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Main Topics

Basic Assumptions
Literacy Rich Environment
Managing the Classroom Environment
Technology Integration
Interactive Commercial Software
Assessment of Literacy Skills
Performance Indicators
Emergent Literacy Site Map

Assessment of Literacy Skills - Portfolios

Sub-Topics (Click on topic you wish to see)

Using HyperStudio for Documentation
Creating a Portfolio with HyperStudio
Sample Portfolio
Anecdotal Notes and Videotape
Assessment Instruments

Sample Portfolio

The entire portfolio contains selected drawings, writings, HyperStudio stack samples, and a sequence of photographs of Broderick, a preschool child whose speech and language are delayed.

  • Example of a Child's Portfolio.During the school year, images were taken with a digital camera.
  • Sample signatures and drawings were created in HyperStudio while other writing samples were scanned and placed into HyperStudio.
  • Conversations were recorded in HyperStudio.
  • A hard copy of the portfolio was printed and bound.
  • On the last page, Broderick's teacher created a pocket to store a disk containing the portfolio.
  • The book and disk can be easily stored in the child's folder and a copy can be provided to the family.
"Digital Cameras." View “Digital Cameras” PDF

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Anecdotal Notes and Videotape

Another component of the assessment process is the documentation of children's literacy behaviors as they use the reading, writing, art, and computer centers.

  • Teachers observe how children handle books and other reading materials and how often they choose reading activities
  • Anecdotal notes are recorded on specific children as they occur or at the end of the morning or afternoon
  • Sessions are also videotaped occasionally to record literacy behaviors or to record a special event, such as a play based on one of the books or computer programs. These videotapes become a source of documentation and can be reviewed at the end of the year to show children's progress

AlphaSmart is a portable keyboard that can be used for recording observations in the classroom. Files are later downloaded onto a Macintosh or PC computer. Children also enjoy pushing the keys to make letter on the display. Many of them try to find the letters in their name. In this way the keyboard becomes a literacy tool for children too.
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"Link to AlphaSmart" A Tool for taking notes - AlphaSmart

Assessment Instruments

Children's literacy and computer skills are assessed through use of two Project-developed instruments used at the beginning and end of the year.

Informal Literacy Assessment (ILA) is based on elements of other literacy measures.

"Informal Literacy Assessment." View "Informal Literacy Assessment" PDF

The teacher observes children being read to and reading to themselves and peers. The ILA measures:

  • children's attention to stories being read to them
  • their handling of books
  • their ability to sequence, predict, and retell a story

The score at the end of the year is compared with the one from the beginning of the year to note progress.
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The Universal Behavior Interaction Tool (BIT) is used to assess children's behaviors at the computer. The BIT measures three types of interactions:

  1. Child/Computer Interactions
  2. Child/Adult Interactions
  3. Child/Child Interactions
"Universal Behavior Tool." View “Universal Behavior Interaction Tool” PDF

A variety of skills, such as cognitive, fine motor, social, and communication, are assessed while the child uses software with another child. Again these scores are compared with those obtained early in the year to note children's progress in interaction behaviors at the computer.

The ITLC model uses an array of tools and various processes to assess children's literacy skills. The process allows for differences in children's styles and rates of learning, supports children's development, and focuses on children's strengths. Children will be assessed through observation and documentation in a variety of circumstances and during typical and real activities. Teachers will be provided with useful information as a result of the assessment process.
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Having literacy assessment procedures in place ensures that teachers and families have the needed information on children's abilities in order to make decisions on suitable activities to promote emergent literacy. Portfolio collections, observation and record-keeping techniques, the use of HyperStudio as literacy documentation, and the use of two assessment instruments have been found to be effective in helping plan curriculum. Through developmentally appropriate curriculum which is based on sound assessment strategies children in early childhood programs will be given the best opportunities to develop early literacy skills.

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Next Sub-topic. Performance Indicators
Last Update July 26, 2007 | © 2004  All rights reserved. | Center for Best Practices | Text Only |