So how do we know your child is making progress? Since your child is too young for the typical "paper and pencil" test we have to find other ways of determining student progress. All preschool classrooms in the Laurel County School District use Teaching Strategies Gold Online to "assess" student learning. Throughout the school day, preschool staff are continually taking handwritten notes on students that are made through teacher observation. For example if your child is playing "school" with peers in the house center, we make note of that. Why you ask? Here is a VERY basic overview…
Teaching Strategies Gold, or TSG, has around 70 objectives and/or domains. If you noticed in the "School Readiness Goals" section there are 5 domains that we look at when we look at child development. These domains are social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and language. “Playing school” in the house center falls under all 5 of these domains. When it is time to enter data online, we take the hundreds of anecdotal records and key them in. Although we are assessing continually (we observe students all day, everyday) we submit them to the state for review only 3 times a year. After entering them, we then choose which objective/domain they fall under as well as "score" or check the level which each student in performing at that given time. When we want to look at the overall progress made by a student view a "color-banded" chart. Students often come into to preschool scoring somewhere around the "red band." It is our goal to assist students in progressing through all of the color bands, finally ending on the "green band." The green band signifies "mastery" or in other words, your child's abilities within that specific domain are more than sufficient. They are now ready to move on to more difficult tasks or engage in more critical thinking type tasks/scenarios.
When all notes are entered and scored, we submit it to the state for review. We also pull information from data entered in on TSG to create hour parent-teacher conference summaries, develop lesson plans, and create student goals for children.
I hope this rough overview has given you at least some insight concerning your child's progress, as well as a clear understanding that while yes, we do "play" in preschool it is meaningful play. It has a purpose! It is through that "play" that we are able to determine your child's progress and pinpoint any areas that may need extra support.