Did you know that CLASS is now being used in more than 30 countries across the globe? Research studies worldwide have already shown that CLASS has been validated in varying cultural contexts. We are excited to launch an internationally-focused blog on CLASS use around the world called Country Spotlight. If you live in a country outside the United States and would like to submit a blog about your CLASS implementation, please contact Lorena Sernett, Teachstone's international account manager.
When I was in middle school and high school, I frustrated teachers at every turn. I had plenty of ability but wasn’t motivated to put forth much effort and was the source of constant behavioral issues. I would trade stories with my friends, and it was clear that everyone knew I was as big a problem in the classroom. I always wondered, "Why do I never receive a referral when my friends often do?" I now realize the answer may have been in the mirror the whole time: my skin tone.
I recently completed a Train-The-Trainer program with an enthusiastic and well-prepared group of CLASS observers. Yet, despite their status as certified CLASS observers, several of them were identifying basic conversational exchanges as feedback loops.
It's true, school cafeterias have a bad rap. Experiences in cafeterias have contributed to some low CLASS scores. For example, one observer was scoring a group of preschoolers in a public school cafeteria where all the children were required to be silent during lunch. One can hardly score high on Language Modeling or other CLASS dimensions when the children are asked to sit in silence!
I have noticed that many of my participants have a difficult time understanding the indicator of creating in Concept Development. Recently, one of my participants shared the following coding scenario with me to ask how I thought this activity should be considered in the coding process:
During small group time, the teacher provided the children with crayons and paper and tells them to draw a picture of their families. The children draw the pictures and when they are done, the teacher asks the children to tell her about their pictures-- whom did they draw? The children tell her that they have included their moms, dads, siblings, cousins, pets, and one student even put the teacher in her picture.
In last month’s post, An Exception to Scoring Productivity, we talked about exceptions to the general coding protocol of needing to see consistent evidence of all of the indicators across the observation cycle to assign a high range score. We noted that, if you do not see a transition during an observation, it’s OK to not take that indicator into account when scoring Productivity. Instead, score the three remaining indicators. This blog post is going to take a look at some other exceptions that can be a little sticky for trainees.
As the Production Specialist on Teachstone’s Content Innovation Team, one of my job responsibilities is to decide how we use the classroom footage we film throughout the country in our online programs and observer certification testing. I’ve been certified on Infant, Toddler, and Pre-K for awhile, since most of Teachstone’s current products are aimed at birth-to-five users.
At Teachstone, we spend so much time focused on early childhood that it's easy to lose track of all the great work being done in the upper grades. For this reason, my colleague, Joe Pierce, and Jessica, our blog moderator, asked me to review some of the research on interactions in upper elementary and secondary classrooms. There are recent findings that point to the importance of teacher-student interactions, even for students in high school. Here are some key points, along with links to articles in case you want to dig deeper.
UE? CLASS-S? You may not be aware that there are CLASS observation tools and supports for use at the Upper Elementary and Secondary School levels. I’ve facilitated quite a few trainings at these levels and am excited to see them being used more widely. Most people I meet in the process find the upper-level tools aligned with school-wide initiatives, best practices, and their own sense of what good teaching looks like.