Volume 3, Issue 10
In This Issue
Child Assessment Basics
Assessing Young Children: What's Old, What's New, and Where Are We Headed?
Using Assessment Information to Guide Planning and Teaching
Professional Development
Online CDA Course of Study Programs
Dates to Remember
Welcome to the ChildCare Education Institute October Newsletter. 
This month, CCEI discusses Child Assessment Basics.
In the field of early childhood education, teachers of
young children must find ways to show that children
are growing, developing, and learning.  Parents, as
well as teachers, want to see proof of growth and
development.  Appropriate assessment methods can provide that proof.  Assessment is defined as "taking stock of a situation".  It is important that teachers of
young children understand the need for assessment in
the classroom setting, evaluate children and take stock
of their growth and development.

Authentic Assessment is defined as the process of documenting and evaluating growth and development in real-life situations over time.  It shows what children can do, what they know, and what they understand.  Rather than attempting to explain a child's performance based on one test, this type of assessment focuses on the progress and growth of a child over time.  Authentic assessment helps to paint a more accurate picture of who the child is and how the child is growing and learning.

The term assessment, when used in the context of early childhood education, is sometimes interchanged with the term observation.

Observation is one method of assessing student growth and development and is probably the best-known, most widely used way that teachers evaluate the progress of the young children they teach.

Teachers may wonder what to assess when working with young children.  Using multiple forms of assessment allows a teacher to reveal an accurate picture of the child.  Early childhood includes children from birth to age eight and is a very difficult period to assess because the rate of growth is so rapid.  Also, growth is highly influenced by nurturing parents, quality of care, and the learning environment.  

Parents want to be assured that their child is ready for school.  In addition, teachers and administrators want to know if they are offering effective programs.  Therefore, assessment information is critical to the child, the parent, and the success of the program.

Assessment is a hot topic in the field of early childhood education as accountability becomes more important for teachers and schools.  As educators, we must find ways to show we are teaching and that children are learning.  It is imperative to find methods that illustrate growth and development over time, allowing children to be evaluated in real-life, everyday settings.  It is the teacher's responsibility to find methods of documentation that report success of children.

By understanding the basic developmental areas of the children you teach, assessment can be made simple.  Easy-to-learn methods of assessment will help you document the developmental growth of young children over time.

Join the CCEI Discussion Thread and share the assessment tools that you've implemented at your school.  For additional information on the subject, register for CCEI1200-Assessing Young Children.

Assessing Young Children: What's Old, What's New, and Where Are We Headed?
Written By: Susan Bowers, Ph.D.

  Traditionally, the issues related to assessment
  have centered around three key questions: 1)
  Why should I engage in assessment? 2)
  Which methods should I select? and 3) How
  should I use the information obtained? In this
  article, the answers to these questions are
  explored, along with trends emerging in the
  field today.  Read Article

  Printed Courtesy of Early Childhood News
Using Assessment Information to Guide Planning and Teaching
By: John Funk, M. Ed.
Many state and local education agencies, as well as commercial preschool programs, are now applying core educational standards in their preschool settings. While they do an admirable job of employing curriculum standards, a number of programs do not introduce skills in developmental order. Developmental order is essential - for tracking learning and to help each child progress along the educational continuum (POCET, 2005). Without following developmental order, teachers and children can find themselves grappling with gaps in abilities and comprehension.
Read Article

Article Courtesy of Early Childhood News
CCEI's Online Coursework is eligible for IACET Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
  CCEI is approved by the International Association for
  Continuing Education and Training (IACET) to award IACET
  Continuing Education Units (CEUs).  The International
  Association for Continuing Education and Training is a
  non-profit association dedicated to quality continuing
  education and training programs.
Meet Your Professional Development Needs with CCEI's Online Coursework.
The Professional Development Subscription is the easiest, most cost effective method for providing your staff with the training needed to meet licensing requirements.  One annual subscription gives your teachers access to over 100 online professional development courses in English and Spanish.  With the 50-user subscription option, the cost breaks down to $20 per teacher.  If each teacher takes 10 courses, that breaks down to $2 a course.  As an administrator, you will be able to schedule, track, and report on all staff professional development with a simple click of your computer mouse.  Rollover options allow you to address staff turnover, at no additional cost.

CCEI also offers an individual professional development subscription for teachers, for a promotional price of just $69, a 30% savings.

Child Development Associate Certificate
Meet the coursework requirements of the Council for Professional Recognition with 120 hours in formal child care training from CCEI!  CCEI is a distance training institution dedicated to providing online professional development for early childhood professionals.  CCEI offers online course of study options that allow you to work independently and at your convenience with access to courses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  CCEI offers three online CDA program options, depending on your needs.  For those seeking college credit, the College Credit Eligible CDA is a great choice.  Students successfully completing all requirements of this program not only meet the CDA coursework requirement, but are also eligible to receive up to 26 quarter-hour credits from Kendall College.  This is an instructor supported program.  CCEI also offers a non college credit instructor supported program and a self-study CDA program.  The Online Self Study CDA is designed for students who can successfully work independently. 

Call CCEI today at 888.418.5358 to speak to an Admissions Representative for information and enrollment!
Calendar of Events
November 5, 6, 7, 8 - National Association for the Education of Young Children, NAEYC Annual Conference and Expo, Dallas, Texas.  Visit booth 548 and enter to win a Dell Computer and Printer. Click here for an entry form.

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Coming in next month's issue...Child Safety and Protection.

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