Presentation (Project) Title

Authentic Assessment of VPK Students’ Math Skills

Mentor Information

Ilene Berson (College of Education)

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract

Young children express their mastery of skills in a variety of ways, but classroom instructional practices often rely on more formal, structured assessments. Research shows that when students have the opportunity to engage in open-ended exploration and interaction with math manipulatives, there is a greater chance of students using the materials purposefully. These child-initiated engagements offer rich opportunities for authentic assessment. Early childhood students participate in meaningful math lessons that allow them to later exhibit their skills throughout the day. The purpose of this study is to see how I may authentically assess students’ applied math skills in the classroom. This is being conducted on 15 Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) students, ranging from three to five years old. Data collection includes photographs of student work samples and anecdotal records. The data were coded to identify trends. Findings suggest that authentic assessment of math learning allows for teacher reflection to enhance lessons, guides instructional decision-making on what to teach next, and promotes a focus on the students’ strengths.

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Authentic Assessment of VPK Students’ Math Skills

Young children express their mastery of skills in a variety of ways, but classroom instructional practices often rely on more formal, structured assessments. Research shows that when students have the opportunity to engage in open-ended exploration and interaction with math manipulatives, there is a greater chance of students using the materials purposefully. These child-initiated engagements offer rich opportunities for authentic assessment. Early childhood students participate in meaningful math lessons that allow them to later exhibit their skills throughout the day. The purpose of this study is to see how I may authentically assess students’ applied math skills in the classroom. This is being conducted on 15 Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) students, ranging from three to five years old. Data collection includes photographs of student work samples and anecdotal records. The data were coded to identify trends. Findings suggest that authentic assessment of math learning allows for teacher reflection to enhance lessons, guides instructional decision-making on what to teach next, and promotes a focus on the students’ strengths.