“Assessment of children’s development and learning is essential for teachers and programs in order to plan, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of the classroom experiences they provide.”

Source: NAEYC Position Statement on Developmentally Appropriate Practice, 2009

Intentionally using assessments will help your young students succeed in transitional kindergarten, and build the strong foundation that will ultimately prepare them for meeting the kindergarten standards. Effective assessment of transitional kindergarten-aged students can be “challenging because they develop and learn in ways that are characteristically uneven and embedded within the specific cultural and linguistic contexts in which they live.” 1 As you consider how assessment can support your classroom planning, you might reflect on some of these questions:

  • Given the linguistic and cultural diversity of our students, how can I ensure that I have accurate evidence of their progress?
  • How do I monitor student progress from day to day?
  • How do I identify and address the needs of students who are struggling to keep up?
  • How do I identify and address the needs of students who might benefit from extended or accelerated learning opportunities?

The assessment section of TKCalifornia briefly outlines the definitions and goals (as used on this website) of basic types of assessments, and then offers guidance on effective formative assessment including concrete examples and helpful suggestions. Daily use of formative assessment within your instructional practices will help your transitional kindergarteners find success in meeting challenging standards by the end of traditional kindergarten.

In this section, learn more about:

Types of Assessments: Definitions 

This section will help you define the roles that summative, diagnostic, interim and formative assessment can play in your overall assessment plan. Learn more.

How to Use Formative Assessment in the TK Classroom

Formative assessments are conducted within the context of classroom activities, and help you determine your students’ academic and social-emotional development on an ongoing basis. This section provides guidance to help you plan and implement formative assessment and use the information you gather to inform daily decisions about next steps for your students. Learn more.

Formative Assessment: The Process

Using Key Early Learning Standards for Planning Formative Assessment

Formative Assessment in the TK/K Combination Classroom

Formative Assessment and Dual Language Learners

Formative Assessment, Special Needs and Response to Intervention

Classroom Example Snapshots


Sharing Formative Assessment Information with Families

Students benefit when teachers frequently share updates with families. This section provides suggestions on how to share formative assessment information and observations with families. Learn more.

1 National Association for the Education of Young Children, Position Statement: Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8 (DAP), 2009, p.22