Early Childhood:

Observation & Assessment


Instructor Name:

Dr. Marrea Winnega


Darcie Donegan, MA/Ed.



Office Hours:

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Monday - Friday




Virtual Education Software


23403 E Mission Avenue, Suite 220F


Liberty Lake, WA 99019

Technical Support:





Welcome to Early Childhood: Observation & Assessment, an interactive distance learning course that explores observation and assessment instruments, along with recommended practices and available resources for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Content includes an emphasis on observing young children and on authentic assessment of their development and early childhood learning programs.


This computer-based instruction course is a self-supporting program that provides instruction, structured practice, and evaluation all on your home or school computer. Technical support information can be found in the Help section of your course.



Course Materials (Online)


Early Childhood: Observation & Assessment


Virtual Education Software, inc. 2008, Revised 2012, Revised 2015, Revised 2018, Revised 2021


Dr. Marrea Winnega


Darcie Donegan, MA/Ed.



Academic Integrity Statement

The structure and format of most distance-learning courses presume a high level of personal and academic integrity in completion and submission of coursework. Individuals enrolled in a distance-learning course are expected to adhere to the following standards of academic conduct.


Academic Work

Academic work submitted by the individual (such as papers, assignments, reports, tests) shall be the student’s own work or appropriately attributed, in part or in whole, to its correct source. Submission of commercially prepared (or group prepared) materials as if they are one’s own work is unacceptable.


Aiding Honesty in Others

The individual will encourage honesty in others by refraining from providing materials or information to another person with knowledge that these materials or information will be used improperly.


Violations of these academic standards will result in the assignment of a failing grade and subsequent loss of credit for the course.



Level of Application

This course is designed as one of a five-part series on early childhood education. Upon completion of the five-course series you will have covered most competencies found in a Child Development Associates (CDA) program, however, completion of all five courses does not earn participants a CDA unless they are formally enrolled in a program that recognizes these courses within that program. This course specifically covers competencies 1–9, 12, and 13 (it is recommended you check on individual state competencies), which all relate to the establishment of well-run, purposeful programs for young children that are responsive to individual needs and advance the development of the whole child. This course also incorporates the applicable Division for Early Childhood (DEC) recommended practices in early intervention/early childhood special education that were recently released. It is designed for anyone planning programs for young children: child-care providers, early childhood educators, and health care or social services providers, to name a few.



Expected Learning Outcomes

As a result of this course, participants will demonstrate their ability to:



Course Description

This course is designed to help educators, para-professionals, and child caregivers observe and assess various aspects of children’s development and programs. Participants will learn the components necessary for strong observation skills, such as self-awareness, objectivity, confidentiality, and ethical guidelines. Web links to videos and other observation and assessment resources will be included.


The course will then discuss various types of observation and recording tools, as well as the advantages and disadvantages associated with each. Students will learn how to set goals, plan, and choose the best instrument for specific situations. Included will be tools for assessing environments, programming, and child-staff interactions. The why, when, where, what, and how of conducting appropriate observations and authentic assessments will be covered.


Participants will gain techniques for organizing, analyzing, and interpreting observation data. This course will teach how to apply assessment information to improve program quality and to best meet the needs of individual children.


Students will discuss proper methods for displaying observations and sharing assessments. Included will be portfolio development and other documentation methods that make children’s experiences visible. The course will then show ways to communicate observation and assessment information to parents and other appropriate adults. Finally, students will apply course concepts by creating an observation and assessment plan for their own classroom environment.



Student Expectations       

As a student you will be expected to:

·         Complete all four information sections showing a competent understanding of the material presented in each section.

·         Complete all four section examinations, showing a competent understanding of the material presented.  You must obtain an overall score of 70% or higher, with no individual exam score below 50%, to pass this course.  *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.

·         Complete a review of any section on which your examination score was below 50%.

·         Retake any examination, after completing an information review, to increase that examination score to a minimum of 50%, making sure to also be achieving an overall exam score of a minimum 70% (maximum of three attempts). *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.

·         Complete a course evaluation form at the end of the course.



Course Topics

General Overview of Chapters One through Four Topics:

1)      Introduction to Observation & Assessment: What and Why?

2)      Definitions, History & Trends in Early Childhood Assessment

3)      Personal Ethical & Legal Guidelines: Best Practices

4)      Observing & Recording Tools: Using & Choosing

5)      Authentic Assessment of Children & Environments

6)      Interpreting for Meaning: Analyzing & Applying Data

7)      Documentations & Communication: Showing & Sharing

8)      Course Summary and Conclusion




At the end of each chapter, you will be expected to complete an examination designed to assess your knowledge. You may take these exams a total of three times. Your last score will save, not the highest score.  After your third attempt, each examination will lock and not allow further access.  Your final grade for the course will be determined by calculating an average score of all exams.  This score will be printed on your final certificate.  As this is a self-paced computerized instruction program, you may review course information as often as necessary. You will not be able to exit any examinations until you have answered all questions. If you try to exit the exam before you complete all questions, your information will be lost. You are expected to complete the entire exam in one sitting.



Facilitator Description

Early Childhood: Observation & Assessment has been developed by Darcie Donegan, MA/Ed.  Darcie received her BA at the University of Washington and her master’s degree from Pacific Oaks College in Human Development, specializing in Early Childhood Education and Adult Education. She has worked with young children and their caregivers for more than 35 years in various capacities, including as a preschool teacher, center director, parent educator, trainer, and consultant. Darcie has also been an international consultant through the Soros Foundation and taught in many countries. She is currently adjunct faculty in ECE at Whatcom Community College; a Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families approved trainer; and the author of the ten Parenting Preschoolers modules for Washington State’s Organization of Parent Education Programs (OPEP). Areas of special interest include infants and toddlers, child development, observation and assessment, social-emotional development, brain development, child care, and parenting. Darcie is the mother of three adult children (including twins and a son with special needs) and has been married to a (nice) lawyer for many years. Please contact Professor Donegan if you have course content or examination questions.



Instructor Description

Dr. Marrea Winnega is a licensed clinical psychologist with 20 years of experience in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Currently, she is an assistant professor of Clinical Psychology in the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Department of Psychiatry. She consults for schools and agencies serving individuals with autism spectrum disorders, including Asperger’s Disorder. She has also conducted numerous workshops, in-services, and trainings throughout the United States. Please contact Professor Donegan if you have course content or examination questions.



Contacting the Facilitator

You may contact the facilitator by emailing Professor Donegan at darcie_donegan@virtualeduc.com or calling her at 509-891-7219, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. PST. Phone messages will be answered within 24 hours. Phone conferences will be limited to ten minutes per student, per day, given that this is a self-paced instructional program. Please do not contact the instructor about technical problems, course glitches, or other issues that involve the operation of the course.



Technical Questions

If you have questions or problems related to the operation of this course, please try everything twice. If the problem persists please check our support pages for FAQs and known issues at www.virtualeduc.com and also the Help section of your course.


If you need personal assistance then email support@virtualeduc.com or call 509-891-7219. When contacting technical support, please know your course version number (it is located at the bottom left side of the Welcome Screen) and your operating system, and be seated in front of the computer at the time of your call.


Minimum Computer Requirements

Please refer to VESi’s website: www.virtualeduc.com or contact VESi if you have further questions about the compatibility of your operating system.



Refer to the addendum regarding Grading Criteria, Course Completion Information, Items to be Submitted, and how to submit your completed information. The addendum will also note any additional course assignments that you may be required to complete that are not listed in this syllabus.



Web Resources and Assessment Systems

Ages & Stages Questionnaires®, Third Edition (ASQ-3™) is a parent-completed developmental and social-emotional screener used to pinpoint delays as early as possible. For use from one month to 5½ years. http://www.brookespublishing.com/resource-center/screening-and-assessment/asq/

Assessment & curriculum for child from birth to age 8 (grade 3). Early Learning Standards Task Force and Kindergarten Assessment Work Group, Pennsylvania BUILD Initiative & Standards for Learning, Pennsylvania’s Departments of Education and Public Welfare Harrisburg, PA – December 2005. This state has great resources on the web, including recommendation, definitions, and curriculum.

The Battelle Developmental Inventory 2nd Edition (BDI-2TM) is used to assess developmental progress from birth to 7 years, 11 months to screen for school readiness and eligibility for special education services. https://riversideinsights.com/p/battelle-developmental-inventory-bdi-2-screener-kit/

Bayley Scales of Infant Development – BSID-II (Bayley, 1993). An update of the classic Bayley Scales, this test offers a comprehensive assessment of early childhood development for ages 1–42 months.  Bayley Infant Neurodevelopmental Screener (BINS) is an instrument designed specifically for a high-risk infants and contains items from the BSID-II Scales that assess cognitive, social, language, gross, and fine motor skills. http://www.innovact.co.za/BayleyScalesofInfantDevelopment,SecondEdition(BSID-II.htm

This comprehensive resource for professional development offers access to information and resources in various educational areas. This site also allows you to do a keyword search for information that is linked to other web pages. http://earlylearningsuccess.net/best-practices-early-childhood-education-care/

Brigance Preschool Screen III (2013) is a quick and easy screener for skills that are critical predictors of school success, including physical development, language, academic/cognitive, self-help, and social-emotional skills. Early Childhood Screens III 0–35 months includes screens for infants, toddlers, and 2-year-olds; 3–5 years includes screens for 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds; and K & 1 includes screens for 5- and 6-year-olds. https://www.curriculumassociates.com/products/BRIGANCEoverview.aspx

Caregiver Interaction Scale (Arnett, 1989) has been widely used to measure the quality of caregiver–child interactions. There are 26 items and 4 subscales, each of which measures a different aspect of adult–child interaction: positive relationships (warmth and enthusiasm); punitiveness (harsh or over-controlling behavior); permissiveness (avoidance of discipline and control); and detachment (indicating lack of interactions). https://fpg.unc.edu/sites/fpg.unc.edu/files/resources/assessments-and-instruments/SmartStart_Tool6_CIS.pdf

Classroom Assessment Scoring System – CLASS (Teachstone, 2015). CLASS uses research-driven insights to improve how teachers interact with children every day to cultivate supportive, structured, and engaging classroom experiences. This observation instrument assesses the quality of teacher–child interactions in center-based preschool classrooms in three domains: Emotional Support, Classroom Organization, and Instructional Support. Used by Head Start programs and part of many states’ Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) now. http://teachstone.com/class/

The Colorado Department of Education website has assessment information. See for an optional 3-minute video titled What Is Authentic Assessment? This video is part of the Results Matter Video Series on Early Childhood Assessment. https://www.cde.state.co.us/resultsmatter

Creative Curriculum Teaching Strategies, Inc. Offers training programs, parenting and staff resources, and curriculum and assessment tools. The organization produces curriculum and teaching guides for infants through school agers and for family child caregivers. Materials are developmentally appropriate, straightforward, and easy to use. The assessment tool is called GOLD. https://teachingstrategies.com/product/gold/ The general website: http://www.teachingstrategies.com

The Denver Developmental Screening Test (DDST) II (1992). This is a screener that looks at all four developmental areas and has been widely used, especially by healthcare professionals, to screen for disabilities. http://denverii.com/

The Devereux Earl Childhood Assessment Initiative (DECA, 2nd ed.). The organization promotes partnerships among early childhood educators, families, and others who work with young children to enhance social and emotional development. This site has many resources and offers training, information, and products, including research-based observational assessment kits for infants and toddlers and for preschoolers. Includes tips for use during COVID-19. https://www.centerforresilientchildren.org

Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning™, 4th ed. (DIAL™-4). This is a global screener developed by Mardell and Goldenberg (2011) for assessing large groups of children quickly and efficiently from ages 2.6–5.11 years. https://www.pearsonclinical.com/childhood/products/100000304/dial-4-developmental-indicators-for-the-assessment-of-learning-fourth-edition-dial-4.html

Early Childhood Assessment: Resources for Early Learning. This site covers informal and formal assessment methods and links: http://resourcesforearlylearning.org/fm/early-childhood-assessment/

The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-3). (Harms, Clifford, & Cryer, 2013; New York, NY: Teachers College Press). This scale is designed to rate childcare program environments and practices and is divided into sections: personal care routines of children, furnishings and display for children, language–reasoning experiences, fine and gross motor activities, creative activities, social development, and adult needs. ECERS-3 is the third revision of the ECERS, designed to assess group programs for preschool–kindergarten-aged children, from 2–5 years of age. Total scale consists of 43 items. (Also available in Spanish.) http://www.ersi.info/index.html. There are also other scales:

The Early Childhood Education Assessment (ECEA) Consortium, Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) began in 2000 to guide policy makers on appropriate assessment systems in efforts to promote and ensure high-quality learning opportunities for young children. https://ccsso.org/topics/early-childhood-education

Early Childhood News. Online resource for parents and teachers of infants to age 8. https://earlychildhoodnews.wordpress.com

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA Center) has a page dedicated to screening, evaluation, and assessment of young children. Myriad sources are available, including reports with recommended practices, policy briefs from federal agencies such as the Administration for Children and Families, research articles, and more. http://ectacenter.org

Early Years Foundation Stage. (Department for Children, School & Families in the United Kingdom.) EYFS sets the standard for early learning and care from children from birth to five. Its resources include areas of learning, an early years framework, and assessment. https://www.gov.uk/early-years-foundation-stage

Early Screening Inventory-Revised (ESI-R). This screener is for preschoolers ages 3:0–4:5, and kindergarteners ages 4:6–5:11. https://www.pearsonclinical.com/childhood/products/100000382/early-screening-inventory-revised-2008-edition-esi-r.html

Educational Resources Information Center: This is the home page for ERIC, a search engine connected to multiple sites on educational topics of all sorts. It’s a great place to look for research articles or information. https://eric.ed.gov

edTPA (formerly referred to as the Teacher Performance Assessment) is a partnership between Stanford University and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). It is an assessment for would-be teachers conducted through a documented assessment process at the end of a teacher preparation program and before certification. It is consistent with NAEYC Standards for Initial and Advanced Early Childhood Professional Preparation Programs and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards for Early Childhood. https://www.pearsonassessments.com/teacherlicensure/edtpa.html

Fluharty Preschool Speech and Language Screening Test—Second Edition (FLUHARTY-2). A screener for receptive and expressive language disorders in 3–6.11 year-olds. https://www.pearsonclinical.ca/en/products/product-master/item-343.html

A Guide to Assessment in Early Childhood. (2008). Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Washington State. A guide to assessment of children from infancy to age eight. Most states have something similar online. https://www.k12.wa.us/sites/default/files/public/earlylearning/pubdocs/assessment_print.pdf

Hawaii Early Learning Profile (HELP) is widely recognized as a comprehensive, ongoing, family-centered, curriculum-based assessment process for infants and toddlers and their families. There are two different versions for different ages: HELP: 0–3 years (Hawaii Early Learning Profile) & HELP: 3–6 years (2nd ed.). Extends HELP 0–3. http://www.vort.com/pages.php?pageid=6

High Scope Educational Research Foundation. The High/Scope Child Observation Record (COR) ® (1992) The High/Scope Foundation. These highly respected materials support active learning; the Foundation publishes the Cognitively Oriented Preschool Curriculum in addition to observation kits. http://www.highscope.org/index.asp

Making Learning Visible Project, a research group based at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, focuses on how observation and documentation promote and make visible children’s learning. The site includes tools to help teachers understand different types of documentation and ways to develop and present meaningful documentation in and outside the classroom. Also included are protocols for documentation, including how to develop a question to guide documentation and ways to review and revise documentation throughout the process. http://www.pz.harvard.edu/projects/making-learning-visible

Mullen Scales of Early Learning (Mullen, 1995). This test measures cognitive ability and motor development quickly from birth to 68 months. https://www.pearsonclinical.com/childhood/products/100000306/mullen-scales-of-early-learning.html

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC is a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to improving the quality of care and education provided to our nation’s young children. It has many excellent publications on all aspects of early development and learning, including these assessment resources: www.naeyc.org

NIEER (National Institute for Early Education Research) provides an informative page that includes the latest research findings, presentations, policy briefs, and reports focusing on the assessment of young children. The site includes a data bank with information on content standards for early education. Its mission is to improve the learning and development of young children by producing and communicating knowledge that transforms policy and practice. The group networks with local, state, national, and international leaders to design, conduct, and disseminate rigorous research, evaluation, and policy analysis. https://nieer.org

NWEA has many resources on assessment in addition to 75 digital tools and apps teachers can use to support formative assessment in the classroom: https://www.nwea.org/blog/2018/the-ultimate-list-65-digital-tools-and-apps-to-support-formative-assessment-practices/  It also has great resources on Assessment Basics at https://www.nwea.org/blog/category/assessment-basics/

Office of Head Start’s website includes resources for educators and program administrators on ways to assess child outcomes, ongoing assessment, and screening. Materials include the Head Start Child Outcomes Framework and related FAQs; tip sheets focusing on various assessment topics, including the difference between screening and assessing of infants and toddlers; and more. https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ohs or https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov

Ounce Scale, Pearson Early Learning. (Meisels et al., 2003). This is an observational assessment instrument for infants and toddlers from birth to age 3½. Three elements and six developmental areas are included; the elements are the observation scale, the family album, and the developmental profile. Guidelines and useful information are also provided for parents and professionals. Also available in Spanish. https://www.pearsonclinical.com/childhood/products/100000403/ounce-scale-the.html

Q-Sort Assessment of Child-Teacher Attachment Relationships and Social Competence in the Preschool (Copeland-Mitchell, 1997). Looks at the relationship between the quality of child–teacher attachment relationships and positivity of emotions, prosocial behavior, peer-rated likability, and teacher-rated social competence. Results show that attachment security with the teacher is related to prosocial behavior and teacher-rated social competence in preschool, and a secure attachment with a preschool teacher my partially compensate for an insecure mother-child relationship. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1997-02142-003

Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) is a systemic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early and school-age care and education programs. Resource guides and state-by-state information. http://www.qrisnetwork.org

Rossetti Infant-Toddler Language Scale. Identifies preverbal and verbal language development problems in infants to 3-year-olds and provides essential information to early intervention team members. https://www.proedinc.com/Products/34110/the-rossetti-infanttoddler-language-scale.aspx

Teaching Strategies GOLD™ is a tool selected by many states for measuring child outcomes because it meets federal data collection and reporting requirements, and is a research-driven, criterion-based tool that uses authentic assessment practices around 38 objectives. The same company that produces the Creative Curriculum books (see above). http://www.teachingstrategies.com

The Work Sampling System, Rebus, Inc., is an assessment system that measures and documents development and curriculum in preschool through 5th grade. This ongoing system focuses on performance assessment, including personal and social development, language and literacy, mathematical thinking, scientific thinking, social studies, the arts, and physical development. https://www.worksamplingonline.com

ZERO TO THREE/National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families is a national organization focused just on infants and toddlers. Many resources, links and more! http://www.zerotothree.org  Webpages of special interest to this course:


Annotated Bibliography

Beaty, J. (2013). Observing the development of the young child (8th ed.). MacMillan. This book is one of my favorites on observation. It includes extensive information on child development and an index of children’s books, both organized by domain. Also has ideas for assessment tools and their uses, and an interesting epilogue on “spirit” in ECE.

Bentzen, W.R. (2009). Seeing young children: A guide to assessing and recording behavior (6th ed.). Thomson- Delmar Learning. This resource contains detailed information about observation tools with many examples, forms, and tips. Also, it has informative observational exercises for students that are organized by stage.

Billman, J., & Sherman, J. (2003). Observation and participation in early childhood settings: A practicum guide (2nd ed.). Allyn & Bacon. This is a condensed illustrated guide to observing the development of young children from birth to five years, and documenting observations. It is designed to aid readers’ participation with children of different age groups in a variety of early childhood settings.

Bohart, H., & Procopio, R. (2018). Spotlight on Young Children: Observation and Assessment. NAEYC. A book filled with inspiration to intentionally develop and implement meaningful, developmentally appropriate observation and assessment practices to build responsive, joyful classrooms.

Bredekamp, S., & Rosegrant, T. (1991). Reaching potentials: Appropriate curriculum and assessment for young children, vol. 1, & Reaching potentials: Transforming early childhood curriculum and assessment, vol. 2 (1995). Discussion of how the curriculum and assessment interface, as well as what skills and knowledge young children should have in various domains.

Bredekamp, S., & Rosegrant, T. (2007). Windows on learning: Documenting young children’s work, 2nd ed. This is a comprehensive guide to documentation that contains many guidelines and examples.

Curtis, D., & Carter, M. (2013). The art of awareness: How observation can transform your teaching (2nd ed.). Merrill Education/Redleaf Press. I relied on the unique perspective of this book, which takes a different approach than usual by focusing on exercises that teach teachers how to see more like children. Also has great samples and ideas for documents and displays.

The Division of Early Childhood (DEC). (2000). Recommended practices in early intervention/early childhood special education. This resource offers ideas, based on current research, for professionals working with young children with disabilities. Has details about specific issues such as child-focused interventions, family-based practices, and appropriate assessment. https://www.dec-sped.org/dec-recommended-practices

Edwards, C., Gandini, L., & Forman, G. (1993). The hundred languages of children: The Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. Ablex. This is the book on the preprimary schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Both Italian and American educators explain the philosophy and practices of Reggio, including details about the role of the environment, teachers, curriculum, and methods of expression. Also discusses how to apply the Italian principles in American programs.

FairTest. (1991). Standardized tests and our children: A guide to testing reform. FairTest. This is a pamphlet that explains the uses and limitations of, and alternatives to, standardized tests. Also in Spanish.

Grisham, J., & Pretti-Frontczak, K. (2010). Assessing young children in inclusive settings: The blended practices approach. Brookes.

Gronlund, G., & Engel, B. (2013). Focused portfolios: A complete assessment for the young child (2nd ed.). Merrill Education/Redleaf Press. Easy to use and organized into four sections with practical ideas about how to collect and organize an assessment portfolio.

Hebbler, K. (2004). Uses and misuses of data on outcomes for young children with disabilities: Draft. (2004, July). The Early Childhood Outcomes Center has tables showing the ways data can be used at all levels—to determine outcomes for young children with disabilities.

Helm, J. H., Beneke, S., & Steinheimer, K., & Miller, L. (2007). Windows on learning: Documenting young children’s work (2nd ed.). Teachers College Press.

Jablon, J., Dombro, A. D., Dombro, A. L., & Dichtelmiller, M. (2007). The power of observation (2nd ed.). Teaching Strategies. This small and easy-to-read book has a lot of practical ideas, quotations, and tips from real teachers; illustrations of tools; and a good chapter on how to get started observing.

Jalongo, M. R., & Isenberg, J. P. (2011). Exploring your role in early childhood education (4th ed.). Pearson. A wonderful resource for new and experienced teachers.

Jones, J. (2003). Early literacy assessment systems: Essential elements. Educational Testing Service. This book concentrates on how literacy skills should be assessed, policies, and the key literacy determinants.

Kamii, C. (Ed.). (1990). Achievement testing in the early grades: The games adults play. National Association for the Education of Young Children. Summarizes the problems with achievement testing and describes inappropriate and appropriate ways of assessing math and literacy.

Losardo, A., & Syverso, A. (2011). Alternative approaches to assessing young children (2nd ed.). A great resource book with many ideas for appropriate assessments, especially for diverse populations.

Marotz, L. R., & Allen, K. E. (2015) Developmental profiles: Pre-birth through twelve (8th ed.). Thomson-Delmar Learning. The single best book on children’s developmental milestones and red flags, in my opinion. One of the books I refer to often and believe every early educator should have—older copies are great and can be had for a bargain online.

Marchand-Martella, N. E., Martella, R. C., & Slocum, T. A. (2004). Introduction to direct instruction. Pearson.

McAfee, O., & Leong, D. J. (2015). Assessing and guiding young children’s development and learning (6th ed.). Allyn & Bacon. Many ideas for assessment methods and steps are contained in this book. Also, has appendixes on developmental red flags, samples of forms, and a great extensive guide for assessing and analyzing children’s development on a continuum.

McAfee, O., Leong, D. J., & Bodrova, E. (2006). Basics of assessment: A primer for early childhood educators. A great affordable resource from NAEYC.

McLeod, S. (2008, updated 2020). Is psychology a science? Psychology.org. https://www.simplypsychology.org/science-psychology.html

McDonal, S. (1997). The portfolio and its use: A road map for assessment. Southern Early Childhood Association. Focuses on how to collect, compile, and use portfolios for assessment and more.

Meisels, S. J., & Atkins-Burnett, S. (2005). Developmental screening in early childhood: A guide (5th ed.). NAEYC. Lots of excellent info & guidelines.

Mindes, G. (2014). Assessing young children (5th ed.). Pearson Education. A comprehensive book with many ideas about children with special needs woven throughout.

Mitchell-Copeland, J., Denham, S. A., DeMulder, E. K., & George Mason U. (1997). Q-sort assessment of child-teacher attachment relationships and social competence in the preschool. Early Education and Development, 8(1), 27–39. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15566935eed0801_3

NAEYC [National Association for the Education of Young Children]. (n.d.). Summary of the NAEYC professional preparation standards. https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/higher-ed/standards-summaries

NAEYC. (2004). Early childhood curriculum, assessment, and program evaluation—Building an effective, accountable system in programs for children birth through age 8. Washington, DC.

NAEYC. (2022). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs serving children from birth through age 8 (4th ed.). NAEYC. Just recently updated, this book explains the concept of appropriate and inappropriate practices for children through age 8, with many examples. The single most essential resource for any teacher of young children!

NAEYC & NAECS/SDE. (2003). Position statement: Early childhood curriculum, assessment, and program development. https://www.naeyc.org/sites/default/files/globally-shared/downloads/PDFs/resources/position-statements/pscape.pdf

Popham, W. J. (2019). Classroom assessment: What teachers need to know (9th ed.). Pearson Education. A textbook, but very funny and practical.

Richarz, A. S. (1980). Understanding children through observation. West Group. Old, but a classic on observation.

Shephard, L., Kagan, S., & Wurtz, E. (1998). Principles and recommendations for early childhood assessments. National Education Goals Panel.

Shillady, A. (2004). Choosing an appropriate assessment system. Beyond the Journal. National Association for the Education of Young Children. http://www.journal.naeyc.org/btj/200401/shillady.pdf

Shores, E. F., & Grace, C. (2005). The portfolio book: A step-by-step guide for teachers. Pearson Education. This informative book contains a simple but useful 10-step process for creating and using different types of portfolios.

Stetson, C., Jablon, J. R., & Dombro, A. L. (2009). Observation: The key to responsive teaching. Teaching Strategies. Great book on learning the skills of observation and the reasons for it.

Stiggins, R. J. (2000). Specifications for a performance-based assessment system for teacher preparation. National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Interesting research and recommendations.

Workman, S., & Ullrich, R. (2017, February 13). Quality 101: Identifying the core components of a high-quality early childhood program. Center for American Progress. https://cdn.americanprogress.org/content/uploads/2017/02/10063958/QualityEarlyChildhood101-brief.pdf

Wortham, S. C. (2011, 6th ed.). Assessment in early childhood education (6th ed.). Pearson Education. This book contains many details about types and implementation of various assessment tools, including observation. Contains extensive information about elementary school practices and about younger children.

Wurm, J. (2005). Working in the Reggio Way: A beginner’s guide for American teachers. Redleaf Press. Many great Reggio Emilia–inspired ideas and explanations. Far more accessible and practical than most books on Reggio.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. (M. Cole et al., eds.). Harvard University Press.



Brass, M.R. & Boehm, A.E. (2007), Preschool assessment: Principles and practices. Guilford Press.

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3/28/23  JN