The First Steps is a series of tasks for children who are starting their school work. The teacher can assess the pupils’ facilities and working skills. The Firs Steps is meant to be used at the end of preschool or at the very beginning of the first grade.
The First Steps assesses first of all voluntary learning: children as pupils have to focus their attention to things they are taught, often according to teacher’s instructions, and maintain their attention. This is called engagement in the task. It can be assessed by examining pupils’ skills in thinking and their opinions of themselves as learners.
The First Steps –series of tasks does not require reading or writing skills but thinking and deduction skills are measured by illustrated tasks. Acting by heard instructions, accuracy in details, resilience and assessing the result of one owns’ work are examined as working skills. In addition, a form has been designed for teachers and parents to fill in. The form is to assess the flexibility of concentration and social activity of the pupils.
The First Steps is designed as a sieve. Most of the newcomers are therefore expected to perform the tasks quite well. With the help of the sieve the teacher can easier catch her/his eye on pupils who seem to have difficulties in one or several sectors of facilities and working skills.