WHAT IS THE KINDERGARTEN OBSERVATION FORM?
The Kindergarten Observation Form (KOF) was developed in 2001 to help fill an information gap that still exists in many areas today: the preparedness of children to smoothly transition into kindergarten. In a partnership between Applied Survey Research, the Peninsula Community Foundation and First 5 San Mateo, a scan was conducted of readiness frameworks and tools used around the country, and the KOF’s items were developed with significant local input from the fields of early childhood education, primary education, philanthropy and research. Using a blend of observational and test-based assessment techniques, the Kindergarten Observation Form was piloted in 2001 with over 700 students in 8 high need districts in San Mateo County. After initial psychometric testing, the tool was refined and implemented in 2002. In 2009, an expert panel of early education and elementary school educators helped develop the KOF’s Scoring Guide, a rating rubric which defines each indicator across the four levels of proficiency. A preschool version of the tool, the Pre-Kindergarten Observation Form (P-KOF), was also developed to give early learning sites a tool to assess the kindergarten readiness of children in their programs.
The KOF and its preschool version have been validated against other evidence-based measures of child development, such as the Woodcock Johnson III, Expressive One Word Vocabulary Test, Brigance K-1 Screens, Ages and Stages Questionnaire, Head Toes Knees Shoulders test, Work Sampling System, and the Pre-K and Kindergarten Behavior Scales. Five different longitudinal studies have shown that the KOF predicts 2nd and 3rd grade academic test scores. (For more information, please see the Psychometric Fact Sheet)
The Kindergarten Observation Form and Pre-Kindergarten Observation Form have been used in over 18 counties in California, as well as in Arizona, North Carolina, Montana, Missouri, and Illinois, and to date, over 100,000 unique child assessments have been conducted. (For more information, please see the Kindergarten Observation Form PowerPoint ).
This document provides a brief overview of the KOF and frequently asked questions. To request other fact sheets or sample reports, please contact Sara Strickhouser.