• MKEA Conference: April 7, 2014
    How to Observe in the Early Childhood Classroom 
    DCU Center, 50 Foster Street, Worcester, MA 01608 
    For Teams of Educators and Administrators from Districts Participating in MKEA Cohort Three

     

    MKEA Project Description

    Communication

    Observation and Documentation/Assessment

    Formative Assessment Tools

    Assessment Grantee Information

    Readiness Center Information

    Cohort Contact List

    MKEA Resources

    MKEA Conferences

  • MKEA Project Description

    The state has created a system, the Massachusetts Early Learning and Development (MELD) Assessment system (project #3), to measure child growth and development from birth to grade three. 

    A key standard in the QRIS system is the ability to measure through evidence based formative assessment tools the growth and development of children across multiple domains.  Efforts to support the field to gain access to evidence based assessment began with efforts in the UPK quality grant. 

    Since 2007, EEC has encouraged programs to use evidence based formative assessment.  This standard of practice is included in QRIS.  Early learning programs use evidence based formative assessment in programs for three core reasons.  First, formative assessment provides information for educators to enhance individualize teaching and learning for children.  Second, educators can use the information to support parents to first understand growth and development and then provide additional opportunities for growth.  Finally, programs can use the information from the assessments to guide individual educator development or program wide development to improve the growth trajectory for children.  We have primarily focused on preschool children and kindergarten. 

    In collaboration with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, EEC is implementing the Massachusetts Kindergarten Entry Assessment (MKEA) system, which will support school districts in using a formative assessment tool that measures growth and learning across all developmental domains during the child’s kindergarten year.  As part of the MKEA initiative, school districts will use a formative assessment tool that is evidence based and aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.  EEC has identified Teaching Strategies-GOLD System as the assessment tool for cohorts 3 and 4.

    Teaching Strategies GOLD is an assessment system for children from birth through kindergarten designed to help teachers: observe and document children’s development and learning over time; support, guide, and inform planning and instruction; identify children who might benefit from special help, screening, or further evaluation; and report and communicate with family members and others.  Teaching Strategies GOLD also enables to teachers to (1) collect and gather child outcome information as one part of a larger accountability system and (2) provide reports to administrators to guide program planning and professional development opportunities.  Teaching Strategies GOLD addresses the following Developmental Domains: (1) Social-Emotional, (2) Physical, (3) Language, (4) Cognition, (5) Literacy, (6) Mathematics, (7) Science and Technology, (8) Social Studies, (9) The Arts, and (10) English Language Acquisition.

     

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  • Communication

    As we move into implementing MKEA Cohort Three, we would appreciate all MKEA districts taking a short survey before April 18, 2014 to give us some much needed information on numbers of teachers and children so we can better plan for the purchase of licenses for the 2014-2015 school year and formulate a funding amount for each district for substitutes or stipends. We will be purchasing licenses for all districts participating in MKEA (Cohorts One, Two and Three).  As soon as we have the results of the survey, we will be able to email districts with their license information and funding amounts.

    Please click the link to take the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5NXQFLB

    As always, thank you for all of your hard work with the children and families in the Commonwealth every day. We realize how difficult it is to implement new initiatives and we appreciate your participation and support. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

    Pam J.L. Roux
    Educator and Provider Support
    MA. Department of Early Education and Care
    51 Sleeper Street, 4th Floor
    Boston, MA 02210
    617-988-7820
    Fax: 617-988-2451

     

    March 17, 2014 MKEA Cohort One and Two Letter pdf format of    March 17, 2014 MKEA Cohorts One and Two Letter

    March 7, 2014 MKEA Cohort Three Welcome Meeting for Administration pdf format of    March 7, 2014 MKEA Leadership Kickoff Meeting

    February 6, 2014 CES Welcome Email with Training Survey pdf format of    CES Welcome Email with Training Survey

    February 4, 2014 MKEA Cohort Three Letter pdf format of    MKEA Cohort Three Letter

     

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  • Observation and Documentation / Assessment

    MKEA 2013 Conference on Observation and Assessment: On October 7, 2013, EEC and ESE held a conference on formative assessment for MKEA Cohorts 1 and 2. The Keynote speaker was Stephanie Cox Suarez from Wheelock College, a known expert on early childhood assessment.  Stephanie designed the college/graduate level course on assessment delivered last year with excellent feedback.  Districts were asked to send teams. After the initial registration period, registration was opened to community-based programs in the entire mixed-delivery system. Over 450 participants attended a morning plenary followed by a choice of five breakout sessions.  For additional information, including presentations and materials delivered, please visit the conference webpage.

     

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  • Formative Assessment Tools

    Child assessment systems are used to capture information on children’s developmental progress through teacher observations of each child’s work and abilities.  Results from the assessment can show an educator what children in his/her care know and need to learn, and where the educator’s own strengths and areas may need improvement as an educator lie.  These tools, which are becoming increasingly regarded as a marker of high quality programming, can be used as a valuable method for educators to improve their instruction to meet the needs of individual children as well as inform their general program practice. 

    The MKEA participants are using one of two online assessment tools, Teaching Strategies GOLD or Work Sampling System. The data collected will be across all of the developmental domains. 

    Work Sampling System is an assessment system that assists teachers with documenting and evaluating children’s skills, knowledge, and behaviors using actual classroom experiences and interactions.  Work Sampling System addresses the following Developmental Domains: (1) Social and Emotional Development (self concept, self control, cooperation, social relationships, and knowledge of families and communities), (2) Approaches to Learning (initiative and curiosity, engagement and persistence, and reasoning and problem-solving), (3) Language Development (listening and understanding and speaking and communicating), (4) Literacy (book knowledge and appreciation, print and alphabet awareness, early writing, patterns, and measurement), (5) Mathematics (problem-solving, number and operations, and Geometry and spatial awareness), (6) Science (scientific skills and methods and scientific knowledge), (7) Creative Arts (music, art, movement, dramatic play, and appreciation), and (8) Physical Health and Development (gross motor skills). 

    Work Sampling Online Technical Support: 800-627-7271

    For additional information on Work Sampling, please visit their website at http://images.pearsonclinical.com/images/Products/WorkSampling/.

    Teaching Strategies GOLD is an assessment system for children from birth through kindergarten designed to help teachers: observe and document children’s development and learning over time; support, guide, and inform planning and instruction; identify children who might benefit from special help, screening, or further evaluation; and report and communicate with family members and others.  Teaching Strategies GOLD also enables to teachers to (1) collect and gather child outcome information as one part of a larger accountability system and (2) provide reports to administrators to guide program planning and professional development opportunities.  Teaching Strategies GOLD addresses the following Developmental Domains: (1) Social-Emotional, (2) Physical, (3) Language, (4) Cognition, (5) Literacy, (6) Mathematics, (7) Science and Technology, (8) Social Studies, (9) The Arts, and (10) English Language Acquisition.

    Teaching Strategies Online Technical Support: 866-736-5913

    For additional information on TS Gold, please visit their website at  http://www.teachingstrategies.com/page/GOLD-assessment-online.cfm.  

    More Links to Information:

    For TS GOLD technical assistance and support, please email MAGold@teachingstrategies.com

    Please note that Cohorts 3 and 4 will all be utilizing Teaching Strategies GOLD.

     

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  • Assessment Grantee Information

    Through a grant from EEC, The Collaborative for Educational Services (CES) provides statewide training and technical assistance in early childhood assessment, screening, and program measurement aligned with the MA Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) to early childhood and out-of-school time professionals and educators in cohorts participating in MKEA. To find and register for trainings, go to http://www.collaborative.org/programs/early-childhood/assessment-responsive-teaching.

     

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  • Readiness Center Information

    The Massachusetts Readiness Centers support the MKEA districts with technical assistance and Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) in their regions.  Please see below for contact information:

    Region 1: Berkshires Readiness Center:
    Doug McNally
    Phone (413) 822-9337  
    Email: d.mcnally@mcla.edu   

    Region 1: Pioneer Valley Readiness Center: 
    Kay Lisseck
    Phone: (413) 586-4998, 110
    Email: klisseck@collaborative.org   

    Region 2: Central Massachusetts Readiness Center:
    Kim Davenport
    Phone: (978) 655-4682
    Email: kdavenpo@fitchburgstate.edu

    Region 3: Northeast Regional Readiness Center:
    Christine Shaw
    Phone: (978) 542-2349
    Email: cshaw@salemstate.edu   

    Region 5: Southeastern Massachusetts Readiness Center:
    Stacey Kaminski
    Phone: (508) 379-1180, 30
    Email: SKaminski@scecoll.org  

    Region 6: Greater Boston Readiness Center:
    Barbara Jacobs
    Phone: 508-626-7167
    Email: bjacobs@framingham.edu

     

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  • MKEA Resources

    Betsy Edes, MKEA contact at EEC
    617-988-7823
    Betsy.Edes@Massmail.state.ma.us

     

    March 7, 2014 MKEA Presentation pdf format of    March 7, 2015 MKEA Presentation

    Massachusetts Kindergarten Entry Assessment (MKEA) Frequently Asked Questions pdf format of    MKEA Frequently Asked Questions

    Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care Alignment Study pdf format of    Department of Early Education and Care Alignment Study

    Timelines for Cohorts 1 and 2

    Fall 2013 Observation, Assessment and Data Reporting

    • Teachers and paraprofessionals/instructional assistants will conduct daily student observation as part of the educator's regular ongoing classroom instruction.
    • Best practice: During the fall 2013 observation and assessment period, teachers and paraprofessionals/instructional assistants enter observation data online on an ongoing basis, using Teaching Strategies GOLD Online or Work Sampling Online.
    • All of the district’s fall 2013 assessment data must be entered online no later than 12/31/2013.
      • For Teaching Strategies GOLD, this means that fall checkpoints should be completed and finalized no later than 12/31/2013.
      • For Work Sampling, this means that final checklist ratings are reviewed and confirmed and summary reports are completed no later than 12/31/2013.

    Spring 2014 Observation, Assessment and Data Reporting

    • Teachers and paraprofessionals/instructional assistants will conduct daily student observation as part of the educator's regular ongoing classroom instruction using all domains for Teaching Strategies GOLD or Work Sampling.
    • All of the district’s spring 2014 assessment data must be entered online no later than 6/20/2014
      • For Teaching Strategies GOLD, this means that spring checkpoints should be completed and finalized no later than 6/20/2014.
      • For Work Sampling, this means that final checklist ratings are reviewed and confirmed and summary reports are no later than 6/20/2014.

    Optional Mid-Year Observation and Assessment

    • At the option of the district, teachers and paraprofessionals/instructional assistants may also conduct mid-year student observation and assessment.
    • There is no deadline for reporting mid-year observation/assessment data.

    Implementation Planning Resources

    General Implementation Discussion Points pdf format of    General Implementation Discussion Points

    Implementation Checklist pdf format of    Implementation Checklist

     

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