Think about your favorite group learning experience. What made it so memorable? Was it the collaboration with your peers? Learning from each other’s experience? Feeling supported in your practice?
One of my favorite group learning experiences was an English class I took my senior year of high school. Our teacher made an effort to develop strong relationships with us through individualized and in-person feedback. Even though he had us writing 15-20 page papers every month, we were always motivated to do it because we improved each time. With CLASS® Group Coaching (MMCI), we have worked hard to set up instructional coaches to lead these types of memorable experiences for their teachers.
Over six years ago, we introduced Making the Most of Classroom Interactions (MMCI), now called CLASS® Group Coaching, at the Pre-K age level. This 10-session group coaching program taught teachers about the Classroom Assessment Scoring System® (CLASS®), how to notice effective teacher-child interactions, and how to use these interactions in their own classrooms.
In that time, we’ve seen and heard inspiring stories of coaches forming strong relationships with their teachers. Teachers who then improved their interactions with the children in their classrooms. While we have heard many success stories, we have also seen room for growth. We noticed that we were evaluating coaches based on how well they did a particular task, rather than their group coaching ability. We also saw that we had not provided a way for teachers to talk to their coaches and to continue learning between group coaching sessions.
In order to improve these areas and make the benefits available at a new age level, we created CLASS® Group Coaching for the K-3 age level in 2016:
With these improvements, we saw more success between coaches and their teachers. However, we still knew their was room for growth. We had not included dedicated time for coaches to build strong relationships with their teachers. There was not a clear focus for teachers to practice effective interactions between sessions. We also noticed that the end of the program didn’t include a clear send-off for teachers.
With all of this in mind, we developed CLASS® Group Coaching for the Infant-Toddler age level in 2017:
By including these benefits for teachers and coaches, we saw great results.
“They kept the best part of PreK MMCI while making significant improvements” - A participant in the early pilots of Infant/Toddler MMCI
“...the participants find this training very interesting and have expressed how valuable [it] is for them having the opportunity to learn about the I/T CLASS® tool in detail and with reflective videos to connect with their own practice.” - An Infant/Toddler Instructional Coach
To deliver the benefits of Infant/Toddler CLASS® Group Coaching to more instructional coaches and teachers, we updated the structure of the Pre-K and K-3 age levels based on Infant-Toddler CLASS® Group Coaching. All three age levels now include many of the same benefits:
CLASS® Group Coaching is a great way to grow CLASS® knowledge in your organization. Not only will your teachers be supported to improve their interactions with children, your coaches will be able to strengthen their group coaching skills.
Teachstone continues to fulfill the important role of supporting Spanish-speaking partners who implement CLASS in their programs and communities. In an effort to strengthen our reach to this key base, Teachstone recently hosted a regional conference in Caguas, Puerto Rico. The regional conference offered several CLASS trainings in Spanish as well as translation services for English trainings. Trainings were held from November 4–8 at the headquarters and facilities of Camera Mundi Inc. Camera Mundi is the largest and most comprehensive provider of products, equipment, materials, and services to the educational sector in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
You likely know children in your schools and local neighborhoods who are dual-language learners—eager to explore and whose parents want the best opportunities for them in school and in life. But did you know dual-language learners in the U.S. make up 32% of children under the age of five?