Good Tools for Screening Incoming Kindergartners

preschoolersThe Question:
I’m gearing up for Kindergarten Round Up. Our school uses the Brigance Kindergarten Screening. Does anyone have a different tool they like?
The Answers:
Buena
 We don’t screen before school starts
Erin
We use the Brigance, but I’m interested in what other schools use and what they do with the information from the Brigance score. Is your “Round up” a visitation/information session too?
Dana
We use Brigance and I don’t like it. Would love to hear what others use.
Maggie
The school I worked in used DIAL 3. It was more simple to administer & gave just enough info. The only problem was,it was done in Springtime before kiddos entered school. Lots of growth in a 4 – 5 year old between March & Sept. Testing System worked well. The district hired subs for our classes & all kdg teachers worked in teams for 2 days to get every registered kid seen. Another little glitch, you didn’t necessarily assess those kids who would be in your room. And— a lot of memory loss for some of us (between April & Sept) trying to complete end of year assessment on class just finishing kdg :-s Very interesting process. They used the scores more to screen who qualified for Title 1programs. One person could administer the test. Not as much detail though as the Brigance.
Melea
We made up our own assessment. We checked letter recognition, numbers to 10, counting objects to 10, shape recognition, writing name, coloring in a shape. It is a quick assessment that gives us a pretty good idea of a child’s background. We have Round Up in April and have this as a station during Round Up.
Celina 

 We moved away from Brigance. We use ESGI assessments. We came together as a county and agreed on what we wanted to assess. I created the test within ESGI and the district uses that test that we share. ESGI is a subscription, but it is worth the money. We assess letters, sounds, numbers, counting, 3 questions about beginning sounds, the first 5 sight words for our K, shapes, and colors. We moved away from the large motor skills (we did add a component to our assessments for fine motor skills with name, shapes, and numbers) and personal info. We found that those things did not really help us target kids in reading and math- our two data driven subjects.  I love ESGI and revisited those scores often when school first started. We screened in May last year, handed the parents the list of things their child missed on the test and explained that those are the things we would like them to work on over the summer. It was a real eye opener to several parents, but they really tried to work with their kids before school started.
Heidi
 We use the Bracken. It gives us a good base to see who is delayed in readiness & who is on track. Our speech teacher also gives a vocabulary assessment, SEALS to support the Bracken with the delays or to show that exposure for the child is the issue. Then our school counselor has the parent complete a Behavior Screening not sure of the name, that gives us an idea of social skills/behaviors that may need attention. We register in March this year due to other testing in the building. All K teachers are involved all week. It is a good week because all the teachers have a different role so we all get to meet every child in the process.
Denise
 We quit using the Brigance. Too many preschools taught the test and we didn’t get a true picture. We now give the test for Sidewalks (reading tutorial) and a corporation-created math assessment.
Gail
We use DSC (Discover Skills Checklist), But do not test in Spring, test in the first week of school.
Jana
We use the Lollipop assessment…it is very basic but gives us enough information to identify EIP…
Kate
 We use the DIAL. But the Brigance was replaced by the Batelle in our preschool program and MA’s Early Intervention a few years ago. Much better from what I hear.
Melody
 We made up our own  letter and number recognition, counting, colors, shapes, drawing a person, writing their names we also have groups of 5 listen to a short story and observe this happens over 2 days. It’s great for balancing out our classroom academically but behavior not so much!!!!
Dawn
Here is CCSD in Colorado, we use a tool called “Literacy Skills Assessment from DRA2 Word Analysis and a math screener based on Advantage Math.
Catherine
We do not screen our kinders before school. Wish we did; just to have a little info. on them. I’ve been trying to convince the powers that be for years but they just don’t think it’s a worthwhile endeavor.
Mary
 In May we test with the Gessell. Tests for developmental readiness, not skills. We only test the children that have not been in our pre-school. We already know if they are ready or not.
Jennifer 
We give the Brigance in August, the week before school starts, along with Literacy First Assessment. Literacy First assesses letter recognition, letter sounds, rhyming, phoneme isolation & deletion, etc… We don’t have a screening for math or behavior. A parent survey would be great.
Olivia
No, but I do not like the Brigance screening tool!  We now use Dial, but it isn’t much better!
Kelli
Thanks! I’m interested in making my own assessment. Do you score it with a rubric or use anecdotal observation with notes? Our parents like data!

Cheri  I also use the Brigance and ESGI

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One thought on “Good Tools for Screening Incoming Kindergartners

  1. We use the brigance in April. We hate it. We’re looking at changing the timing (April) the testing vs. visitation and the screening tool. The Dial 3 came up in conversation. So excited to hear all these different ideas. Going to investigate so I can discuss with my curriculum coordinator this week. Thanks!!

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