Best Practices Inc and Judy Harris Helm Provide Training
in Authentic Assessment:
Focused Portfolios and the Work Sampling System

We have had experience using and training on two authentic assessment systems which we feel incorporate best practices in assessment. We recommend Focused Portfolios for infant/toddler classrooms, programs where there is a high turnover of staff or where there is no required reporting of aggregated data at the preschool level. Focused Portfolios work extremely well in child care centers and private preschool programs.

For preschool and elementary programs where data is required we recommend the Work Sampling System. This authentic assessment system has developmental guidelines from ages three though 6th grade, a wonderful systematic approach to documentation and portfolio collection, and integrates well with active engaged learning and state standards. We provide awareness and introductory training. However, we highly recommend that programs take a comprehensive approach to training which provides support throughout the year. Our first year, four-day, training series enables easy transition. This can then be combined with implementation workshops for years two and three. Continuation throughout the three years insures maximum integration with curriculum and training of trainers so the process can be institutionalized and new training needs can be met in house by your own staff.

As always, workshops and training can be tailored to your needs through the consultation process.
Click here to email us about bringing assessment training to your program.

Training in Specific Assessment Systems

AS 1: Assessment System Training in Focused Portfolios - an assessment system for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers
Audience: Teachers, Associate Teachers, and Administrators in child care centers, and preschool programs

Best Practices endorses Focused Portfolios especially for childcare providers, and educators of infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Dr. Helm was involved in field-testing the materials. Focused Portfolios provides step-by-step guidance to set up a portfolio collection process including planning, collection and selection of documentation, and sharing with parents. Focused Portfolios provide helpful hints and strategies to make the process informative, efficient, yet easy to implement. Gaye Gronlund and Bev Engel developed the system. All forms and instructions are located in one book so it is economical for small programs. Purchase of one book per teacher is required.

Assessment System Training: The Work Sampling System.

The Work Sampling System is an authentic assessment system for preschool through 6th grade. Judy Harris Helm was involved in field-testing the system and is a National Faculty Member. Best Practices Inc provides five levels of training for the Work Sampling System. Work Sampling assessment materials must be purchased for these training experiences. Click here to order Work Sampling System Online

AS 2: Getting Acquainted with the Work Sampling System
Audience: Teachers, Associate Teachers, and Administrators of early childhood, kindergarten and primary classrooms. Teacher Educators.

This one-day introduction to authentic assessment and the Work Sampling System is a good introduction to the process. It is helpful for staff members to get a clear understanding of the assessment process before making a commitment or for orienting the staff to the Work Sampling process before implementation training begins. This session provides a good overview of how an authentic assessment system works for administrative staff and teacher educators.

AS 3: What makes a Good Work Sampling Summary Report - One Day
One-day session for those currently using the Work Sampling System

This one day advanced workshop for those who are implementing Work Sampling focuses on portfolio review, writing of summary reports, and sharing the results with parents. Emphasis is placed on efficient use of time and good communication strategies.

AS 4: Work Sampling Online- One Day
One-day session for those currently using the Work Sampling System

This one day workshop introduces participants to the Work Sampling Online program. This system which requires a yearly fee per child enables recording of data online, integration of ratings into the summary report with suggested ratings and aggregation of data by class and school. To find out about Work Sampling Online, take an online tour, and sign up for a free trial click here. Use your back button to come back to this page.

Implementation of the Work Sampling System Series

Audience: Teachers, Associate Teachers, and Administrators of a specific early childhood program or elementary school where the Work Sampling System will be implemented

This series can also be used to train staff from different programs within a geographic region who will be implementing the system in their own schools and can come together for trainings. This series is also helpful for staff from different programs who were not staff members when their own program first implemented the system and their school does not have a trainer on site.

AS 4: Work Sampling Implementation Series: Year One - 4 days
One two-day session, one one-day session during the year, one one-day session at the end of the year or before the second year.

For a practical, efficient, and successful transition into using the Work Sampling System, Best Practices, Inc. provides a four-day first year series. It begins with a two-day introduction to authentic assessment, developmental checklists and portfolios. This is followed by a one-day training for troubleshooting the collection process and teaching teachers how to write their first summary report. A final one-day training guides staff through evaluating effectiveness of the system, making adaptations that enable the system to work better in their program, and to plan for year two.

AS 5: Work Sampling Implementation Series: Year Two
Two days

One-day session in the fall of the year plus one one-day session at the end of the year or before the second year.

During year two of implementation, teachers are guided through coordination of state standards and local curriculum goals into the system and integration of the assessment system into planning. At the end of the year, portfolios and data are examined to establish a plan for accountability. Rubrics are written for key core items.

AS 6: Work Sampling Implementation Series: Institutionalizing Work Sampling - Year Two or Three
Four days

One two-day session at the beginning of the year, one one-day session during the year, one one-day session at the end of the year for training of mentors, development of materials for continuation, and planning.

During year two, training can be provided to new staff added since the original training occurred. The program or school district selects several mentor teachers or trainers who will assist in the training during of new staff. These individuals will then begin to train all new staff and eliminate the need for outside training while maintaining the effectiveness of the system.

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