Mary-Margaret Gardiner works as a Special Projects team member. Her work with the Professional Service Team includes, master coding, training, Observer support content design. . 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!
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.
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?
If anyone has ever spent any time in one of the Observation trainings (or TTT programs) that I facilitate, it becomes quite obvious early on that behavioral markers aren’t my go to for helping learners understand coding. You’ll even see me encouraging learners to cover them up when they are considering ranges on their face pages! That being said, they do have their purpose… but before we get to that, here’s why I’m a bit resistant to rely on behavioral markers during training. Markers are great as an introduction to the tool, but not so great for coding! Here’s why.
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.
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?"
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.
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.
I recently had the pleasure of spending a Sunday at the NHSAFall 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.