Work Sampling System

What Is The Work Sampling System by Pearson?

The Work Sampling System is an assessment tool that allows teachers to evaluate the skills of children age 3-9. In the context of early childhood education, the Work Sampling System is the next assessment that early learning professionals will use after The Ounce Scale until a child graduates from the preschool program. 

How Does The Work Sampling System Work? 

The Work Sampling System was developed to shift the method that teachers use to track and assess the development of their students. Instead of measuring development based on output, The Work Sampling system encourages assessments based observations. Students demonstrate what they know through a series of evaluations in the classroom, which allows their teachers to make informed decisions about how to customize and guide their instruction.

The system covers seven major curriculum areas:

  1. Personal and social development – Self concept, self control, approach to learning, interactions with others and social problem solving.
  2. Language and literacy – Listening, speaking, reading and writing, as well as language and literacy for English Language Learners (ELLs)
  3. Mathematical thinking – Mathematical processes, number and operations, patterns, relationships, and functions, geometry and spatial relations, as well as measurement.
  4. Scientific thinking – Use of senses to observe and explore the classroom, the ability to use tools for investigation and ability to make comparisons.
  5. Social studies –  Learning about community, routine and personal responsibility.
  6. The arts – Exploring the creative process, materials manipulation, exploration and experimentation. 
  7. Physical development & Health– Gross motor and fine motor development as well as personal health and safety.

The Work Sampling System allows teachers to adjust the direction and focus of their lesson plans with the goal of achieving developmental milestones in different domains through classwork. The system provides an overview of developmental progressions, explains each element within the system, provides educators with step-by-step procedures, and offers practical suggestions for next steps.

Educators observe and document their children’s progress and add individualized notes in summary reports which replaces conventional report cards. Instead of a traditional summative evaluation, a child’s development is denoted by “As Expected” (AE) or “Needs Development” (ND) and opens up room for dialogue with parents on how to best support their child’s development.

How Does The Pearson Work Sampling System Benefit Early Learning Programs?

This approach to assessing progress is beneficial to early learning programs by providing a centralized place for educators to collect information on a child’s work in relation to age-appropriate guidelines. 

These guidelines help educators to identify the skills that children are acquiring, their proficiency level and what areas they need to be working on to develop the skill. Performance indicators are framed as “Not Yet,” “In Progress,” or “Proficient.” 

As the process is observation-driven, educators can use this information to plan their instruction around the needs of children in their group. 

HiMama & The Work Sampling System

HiMama has proudly partnered with Pearson Education to make The Work Sampling System available to early learning centers that want to prioritize authentic documentation, parent engagement and better efficiency for educators. 

Through the integration, early childhood educators will have access to the Developmental Assessment Overview page. This provides a big picture view of the skills that a child has completed and how many they need to complete within a particular domain for typical development. 

Educators can build out assessment reports in five simple steps:

  1. View and edit the start and end date of this assessment. You can choose if you want to have the start and end date for the time period the child was in your class or if you do long term assessing for your classroom you can indicate this period that the assessment was performed.
  2. Click the appropriate bubble to indicate if the skill is “Not Developed” (ND) or “Developed As Expected” (DAE).
  3. Add or edit a comment for each skill.
  4. Navigate to the Developmental Evidence page to see the specific domains, skills and indicators you’ve added to this child’s profile to document their learning and development.
  5. Key to determine if the skill is “Not Yet” (NY), “In Progress” (IP), “Proficient” (PRO), “Not Available” (NA) or “Did Not Observe” (DNO).

The Work Sampling System encourages a reflective practice and educators can reevaluate and edit a child’s progress. 

  1. Quickly view if each skill is Not Developed or Developed as Expected.
  2. See at a glance any comments about each skill.
  3. Edit this report to modify any skills or comments.

The process is: 

  1. Ask Questions – Observe 
  2. Collect Evidence – Document 
  3. Interpret Evidence – Reflect
  4. Take Action – Implement

Having the Work Sampling System available is useful to give teachers and parents a holistic picture of a child’s development.


Learn more about how HiMama & Work Sampling System can support your center today!

Carmen Choi

Carmen is the Marketing Coordinator and Preschool Podcast Manager on the HiMama team. She's been working with childcare business owners and consultants for 3 years. She is passionate making connections that empower the ECE Community through knowledge-sharing to support better outcomes for children, their families, and society!

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