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PreK-5 Data Resources Glossary

Anecdotal Notes

Anecdotal notes are narrative descriptions of observed student behaviors, skills, attitudes, or performance in classroom activities. Teachers use anecdotal notes to document student progress over time.


Checklists allow the teacher to track the acquisition of specific skills over time. For example, this form of assessment could be used to track letter and sound knowledge in language arts and specific observed behaviors in math.

Division-created Common Assessments

Content specialists and division curriculum writers create common assessments delivered in a variety of formats (Schoology, Google Assignments, Performance Matters, etc.). Common assessments provide consistency in how students are evaluated and allows focus on specific skills and essential knowledge.

Exit Tickets

These help a teacher see what students are thinking and what they have learned at the end of a lesson. Before students leave or transition to another subject, they fill out a “ticket” with an answer to a question, a solution to a problem, or a response to what they’ve learned. Exit Tickets help assess if students have “caught what you taught” and plan for the next lesson or unit of instruction.

Performance Tasks

A performance task is a way for students to show what they know and what they can do by creating a product and/or sharing their best thinking to demonstrate learning. It can also give students an opportunity to show why and how the learning applies to their world.

Teacher-created Assessments

Teachers create a variety of assessments to evaluate learning and provide students with feedback. These assessments can be informal, such as graphic organizers and journal entries, or more formal, such as quizzes and tests.

Unit Assessments

Unit assessments allow for the evaluation of student knowledge of related concepts taught during a specific period of time. It typically occurs at the end of a unit of instruction and can include performance tasks as well as tests. An end of unit assessment can be a teacher-created assessment or a common assessment created by the grade level or division.