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Using Kansas Early Learning Standards (KELS) to Support

Using Kansas Early Learning Standards (KELS) to Support

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Using Kansas Early Learning Standards (KELS) to Support

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  1. Using Kansas Early LearningStandards (KELS) to Support Assessment in Early Childhood

  2. KELS Toolkits • This is one in a series of toolkit presentations developed to guide early care and education providers in appropriate and effective use of the Kansas Early Learning Standards (KELS). • As a pre-requisite to this training, participants should first be familiar with the KELS Overview Toolkit and the KELS document.

  3. How do Kansas Early Learning Standards (KELS) Support Assessment? Making the connections : • Conceptual knowledge and skills • Guiding principles from School Readiness Framework • Kansas College and Career Ready Standards (KCCRS) Kansas Early Learning Standards (2014 Revision)

  4. Learner Objectives • To understand why assessment is important for all settings, whether home or center-based child care, or preschool. • Using assessment data to make decisions. • Using assessment to determine areas for improvement. • To develop a plan for using the KELS as a guide with assessment practices. • Learn how the KELS is aligned with current commercial assessment instruments.

  5. Prior Knowledge and Experience • Who has written policies regarding inclusion and use of assessment • Who participates in assessment • Tell the person sitting beside you how you use assessment data/information • Tell the person next to you the ways that you communicate results of assessment • How do you include parents in assessment

  6. Assessment – Professional Guides • NAEYC reminds us: “Information gained from assessments must benefit children. Assessment and accountability systems should improve practices and services and should not be used to rank, sort, or penalize young children”. (NAEYC, 2009) • Head Start says: “Ongoing assessment is integral to curriculum and instruction. Assessment information helps us monitor progress, both for individual children and for the program as a whole”. (Head Start, 2015)

  7. Assessment Importance and Purposes • Screening (Child Find or for instructional purposes) • For determining eligibility for early intervention or special education services and preparing their IFSP/IEP) • To determine where the child is beginning with developmental skills (in all domains) – called their baseline, in order to answer questions, make decisions and plan for individual child needs

  8. Assessment Importanceand Purposes • To monitor child progress as they gain developmental skills • To help plan, choose or align curriculum • To share information with others (e.g., parents, child outcomes for state agencies) • To determine ways to improve practices • To determine if program goals are met

  9. Screening • Screening is the first step process for • Child Find (a team gathers quick information about skills in all developmental domains to decide if further testing is needed to determine eligibility and need for early intervention or special education) • Instructional Purposes (quick look at child skills in order to decide next steps in teaching) • Screening should include: health care, vision, hearing, and family’s culture and language

  10. Assessment to Determine Eligibility Some children do not pass Child Find screening, and they need further, more extensive assessment to look at areas of specific concern. This information reflects a child’s performance related to other children of the same age, gender and ethnic origin. A diagnostic assessment may result in determining eligibility and need for early intervention or special education.

  11. Assessment for Baselines It is important to determine where a child is starting with skills in all developmental domains and early academic skill areas. • To answer questions • To determine strengths and needs • To make decisions • To plan for next steps in the child’s development

  12. Assessment for Progress Monitoring Progress monitoring is continuing to assess the child on a regular basis. This ongoing assessment is a process that collects information about a child’s strengths and learning challenges, levels of functioning and specific characteristics of their learning or learning style over time.

  13. Assessment Can Help Plan, Develop and/or Choose Your Curriculum • Assessment is the first step to designing the highest quality plan for the children’s development and learning • The KELS can serve as a guide for skills you want to target for the children

  14. Assessment: Sharing The Information Assessment data/information is important, as we can share the results with others: • With parents • With community members • With State agencies (e.g., Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas State Department of Education, Kansas Department for Children and Families)

  15. Assessment Helps Improve Practices • “Program evaluation is the systematic process of studying a program to determine how well it is working to achieve its goals” (NREPP, 2012) • The KELS can be used broadly as a guide for • The plan for program evaluation • What standards must be reached for the program to be considered successful • Gather feedback needed for program effectiveness • Help with decisions for program improvement

  16. Recommended Practices When Conducting Assessment • Describe what the child does, not what the child has • Use a developmental approach • Gather data/information over time, at different times of the day and different settings • Get an ecological view (from the child to his/her family to the community), not a child-only view • Use a team of individuals to partner with when assessing a child to make decisions

  17. How Do We Gather Information Involved in Assessment (Audience Participation) How does your program gather child information regarding their development? • For example, how would you gather information about a child in this area (using the KELS)

  18. Gathering Assessment Information How Can I Gather Assessment Data/Information? From: • Valid/reliable commercially produced tests • Parent interviews • From the child: observation, child products, child questions • Caregiver/teacher/professional created check lists • As well as other methods (e.g., video)

  19. Gathering Information: The Parent Parent partnerships can produce important data/information, through: • feedback, interviews • child products • videos of their child • participation through child interactions

  20. Best Practice for Choosing Assessment Materials • Authentic (genuine, true and accurate) • Convergence (bring together development and function) • Collaboration (takes a whole team of individuals to gather the data) • Equity (Fair and impartial) • Sensitivity (avoiding bias, recognizing cultural norms) • Congruence (that multiple sources of data are in agreement)

  21. Why Align Standards and Assessment? Alignment is the extent to which state standards and assessments are in agreement. We want them both to work together in order to guide and support children's learning and development.

  22. Use of the KELS with Assessment The KELS is NOT an assessment, but it can be used as a guide or framework to assessment: • It promotes use for ALL children • It provides key developmental skills, or early academic skills expected by each child, so it can show what a child, at a specific age, should be able to do • The KELS promotes “ongoing and frequent collection of universal screening and progress monitoring data” (KELS, 2014, p. 2)

  23. KELS as a Guide to Assessment Both the KELS and early childhood assessments are designed to reflect skills that children typically develop. The KELS helps through knowing and understanding: • Development – key milestones • Development – as a linear guide for kindergarten readiness • Alignment with commercial tests and tools, and informal assessment tools • It supports conversations linked to program evaluation with professionals, staff, caregivers, and parents

  24. The KELS – Aligned By Age The KELS have provided skills for children within these age designations: • Young infant (by 8 months) • Mobile infant (by 18 months) • Toddler (by 36 months/3 years) • PreK3 (by 48 months/4 years) • PreK4 (by 60 months/5 years)

  25. KELS – Aligned by Developmental Domains/Areas Both the KELS and Assessment Tools include learning progressions based skills within the five basic domains (cognitive, communication/language, motor/physical, self-help, social-emotional). The KELS uses the following domains: • KELS: cognitive = approaches to learning • KELS: communication/language = communication & literacy • KELS: motor/physical = physical development • Self-Help: embedded in physical development and • Social-Emotional: social-emotional development

  26. Putting it into Practice Intentional planning – using the KELS: • Begin with assessment of each child’s current skills, interests, learning styles, cultural norms, and prior experiences • Identify an appropriate activity based on the children’s interests and learning goals • Link this to the relevant standard(s) based on the goals for child learning during the activity

  27. Putting it into Practice (continued) • Determine possible individual needs of children and prepare for adaptations and accommodations • Implement the activity, documenting children’s responses and abilities to the activity

  28. Putting it Into Practice (cont.) Use assessment tools to note skills demonstrated, use notes about children’s reactions, questions and comments: • Reflect on and evaluate the activity to determine if children did not meet, almost met, or met the learning goal(s) • Based on findings, design plans to meet individual child needs

  29. Aligning KELS with Commercial Tests • KSDE and KDHE provide a list of Curriculum-Based Assessments approved for use in determining early childhood outcome ratings for children in early intervention (Part C) and special education (Part B) • Some companies have or are working towards aligning their assessment tools with early learning standards (e.g., GOLD)

  30. Why is School Readiness Involved with Assessment • School readiness involves all stakeholders involved in child success (child, parent, community, and the child’s caregivers and/or professionals together) • School readiness describes the status and ongoing progress a child makes within identified developmental domains. By monitoring (through assessment) each child’s progress across multiple domains, teachers, parents, schools, and caregivers can provide needed support to ensure each child’s success in school

  31. KELS – Links to Assessment andSchool Readiness The KELS can guide the school readiness plan. The information gained through assessment can help determine individual child skills, strengths and needs that link to school success.

  32. For More Information KELS Virtual Toolkit: Assessment • QT • I need a better understanding of this topic. Where should I begin • How do I find out what works to support infants and young children in this area • Show me what implementation looks like (for adults and children) in classroom and non-classroom settings • How can I get additional training on this topic • I would like to share this information with others, in a group setting. Is there a trainer's version of this virtual toolkit • Evaluation

  33. Evaluation • What is one big idea or take home message from what you heard today • What excites you or concerns you about what you learned • Any insights from the session • How will you use what you learned from this session

  34. References Akers, L., Atkins-Burnett, S., Monahan, S., Carta, J., Wasik, B.A., & Boller, K. “Issue Brief: What Does It Mean to Use Ongoing Assessment to Individualize Instruction in Early Childhood?” Research Brief OPRE Report #2015-61. Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research, 2015.

  35. References Akers, L., Del Grosso, P., Atkins-Burnett, S., Monahan, S., Boller, K., Carta, J., and Wasik, B. A. Research Brief—Tailored Teaching: What We Know—and What We Need to Find Out—About Early Childhood Teachers’ Use of Ongoing Assessment to Tailor Instruction. Research Brief OPRE Report #2015-60. Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research, 2014.

  36. References Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Early Childhood(Recommended Practices) and Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center Head Start (2015). Framework for effective practice: Ongoing child assessment. Author, Washington, D.C. Retrieved:

  37. References Kansas State Department of Education NAEYC and NAECS/SDE (2009). Where we stand on curriculum, assessment, andprogram evaluation. Author, National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington, D.C. Retrieved: National Registry of Evidence-based Practices (NREP). (2012). Non- researcher’s guide to evidence-based practices (p.5).  Retrieved:

  38. The Kansas Early Learning Standards (KELS) Training Project, a project of the University of Kansas, Life Span Institute at Parsons,was funded through a grant from the Kansas State Department of Education with funds from the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund. Leadership support for this project was Acknowledgement provided by the Kansas State Agencies Early Childhood Leadership Team with representatives from: Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund Kansas Department for Children and Families Kansas Department of Health and Environment Kansas State Department of Education

  39. Contacts Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund Landon State Office Building 900 SW Jackson St., Rm. 152 Topeka, Kansas 66612 785.368.7044 or 877.204.5171 Kansas Department for Children and Families Strengthening Families 555 S. Kansas Avenue Topeka, Kansas 66603 785.296.3271 or 800.332.6262 Kansas Department of Health and Environment Bureau of Family Health Curtis State Office Building 1000 SW Jackson St., Suite 220 Topeka, Kansas 66612 785.291.3368 or 800.332.6262 Kansas State Department of Education Early Childhood, Special Education, and Title Services Landon State Office Building 900 SW Jackson St. Topeka, Kansas 66612 785.296.7454 or 800.203-9462

  40. Acknowledgement Suggested reference for this PowerPoint: Mitchell, L., Rinkel, P., Heintz, C., & Lindeman, D.P. (2016). Using Kansas Early Learning Standards (KELS) to Support: Assessment in Early Childhood. Life Span Institute at Parsons, University of Kansas, Parsons, KS.