Experience Preschool (formally known as Mother Goose Time) also has curriculum for ages 18 months – 2 ½ years, called Experience Toddler. This curriculum box comes complete with a Little Goose Toddler Teacher Guide, which helps teachers adjust the level of activities and materials to various age groups. There is a big difference between 18 months and 2 ½ years, and authentic assessment is going to look different for every age group.
With toddlers, observations are key. They may not be able to communicate with words, so watching what they are doing and the milestones they meet is vital. Toddlers love to color and there are a couple of things that the teacher is watching for as they are doing so. The teacher is looking to see if they can hold the crayon – instead of trying to eat it – do they have the mature grip to hold it correctly? When they are coloring, the teacher is looking to see if they are specific when coloring, such as coloring one object instead of the entire paper. Can they follow single step directions? As they get older they should be able to start following single step directions. You can learn a lot about a child just from observing them. The different activities provided by Experience Toddler (formerly Mother Goose Time) and the teacher allows for authentic assessment because the children are learning through play.
The teachers also watch for how the children are using their full bodies and their gross motor skills. For example, one child didn’t realize that they could climb over the tire and into the sandbox, he stood there and waited for help. Whereas when they get older they figure out that they can climb – up the stairs to go down the slide and over the tire into the sandbox. They are quicker to climb over obstacles as they get a little bit older.
Our toddler teacher set out a sensory bin and the goal for this activity was to scoop and pour. Some of the children followed directions and practiced scooping and pouring, while others explored however they wanted to. They are also working on color matching in that classroom. Today’s lesson was Egg (Experience Preschool Week 2, Lesson 11 in Down on the Farm). They worked on color matching with the plastic eggs and one to one correspondence by placing one chick in one egg. The teacher watched to see if they could grip well enough to open and close the egg. The children have no idea that the teacher is watching for certain things throughout their activities, they are just having fun with the process!
We love that Experience Preschool is a curriculum that isn’t just geared towards preschoolers – but babies and toddlers too. They make authentic assessment for all ages easy with play-based curriculum.