Discussions Regarding the Preschool Observation Checklist and Evaluation Tool (POCET)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Is POCET endorsed by NAEYC?
NAEYC does not endorse any commercial product. However, POCET is in line with NAEYC’s new Accreditation Standards, particularly Standard # 4.

POCET has a formal assessment. I thought that formally assessing preschool children was not developmentally appropriate.
According to NAEYC Accreditation Standard # 4, it is appropriate to have a formal assessment as one of the measures for tracking progress. In NAEYC’s most recent publication, “The Basics of Developmentally Appropriate Practice,” it states that when given appropriately, a formal assessment is both appropriate and necessary to track a child’s progress.

Does POCET line up with my state’s standards for preschool education?
When developing POCET, the author checked many state core curriculum preschool standards that were available and Head Start Outcome Indicators. POCET will provide an easy way to track progress for almost every required accountability standard for preschool.

Why should I use POCET when we already have curriculum we have chosen?
POCET was developed to help teachers track the progress of individual children and to use that information to plan appropriate activities. It also gives teachers an opportunity to share tracking information with parents throughout the year. It was created to be used with any curriculum or assessments already in place. POCET helps teachers organize all of the teaching and monitoring in a way that is doable and makes sense.

Is POCET a scientific screener that has national norms?
No, POCET is not meant to be used as a screener to make decisions about special education services or developmental levels. POCET was not written to be the only assessment or tracking process used by a teacher. As stated in the NAEYC Accreditation Standard #4, multiple methods of assessment should be used in tracking children. Although POCET contains informal and formal assessment procedures, other measures should also be used by the teacher to track progress, such as portfolio samples, anecdotal records and screeners when appropriate.

I already have an assessment system. Why should I look at POCET?
If your assessment system is giving you all the information you need and if the teachers are able to use it efficiently and effectively, POCET may not be for you. Keep in mind that POCET is an organizational tool to monitor all tracking information for student progress and for use in planning effective activities. After looking at POCET, many teachers have stated that it is much easier to understand and more usable than the systems that they are using now. POCET can also be a compliment piece to any curriculum and assessment system.

How does POCET fit into the Head Start Outcome Indicators?
POCET actually works very well for the Head Start Outcome Indicators and also for the individualization that needs to happen in Head Start Classrooms. The Developmental Guidelines in POCET reflect the Head Start Outcome Indicators, so the Checklist Folder and Formal Assessment reflect those indicators. An important part of POCET for Head Start is the Lesson Plan form. All of the Head Start Requirements for planning and individualization are reflected on the POCET Lesson Plan form.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

POCET Creative Arts Example

POCET provides four basic activities for each of the 68 Developmental Guidelines which provide a scope and sequence of skills for Language, Literacy and Mathematics, plus five other domains of learning.

Here is an example for the Creative Arts domain:
Chalk Dip Drawing
For this project, each child will need a piece of black or dark blue paper, colored chalk and access to a shallow tray of white tempera paint. Have the child dip the writing end of a piece of colored chalk into the white paint. Instruct the child to draw a picture on the dark paper with the paint-colored chalk. The color of the chalk will show up with a mixture of white paint on the edge. The child may want to change chalk colors while completing the drawing.