Informal assessments can provide valuable information about a child’s interests, strengths, and needs. Information derived from the assessment is vital among preschool teachers in planning activities and experiences tailored to the individual child. Informal regular evaluations can also help track a child’s progress. Ultimately, informal assessments can support each child’s development and learning.
A behavior checklist is one example of an informal assessment that can be used for program planning. Behavior checklists can help teachers identify disruptive behavior, poor communication skills, and difficulty following directions (Mueller & Whyte, 2019). Additionally, behavior checklists can provide information about a child’s strengths and weaknesses. If a checklist indicates that a child has difficulty following directions, educators may decide to adapt their teaching methods to match better the child’s needs (Paris et al., 2022). This data can then be used to develop better curricula or instruction for the child.
As a preschool teacher, I may use developmental screening to identify areas where the child may want assistance, such as motor skills, language, and social/emotional development. Additionally, developmental screenings can help plan activities and experiences tailored to the individual child. For example, if a child struggles with motor skills, they may need more time in activities that involve movements, such as playgroups or gym classes. Identifying these areas early on creates a more individualized experience for the child, which can lead to greater success.
In conclusion, informal assessments can provide educators with valuable information about the child’s development. By monitoring a child’s progress over time, educators can better tailor their educational programs to meet the individual needs of each student. Behavior checklists and regular informal evaluations are examples of how informal assessment can be used in early childhood education. Teachers need access to various assessment tools to make informed decisions about how best to help their students grow and learn.
Paris, J., Beeve, K., & Springer, C. (2022). Introduction to Curriculum for Early Childhood Education. College of the Canyons.
Mueller, J. J., & Whyte, K. L. (2019). The curriculum theory lens on early childhood. Curriculum in Early Childhood Education, 64–79.