Barbara Soots, Washington OSPI OER Project, Jennifer Cronquist, Washington OSPI Mathematics Department, Karma Hugo, Gretchen Stahr Breunig
Early Childhood Development
Material Type:
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Preschool, Lower Primary, College / Upper Division, Graduate / Professional, Career / Technical, Adult Education
  • Wa-early-learning
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    PreK - Grade 3 Reentry: Assessment

    PreK - Grade 3 Reentry: Assessment


    Resouces and guidance to help educators assess children in observational settings in order to find out where each child is on a developmental continuum.

    Assessment Resources

    Although children may have had inconsistent schooling experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, screening children to place them in a grade level based on their scores is not an encouraged practice for this school year. As indicated in this bulletin, a child’s age should be the primary determinant for placement in the 2021–22 school year. However, we strongly encourage educators to intentionally assess children in observational settings in order to find out where each child is on a developmental continuum and design individualized instruction to meet each child where they are currently at. Below are helpful resources to support your assessment.

    Resources for Educators in Assessing Children

    Washington Digital Teach Kit | Washington Library Association
    These easy-to-use guides have been crafted by teacher librarians to help K12 educators select and effectively implement commonly adopted digital learning tools in Washington State. Specifically designed for classroom educators, this resource bank provides links, support, and guidance for the effective use of over 20 digital learning tools already in use in many classrooms and schools across the state.

    Learner Variability Navigator | Digital Promise
    Free online tool from Digital Promise that translates the science of learner variability into easily accessible learner factor maps and strategies to improve educational product design and classroom practice. This model presents the science of learner variability in Math for grades PreK-2. It identifies the factors that are critical to learner success at this stage and the strategies to help you purposefully support each learner.

    Child Outcome Summary (COS) Companion Tool
    The COS is a requirement of special education programs but is a tool that can be used across settings to progress monitor and include multiple stakeholders in conversations about students growth and development. It includes sentence frames for meaningful conversations with families about children’s functional skills, age-anchoring concepts, and additional resources related to COS.

    The Power of Documentation in the Early Childhood Classroom | NAEYC
    An article for early childhood educators about what documentation is, what should be documented, why documentation is important, and the stages documenters go through as they learn.

    GOLD®-Common Core State Standards Alignment | Teaching Strategies
    This document aligns Teaching Strategies GOLD® objectives and indicators with the Common Core State Standards.

    Understanding Observations, Reflections and Linking in Early Learning Settings | The Empowered Educator
    A blog post about what observations are and why we need to do them when working as early childhood educators. Great resource for those who may be newer to conducting observational assessment.

    WaKIDS Family Tools and Choice Boards | OSPI
    These WaKIDS resources support kindergarten families and teachers with remote learning and engage students in learning activities that may inform the WaKIDS assessment. These include a Goal Planning and Reflection Sheet Choice Boards, and Discussion Prompts, Look Fors, and Observational Activities. The Goal Planning and Reflection Sheet is intended be co-created with the child, their parent/guardian and teacher during meeting times.

    Funds of Knowledge | OSPI
    The Funds of Knowledge Inventory Matrix can help teachers record their observations and potential classroom ideas. Information for this particular instrument can be accumulated over longer periods of time for specific students, or it can be filled out after completing a home/community visit so that the information is still fresh in the teacher's memory.

    Authentic Child Assessment Practices Checklist | Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center
    This checklist includes key characteristics of authentic assessment practices for observing child participation in everyday activities, the real world learning opportunities that occur in the activities, child behavior in the everyday learning opportunities, and the particular learning opportunities that provide a child the richest array of competency-enhancing learning opportunities.

    Division of Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices | Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center
    The DEC Recommended Practices were developed to provide guidance to practitioners and families about the most effective ways to improve the learning outcomes and promote the development of young children, birth through five years of age, who have or are at-risk for developmental delays or disabilities. The purpose of this document is to help bridge the gap between research and practice by highlighting those practices that have been shown to result in better outcomes for young children with disabilities, their families, and the personnel who serve them.


    Resources for Administrators in Assessing Programs

    Local School District PreK Inclusion Self-Assessment | Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center
    This self-assessment tool provides a framework for discussion to promote partnerships among schools and early care and education providers to promote the inclusion of young children with disabilities and their families in early childhood programs. We recommend forming a cross-sector team to complete the self-assessment. As the team considers each item, reflect on your experience working together to provide services to young children and families. Once the tool is completed, decide which item(s) will be a priority for future action to improve the quality of services.

    Remember that all voices are important to moving a partnership forward. Early childhood programs are defined as Early Childhood Special Education, Early Intervention, Head Start, Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program, Early Head Start, Child Care, Title I Preschool, and other programs.

    Indicators of High- Quality Inclusion | Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center
    These four sets of indicators were designed by a group of national partners to support state leaders, local administrators and front-line personnel in the early care and education system providing programs and services to children, ages birth through five and their families.

    Benchmarks of Quality-Classroom | Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center
    The Benchmarks of Quality are checklists used by the leadership teams to assess where they are in the process of implementing evidence-based practices. This includes developing the necessary structures for guiding and supporting the implementation of evidence-based practices and planning the next steps in the process of full implementation, scale up, and sustainability. The benchmarks are designed to help teams move through the stages of implementation and build the systems and supports needed for high-fidelity use of the evidence-based practices. The Benchmarks of Quality are grounded in implementation science, an area of research focused on identifying critical factors and conditions needed to successfully adopt, integrate, and sustain evidence-based practices.

    There are three Benchmarks of Quality used in this guide:

    • State Leadership Team
    • Classroom Based Programs
    • Home Visiting Programs


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    Attribution and License


    Icons from the Noun Projectgrowth by Rockicon, Family by DewDrops, evaluative assessment by ahmad, resources by Becris, School by PJ Souders from the Noun Project


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    Except where otherwise noted, this curated resource collection by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and Washington Association of Educational Service Districts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. All logos and trademarks are property of their respective owners.

    This document contains links to websites operated by third parties. These links are provided for your convenience only and do not constitute or imply any monitoring by OSPI or AESD. Please confirm the license status of any third-party resources and understand their terms of use before reusing them.


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