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Teachstone Blog

Support Teachers to Increase Learning...Duh!

07 Dec 2016

 

Personally, I get tired of the knee-jerk teacher bashing that often occurs when people compare U.S. student achievement to that in other countries. It is true that by many measures, U.S. education results lag behind those of other developed nations. But, guess what? There are good reasons for that, and those reasons suggest tangible, attainable solutions for education leaders.

Topics: Research, Leadership and Policy, In the News Read More

5 Master Note-Taking Tips Guaranteed to Help CLASS Observers

06 Dec 2016

Have you ever wished for a magical power that helped you take notes super effectively while conducting CLASS observations? The kind of magical power that would allow you to capture everything you see and hear without missing a beat? The kind of magical power that paints an exact picture of what happened in the classroom without actually being there? Yeah, me too!

Topics: Observation Training Read More

Should Pre-K Teachers be Play-Facilitators or Play-Observers?

01 Dec 2016

I could sit for hours watching a group of young children play. And I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to do so as an observer in toddler and pre-K classrooms around the country. The freedom with which children explore and use materials, test and experiment, and practice new strategies is fascinating and educational to watch.  

Many pre-K teachers adhere to the theory that free-choice or center time should be a time for children to be in control. They see center time as a time for students choose what they play with, how they manipulate the materials, and when to stop. These educators believe that children’s decisions and independence should be respected, so it’s their job to be present only as a support when needed.

But, there's another common theory. Other teachers believe that they should and must be present to facilitate, scaffold, and teach as children play. These two differing viewpoints raise a great question:

Topics: Teacher Tips, Pre-K Read More

Our Future Workforce: Why Instructional Support Matters More Than Ever

29 Nov 2016
 

Regardless of how you voted in the recent election, it’s fair to say the results revealed deep differences in how Americans view the economy and their place in it.

A quick look at the numbers suggests overall job growth and lower unemployment since 2008’s recession. But taking a closer look, the jobs that did increase were either low-paying/low-skill OR required a college degree which is increasingly difficult to afford.

Topics: Professional Development, Research, Leadership and Policy, Data Read More

Instructional Support in Transitions: Is It Possible?

21 Nov 2016

A great transition is one that is efficient, quick, has clear teacher follow through, and all the while, students know what to do and what is expected. Oh! And it must have learning opportunities embedded within. 

With all of that, is it possible to complete a smooth transition and still incorporate Instructional Support (IS)? Let’s explore the possibilities!

Topics: Teacher Tips Read More

CLASS Coding in Chaos

15 Nov 2016

While it’s gratifying and inspiring to observe warm, nurturing, and instructionally dynamic classrooms, unfortunately that’s not always the case. I received an email the other day from an observer who conducts observations for a research project in middle and high schools. He was concerned about interactions he had observed, and wanted to make sure he was doing CLASS coding correctly. Since we have a blog on the website about classrooms scoring all 7s, I thought it would be important to bring up the other end of the continuum as well.

Topics: Reliability & Certification, Observation Training Read More

Overcoming Logistics & Time Challenges in Your New Professional Development Initiative

09 Nov 2016

At our 2016 InterAct CLASS Summit, we asked a group of educators to share their biggest difficulties in implementing professional development within their organizations. Despite the group’s diverse backgrounds, they reported similar challenges:

  • Getting buy-in
  • Uneven teacher skill sets
  • Planning and logistics
  • Time constraints
  • Sustainability
  • Costs

We're excited to introduce the third post in our four-post series discussing strategies to help with these common challenges.

Topics: Professional Development, Coach Tips Read More

Working Together to Ensure All Head Start Children Have Access to High-Quality Classrooms

07 Nov 2016

 

Last Friday, the federal Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) published an evaluation of the Office of Head Start’s (OHS) Designation Renewal System (DRS). Given the complex nature of the study, from the recruitment of the sample to the numerous quality measures, we thought it would be helpful to put the findings in context and begin to address the important questions raised in this report. We also are pleased to provide this snapshot summary of the research on the CLASS® involving thousands of classrooms and tens of thousands of students across the age levels, from infant care through secondary education. In collaboration with practitioners, researchers, and policymakers across the field, we are learning and building on our commitment to ensuring outstanding early childhood education for every child in every classroom.

Topics: Research Read More

CLASS: Over a Decade of Research Confirming Improved Outcomes

07 Nov 2016

 

The Research Origins of CLASS

Research leading to the current version of the CLASS tool began in 1991 as a part of the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, which examined the influence of early environments and classroom processes on the development of children from a variety of family backgrounds. Study findings clearly indicated that classroom processes impact student outcomes (NICHD EECRN, 2002; Pianta et al., 2005).

With this knowledge, the research team further refined the initial observational tool (the Classroom Observation System: COS) for use in the National Center for Early Development and Learning (NCEDL) study. This large-scale study examined the quality of publicly funded preschool programs to learn how variations in quality impacted children’s academic and social outcomes.

Topics: Research Read More

An Exception to CLASS Scoring in Productivity

31 Oct 2016

I recently heard from a trainee who had attended two different 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. So, which is correct?

Topics: Pre-K, Observation Training Read More

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