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Leading Early Childhood Programs

Through Formative Assessment and

Vertical Articulation
Arizona Department of Education

Lauren Zbyszinski, phd

Nicol Russell, med


Balanced Assessment Formative Teaching Strategies

Framework Assessment for K-3
Balanced assessment framework
Formative assessment
“Formative assessment is a
planned, ongoing process used
by all students and teachers
during learning and teaching to
elicit and use evidence of
student learning to improve
student understanding of
intended disciplinary learning
outcomes and support students
to become more self-directed
-CCSSO, Fall 2017
Arizona Vision Video
Arizona Timeline to Accomplish the Work

• Joined N. Carolina KEAG in 2013

• Cognitive Labs 2014-2015
• Pilot Test in AZ Classrooms 2015-2016
• Field Test with 44 Arizona teachers 2016-2017
• ADE Procurement for Vendor:
• K-3 Formative Assessment tool announced September 1, 2018
• Implementation with Partnership Agreement schools in January 2018
• Full implementation SY 2018-2019
Vision for the Assessment

4 Key Points

1. Focuses on the 2. Occurs during

Whole Child instruction

3. Collect evidence 4. Used to guide

using a variety of instruction
• Key Point #1: K-3 Formative Assessment Process
focuses on the whole child
Approaches to

Social- Cognitive
Emotional Development

Health & Language

Physical Development
& Communication
 Key Point #2: Occurs during instruction rather than as an isolated
event apart from instruction.
 Teachers can learn about students throughout the day in a variety of settings:
 Whole group
 Small group
 Centers/stations
 Individual
• Key Point #3: A teacher can collect evidence about students using a
variety of strategies:
– Talk with families
– Take photos
– Record student conversations
– Write anecdotal notes
– Collect work samples
– Incorporate evidence from other school
educators (e.g., PE, OT, Speech, ELL)
• Key Point #4: What is learned is used to guide instruction:
– Identifies what students know and are able to do and where to head next
– Helps to plan and adjust instruction in an ongoing manner
– Helps to meet the needs of all students

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND

Evolution of Implementation Plan
• Ambassador Program
• Partnership Agreement
• Professional Development
• External Partnerships
• Partnering Agencies
• Philanthropic
• Funding Partners
• National Research Agencies
• Legislative Connections
• 3rd grade retention law: Move On When Reading
• State Literacy Plans
• HB 1020
Ambassador Program
Program Overview
• The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) believes teachers should have
meaningful opportunities to both understand and contribute to the initiatives that
impact their work, their students, and their school communities. To successfully
implement the Kindergarten Developmental Inventory (KDI) and the use of the K-3
formative assessment process, all stakeholders must understand the intended
purpose and desirable outcomes. Our belief is there is no one in a greater position
to talk about the experience of utilizing these kinds of tools than classroom
teachers who participated in ADE’s pilot sessions and field test. We would like to
employ these authentic experiences as guidance for others who are willing to
embark on this new journey with us, and have established an opportunity for
some of these teachers to become KDI Ambassadors.

• The KDI Ambassador program supports ADE’s vision for KDI/K-3 formative
assessment implementation. We will engage a cadre of KDI field test teachers to
contribute their classroom and school expertise to the implementation process,
through facilitated discussions with educators across the state. For the
Ambassadors, the program adds greater knowledge of educational initiatives and
opportunities for leadership to their repertoire.
Evolution of Implementation Plan

• Partnership Agreement Schools

• Intentionality to team members
• Agreement to Professional
• Reflection on current practices and
formative assessment
• District/Program Level Assurances
• State sponsorship
Lessons Learned
• Leadership Engagement
• Consistent outreach with vendor: improves opinion of the
• Webinars
• Town Hall
• FAQ and How-To sheets
• In-person training and conference presence
• Communication from state to field
• Newsletters
• Website
• Conference tracks
Contact Info:
Nicol Russell