The purpose of collecting initial assessment data is to provide teachers with information regarding the instructional needs of their students. This information is then used to make a variety of implementation planning decisions, such as setting student learning expectations, grouping students with common instructional needs, identifying instructional priorities, and selecting appropriate learning activities. The results of these decisions culminate in a plan called a teaching template. To begin this process, the first step is to review and interpret the student assessment data. Figure 3.1 shows a scoresheet for the catch that contains student initial entry assessment data. It can be initially overwhelming to see this array of Xs and Os, but interpretation is simplified by making a series of systematic decisions.
The initial decision is to determine which focal point each student needs to work on first, which is done by reviewing each student’s initial assessment score and marking the focal point the student is closest to achieving next by shading in the box lightly with a colored pencil. Remember to consider your ACE ratings and to review any comments you made on the scoresheet during assessment. For example, a review of the scoresheet in figure 3.1 reveals that Andrew is trapping the ball between the palms of his hands and not fully using his fingers to control the ball (focal point c). He is also not bending his elbows to retract the arms and help absorb the force of the ball when catching (focal point d). The decision is that with a little instruction this student can learn to flex his fingers and use them when catching the ball. So instruction begins with a focus on catching with the fingers. Because this is the first focal point that Andrew needs to learn for this objective, this box on the scoresheet is shaded in with small dots. When this focal point is achieved, the scoresheet will be updated (i.e., an X placed over the initial O) and then work begun on retracting the arms to absorb force. Figure 3.2 shows a catch scoresheet with the initial learning expectations for each student indicated by a dotted pattern. Note we have used a dotted background pattern to represent shading in figure 3.2 because it is not in color.