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6 Ways to Prepare for Your Upcoming CLASS Training

19 Nov 2015 by Daniel LaCava

A CLASS Observation Training is an interactive, content-packed experience, and even the most enthusiastic participants may find it difficult to think clearly as they gather their notebooks to head home at the end of day two. Of course we understand how busy everyone is leading up to a training, so none of the below is technically required of you to attend the training. However, a few minutes of preparation can give you a framework for the CLASS knowledge you’re about to gain, enriching the experience for you and everyone around you! 

Try to Get Your Materials in Advance

This can be a big obstacle to preparedness, and it isn’t always possible to get your materials well in advance of your training. Speak to whoever is organizing your training and see if they can work with you to get your materials. These materials include your CLASS manual, which you’ll use to assign scores after each observation, as well as several other valuable CLASS resources. If you can’t get materials in advance, check out the Teachstone website and all of its free resources. Here are two to get you started:

Watch the Interactions Matter Video

This clip gives a quick summary of why we’re doing what we do here at Teachstone, and why the CLASS tool can be so valuable to so many children around the world.

Read Your Manual

The CLASS manual is soon to be your observation bible—you’ll use it to assign scores after each and every CLASS observation you conduct. Check out the first two chapters of your new manual for a research background and overview of the different uses of the tool, as well as for observation protocols and procedures. Much of this information will be covered during the training, but it will be very helpful if you go into the training with a basic understanding of how the tool is to be used. 

Check out the Dimension Pages

Next, read through the face pages for each of the CLASS Dimensions. These overviews included definitions and the basic structure of the tool. Each Dimension consists of a series of Indicators, broken down further by a series of Behavioral Markers. These Behavioral Markers are the specific pieces of evidence that you’ll look for as an observer. Behavior Markers are organized by Indicators, which are given a range score of Low, Mid, or High. All the Indicators are taken into consideration to help you score the Dimension on a numerical score between 1 and 7. Don’t worry. You’ll become very familiar with during the course of your CLASS training. But, having a basic understanding of how the tool is put together will make your experience much more beneficial.

Skim through the Detailed Descriptions

After reading through the face pages, the detailed descriptions are up next. Behind the face page for each Dimension is an extensive detailed description of the Low, Mid, and High ranges for each Dimension. Don’t feel like you need to sit down and read these descriptions thoroughly, but the more familiar you become with these descriptions, the faster and more accurate your CLASS coding will be! 

Watch the Video Library

Another useful resource available to you prior to the training is online—the CLASS Video Library. This is a collection of short clips that demonstrate Behavioral Marker evidence in real life classrooms. I’d encourage you to watch a couple clips for each Dimension. As you watch the clips, think about how you would capture this evidence of effective teacher-child interactions efficiently and objectively in your own notes if you were conducting an observation.

Everyone is busy leading up to a training, and we don’t have unrealistic expectations! If you show up having done nothing but glance over the Teachstone website, you won’t be left in the dark. Your CLASS trainer is well equipped to bring you up to speed over the course of the 2-day event. However, if you can spend a few minutes beforehand reviewing your material, you’ll find the training to be far more enjoyable, less stressful, and more productive.  

Pre-K CLASS Observer Tips

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