Mary-Margaret and Sarah are back to explain more misperceptions of the CLASS tool. The Classroom Organization Domain primarily deals with managing time, behavior, and children's attention. Look out for these common mistakes:
I’m a bit of what some would call a perfectionist. In school, I was devastated if I didn’t receive an A. In the swimming pool or in a regatta, first place was the only option. At work, my colleagues make fun of me and call me “a square” and make fun of me for “wearing a seatbelt” at my desk.
As a Teachstone trainer, I spend most weeks preparing early childhood educators to conduct CLASS observations or to train others to conduct CLASS observations. During our two- or three-day trainings, we cover a lotof material. I have to prepare my trainees to deeply know and understand the CLASS Manual, feel comfortable taking detailed notes while keeping an eye on what is happening in very complex classrooms, and of course, to take the dreaded reliability test.
I hate tests. They make me anxious, they make me sweat, and I think they’re just plain mean. It's funny, then, that my job is about preparing people to take a test. As a CLASS trainer, I’m constantly helping participants overcome test anxiety, think through preparation strategies, and deal with failure (usually followed by success).
As Teachstone’s Production Specialist, I watch a lot of classroom videos to select coding segments for Teachstone’s reliability testing, calibrations, and training materials. It’s rare for me to have the opportunity to do live observation in classrooms, but recently I spent time observing classrooms and thought about the differences between the live- and video-coding experience.
In preschool programs, meals can take place in the classroom or in the cafeteria. The CLASS Manual tells us that meal times are perfectly acceptable times to observe. But, does this hold true across settings? Are meal times in the cafeteria just as observable as meal times in the classroom?
Personal biases can challenge observers assessing the quality of teacher-child interactions with the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). In Assessment in Early Childhood, author Sue Wortham (2005) states that “one cause of observer bias is differences in value systems. It is easy to apply one’s own value system when observing in a school” (pg.114).
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.