As a CLASS Group Coaching (MMCI) instructor, the sections of any given two-hour session may feel, at times, very goal driven. These sections titled "Know," "See," and "Do” are interconnected. In particular, it is possible to consider "Do" within "Know," and "See." When an instructor supports in-the-moment experiences that connect new knowledge to current practice, they make the CLASS dimensions more relevant to the educators' daily work. But how can we infuse more “Do” into “Know” and “See?” First, let's re-cap what happens in each section.
In the “Know” section, you introduce the new dimension of focus, and help your educators understand the importance of effective interactions. You share relevant examples as you introduce each of the indicators, and you lead them through the example scenario slides. Before moving onto the guided videos, the educators will know what the indicators are, why they are important, and the developmental impact on the children.
Now it’s time to move onto the guided videos, in which the educators develop their skills for identifying effective interactions. This is the “See” section. The videos are there for participants to not only identify evidence in each indicator but to also recognize how less effective interactions impact children and how they can enhance upon this interactions.
This section focuses on encouraging educators to take action and to implement the strategies they just learned into their everyday teaching practice with more depth, duration, and frequency. Participants will choose an indicator to focus on for the following week, and make concrete next steps on how they increase interactions specific to this indicator.
As you introduce the indicators with examples, consider adding these questions:
As you facilitate effective and less effective videos, try these questions:
The importance of this section is to help build upon the reflection that has started in the "Know" and "See" sections. Our goal is for the participants to choose an indicator to focus on improving, to create some concrete next steps on how they are going to accomplish their goal, to think about the impact on the child due to their intentionality, and, finally, to visualize what successfully attaining this goal would look like.
Let’s look at this in steps from an example from Infant Toddler MMCI:
Another way to help participants visualize their success is to say, “Everyone, close your eyes for 30 seconds and imagine you are in your classroom; what does it look like as you are implementing this goal, and how do the children respond?" If time permits, allow 2-4 minutes for your participants to role-play and act out their indicator of focus! This step also helps them see any challenges that may arise, and they can brainstorm how to overcome these barriers.
Let us know if you have other open-ended reflective questions that you currently use in your MMCI cohorts!
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When I was a teacher, I can remember taking care to intentionally plan differentiated, or individualized, instruction. And, when I was teaching pre-K I added the same level of intentionality to which materials were available in interest areas, and how I approached transitions throughout the day.
While any level of intentionally, specifically in relation to planning, is important -- I missed a critical opportunity in being more intentional in my interactions with the children in my class.
There is always an opportunity for interaction. Some opportunities are easily recognizable: times of play, free choice, centers, small group. We often see teachers engaged in activities alongside children during these times or hear questions being asked. Other opportunities might be a little less obvious. These are the times of your day that you might see as mundane moments that merely require your supervision or monitoring. The times where you’re going through the motions. “I’m doing this thing so I can move on to the next thing.”
In a previous blog, colleague and early childhood environment extraordinaire, Heather Sason, discussed how your classroom environment can help promote effective teacher-child interactions. In this blog, I propose we explore some of the often overlooked times in your day that are ripe for interactions with children and that do promote exploration, learning, and development!
It's not uncommon for teachers in early education to need to strike a balance between following children's leads and sticking to the classroom schedule. We know that intentional teachers are aware of their responsibility to assess student progress, understand skill mastery, and plan accordingly to provide opportunities for children to grow. However, many times, as teachers begin a specific teacher-directed activity, it is unsettling when students begin to veer from the step-by-step plans the teacher has worked hard to implement.
Teacher and coach, Colleen Schmit, will share how teachers can strike the balance between following the lesson plans and giving children freedom of choice and flexibility in the classroom.
As an educator, you’re busy. Your time is being split by competing priorities, from managing students’ needs, meeting your program’s goals, and communicating with parents. While you’re juggling your work, it can be difficult to keep learning about important ways to improve your daily teaching practice. Teachstone is here to help!