Yesterday, we spoke with a trainee who had attended two different CLASS Observation Trainings and heard conflicting information related to scoring the indicator of transitions under Productivity. His first trainer stated that, if a transition does not take place during an observation cycle, then the indicator should be disregarded. The second trainer indicated that if a transition is not observed that the indicator should be scored in the low range. The trainee wanted to know which is correct.
It’s easy to see why the second trainer thought that the indicator should be scored in the low range if it wasn’t present—after all, that is pretty much the way we teach people to code with the CLASS. If an indicator isn’t observed, it is rated in the low range. However, there are some exceptions to this general protocol and the indicator of transitions in Productivity is one of these exceptions.
Recall that the dimension of Productivity measures how well the teacher manages children’s time in the classroom. If all of the indicators for Productivity are present at the high range, the classroom can score in the high range for Productivity without a transition, because not seeing a transition does not detract from the management of time.
Might it be a problem that we don’t see a transition? It’s certainly possible. Twenty minutes is a long time in the world of a 4-year-old. If the teacher has the children sitting in circle for a full 20 minutes, we may wish that she would build in a transition, but the CLASS measures what we see—not what we would like to see. If children have to sit for 20 minutes, we may very see them get fidgety and start to lose attention, which we would pick up under student engagement in Instructional Learning Formats. How the teacher manages this lack of engagement may be coded under Behavior Management. But the absence of a transition does not lead to a lower score for Productivity.
When you consider Productivity, bear in mind that we can also score smaller, "within activity" transitions. If the children are sitting at circle and the teacher leads them though a whole series of separate activities (e.g., The Pledge of Allegiance, morning greeting, calendar, a song, and a book), we can look at each of these activities as a "within group" transition, even though the children do not physically move from one setting to another. Similarly, we can look at individual child transitions when coding Productivity. We may observe center time and note how children move from one area to another. Do they clean up their blocks, get their nametag, move it to the next area and quickly get to work? Yes? Not only are they showing a good understanding of classroom routines, but they are also transitioning smoothly and efficiently from one activity to another. The key to thinking about individual child transitions is to note how many children made transitions and how well those transitions went.
Curious about the other exceptions to coding? Stay tuned!
Teachers everywhere have yet another new challenge—supporting students and their families from home. We know that high-quality interactions, including interesting, hands-on experiences that are facilitated and supported with feedback, scaffolding, and higher-order thinking questions, best support young students' learning. So how do you help your students' caregivers offer the same high-quality interactions while at home? Well, Rachel Giannini has some super fun ideas to share! The following are ideas she shared during her session at our recent InterAct CLASS Summit.
We all know people are naturally social beings—we need interactions to survive. But just because we’re naturally social doesn’t mean we know how to be social. We have to learn social behaviors—from our families, caregivers, and peers. Teachers play a key role in promoting social development, which includes peer play and friendships.
As the Community Manager with Teachstone, I have been able to talk to many observers, trainers, coaches, and general CLASS lovers. I have found a common thread among these groups: a desire to connect with other CLASS users and put their CLASS knowledge to use.
We often hear from CLASS Observers that are interested in observing more classrooms. Meanwhile, many organizations—particularly smaller organizations or those doing research studies—don’t have Certified CLASS Observers and are in search of observers in their area.
As a Certified CLASS Affiliate Trainer, I enjoy reading the discussion posts and responses in the CLASS Learning Community. It gives me further insight into the areas that teachers have questions about, and the responses and techniques that members of the community are sharing with others. Usually I just sit back, read along, and take it all in.
Then recently someone posted, “I'd love some great examples of what Quality of Feedback looks like when you're working with less verbal children. For instance... creating an effective feedback loop off of what a child does more so than what he or she says.”