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Teachstone Blog

Mary-Margaret Gardiner

Mary-Margaret Gardiner works for Content Innovation and also does some CLASS training. Her work with the Content Team includes, master coding, video acquisition and establishing Partnerships. Mary Margaret has been involved in the early childhood community for over 35 years, driven by her passion to support the teachers who work with our most valuable asset, our children. She joined Teachstone in 2010 and has been a CLASS convert since the early days before Teachstone was even started! Mary-Margaret loves to play in her rock band and spend time with her family and horse!

Recent Posts

Vlog: Regard for Student Perspectives in Pre-K

08 Aug 2017

Mary Margaret-Gardiner and Sarah Hadden discuss Student Expression from the Pre-K dimension Regard for Student Perspectives. You'll learn how to recognize Student Expression in a classroom, the importance of looking at dimensions as a whole when you're coding, and more.

Topics: Pre-K, Tips and Tools Read More

How Does Roughhousing Impact Behavior Management Scores?

01 Feb 2017

Dear Master Coders,

I recently heard about risk competency and big body play at a local teaching conference. I have spent time considering this in relation to our Head Start program. One of the questions I have been asking myself is how some play that might be considered "roughhousing" will impact CLASS scores in Behavior Management. Behaviors that typically appear aggressive (pushing, hitting, building a "sword" out of markers and then using it to inadvertently hit another child) lower the score in this dimension. Do I change the way I view this interaction in terms of CLASS? Does this put me at risk for no longer being reliable? What advice do you have regarding this? 


Topics: Reliability & Certification, Pre-K Read More

What Emotional Support Interactions Happen during Mealtime?

12 Oct 2016

We often hear people asking about conducting CLASS observations during mealtimes. What kinds of interactions can be observed while children are just eating? Turns out—there are many examples of high-quality interactions during breakfast or lunch. Let's focus first on the Emotional Support CLASS domain. 

Topics: Teacher Tips, Observation Training Read More

The Most Underutilized Page in the CLASS Manual

22 Sep 2016

The Scoring Summary Sheet can offer observers and coaches a lot of insight on what's happening in a classroom during a typical day. Located on page 18 of the Pre-K CLASS Manual, Figure 2.2 shows how to create a summary of all six observational cycles. It also allows coaches to ask data-backed, specific questions like, "What's happening during small group that may be affecting a teacher's behavior management interactions?" 

Topics: Coach Tips, CLASS FAQs, Observation Training Read More

An Introduction to the CLASS Tool for Parents

14 Jul 2016

We all want what’s best for our children. But how do we know what’s really best for them? There are hundreds of aspects to measure: nutrition, exercise, curriculum, community involvement...the list could go on.

Topics: CLASS FAQs Read More

Teacher Tips: Every Moment Matters

31 May 2016

As we know, teachers often struggle with Instructional Support—and the focus of their professional development often lands here. While Instructional Support is worth improving, it's also important to remember that ALL interactions can affect child outcomes.

Topics: Teacher Tips, Pre-K, Coach Tips Read More

Administrative Leadership: What Is It? Why Is It Important? And How Does It Connect to CLASS?

02 May 2016

Over the past few months, the McCormick Center has been discussing the concept of whole leadership. While I encourage you to read through the whole series, one article in the series stuck out to me in particular, Administrative Leadership: What Is It? Why Is It Important? by Teri Talan.

Topics: Leadership and Policy Read More

Instructional Support and Providing Feedback

11 Apr 2016

I recently had the pleasure of spending a Sunday at the NHSA Fall Leadership Institute conference in Arlington, Virginia. During a full-day session on deepening understanding of the CLASS system, we took a close look at the Instructional Support domain, while considering strategies to help increase the effectiveness of teacher-child interactions.

Topics: Implementation, Events, Coach Tips, CLASS FAQs Read More

Why Aren't the Infant and Toddler CLASS Tools the Same?

21 Mar 2016

Let's talk today about the CLASS tool being used for infants and toddlers. You may be familiar with the fact that the Infant measure (birth to 18 months) has one domain—Responsive Caregiving— with four dimensions, while the Toddler measure (15-36 months) has two domains—Emotional and Behavioral Support and Engaged Support for Learning—with eight dimensions.

Topics: Infant, Toddler, CLASS FAQs Read More

With CLASS, Interactions Matter—But You Can't Neglect Classroom Set Up

09 Feb 2016
We received an email recently that summed up something that we've been hearing in the field regarding the use of CLASS and classroom set up. This isn't the exact correspondence, but it went a little something like this:
Topics: CLASS FAQs Read More
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