Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Assessment... sigh!

It's the most wonderful time of the year....
Sort of!
This is the week to power out my assessments. 
Does this look familiar?

Yes, the DRA!

As you know, most assessments are done one-on-one in kindergarten.   Naturally, we are performing formative assessments all year long, but a few times a year those summative assessments (such as the DRA) are needed. 

I have found one software company that is really helping.

Here are a few things that I like about it.

1.  I can load my own assessments or use some of the system assessments.   I have already designed the assessments I want to use that are aligned to the CCSS.  So I entered those questions into the ESGI system.  I am still in the process of assessing my class so this is not the end of semester results.  I also beta tested some of my students, so I need to go back and reassess them.

This reports helps keep me on track.  I can quickly see who I need to assess.  I can also set the reassessment window.  This is currently set at 14 days.  But for progress monitoring, I can view it at shorter intervals.

I also love that I can pull this data up by groups.  I currently have 4 reading groups.  I can pull the skills information by that particular group.  I can also pull small groups by skills.  I have a few students who need a little more instruction on rhyming and this report provides that information!  That was easy!
After I test, I can quickly print a parent letter.  This is the default letter, but I can edit the text.
Then I can print flash cards specific to that student.
I love that I am able to collect data so quickly!   Like SUPER quick.  Yes, the assessment is still one-on-one, but it is recorded instantly!  I can also move from one assessment to the next.  I got through most of my class yesterday and today.  I did not do small group today... but I also accomplished 12 DRA's in the period.  This would have taken up a week's worth of small group time!   Color me HAPPY!

You can take advantage of a free trial period.   Check it out!

New ESGI teachers can get started for only $159.00, rather than the regular price of $199.00.  Use this promo code: B7733.

They have great videos that will walk you through the program!


  1. Great suggestions! I'm going to look at the software during our extended break.
    I just started F&P (Round 2) this week - although it's a busy time of year for assessments, I do enjoy the one-on-one time with my students.
    Thanks, Jen

  2. How long did it take you to do 12 DRAs? We are doing them in my class this week too and it took me 3 days of small group time to do all 18! I feel like you were more efficient and I NEED to know how!

    1. Well, I don't start the DRA at the lowest level. I start them where I think they will test at. Then I adjust up or down according to their results. For most students, I had selected the right test the first time. But there were a few that I had to retest. Does that help?

      Plus, I have been giving the DRA for 12+ years now...

  3. Mrs. Wills, Does this program work on an ipad to test? Or do you use your computer and have the children by you?

    1. I was told that it does, but I have not tested it yet. Good idea except in my building the wifi times out after about 15 mins... wah~~~ wah~~~

  4. Hayden & DeeDee -
    Yes! ESGI works very well on an iPAD, and many of our users love testing or screening their students "on the go" with their iPADS, Androids and other tablets. Thank you for asking!
    You can reach me at if you have any additional questions!

  5. Hello Deedee, I was wondering if the assessments in ESGI are linked to the CCSS already? Would you be willing to share your assessments you uploaded to ESGI that are linked to CCSS on TpT? I have the majority of your assessment packs purchased on TpT, just wanted too see what you added to the program. I am discussing assessment with my principal tomorrow, would this be good for grades other than K? Our school is new and still missing a lot of things, such as assessment. Also, how often do you do summative assessments on your students and do you give summative assessments in science and social studies? What are some examples of summative assessments your do throughout the year? Sorry for all these questions, I just feel like a summative assessment is something different than what we are being told to do at our school, which is 3 per unit we teach. If you can help in anyway I would appreciate it!! Thanks so much-----Ashley

    1. Hi Ashley,

      Currently ESGI is working on a way for me to share my assessments. I will let you know when this has been completed. I will keep you posted!!

  6. I signed up for my free trial and LOVE it already! I was wondering if you would be able to share the directions/text for the CCSS assessments you created on TPT? Thanks for sharing this great resource!

    1. Hi there!

      ESGI is working on a way for this to happen! Stay tuned!

    2. I found ESGI last year and tried it out. This year my whole Kdg team is using it. We love it! Great time saver and the reports are great for both parent contact and administrators. Every kindergarten teacher should give it a try.

  7. DRA the assessment that every first grade teacher "LOVES." Never heard of that program. I am going to do the free trial and see how it goes.



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