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CLASS Behavioral Marker Series: Evaluation

30 Aug 2017 by Sherilyn Crump

In our previous Behavioral Marker Series post, we focused on the often-misunderstood marker of “Disconnected Negativity.” As a reminder, CLASS behavioral markers are the bulleted lists of concrete examples located under indicators. You will find the indicators listed under each dimension’s face page. 

Let’s dive right into our next challenging behavioral marker, “Evaluation.” Evaluation is found under the indicator of “Analysis and Reasoning,” in the dimension of Concept Development.

Evaluation might not get top billing in an indicator that’s full of stars. Analysis and Reasoning is a challenging indicator to observe. The indicator encourages us to listen for thought-provoking, open-ended questions. In the low-range, we often observe the teacher engage in rote teaching strategies.

What “Evaluation” Isn’t

It’s that time in your training when you are reviewing the Master Code Justifications. You ask for evidence in the dimension of Concept Development. A participant answers, “The teacher evaluated Angela’s work—she told her that she matched all of her numbers in the bowls.”

While that evidence may indeed be present, that description does not fit under Evaluation. A better place for that observation might be in the dimension of Instructional Learning Formats, as the teacher is summarizing Angela’s work. It may also be a good fit for Quality of Feedback, because the teacher gives Angela specific feedback. 

What “Evaluation” Is 

In the CLASS tool, Evaluation turns the responsibility to evaluate over to the students. That said, you should be listening for the teacher to ask students to evaluate their work. The students self-evaluate. The teacher gives the students a chance to talk through the activity they completed.

One way a teacher can encourage students to evaluate is by asking them how well they think their small group work went. Another example could be when a teacher asks a third-grade student to summarize the social studies chapter that the class read. 

Clearing Up The Misconception

Be proactive about confusing behavioral markers during your training. It helps to prepare a relevant example to use during the dimension introduction. Consider pointing out where the descriptive paragraphs define a behavioral marker like Evaluation. Suggest the participants highlight that section. You may find this simple and quick pre-loading of information makes easier work of the subsequent training video discussions.

How do you describe the behavioral marker, “Evaluation,” in your trainings? What other behavioral markers would you like us to address in this series. 

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