Brace yourself. I’m about to bring up a topic that strikes fear in the hearts of thousands of early childhood professionals—the CLASS reliability test! But as the list below demonstrates, it doesn’t have to be so scary.
Test your knowledge by answering fact or fiction to each statement below!
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!
Let’s skip past all the reasons reliability on the CLASS measure is super important. Your CLASS trainees already know that improving teaching starts with gathering fair and valid observation data—hence the dreaded CLASS reliability test, to prove their coding skills are on point.
I recently blogged about why recertification is important (bottom line: it’s your yearly chance to test yourself against master-coded videos). But what about between recertifications? How do you ensure that you stay reliable throughout the year?
Let’s skip past all the reasons reliability on the CLASS measure is super important. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been to a CLASS training and already know that improving teaching starts with gathering fair and valid observation data—hence the dreaded CLASS reliability test, to prove your coding skills are on point.
A CLASS Observation Training is an interactive, content-packed experience, and even the most enthusiastic participants may find it difficult to think clearly as they gather their notebooks to head home at the end of day two. Of course we understand how busy everyone is leading up to a training, so none of the below is technically required of you to attend the training. However, a few minutes of preparation can give you a framework for the CLASS knowledge you’re about to gain, enriching the experience for you and everyone around you!
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.
Yesterday, we spoke with a trainee who had attended two different CLASS 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. The trainee wanted to know which is correct.
When I first certified as a CLASS Affiliate Trainer, I had little experience using the tool. Like many, I had completed the Observation Training, studied for my reliability test, and breathed a huge sigh of relief when I became reliable. When my boss asked me to attend the Train-the-Trainer Program, I readily agreed. After all, I knew the CLASS tool and had experience training on a variety of topics related to early childhood. Of course I could be a CLASS trainer! With my first training scheduled, I spent many hours studying the materials, practicing the PowerPoint, and watching the videos. I thought I was good to go.