Does the CLASS score report look like gibberish to you? Are you unsure of how to interpret the data and turn it into a usable form for coaching purposes? Let us be your Rosetta Stone.
One thing to note is that there is no one right way to prepare a CLASS score report. Some organizations may choose to use the Scoring Summary Sheet provided on the last page of the CLASS score sheet booklet, while others may produce their own report and include such things as a written narrative or a comparison of a classroom’s scores across time or against a program’s overall scores. Because each organization has its own goals and protocols, score reports can differ quite a bit. For this reason, if you have questions about a specific report, we urge you to contact the observer who conducted the observation or the organization that provided the report.
With that being said, here’s some general guidance about interpreting a CLASS score report and using it for coaching purposes.
You may see numerical scores (1-7), ranges (low, mid, and high), or perhaps both listed for each dimension. The CLASS tool uses ranges to describe different levels of effectiveness.
Low range (codes 1 & 2) means that the interactions observed are of minimal effectiveness. Effective interactions happened rarely, if ever, and when they did, they were isolated, brief, or of low quality.
Mid range (codes 3-5) means that effective interactions are observed sometimes or to some degree but are inconsistent or limited.
High range (codes 6 & 7) means that effective interactions are observed with consistency. The observer noted frequent, sustained, high-quality interactions across the observation.
Numerical scores help to even more specifically pinpoint the level of effectiveness observed in the classroom for a particular dimension and may be averaged to find domain-level scores. See the sample Scoring Summary Sheet in chapter 2 of the manual for an example of this.
Look for strengths and areas with room to grow. In general, strengths will be dimensions falling in the high range, while areas with room to grow will be dimensions falling in the low to mid range.
We suggest picking out just a couple areas to focus on at one time to keep the feedback you’re providing to the teacher focused and the goals you’re setting attainable. You might hone in on dimensions of focus by choosing the lowest scoring dimension within each domain and consider how the teacher might improve the effectiveness of her interactions in these areas.
Pull out relevant examples of interactions from the observation notes to share with the teacher. Examples might include, “Teacher gave the children a choice about which center to play in” or “Teacher asked mostly closed ended questions, such as ‘What shape is this?’” Feedback works best when it’s specific so that the teacher knows exactly what the observer saw in her classroom and has some concrete examples of what she is doing right and what she could work on.
Be sure to pay attention to variation and consistency of interactions. As you’re preparing for your feedback session, you might make note of details about the observation cycles, such as time of day, format, and content of activities. This will allow you to see if the teacher’s interactions are more or less effective during certain times of the day or during particular activities. If one cycle was more effective than another, you’ll want to encourage the teacher to consider the reason for this and help her find ways to translate the effective strategies used in that cycle across the day.
Remember to keep an objective, CLASS-based approach. Rather than basing your feedback on your own opinions or ideas about what makes teaching effective, use the data and specific behavioral evidence from the report to help guide your discussions with the teacher.
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What’s the best way to teach empathy to an infant, toddler, or preschool aged child?
Joanna Parker joins the Teaching with CLASS® podcast to answer that question. Joanna has spent her entire career in early care and education. She’s worked with Head Start, Early Head Start, child care, early intervention, public PreK, and home visitation programs at the local, community, state, and national levels.
Joanna explains that defining empathy in early childhood is all about understanding social-emotional development. Children will not display empathy the way adults do because they are still developing social-emotional skills. But educators can instill foundational skills for children to build upon as they mature.
Though exacerbated by the pandemic, turnover in early childhood education is not a new phenomenon. In 2012, the Institute of Medicine & National Research Council reported early childhood settings turnover rates averaging between 25-30 percent. Some pre-pandemic studies indicate it could be even higher, at a startling 26-50% turnover rate. The pandemic has compounded the already present challenge and has made the headlines as our country grapples with the realization that a healthy child care system is critical to our economic recovery.
Burnout among early childhood educators is at a whole new level within the last couple of years. Administrators, teachers, observers, and staff feel different levels of burnout, and there isn’t a magic cure or quick fix. On this episode of Teaching with CLASS®, our guest Colleen Schmit returns to the podcast to help educators recognize and work through burnout.
On November 9, 2021, Teachstone hosted the Building Confidence and Consistency in Your Head Start Program webinar with Sara Diamond, Director of Partnership Development at Teachstone, and Michelle Crawford, CLASS® Specialist.
Together, Sara and Michelle provided tips for helping educators dig deeper in their interactions and feel more confident in their teaching practice. Before diving into the tips for building confidence and consistency, Michelle shared a powerful quote from Lori Archer, a Head Start teacher: