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Teachstone Blog

3 Reasons Why Incremental Change is Cause for Celebration

11 May 2017

Part of my responsibility as a CLASS specialist is to open up the world to my participants and expand their CLASS lens within the four walls of their classroom/organization. Of course, sometimes that’s easier said than done.

Topics: Coach Tips Read More

3 Reasons to Join the CLASS Community

27 Apr 2017

Think about the biggest challenge you’re facing in your role today. Perhaps it’s handling teacher turnover, managing your time while coaching over large geographic regions, or dealing with the disappointment of not seeing the results you thought you might see when you implemented that new PD program.

Topics: Updates Read More

4 Healthy Recipes for Week of the Young Child

25 Apr 2017

Teachstone is celebrating Week of the Young Child hosted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). We'll be posting articles, videos, activities, and more all week on Facebook and Twitter.

For Tasty Tuesday, we've found a few healthy recipes for every mealtime, including dessert. These recipes are easy to assemble and make, and your early learners can help out as well. What are your favorite healthy recipes?

Topics: Just for Fun Read More

What 150 Peer Review Studies Have to Say about CLASS

10 Apr 2017

If you’ve ever attended a CLASS Observation Training, you’ve heard the trainer state that the CLASS is a valid tool for measuring the efficacy to teacher-child interactions: that classroom quality, as measured by the CLASS, predicts positive developmental and academic outcomes for children (predictive validity). Specifically, children who attend classrooms with higher CLASS scores demonstrate better social and academic outcomes than their peers in classrooms that were not rated as highly.

Topics: Research Read More

3 Ways to Stay Objective as a CLASS Observer

06 Apr 2017

 

If you're a CLASS observer, you've probably found yourself in a situation where you have to make inferences or rely on contextual evidence when assigning scores. However, it should always be your goal to minimize subjectivity and assumptions. You have to prevent your emotions, opinions, and ideas that are not a part of the CLASS tool from influencing scoring. Achieving an emotionless state of objectivity while observing can be incredibly challenging. It takes practice to recognize when objectivity is threatened and respond accordingly.

Topics: CLASS and Other Tools, Tips and Tools Read More

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): Opportunities for Early Childhood Education

29 Mar 2017

When the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was reauthorized in December 2015, Teachstone joined with others working across grade levels to celebrate the new law—the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA allows and emboldens states to build seamless systems that recognize and incorporate early childhood education in a pre-K to 12 system.

Topics: Leadership and Policy Read More

The Difference between Concept Development and Quality of Feedback—and Why It Matters

23 Mar 2017

Concept Development and Quality of Feedback—these two CLASS dimensions used to elicit a sense of fear in me, and I suspect they do for other early childhood educators, too. The fear came from hearing the average teacher’s scores in these dimensions, confusing the two dimensions, and from knowing how important they are to impacting children’s cognitive development.

Topics: CLASS FAQs, Observation Training Read More

How Will President Trump's Budget Blueprint Affect Early Childhood Education?

17 Mar 2017

 

At the end of February, I had the great privilege of attending the annual National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Public Policy Forum as part of my state team, the Connecticut Association for the Education of Young Children (CTAEYC). The field was well-represented: teaching staff and administrators, as well as professional development providers and advocates from a non-profit campus-based child care center, a family child care, a non-profit hospital-based child care center, a for-profit child care center, and two training, support, and research centers for early childhood programs in Connecticut.

Topics: Leadership and Policy, In the News Read More

Why CLASS Specialists Love Analogy (and you should, too!)

07 Mar 2017

 

CLASS Specialists are always thinking about the complexity of the CLASS tool as we prepare for our trainings. As a trained CLASS observer, I am comfortable observing and recognizing quality interactions that fit in the tool. But I needed a strategy to convey this information to those who may not be as familiar with the tool.

As it turns out, using an analogy is a perfect way to make the complex relatable, less overwhelming, and more familiar to our participants. 

Topics: Coach Tips, Just for Fun, CLASS FAQs Read More

What's the Deal with Rote Practice?

02 Mar 2017

 

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”  - Benjamin Franklin

 

Think back to a time when you were a student in a classroom.

Yes, I know some of us, including myself, don’t want to think back that far, but for the sake of this discussion, let’s try it.

I remember, quite vividly, sitting at desks which were all neatly lined up in rows, with the teacher at the front of the room. I would stare at the back of someone’s head, with very little eye contact. And forget about communicating with my peers because that was a no-no during most of my years of schooling. The teacher would write letters, numbers, or facts on the chalkboard. I was expected to repeat and recite them. This “drill and kill” activity might have then been followed up with a task of copying these same facts onto a piece of paper. Later, I would take them home and memorize them for an upcoming test.

Occasionally my teacher would say, “ok we are going to play a game today.” I would get so excited because something different was going to happen. My teacher would pull out a set of flashcards, and hold up each one as we called out the correct answers. The child with the most flashcards at the end of the game was the “winner.”

This would take place week after week, in each of the subject areas, and we’d be tested on these same facts each Friday. If you, like myself, were really good at memorizing facts, you would ace the tests. You would then get your report card with all of those A’s, and everyone knew you were going to succeed at life because you were a good student. Sound familiar?  

I think it’s safe to say this was probably a pretty common scenario for many of you. You, like many students across the U.S., would work your way through school, memorizing information in each grade level, but were you really learning it?

Topics: Teacher Tips Read More

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