On to the freebie:
Last week, I finished working a summer program for inner-city youth. During this six-week period, I had the pleasure of teaching a group of 5-year-olds, all of which never attended any sort of formal education. My mission was titled: "Life Skills: Kindergarten Edition."
But in all seriousness, aside from teaching them the importance of raising your hand and sitting criss-cross applesauce while on the rug, we also practiced a ton of skills necessary for success in school. Which (ABA-nerd alert) led me to wanting a concrete way to track progress of the kiddos, although not required by my program director.
Early within the first week, I happily attained a baseline (or starting point) for each child. In fact, if someone reminds me, I may be able to get together the data collection sheets for this information and include it in another freebie (hint, hint!). Attaining a baseline is a usual first step in assessing where a learner is with a skill; it simply tells a teacher where to start with instruction.
From there, I probed (the behavior analyst's fancy word for "quizzed") the students with skill flashcards about once or twice per week. Their progress (especially for a short, six-week program) deserved applause... so I gave it to them! Once a student was able to demonstrate mastery of a skill (at least 90% or more responses correct over two consecutive data collections), he or she received a SUPER SMART STUDENT AWARD!
It was a HUGE deal. When the awards were announced during morning circle, my students beamed with pride. My favorite part of the experience was the commentary between the class, "My momma be so happy when she see this!" There's no telling what a little social praise and a piece of paper can do for a child.
So, I give you, better late (at night) than never:
FIVE FREE SUPER SMART STUDENT AWARDS
Be sure to check back tomorrow for a post about adaptive books!