It's crazy to think that summer is coming to an end already... but, we're already gearing up for our Kindergarten Round-Up (next week!).
My kindergarten team started doing a Kindergarten Round-Up four years ago. This was one of the best decisions ever! We are able to pre-assess our students before they walk into our classrooms on the first day of school. Also, we are able to test the students one-on-one, without the distractions of the first few weeks of kindergarten. Such a time saver!!
We set two Kindergarten Round-Up days in mid-August (about 2 ½ weeks before school starts). You could do more or less days depending on the number of staff you have available and the predicted number of students. We offer both morning and evening sessions (but, you can change this to suit your preference—just “black out” slots that are not available). Choosing a Tuesday and Wednesday OR Wednesday and Thursday has worked well for my team, since this stays away from families taking those long summer weekends! J
When our office staff registers students for kindergarten, they also sign up students for Kindergarten Round-Up. This is a huge time saver (vs. calling all parents afterwards). Our district has two kindergarten registration days in April each year, so most students are signed up then. Of course, students trickle in to register throughout the summer… and they are just added to the list later.
Once parents sign their child up for a time slot, they are given a postcard to complete with their home address. Have parents address it to their future kindergartner—we all know how much fun it is to receive mail!
The parent takes an information sheet home with them as a reminder. We save the postcards and mail them 1-2 weeks before the Round-Up as a second reminder! This helps ensure very few “no shows”.
When the day(s) of Kindergarten Round-Up arrives, be sure to have an area for parents to sit and wait for their child. We put a “please wait” sign on display while we're assessing. You will also need places for the teacher(s) to assess students individually. (We usually use the library. In a pinch, we have set up spots in the teacher’s lounge! It definitely adds some interesting conversation starters!!)
We use the beginning pages of our Data Notebook for our Kindergarten Round-Up assessment. This way, all your initial data is already complete before the 1st day of school! If you hole punch the pages when stapling the packets, it will be easy to put them in data folders or notebooks later!
ü Capital Letter identification (26 letters)
ü Lowercase Letter identification (26 letters)
ü Letter Sound identification (26 sounds)
ü Sight word identification (25 words)
ü Number identification (0-10)
ü Shapes recognition (4 basic shapes)
ü Color recognition (10 basic colors)
Write down anything the child mentions that may be of interest to his/her teacher--since the teacher doing the Round-Up screening is not necessarily the same teacher the child will have this year (ex. “I like to read Harry Potter books.” We actually had a kindergartener who could! OR “He looked at nametag to write his name.”) You can also note behavior concerns here (ex. “She ran around room during round-up screening.”)
We like to have some special pencils or stickers on hand to give the child when he/she finishes. The assessment usually takes 15-20 minutes. Although the above listed items are included in our assessment packet, not all students are ready and able to attempt all items. Just skip areas that are unknown before they become a frustration—you’re only getting a starting point. It’s OK if the children don’t know everything yet… that’s what Kindergarten is for!!
If you think you'd like to try doing a Kindergarten Round-Up... I'd love for you to check it out:
You can get the parent sign as a FREEBIE just for reading through this whole post!! Enjoy!