Session 7–Flipping Your Assessment Practices from Standardized to Personalized

Those of you who know me, know I’m passionate about authentic assessment, which we define as gathering and using information obtained by familiar people, in familiar settings, with familiar objects.

Compare this definition with a typical assessment practice where children are “invited” to disengage from their family and/or “stop playing” and to join you at table where there are materials selected in advance that will show you and other team members what they know and can do. As soon as the child arrives, they are bombarded with questions and directives, leaving them to wonder when they can go back and play.

This scenario also leaves me wondering a number of things:

  • Are the data gathered in such contrived situations accurate?
  • Can the “truth” be found at our “testing table”?
  • How would this child act in the “real world”?

During our time together, we explored questions such as these and uncovered our own beliefs around assessment, where there are systems level bumps that need our influence, and how we can begin to shift our practices to embrace a more authentic approach to assessment.

More specifically, you learned to embrace that functionality and measurability can co-exist by finding ways to define skills and performance over time using numbers and words or visuals. You gained tools designed to help you gather information by “sitting beside” and getting to know children. You gained practical strategies and had opportunities to practice using assessment information to plan and revise instruction, particularly in a tiered system of support.

You also learned five ways to flip your assessment practices from standardized to personalized. These include re-believing in the child, recognizing that routines reign supreme, identifying patterns and trends, keeping your focus on relevance, and remembering to be present, even in the push to ready children for kindergarten.

Session objectives

In this session, participants:

  • Identified the key elements of authentic assessment
  • Gained insight into the gap between ideal and current practices and gain tools to reduce that gap
  • Approached assessment from a whole child perspective vs. an accountability and paperwork mentality
  • Flipped assessment practices from standardized to personalize while adhering to accountability mandates

Intended audience

Direct providers, coaches, and leaders

Intended skill level



Kristie Pretti-FrontczakKristie Pretti-Frontczak

Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak is a {r}evolutionary speaker, researcher, and impassioned play advocate serving early childhood educators who are ready to transform their practice. Through podcasts, blogs, practical resources, and trainings, she supports the mind, body, and heart of early childhood education teams. Her work centers on raising their emotional intelligence and {r}evolutionizing early care and education by creating kinder, more equitable, and more inclusive schools.

When Kristie’s not speaking or creating solutions, she’s hanging out in her log house with her husband of 28 years and their dog Izzy.