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Ideas for Professors Introducing CLASS to Teachers in Training

19 Jan 2016 by Vicki Kintner-Duffy

We’ve all been there—the spring semester is looming around the corner. Although you have the gist of the syllabus planned, the details still need to be worked out. Assignments need to be finalized and engaging classroom activities need to be developed.

Here are a few ideas that you might be able to adapt for your course.

Classroom Activities

  • Watch clips from the Video Library to discuss and evaluate effective teacher-child interactions, as well as brainstorm ways to extend lessons for children
  • Use the CLASS Discussion Toolkit to help students detect effective interactions, reflect on how interactions impact child outcomes, and connect the CLASS dimensions to their own learning and work in the classroom
  • Have students brainstorm engaging activities for children, incorporating strategies from the Dimensions Guide (such as creating open-ended questions to ask children during the activity)
  • Split students into small groups, pose a problem-solving question, and encourage them to use the Video Library and Dimensions Guide to create a solution leveraging what they know about effective teacher-child interactions


  • Have students observe in classrooms and write a reflection on their observation and how they remained objective 
  • Have students record their own interactions in the classroom and engage in group reflection on strengths and challenges
  • Have students create lesson plans that include effective interactions, using the Video Library and Dimensions Guide for ideas
  • Engage students in self-assessment of their learning and classroom interactions, using the Dimensions Guide as an outline

Want to learn more about using CLASS in teacher training programs? Check out the free, 20-minute Teacher Education and the CLASS Framework webinar on introducing the CLASS tool to teachers in training. I'd love to hear what other strategies you're using to introduce CLASS to new teachers and students. Share your stories in the comments below.

Editor's Note: This blog was originally written in December 2013, but has since be revised to maintain accurate and engaging content.

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