We all know that Concept Development captures how teachers promote children’s higher-order thinking skills. We can define the indicators and give examples of the behavioral markers. We can identify when teachers are using types of interactions. We can even help teachers take an engaging lesson plan and find some ways to incorporate effective Concept Development into the activity.
Several times in the past few years, I’ve had conversations with colleagues about teachers at the high end of the CLASS scale. It’s very rare to see a teacher score in the high range across multiple domains, and especially in Instructional Support. It’s a bit more common to see a teacher who gets 6s and 7s in Emotional Support and Classroom Organization, but low/mid or mid-range scores in Instructional Support.
Carmen is an education coordinator mentoring a preschool teacher, Brittany. Through the course of their year working together, Carmen has explained, in detail, the definition of each CLASS dimension, along with some examples of what these behaviors might look like in a classroom. Brittany mostly gets it. Behaviors like “setting clear expectations” are familiar. Maybe she didn’t always call it “CLASS,” but Brittany has seen firsthand how important it is to provide clear behavioral expectations in her three years as a teacher.
Recently, I attended the NHSA conference in Washington DC, and if you’re like myself and many educators that attend conferences, you want to mingle and network with other educators. I’m always curious to ask these top three questions to fellow attendees when mingling:
I had the pleasure of presenting a session on the CLASS at a recent conference. Before beginning, I was doing my usual checks to be sure that everything was ready, that participants were getting signed in, and that no one was roaming the hallway trying to locate the session. As I stood near the doorway, two teachers approached and inquired about the session saying, “Will you be explaining how we do CLASS?”
In an environment where data is becoming more prevalent and influential in the decision-making process of programming, funding, professional development and career decisions, it is important to maintain a balance between valuation and conversation.
Editor's Note: In November 2013, Teachstone attended NAEYC's annual conference. One presentation stood out more than others—a research project investigating the use of CLASS and The Project Approach. A veteran Head Start teacher told true classroom stories about how his class changed while implementing CLASS Instructional Support within the Project Approach framework. Teachstone recently reconnected with the researchers leading the study to check in on its progress. This blog series, written by guest blogger Carol Bolz and her colleagues, tells the story of this project and recounts key classroom anecdotes that highlight the powerful pairing of the Project Approach implementation bolstered by effective CLASS interactions.
We love hearing how organizations are using CLASS data to improve their teaching practices and interactions— and there isn't a one-size-fits-all model. In this post Teresa Oster, one of our ambassadors, explains how her colleagues from Head Start of Northeastern Nevada (HSNN) used CLASS data and their own coaching techniques to make some great improvements in their teacher-child interactions and CLASS scores.
We’re happy to introduce a new video blog series for coaches: What You Need to Know If You’re New to the CLASS. During this series, we’ll introduce some strategies for coaching teachers that can be used if you’re new to the CLASS, are just curious, or if you’re a veteran CLASS user and just want a refresher. Enjoy!
Joe is fascinated by insects, and Liam is really into baseball. When teaching the concept of patterns, we may consider how patterns are demonstrated in baseball and the insect world to hook both Joe and Liam into learning. We frequently differentiate instruction based on students’ interests, and, as educators, we recognize the need to individualize learning opportunities for children in our classrooms. We may also differentiate based on learning styles.