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April 4, 2012
Lakeshore® Publishes Teacher-Friendly Preschool Assessment for All Students and Curriculums
The Early Learning Scale: A Practical Assessment Based on Current Research
CARSON, Calif.—(April 4, 2012)—Lakeshore Learning Materials, a national leader in early childhood education, announced today that it has published a new observation-based performance assessment designed for all preschool students.
Developed by researchers at the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), the goal of the Early Learning Scale—or ELS—is to help teachers assess children’s progress toward meeting early learning expectations in a concise and manageable manner.
The ELS is an authentic system that assesses a child’s performance over time and in the context of daily activities. “In addition to being easy to integrate into the classroom, the ELS is particularly teacher-friendly,” said Sue Gaon, Lakeshore’s vice president of education. “It focuses on a limited but critical number of measureable items, and it can be used with any student population—from English language learners to children with special needs.”
The authors designed the ELS so teachers of all levels of experience can use it effectively. “We understand the anxiety educators feel when they hear the word ‘assessment,’” said lead author Shannon Riley-Ayers, PhD. “But, by focusing on key aspects of learning, the ELS becomes a practical tool for understanding a child’s development and informing instruction at the same time.” (For data related to validity and inter-rater reliability, view the technical report.)
The ELS also comes with substantial support materials—including a comprehensive teacher guidebook complete with sample observational anecdotes as well as ideas for teaching and documenting. In addition, the ELS includes English/Spanish family guides that help parents and caregivers become true partners in their child’s education. (The ELS is also supported by in-person or online training as well as reliability certification.)
For preschool programs that are online-capable, The Center: Resources for Teaching & Learning has made the ELS available in paperless format over the Internet. Plus, the online version features valuable handheld capabilities. Using a smartphone or tablet, teachers can record observations in real time and then upload them to the website, where observations are linked to items on the ELS.
“We’re delighted that NIEER and The Center approached us,” said Lakeshore President and CEO Bo Kaplan. “Providing educators with an assessment tool as effective as the ELS is in perfect keeping with our mission to improve the educational experience for teachers and children alike.”
To learn more about the ELS, visit LakeshoreLearning.com/ELS or call Lakeshore Learning Materials at (800) 421-5354 and ask for Custom Learning Solutions.
The National Institute for Early Education Research (www.nieer.org) at the Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., supports early childhood education policy and practice through independent, objective research.
About The Center
The Center: Resources for Teaching & Learning provides a wide range of professional development services and instructional resources for educators around the country. Learn more at thecenterweb.org.