I was working today!! Yes, you heard me well.. On Saturday. And probably tomorrow too! June can actually be actually quite a cumbersome month. for teachers. I still have about 10 portfolios to finish and it is taking me ages. But I know that the end result is worth it.
What is giving me extra work as well is the backlog of reports due for the end of the year. As you probably know, observations and assessment are critical components of the teaching process. It is not uncommon to observe a Montessori classroom and see the teacher sitting quietly in a corner with her notebook or clipboard taking notes. Such observation is critical to the success of the Montessori program. Thanks to them, we can see which lessons need to be introduced next, which ones need to be repeated, who has mastered a skill and who hasn't quite grasp a concept yet. I use several proven techniques when observing children. Depending on the reason why a child is observed, I would choose the method which relays information more clearly than others.
I have to admit that the checklists are probably the technique I use the most. If you check the pre-k pages, you will be able to purchase an 18 page packet of assessment tools which will save you lots of time and help you organize your assessments so you can fill out your "end-of-the-year" reports quickly. I found this packet very practical, but I have adapted it to fit our classroom's curricular requirements. So, here I am now, looking back on the progress of each of my students. I didn't want to overwhelm parents with too much information and I don't want to make my report too rigid either. Yet, I want to provide everybody with an accurate summary of what their child has learnt and achieved this year. Parents need to be aware of the tools their children have been given as they enter primary school. So I came up with the following:
Each petal describes an exercise that the child is able to perform: "uses scissors correctly", "holds pencil correctly", "good pencil control", "takes turn and shares", "good concentration and focus", "answers and asks simple questions" etc... I colour each part of the petal if the child in question has mastered the skill. I really like the presentation. It is simple, very practical, concise and extremely easy to read.. And it is cute looking too!!! I have made it easy for download right here. I hope it helps.