Assessments & Observations: Using Pearson [Webinar]

In this session, Dr. Meisels, executive director of the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska, gave us an in-depth look into Ounce Scale and Work Sampling System. We explored how observation assessments teach us about children’s learning, where they are in regards to milestones, and how educators can use it to inform learning opportunities. We then switched gears and spoke with Zoe Rachlin, Onboarding Specialist at HiMama, and talked about how educators can use the Ounce Scale and Work Sampling system in HiMama.

🎤Our Special Guests!

Dr. Samuel Meisels

Samuel J. Meisels, one of the nation’s most accomplished and respected early childhood voices, is the founding executive director of the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska and holds the Richard D. Holland Presidential Chair in Early Childhood Development. In 2019 he received the visionary leadership award from the Simms/Mann Institute—one of the highest career honors given to early childhood experts. Meisels came to Nebraska in 2013 after more than 11 years as president of Erikson Institute, one of the nation’s foremost graduate schools in child development. Prior to Erikson he had a distinguished 21-year career as a professor at the University of Michigan School of Education and a research scientist at Michigan’s Center for Human Growth and Development, where he conducted research concerning high-risk and disabled infants and young children and developed assessments for birth – 8-year-olds that are widely used throughout the U.S. and abroad. Earlier he served as professor in the Department of Child Study at Tufts University and director of the Eliot-Pearson Children’s School as well as senior advisor in early childhood development for the Developmental Evaluation Clinic of Boston Children’s Hospital. Meisels began his career as a preschool and Kindergarten-first grade teacher in Cambridge and Brookline, Mass. He is professor emeritus and research scientist emeritus at the University of Michigan and president emeritus at Erikson Institute.

🧪Key Learning Outcomes from Dr. Meisels

  • Observations teach us so much, including what children are learning, how well they are doing in relation to the standards, and give us a guide to creating instructional-relevant learning opportunities.
  • Observations consist of observing, recording, and evaluating.
  • Ounce scale was created to build relationships between educators and families through observations. It helps provide guidelines for the collection of observations and informs planning. 
  • The Work Sampling System is a continuous progression of instructional assessment that uses guidelines, checklists, and summaries. The purpose of it is to document and assess children’s skills, behavior, and achievement.
Zoe Rachlin

Zoe Rachlin is an onboarding specialist at HiMama, currently helping clients simplify their billing. She aims to make change accessible whilst encouraging her coworkers with cookies. In her spare time, you can find her tinkering with a 3D printer, singing with her acapella group, or tending to her indoor jungle.

🧪Key Learning Outcomes from Zoe

  • HiMama has an integration that allows educators to look back on their developmental observations and track skills through their state/provincial framework while building on an assessment. 
  • Using Pearson lets you showcase the effect your educators have on their students’ lives! 
  • Using Pearson and HiMama lets educators use an assessment tool, without the paper. 
  • With Pearson-powered assessments, educators can now observe, track, and assess a child’s progress so that the focus remains on providing a nurturing environment for every child. 
  • Many of our customers bring on one of our assessment tools to help aid in the building of a professional learning program, as well as working towards a higher star rating in QRIS (Quality Rating and Improvement System).


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Ria Reive

Ria Reive in the Community Ambassador at HiMama. Prior to starting at HiMama, Ria was an Early Childhood Educator and worked 6 years in the classroom. She taught all ages but mainly preschoolers. Ria lives in Toronto with her husband. In her spare time, she enjoys time with her niece and nephew and being on the water.