Linking early education services to elementary education has become a strong focus of program development and evaluation in many communities. You may hear it as “Age 3 to Grade 3” or “alignment to the academic and social demands of elementary school” or the importance of helping children be “ready for school.” Regardless of the term, the idea is the same: Children develop across a trajectory, and services that promote development in preschool can and should support development after those children enroll in elementary school.
IGDIs, and many other recently developed assessments for preschool children, require a certain degree of “fussiness” on the part of teachers and others collecting assessment data. In our trainings for IGDIs, and in manuals and other documents that describe their use, we emphasize the importance of standardization, or following to the letter assessment directions, scoring criteria, and many other aspects of the task of assessing young children.
Teaching young children is, without question, a tough job! Preschool classrooms often have students who differ in age and developmental level – some kids have already mastered all the preschool skills and competencies we think will help them in kindergarten, and others have a long ways to go before “school success” is a likely outcome. Earlier posts in this blog series have discussed why we assess kids and what goals we hold for kindergarten readiness. But how can we be confident that the services we provide are actually helping the children we teach and the families we serve?