Top 3 Formal Assessment Tools

Childhood assessment is a process of gathering information about a child, reviewing the information, and then using the information to plan educational activities that are at a level the child can understand and is able to learn from. In short, the reason an early childhood educator should perform regular assessments is to plan appropriate activities that meet the child where he/she is and to allow you to cater to that particular child’s needs.

Methods of child assessment can be informal (conducting natural observations, collecting data and children’s work for portfolios, using educator and teacher ratings) and formal (using assessment tools such as questionnaires and standardized testing). Both methods are effective and can help inform educators and parents about a child’s progress. Here is a list of the types of assessments:

Observations can be made with minimal or no intrusion into children’s activities. Educators can observe all facets of development, including intellectual, linguistic, social-emotional, and physical development, on a regular basis.

Portfolios are a record of data that is collected through the work children have produced over a period of time. The collection clearly shows the progress of a child’s development. Portfolios can be an important tool in helping facilitate a partnership between teachers and parents.

Educator Ratings are useful in assessing children’s cognitive and language abilities as well as their social-emotional development. These ratings can be linked to other methods of assessment, such as standardized testing or other assessment tools. (See the next question below.)

Parent Ratings integrate parents into the assessment process. Parents who are encouraged to observe and listen to their child can help detect and target important milestones and behaviors in their child’s development.

Standardized Tests are tests created to fit a set of testing standards. These tests are administered and scored in a standard manner and are often used to assess the performance of children in a program. 

Here are the top 3 formal assessments used by early childhood educators across the nation:

COR Advantage:

The Work Sampling System:

Ages & Stages:

Choose the one that works best for your center or home, and start becoming a better teacher by using assessment driven lessons!