Sunday, 22 January 2012

Looking for MI tests for Pre-school and Kindergarten?

Learning Begins At Home

Many teachers come to my website saying that they teach pre-school children or Early Years grades. Some of them want to know more about assessing this age group.

Before you start assessing the children in your class at this age you need to find out what they have already learned before they ever come to school.  This can be done during a visit to the child’s home before they come to school or, if this is not possible, on a visit to your classroom before the child starts school.

We all start learning as soon as we are born (even before) and parents have a great responsibility in helping the new born baby find their way around the world they have come into.  Babies use all their senses to learn: feeling, smelling, watching, tasting and listening to sounds and sights around them. The pre-school teacher should provide the same experiences for them to learn through when they begin school, so that learning can take place in a range of ways.

The Early Years classroom can be divided into different areas of learning and these can be very roughly matched to Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences as follows:

Areas of Learning                                                Multiple Intelligences
Communication, language and literacy                   Linguistic
Problem –solving, reasoning and numeracy           Mathematical     
Creative development                                              Visual / spatial                                    
Creative development                                              Musical 
Physical development                                              Bodily / Kinaesthetic                                         
Knowledge and understanding of the world           Naturalistic                                                          
Development Matters (PSE development)              Interpersonal                                                       
Personal, social and emotional development          Intrapersonal                                                       

When you meet with the child for the first time you need to talk to his parents or carer and find out what stage of the learning process the child has reached before they start school.  You will need to take this into consideration when you start planning the learning environment and your lessons.  Each child will have learned different things and be at different stages, even though there will be similarities between them.

To help you assess what stages the child has reached in these different areas of learning two alternative check-lists are given you in the booklet Multiple Intelligences and Assessment. 

You can photocopy the one you prefer and use it when talking to and observing the child.  They also give you questions to ask his or her parents.

Now you have this information you can think about what you are going to provide for the child once he or she starts school.  In my next blog I am going to show you how you can find out (assess) what a child or a student’s strongest and weakest multipleintelligences are through observation.  This should be of interest to you whatever age you teach, from pre-school to college-aged students.

Come back in a few days time and find out more to help you with your teaching.

With best wishes,

Margaret Warner
Dip. S.M.S., A.C.P., M.A. Ed.

International Education Consultant

MAW Education
MAW Publications

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