Finding assessment tools that are developmentally appropriate for young children continues to be a significant challenge in early childhood education. Young children express and represent their thinking in diverse ways: dramatizing, drawing, painting, singing, scribbling and writing, and having conversations. They show what they know and can do with familiar tasks and people they know. The Work Sampling System (WSS) is a research-based, authentic assessment for children from preschool to Grade 3. This performance assessment system, and other early childhood performance assessments, allows teachers to observe and document children’s learning as they engage in familiar classroom activities such as drawing, writing, reading, building, and conducting experiments and with familiar adults. This entry presents an overview of the WSS, information about its development, research findings, and ...

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