Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pre-School Numeracy & Assessment

We are writing you from Santiago, Chile. We are using Earlybirds Kindergarten Mathematics. The doubt is that in Book A, to evaluate classification, is it necessary to evaluate all the previous steps such as "different things", "things that are used together", "things that do not belong" etc.? Or can we evaluate only the final concept, that is sorting by the three attributes.

We have to tell you that this is our first year using your method in Mathematics, and, at the beginning , we had some problems, because of the language (our students don´t speak English at home, they learn it only at school). But now, we have used the book for 4 months, and we think the students, and we, the teachers, have learned a lot from it.
AnamarĂ­a, Chile
In Kindergarten, we do not want to overwhelm children with assessment and evaluation. In this unit students have learnt how to match things according to some attribute (being able to say two animals are the same despite differences in size, color, orientation; being able to say two things are the same even though they are drawn differently; matching by colors; matching by patterns). Some where in between they apply this to pick the odd item out among, say, four items. Later, they learn to classify according to more abstract attributes such as function (what they are used for). Again, the apply these skills to pick the odd one out. Finally, the use the skills to classify items into two groups according to given criteria and their own criteria. In the evaluation, we assess and evaluate if the children are able to apply these skills in picking the odd one out and in classification.
There is no need to evaluate every sub-skill. However, if any child cannot complete the main task (odd one out and classification) then teachers may want top check if they can do the sub-skills.

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