Why Baseline Assessments are my favorite Back to School Activity


During the FIRST week of school? 


Isn’t it time to think of WELCOMING our students, creating an inviting environment, and labeling all those supplies!?!

YES, however, this special educator also NEEDS to learn more about all those first graders and the first two weeks is a perfect time to do it.

I already start the year with a pretty good idea how students already on my caseload are doing…our kindergarten special educator/interventionist (and she’s also the Director of Special Education at our school ♥) is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

We’ve already had many conversations about the littles…strengths, interests, and interventions that have been tried. I also always head down to Kindergarten every spring to meet and greet my incoming first graders! BUT, we know how quickly our students grow! And summer slide is a real thing, so…here’s my goals for the first two weeks of school:

Baseline Assessments = Building relationships

We have six first grade classrooms and I’m usually “assigned” two rooms where students receiving services are learning. In these two rooms, I connect with my co-teacher and set up a time to do a read-aloud and introduce myself to the whole group.

After the brief introduction and read aloud, I ask the general educators: “Would it be okay if I ask students to come back and do an activity with me?”

Because both of my co-teachers are awesome, they enthusiastically agree. Instantly, you see every student sit up a little straighter with hopeful eyes looking at me hoping to be chosen!

Of course, I’m going to be calling out my little friends’ names from my own caseload, but then I also add a few more to my watchlist whether for academic or behavior (or both!) concerns.

I've created a go-to set of materials that target early literacy and math skills. 

This packet has performance task materials and tracking pages to get a great picture of where my students are.

I store all the materials inside a clipboard:

I keep the individual student conferences VERY informal (see goal number one!) and will often start with a task I know they rock!

Check out the long list of contents for both literacy and math:

Baseline Assessment Kit

Need a digital version instead?

Baseline Data Boom Cards

Drop a comment and let me know how it went! 

Happy data collecting 🙂

Hi there.

I'm Jennifer!

I’m Jennifer and I was a special educator in the elementary school setting over the past decade. I entered the classroom every day dedicated to making learning inclusive AND engaging.

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