Episode 13: Authentic Learning in Remote Preschool, Part 1: Home Learning Materials and Authentic Assessment
In this first part of a two-part episode, early childhood special educators Brittany Behenna Griffith and Tara Hughes illustrate how they provide families with engaging asynchronous learning activities and materials and how the families share rich documentation of their children participating in the activities on Seesaw (their classroom platform) to enable authentic assessment. (17 min.)
- Early Care and Education Environment Indicators and Elements of High-Quality Inclusion: E2: Family Partnerships, E8: Assessment
- DEC Recommended Practices: Assessment, Family, Teaming and Collaboration
As you watch this episode, take note of the strategies Brittany and Tara use to partner with families to deliver instruction and to gather data for on-going assessment.
- Brittany Griffith mentioned that preschool is all about hands-on learning experiences and continuing to encourage hand-on learning experiences to make remote learning exciting for students. What was a favorite strategy you used or observed to make remote learning exciting for students?
- In the episode, we learn how parents can provide valuable and rich data by recording videos during activities at home. Imagine you want to get more information on a child's understanding of one-to-one correspondence. What are some skills that would be easily observed through videos recorded by parents? What are some skills that are more challenging to observe through videos recorded by parents? What additional support can you give parents so they can record the information you need to assess progress for those skills remotely?
- Brittany shares an example of how she was able to use information gathered from recorded videos and activities to incorporate a student's interest into the learning and how doing so led to ongoing excitement about subsequent lessons. Think of a lesson that would be enhanced by incorporating a student's preferred activity. How can you structure a lesson to learn what your students are interested in?
- The video mentions how enriching family projects can be to the learning experience. What items would you include in a learning bag for a family project that, if recorded, would give you valuable data on a child's progress toward skills? What instructions would you give families for the activity? What would you be looking for in the video that would give you information to measure progress and think about next steps for instruction?
- Brittany mentions providing parents a list of questions to extend learning and hearing the parents use those questions in the videos they recorded. Think of a typical family routine or activity. What questions would you include on a list for parents to help them extend learning during this activity?
In the video, Brittany and Tara described their process for sharing materials for the week with families through hands-on learning bags. The materials were provided so that every child and family would have equal access to learning materials and that children would continue to be able to learn through play and other hands-on experiences. They also used the bags to individualize supports for children by including first-then cards, cube chairs, or fidget toys. They even selected books for children that were tailored to the child's interest.
Directions: Choose a young child from your professional or personal life. What would you put in that child's hands-on learning bag? Search online for items that you would include in the bags. Using the next 20 minutes, collect at least 5 images, links or descriptions.
Share your collection with the group. Why did you select those items for the learning bag? Tell your peers about this child and how the items in the learning bag are individualized for the child's own interests, preferences, or needs.
Note to facilitator: For large groups, consider dividing into smaller groups to share the images collected to allow for all participants to meaningfully engage in the discussion. Then return to the large group for reflection about using materials for individualization and hands-on learning at home.