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would you have a problem w/ this kindergarten entrance test? - Page 2

post #21 of 100
I don't mind them so much, as long as they are just used to place kids, and not for other purposes. Kind of a side note, but I thought that kids were taught to write their name and the alphabet in kindergarten? : My now seven year old daughter didn't do any assessments before kindergarten (although I think they did them in the classroom) and they taught her how to write and read in school. She is on grade level and is doing fine.
post #22 of 100
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo View Post
My mom was a kindergarten teacher, she ran those tests. At least in my mom's classroom they are not entrance tests, they are assessment tests - they just see where the child is at the start of kindergarten, developmentally. The teachers see children at all levels and can tell whether a child just doesn't want to skip, versus has a developmental issue.

Would you prefer they not test the children at all and just teach them all the same regardless of their needs?

judging a child on their one-time ability to skip or recite the alphabet is wrong, imo. so I suppose if the only other option was to NOT test them and "sort it out" after school starts, in a class room setting, on a daily basis, YES... that's my choice.
post #23 of 100
Assessment is only valid when used appropriately. Assessment should be used to show areas of strength before areas of weakness. It should also be multi-dimesnional, on-going and adaptable to the needs of the child. Yes, there are standardized assessments that use child development norms to find out where the child is currently. Are they always the best picture of where the child is at- no.

In reality, even when the assessment is fairly accurate at showing where the child is functioning, if the teacher does not expand upon that knowledge, then they aren't worth anything.
post #24 of 100
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
:

I'll have to go with your MIL and SIL on this one

Those are totally normal assesment tests so the teacher knows who needs attention in what areas.

so, it's AOK w/ you for your child to be put in a "different" class based on his/her skipping ability?
post #25 of 100
Yes exactly to edamommy and brendon's posts.
post #26 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by edamommy View Post
judging a child on their one-time ability to skip or recite the alphabet is wrong, imo. so I suppose if the only other option was to NOT test them and "sort it out" after school starts, in a class room setting, on a daily basis, YES... that's my choice.

But then there is a possibility that a child that needs additional help and would benefit from full day school or additional assistance might go unnoticed. When we were first told that my DD had to take a kind of assessment exam I was against it but after observing her with the teacher testing her I definitely see the purpose. I believe that thet are looking for more than performed skills and abilities but also how the child interacts with the teacher. Teachers seem to have a sixth sense sometimes and can just tell when a child needs a bit of help. It is probably best for the teacher if there is some sorting pre-school starting to make sure that all of the children needing a bit of extra help are not all placed in the same class, overburdening the teacher.
post #27 of 100
I think it's silly.
post #28 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
I think it's silly.

I would guess that the parents of the handful of children in my DD's class that were offered full-day kindergarten to help them get the extra attention they need would disagree with the idea that it is silly.
post #29 of 100
edamommy, I have to say that the irony of you being upset at people judging is truly breathtaking.

On the topic at hand, I see absolutely nothing wrong with this. It's not as though anyone's going to bar your niece from school if she can't skip yet.

I refused to put my foot in paint the first day of kindergarten. I remember it, but I can't say that I didn't reach my full potential because I was labeled or anything.
post #30 of 100
You know, I think the skipping, writing, drawing...all of the stuff on kindergarten assessments provide *information.* And as a lot of you have posted, it truly makes a difference how the info is used. The fact that teachers have preliminary info about kids coming into their classrooms is good--chances are, a child who can't skip but is assessed in a reasonable range isn't going to be referred from the start. However, if there are other issues going on in the assessment, it is information a teacher has when school starts. A decent teacher will watch and wait for more time to go on. There are good tests/assessments (and teachers to match). I just don't have problems with a school wanting to find out more info about an incoming child.
I want my children's schools to know as much as possible about them, and I know that the majority of teachers aren't going to make any final decision about one day of assessment.
post #31 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by edamommy View Post
judging a child on their one-time ability to skip or recite the alphabet is wrong, imo. so I suppose if the only other option was to NOT test them and "sort it out" after school starts, in a class room setting, on a daily basis, YES... that's my choice.
I was an instructional aide before dd, and used to do some of this testing. It's not a one-time assessment. These assessments are done to keep track of a child's progress through the school year, usually done right before report cards are issued each time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCMoulton
It is probably best for the teacher if there is some sorting pre-school starting to make sure that all of the children needing a bit of extra help are not all placed in the same class, overburdening the teacher.
The assessments are also because of this. I don't think it was a test that had to be passed to "get in" to Kindergarten. It's used for placement into classrooms or learning groups so kids aren't bored from too easy material or overwhelmed from too difficult material.
post #32 of 100
The do the assessments here to help group kids for K. Our district also offers a transitional K class, for kids that are old enough for K, but not quite there developmentally. There is also a transitional first, for kids that were in transitional K, but also ones who went to regular K, but aren't quite ready for 1st gr. The idea is to allow them to mature and catch up to their peers by st or 2nd grade in a better environment for where they are at developmentally. Sometimes kids do a transitional K year, and then do regular K and tehn go from there. It is very flexible, and kid centered the way it works here. It is the parents choice, though. Kids that have trouble in a lot of the assessments are also offered a summer school type session the summer before, so the parents can see how they would do in a formal educational setting before deciding. Sometimes, itis just a matter of giving it to them. DS1 was coming out of the PPCD program (special needs preschool) and we used the summer school to transition him to K. He knew the skills from PPCD, but the extra structure was a good transition for him.
post #33 of 100
You know, the school could also ask parents for information about their child. Does your child skip? If not, what are they doing? How does your child hold a pencil, right hand/left hand?

I would rather see a portfolio of the child's progress rather than strict assessment. However, if you do it well, you can incorporate assessments, anecdotals, portfolios etc into a very good picture of where the child is developmentally.

As others have said, assessment can be done well, and in many ways that don't come across as testing.
post #34 of 100
[QUOTE=brendon;9012692]You know, the school could also ask parents for information about their child. Does your child skip? If not, what are they doing? How does your child hold a pencil, right hand/left hand?
/QUOTE]

Good point--and some districts do...ours does.

Reality is, though, *how* a child completes a task is as important as the task itself (directionality, formation of letters/numbers, memory tasks). A teacher will be looking at specific behaviors that a parent without an education background may not notice.
Also, let's be honest- -I am personally biased about my own child. I think she's a pretty smart cookie...See where I am going with this?
post #35 of 100
True. Though after working with children for many years, I am less biased about my kids. Sure I think they are great but no more than most kids. :

I have an ed background- it gets me into trouble. Actually, it is one of the reasons we are homeschooling.
post #36 of 100
My ds was assessed during the K year, but not before. He was assigned to his class sight unseen (which was fine with me, since I knew his teacher had a good reputation). I know that he was assessed because the teacher sent home a weekly newsletter and kept us informed and also because ds told me. He mentioned that they skipped as a class about half-way through the Kindy year. I'm pretty sure ds wasn't skipping before he started school. At least I'd never seen him do it.
post #37 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by edamommy View Post
My MIL and SIL thought me nuts to get so bent out of shape about it... but it seems so very classist and just not fare... what do you all think?
And that's why I homeschool!!!

Just kidding.

Do you think it's classist because children from different socioeconomic backgrounds might not have the same exposure to some of these skills? I think they know that children coming in have different experiences, and I think that by testing a variety of things from the physical (skipping) to the academic (writing ability) they are trying to be complete. If the tests are used so the teachers could get a feel for where the kids are in any given area of skill or what have you, I don't have an issue with it. I know my child could not skip or tie her shoes when she started kindergarten, and I thought it was fine if the teachers knew this. The teachers were able to tailor activities based on what they saw her strengths and weaknesses to be, and not just try and push her through everything as if expecting her to be able to do it already.
post #38 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by NicoleyWoley View Post
I'm probably going to get jumped on for this, but I was a GATE kid, and suffered with boredom in school until I was moved into the special classes.

I have no problem with these assessments. The class can only go as fast as it's slowest student. Keeping the kids in an environment where they'll all learn at their pace is best, IMO.
Um, yeah, me too. Without assessments, I would have dropped out of school by the 3rd grade or just been a total terror like DH was - he wasn't finally moved into the GATE classes until fifth grade and guess what! The behavior problems ceased. Duh.

When they did the physical assessments in kindergarten, I didn't know what skipping was. They had to show me.
post #39 of 100
My son is in Kindy, and his assessment was done two days before school started. His teacher (as well as every other K student's) was already assigned, and it was his teacher that did the assessment.

It wasn't to place anybody in a "special" K class, it was just to let the teacher know where each student stands developmentally and academically coming into the classroom. Valuable information, IMO.

I wasn't allowed in the classroom during the assessment, but DS told me she asked him his colors and shapes. He was in there a half-hour though, so I suspect that she asked him a bit more than just that!

He didn't mention skipping, but now that it's brought up, I DO remember that being a skill MY kindergarten class had to do when I was 5. The only thing I remember about it though is that we had to show the teacher that we could skip across the room (which I thought was great fun!), and then the teacher teaching one certain boy how to skip one day. ("Step-hop! Step-hop!")
post #40 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo View Post
My mom was a kindergarten teacher, she ran those tests. At least in my mom's classroom they are not entrance tests, they are assessment tests - they just see where the child is at the start of kindergarten, developmentally. The teachers see children at all levels and can tell whether a child just doesn't want to skip, versus has a developmental issue.

Would you prefer they not test the children at all and just teach them all the same regardless of their needs?
For kindergarteners? Yes, I would. The theory of kindergarten is that they learn how to go to school, and how to get along with their peers. Kindergarten is not for tracking and labelling. It's too damn early for that.
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