Assessing young children in inclusive settings the blended practices approach
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Assessing Young Children in Inclusive Settings: The Blended Practices Approach. Implications for Providers. Jennifer Grisham-Brown, Ed.D University of Kentucky Professional Development. Leadership Plan. Data-Driven Decision Making. Progress Monitoring.

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Assessing Young Children in Inclusive Settings: The Blended Practices Approach

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Assessing Young Children in Inclusive Settings: The Blended Practices Approach

Implications for Providers

Jennifer Grisham-Brown, Ed.D

University of Kentucky

Professional Development

Leadership Plan

Data-Driven Decision Making

Progress Monitoring

Activities & Instruction


Scope & Sequence

A Curriculum Framework – Linking assessment and intervention

Collaborative Partnerships

Professional Development

Leadership Plan

Data-Driven Decision Making

Progress Monitoring

Activities & Instruction


Scope & Sequence

EMPHASIS Assessment

Collaborative Partnerships




Family Resources, Priorities, Concerns


Interests and Preferences

Developmental and Content Areas


Determine what to teach, how to teach, and how to evaluate instruction using authentic assessment strategies

Tell me….

  • Why do you presently “do” assessment?

  • What strategies do you use?

Purposes of Assessment

Assessments can be used for:

  • Identifying concerns that may require focused intervention for individual children;

  • Making decisions about teaching and learning; and

  • Helping programs improve their education and developmental interventions

Why Conduct Programmatic Assessments?

  • To gather relevant information about a child’s level of functioning across settings, time, materials and people

  • To develop meaningful individualized plans

  • To plan curriculum/instruction

  • To make better instructional decisions

Methods for Gathering Assessment Information

  • Interview

    • Structured

    • Unstructured

  • Observation

    • Anecdotal records

    • Running records

    • Category Sampling

    • Language Sample

    • Use of Curriculum-Based assessments tools

  • Work samples/artifacts

Professional Organizations

National Association for the Education of Young Children

  • Division for Early Childhood

The Office of Head Start

DEC Assessment Practice Example

A24. Professionals assess not only immediate mastery of a skill, but also whether the child can demonstrate the skill consistently across other settings and with other people.

and on the grass…..

The team assesses the child’s ability to walk in the classroom, on the playground, to and from the car…..

Administer following recommended practices(Bagnato, Neisworth, & Pretti-Frontczak, 2010)

ACCEPTABILITY–Social worth & detection

AUTHENTICITY–Natural methods & contexts

COLLABORATION–Parent-professional teamwork

EVIDENCE–Disability design/evidence-base

MULTI-FACTORS–Synthesis of ecological data

SENSITIVITY–Fine content/measurement gradations

UNIVERSALITY–Equitable design/special accommodations

UTILITY–Usefulness for instruction

Summary of Recommended Practices

1) assessment should be ongoing and closely related to curriculum development and program planning;

2) assessment should cover all relevant domains, measure developmentally appropriate skills, learning strategies, and learning styles, and be conducted in natural, authentic situations;

3) assessment should result in information that is useful in planning children’s experiences and making decisions; and

4) assessment should use multiple approaches and should involve multiple informants.


  • Gather information from families

  • Plan observations

  • Conduct observations in familiar settings

  • Document observations

Step 1: Gather Information from Families

  • Roles

    • Consumer

    • Informant

    • Team member

    • Advocate

  • Unstructured

    • Example: Routines-based interview

  • Structured

    • Example: Reach for the Stars

Chapter 3

Example of Unstructured Approaches

  • The Routines-Based Interview (RBI)

    • Prepare families to report on routines

    • Family reports on their routines

    • Interviewer reviews concerns and strength areas

    • Family selects outcomes

    • Family puts outcomes into priority order

    • McWilliam 2001

Effective Communication Strategies

Ask for use not meaning (give me an example, vs. what do you mean)

Open ended vs. dichotomous

Restate vs. paraphrase or interpret


Single question at a time

Avoid leading questions

Avoid “why” questions

Open-Ended Questioning

Reach for the Star’s Maps


Images for the Future

Gifts and Contributions

What Works/What Doesn’t Work

All About Me

Scope and Sequence

Skills I want to Learn

My Education Plan

Haynes and Grisham-Brown 2011




Step 2: Plan Observations

Page 175

Assessment activities

  • Option 1

    • Use existing classroom or home based activity/ routine

    • Outline activity/routine into steps

    • Consider what you want children to learn or gain from engaging in the activity/routine

    • Align the activity to assessment items

    • Create document to record for one or more children

    • Identify materials

  • Option 2

    • Consider assessment items

    • Choose to create an activity addressing one or more areas

    • Create an activity that is engaging for children and that will elicit assessment items

    • Outline activity into steps and align with items

    • Create a document to record scores/notes for one or more children

    • Identify materials that will create opportunities to assess the items

Step 3: Conduct Observations

  • Functional/Generative skills – High quality curriculum based assessment

    • Frequency

    • Accuracy

    • Duration

    • Latency

    • Endurance

Frequency: Number of Times/How Often

Number of times a child initiates

Number of time child manipulates

Number of times a child is successful

Number of times a child participates

On each occasion

Each morning


During most structured activities

Accuracy:How Well/How Intended









  • Number correct

  • Number of steps completed

  • 80% of trials

Latency:Length of Time to Respond

Time between direction and child response

Time between cue and child response

Time between request and child response

Time between high emotional response and child regaining composure to a more neutral response

Within the allotted time

Within the given time

Within a reasonable time

Duration:How Long Behavior Lasts

How long a child participates

How long a child cries

How long a child works

How long a child plays near peers

Across the majority of the school day

Throughout supper

While at Target

As long as expected

As long as others

Endurance: How Many Times Behaviors is Repeated

Takes 10 steps

Communicates for 2 or more exchanges

Counts 10 objects

Remains seated for 3 minutes

With persistence or perseverance

By overcoming challenges and increased difficulty

During most of the activity or event

Characteristics of High Quality Curriculum Based Assessments

  • Technical adequacy

  • Functional goals

  • Multiple domains

  • Diversity of learners (age and ability)

  • Yields quantitative AND qualitative information

  • Multiple methods

  • Family involvement


  • Assessment and Evaluation Programming System

  • Work Sampling System

  • Creative Curriculum

  • Child Observation Record

  • Brigance

  • Hawaii Early Learning Profile

  • Learning Accomplishment Profile 3

  • Transdisciplinary Play Based Assessment

Step 4: Document Observations

  • CBA scoring protocol

  • Assessment activity protocol

  • Written descriptions (e.g., anecdotal notes)

  • Permanent products

  • Counts and tallies

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