinwheels  
Solving Pattern Block Puzzles  
Exploring Number Concepts (Counting, Subtracting, Estimating, and "Fair Share"-Simple Division)  
 
Activities: Sciences
What We Know  
What Bridging Provides  
Why These Three Activities  
Standards and Science Bridging Activities  
Exploring Shadows and Light  
Assembling a Nature Display  
Building a Model Car  
 
Activities: Performing Arts
What We Know  
What Bridging Provides  
Why These Three Activities  
Standards and Performing Arts Bridging Activities  
Moving to Music  
Playing an Instrument  
Singing a Song  
 
References and Recommended Readings
 
Facilitator's Guide to Bridging and Teacher Development
Inservice Professional Development  
Professional Studies for Preservice Teacher Candidates  
Building a Community of Learners  
 
Index

"Blends holistic authentic assessment with purposeful, specific assessment experiences that are also child- and classroom-friendly."

Vicki Hawley, Minnesota Early Literacy Training Coordinator
University of Minnesota Center for Early Education and Development

"Unique in that it offers a way for teachers to examine both the content and the process of young children's learning. It also offers a more comprehensive assessment of the whole child by looking at multiple areas of skills and development."

Lisa A. McCabe, Cooperative Extension Associate
Cornell Early Childhood Program, Cornell University

"A unique and valuable offering to teachers interested in being lifelong learners. Places emphasis not only on assessment of content areas, but even more on the learning/teaching process and how to smoothly link the assessments to planning and implementing curriculum."

Katherine Taddie Kelly, Literacy Coach and Reading Interventionist
Fort Worth Independent School District, TX

"Not only explains the reason for the assessment process, the research base, and current trends in assessment practices for early childhood, but also offers easy-to-use assessment tools that address the whole child."

Kathryn Sharp, Instructor
University of Memphis

"Fifteen activities across five curricular areas provide guidelines for 'bridging' observations of children to classroom teaching practices, helping teachers assess development, effective learning techniques, and helping them to predict future learning techniques and trends."

California Bookwatch, August 2007
Key features
  • Highly practical and original material based on solid research
  • Step-by-step instructions for implementing and interpreting finely-tuned assessment activities
  • Clear guidance for adapting instruction once assessment findings have been determined
  • Authors are recognized experts in ECE – great for building reputation of the list

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chen McNamee Preface

Chen McNamee Chapter 1


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