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Teachstone Blog

Are You Clear on Clarity of Learning Objectives?

18 May 2017

I’d like you to take a minute and think about the answers to the following questions:

  • Why do you write out a shopping list before you go to the grocery store each week?
  • Why do you scramble to do 3 loads of laundry on a Sunday night just before the week begins?
  • Why do you spend time writing out lesson plans to submit to your Director at the beginning of the month?
  • What is the purpose of balancing your checkbook each month?
Topics: Reliability & Certification, Teacher Tips, Pre-K Read More

How Does Roughhousing Impact Behavior Management Scores?

01 Feb 2017

Dear Master Coders,

I recently heard about risk competency and big body play at a local teaching conference. I have spent time considering this in relation to our Head Start program. One of the questions I have been asking myself is how some play that might be considered "roughhousing" will impact CLASS scores in Behavior Management. Behaviors that typically appear aggressive (pushing, hitting, building a "sword" out of markers and then using it to inadvertently hit another child) lower the score in this dimension. Do I change the way I view this interaction in terms of CLASS? Does this put me at risk for no longer being reliable? What advice do you have regarding this? 

Thanks!

Topics: Reliability & Certification, Pre-K Read More

Teacher-Student Interactions Are the Best Measure of Early Education Quality

24 Jan 2017

What is quality in early education classrooms, and how can we make sure that more children—especially those from low-income families—experience it? Our own and others’ research shows that classroom interactions between teachers and their students provide the strongest indicators of quality.

Topics: Research, Pre-K, Leadership and Policy Read More

3 Rules for Nurturing Creative Children

13 Jan 2017

 A couple weeks ago, a friend shared this short video below from The Atlantic with me. Turns out, this video was everything I love about good media: it was concise, included simple takeaways, and gave me something to think about (long after the video ended).

Topics: Pre-K Read More

The Complete Guide to Incorporating Regard for Student Perspectives at Circle Time

22 Dec 2016

Understanding how to effectively employ Regard for Student Perspectives while maintaining a constructive learning environment can be challenging. In the following paragraphs the fictional preschool professional, Mrs. Jones, will illustrate the indicators of Regard for Student Perspectives at circle time. I’ll then discuss her exemplary examples:

Topics: Teacher Tips, Pre-K, Observation Training Read More

The Best Way to Incorporate More Concept Development in Your Lessons

12 Dec 2016

As you know, CLASS is a tool that captures teacher-student interactions. When it comes to the dimension “Concept Development” the focus is on the method the teacher uses to provide instruction in the classroom. While the interactions are what get measured with CLASS, as a teacher you can plan for Concept Development to be present throughout your lessons.

Let’s look closer at how to do this. 

Topics: Teacher Tips, Pre-K 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

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

How Do You Code Teacher Sensitivity if You Don’t See Any Problems?

20 Oct 2016

We recently received an email from an observer who had just completed his K-3 recertification and had some difficulty with Teacher Sensitivity. He stated that he was uncertain how to code the indicator of Addresses Proble­­ms if the students do not appear to have difficulties. He wondered if he needed to be more attentive to minor signs of awareness and responsiveness. If you've ever wondered that yourself or have had a trainee ask you that question, read on to see our response. 

Topics: K-3, Pre-K, Observation Training Read More

Prepare Children (and Their Parents) For Kindergarten

17 Oct 2016

 

 

Early educators are prepared for transitions in a child’s life. Whether it’s introducing them to solid foods, teaching them how to paint within the lines, or even toilet training, it’s important to help children ease into new responsibilities by instilling confidence in them. One of the more significant transitions is from a child care setting to kindergarten. As children get closer to five years of age, it’s vital to prepare them for a smooth transition into kindergarten, but depending on where they are coming from a family child care, their own homes, or a center-based settingtheir transition might be more noticeable and/or challenging.

What is most important to consider when applying transitional tips to your daily work as early educators is the relationship you have with the children and their families. That way, you and the parents can work together to make children feel at as their environment changes and as they no longer see familiar faces.

Topics: Teacher Tips, K-3, Pre-K Read More
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