Get More Out of Your Kindergarten Entry Assessment Process

Read Time: 3 minutes
Teaching Strategies
May 21, 2020

The kindergarten entry assessment process offers teachers an efficient, valid, reliable, and scalable way to assess where children are as they enter kindergarten. This allows teachers to tailor instruction based on their needs to ensure all children progress throughout the year.

Why is the kindergarten entry assessment process important?

Many kindergarten teachers are required to complete an assessment within as little as 30 days of each school year that evaluates where their incoming students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities are for essential learning and development domains compared to school readiness. When administered to fidelity, this assessment can be more than just a beginning-of-the-year requirement–it can inform individualized instruction and promote powerful family partnerships, setting the stage for a successful school year for the entire classroom.

But often times, this assessment is viewed as a “one-and-done”—something the kindergarten teacher carries out, submits to her administrator, and doesn’t think about again until it’s time to do the entry assessment again the next fall. When using an assessment tool such as GOLD, kindergarten teachers can actually get more out of the kindergarten entry assessment process than just a “one-and-done” evaluation. By using an ongoing, embedded, whole-child formative assessment tool during both kindergarten entry and throughout the school year, teachers can drive, document, and improve learning outcomes year-round. This type of tool is critical for kindergarten teachers to be able to plan for nurturing and growing their students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities.


What are the benefits of using an ongoing, formative assessment tool in kindergarten?

Kindergarten teachers using GOLD throughout the school year can

  • enable a whole-child approach to assessment that includes all essential areas of development and learning (such as social–emotional, physical, language, cognitive, literacy, and mathematics),
  • facilitate an efficient and authentic kindergarten entry assessment without taking away from instructional time,
  • provide administrators with the valid and reliable data they need for larger-scale, programmatic decision making through a secure web platform and supported by Interrater Reliability Certification for each teacher,
  • generate outcomes reports to demonstrate aggregate results of the kindergarten entry assessment and to demonstrate growth in learning outcomes across the school year,
  • inform individualized instruction with access to a library of developmentally appropriate learning resources beyond the kindergarten entry assessment for each student in their class, and
  • promote powerful family partnerships during the assessment process and during remote learning through an online family portal and mobile app.


What if I don’t have a kindergarten entry assessment requirement?

If you are a kindergarten educator in a state that doesn’t have a kindergarten entry assessment requirement, or your state does, but you are looking for more resources, please know that The First Six Weeks: Building Your Kindergarten Classroom Community gives you the tools you need to create a caring classroom community during the first six weeks of school. Designed to complement any developmentally appropriate kindergarten curriculum, it focuses on supporting children’s social–emotional development as you build positive relationships with children and families and lay the foundation for a successful school year.

graphic showing the benefits of the objective color bands with happy children playing with color blocks

Move beyond measurement with GOLD

Inform instruction by embedding authentic, observation-based assessment into each part of your day.

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