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Use Everyday Examples to Break Down Tricky Concept Development Concepts

07 Apr 2016 by Emily Doyle


Carmen is facilitating a CLASS Observation Training and has made sure to explain, in detail, the definition of each CLASS dimension, along with some examples of what these behaviors might look like in a classroom. Her trainees mostly get it. Behaviors like “setting clear expectations” are familiar. Maybe they didn’t always call it “CLASS,” but they all have seen firsthand how important it is to provide clear behavioral expectations in the classroom.

But there are a few CLASS behaviors that are trickier for some of the trainees, mostly because they don’t come as naturally to them and they haven't really thought about them before.

Training Tip:

As a trainer, Carmen could try providing real-world, adult examples that her trainees might be able to relate to.

The charts below provide some ways she might do this using some commonly tricky Concept Development behaviors.  

Dimension: Concept Development
Indicator: Creating
Behavioral Marker: Brainstorming
Everyday Example: Have you ever thrown a birthday party? Before you got started baking the cake and decorating the house, you probably did some brainstorming, listing everything you might need for the party. It might have looked like this:
  • Food/Beverages
  • Invitations
  • Gifts
  • Decorations
  • Music


Dimension:  Concept Development
Indicator: Creating
Behavioral Marker: Planning
Everyday Example: Now imagine you’ve brainstormed and created a list of everything you might need for the party. It’s time to start planning, starting with the invitations—What will they look like? Who will receive an invitation? What will be the date, time, and location?


Dimension: Concept Development
Indicator: Creating
Behavioral Marker: Producing
Everyday Example: Now that you’ve planned the invitation details, you are ready to create it. You design your invitations using materials, images, and text.

 Carmen might also follow up by asking questions to promote further discussion:

  • Consider how brainstorming, planning, and producing worked together. It went from broad (listing what it takes to throw a party) down to the literal creation of invitations. How might a process like this relate to the classroom?
  • Do children have opportunities to build from brainstorming to planning to producing?
  • How might you set up a chance for children to follow similar behaviors?  

What strategies might you use to support your trainees' understanding of these tricky CLASS concepts?

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