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Teachstone Blog

CLASS Is Like a House

19 Sep 2017

I recently heard a great analogy about the CLASS tool and I had to share it. I can’t take credit for the idea. Affiliate Trainer, Teresa Bockes, originated the concept, and I loved it the minute I heard it: CLASS is like a house. Let’s build a house step-by-step to learn more about this metaphor.

Topics: Tips and Tools Read More

Talking to Baby with CLASS

14 Sep 2017

As an infant classroom teacher, you know that talking to babies is important.  For instance, you tell the infants in your care what they are looking at (“You see the new block basket on the shelf!”). You label objects (“You have the red ball!”). And you describe events that take place in the classroom (“The tray just fell off the table! That scared you.”). These examples represent Teacher talk, an indicator in the Infant CLASS tool. Why, then, is the dimension of Early Language Support so challenging? 

Topics: Infant, Teacher Tips Read More

What We're Reading: The Discipline Gap

12 Sep 2017

Welcome to our newest blog series dedicated to the research and reports Teachstone is reading and thinking about.

For our first post in this series, we’re looking at exclusionary disciplinary practices with new eyes as states are submitting their ESSA plans. The Every Student Succeeds Act requires states to discuss how they will help local education agencies reduce their overuse of exclusionary discipline practices. These are actions like suspensions or expulsions that send students out of classrooms. Not only do exclusionary discipline practices negatively affect school climate (something we care a lot about here at Teachstone!), evidence shows that students of color, particularly Black students, are disproportionately on the receiving end. 

Topics: Research, Leadership and Policy, What We're Reading Read More

Building Relationships with Pre-K Students at the Start of a School Year

07 Sep 2017

Note: It’s the start of another new school year and once again, my thoughts turn to all of the children who are starting school for the first time. But I also can’t help but think about those children who are making the big transition from preschool to kindergarten. As we all know, it can be a big adjustment for many kids.

Last year I wrote a post about my great-niece’s first day of preschool. For those of you who may have missed it, we are posting it again with a post-script of sorts (except that it’s at the beginning and not the end). I am happy to report that my concerns about her adjustment to preschool were not realized. Addison had a good year in pre-k and learned so many of those critical social-emotional skills that put her in good stead to make the most of kindergarten. Here is a picture of her on her first day at “the big school” – still ready for school and raring to go!

Topics: Teacher Tips, Pre-K Read More

Top 5 Things I Wish I Had Known as a Director

05 Sep 2017



This post was originally published by the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership.

I often think about my time working as a director in a child care program and wonder how different things would have been if I had known then, what I know now. As time passes and I gain new experiences and insights on leadership in early childhood education, I frequently ask myself what I would do differently if I could relive that period of time. In my reflection, I have realized that my conclusions are from my point of view. Recognizing that the experience I had as a program administrator affected so many, I thought it would be interesting to learn what my team would like for me to have known.

Topics: Leadership and Policy Read More

Don’t Fear the CLASS: Why You Should Want a CLASS Evaluation

31 Aug 2017

CLASS is a research based tool that measures teacher-child interactions in Pre-K-12 classrooms and in settings that serve infants and toddlers. I'm one of the biggest cheerleaders of this tool. I believe if I had had this professional development tool while I was a teacher it would have impacted my teaching implementations and positively affected my students’ learning outcomes.

Topics: Teacher Tips Read More

4 Common Misconceptions About CLASS

30 Aug 2017

The CLASS is multi-faceted and complex. It’s no surprise new and old CLASS participants carry around and pass on misconceptions about it. Here are four common misconceptions about CLASS and ways we can address them during and after trainings.

Topics: Observation Training, Tips and Tools Read More

The ABCs of Social-Emotional Development

24 Aug 2017

What is the role of Pre-K?

In this day and age, the likelihood of finding an opinion or theory that everyone agrees on seems impossible. The world of early education is no different. Though most educators and parents agree that Pre-K serves as the foundation for increasing the likelihood of a child’s success later in life, there is still dissent surrounding how Pre-K programs should be managed to maximize this success. 

Topics: Pre-K, Leadership and Policy Read More

CLASS is Still Not a Checklist—Here’s What To Do Instead

22 Aug 2017

CLASS Specialists at Teachstone all take turns providing reliability support to anxious testers. We often see the same mistakes and misconceptions over and over again about how the CLASS works, and as my story below will share, how the behavioral markers fit into the coding process.

Topics: Reliability & Certification, Observation Training Read More

Vlog: Regard for Child Perspectives in Toddlers

17 Aug 2017

Mary Margaret-Gardiner and Sarah Hadden discuss the Toddler CLASS dimension Regard for Child Perspectives. You'll learn why there isn't a student expression indicator and the importance of non-verbal choices. Before you watch, check out their previous vlog, Regard for Student Perspectives in Pre-K, and think about the differences between these two dimensions.

Topics: Toddler, Tips and Tools Read More
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