Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA) helps teachers understand what children know when they start school. Teachers use this information to plan for appropriate instruction.
Hawthorne Public Schools in Hawthorne, NJ was one of the first school districts to use a new touchscreen-based assessment tool for their KEA process in the spring of 2019. The assessment partner, Cognitive ToyBox (CTB), offers a hybrid observation and game-based assessment platform. Partnering with the school district, CTB aligned their assessment tool, Cognitive ToyBox KEA, to the district’s KEA process. This enabled teachers to use CTB to assess key skills and knowledge in language and literacy, math, speech and language, and fine and gross motor skills. CTB provided automatically generated assessment reports at the program, classroom, and individual student levels.
Educators saved time because CTB helped them automate the data collection and aggregation process. The educators used the time gained as well as the objective and consistent assessment data to better plan for instruction. Recognizing that different stakeholders have different data needs, the Cognitive ToyBox team developed differentiated reports for administrators, coaches, and teachers.
“Cognitive ToyBox is a powerful program that helps our students build math and language skills, but more importantly build confidence while being assessed. In my opinion, the real power in Cognitive ToyBox is its ability to adapt to each individual child.”
-Kristen Trabona, Director of Education.
For administrators, Cognitive ToyBox provided aggregated reports that reflected the school readiness levels of the incoming Kindergarten class.
Cognitive ToyBox alleviated the tedious process of gathering and analyzing student data by hand. Feedback from students and parents during the entry assessments was very positive,”
- Richard Spirito, Superintendent.
For coaches, Cognitive ToyBox provided reports that enabled them to support teachers in goal setting and further professional development.
“Cognitive ToyBox’s reports represent exactly the type of data we have been seeking,”
- Jackie Passero, Academic Coordinator.
For teachers, Cognitive ToyBox offered not only the KEA tool, but also the corresponding formative assessment tool. Teachers were able to use the KEA as an initial benchmark and then continue to track progress and growth of students throughout the school year. To do this, each student completes an adaptive, five-minute touchscreen assessment game per week. The assessments are aligned to the curriculum, so teachers are able to use the assessment data from the week to plan for the subsequent week’s lesson.
"Cognitive ToyBox is a practical and intriguing program for our Kindergarten students. More importantly, the students enjoy using it!”
- Chelsea Perrone, BSI Teacher
CTB has subsequently been working closely with Hawthorne Public Schools to expand into their First Grade classrooms.
Through strong partnerships with schools like Hawthorne School District, Cognitive ToyBox has developed a streamlined KEA process. CTB is looking to work with more school partners for the upcoming school year. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in learning more about the benefits of technology-aided assessment in streamlining your assessment and data collection. We look forward to partnering with you!