I wish I had a dollar for every time someone asked me to explain what my company does. I get so excited and I start off with something like this: “Oh, we create professional development programs for teachers that are based around this assessment tool called CLASS (the Classroom Assessment Scoring System), which is all about observing how teachers interact with the students in their classrooms. You know, like, are the teachers maintaining a positive climate? Are they really clear in how they want their students to behave?”
. . . and I’ve just gotten a glazed-over look from whomever I'm speaking with. My excitement for CLASS results in too much information being thrown at them way too fast.
Luckily, you can prevent that look with these three free resources to share with your CLASS Observation trainees who are learning about the tool for the first time.
The What is CLASS? info sheet is the essential guide to CLASS. It’s one page, is easy to digest, and answers questions like, “What does CLASS even mean?” and “Where did CLASS come from?” For someone who’s never heard of CLASS or who isn’t interested in an overwhelming amount of research, this resource is ideal. Bonus: this handy guide is now available in Spanish, too!
A one-page guide is great for someone who’s never heard of CLASS, but what if you have a trainee who's also an instructional coach and she's dying for more on the subject? Send her our e-book, Why CLASS? Exploring the Promise of the CLASS. This little book has 27-pages covering topics like brain development in young children, research context for CLASS, and how CLASS improves child outcomes.
I love it especially for all the easy-to-skim charts and quotes worthy of updating my Facebook status: “Did you know that we acquire 85% of our intellect, personality, and skills by age five?!” Good stuff.
Maybe you have a trainee who wants to learn more about CLASS, but they just don’t have time to sit down and read through a 27-page e-book. That’s fine, too. Just send her this 5-minute video called Effective Teacher-Child Interactions. In the time it takes to make a fresh pot of coffee, the video covers the three areas of focus in the pre-K CLASS tool and how it measures quality interactions. Plus, I’m a sucker for any footage of cute kids in the classroom.
Of course there are so many more free resources on our blog, in our webinars, or in the research summaries, but you can save those for later! I’d love to hear your thoughts. What resources do you get excited about? What are we missing from our free resources? Let us know in the comments below!
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When I first learned about CLASS Group Coaching—a training for early childhood professionals about building relationships with children—I was more than a little interested. This, I thought. This is what teaching is all about. It seems to be an obvious concept, but once we dig deeper, we are able to identify the whys and hows of our interactions. CLASS Group Coaching allows us to identify the benefits of our classroom relationships with our students and helps us be intentional in our daily practices. It allows us to utilize each moment we have with our students to deepen our understanding of their perspectives and genuinely connect with them as people. It helps us see the world from their view and guide their learning in a way that is relevant to them.
As a CLASS Group Coaching (MMCI) instructor, the sections of any given two-hour session may feel, at times, very goal driven. These sections titled "Know," "See," and "Do” are interconnected. In particular, it is possible to consider "Do" within "Know," and "See." When an instructor supports in-the-moment experiences that connect new knowledge to current practice, they make the CLASS dimensions more relevant to the educators' daily work. But how can we infuse more “Do” into “Know” and “See?” First, let's re-cap what happens in each section.
I have a confession to make. Recently, I used vacation time to stay home and watch Season 6 of The Walking Dead. I know, I know. How could I have let myself miss a whole season? Oh, and I feel a little bad about taking the time off from work too, but this was very nearly an emergency! I mean it was only weeks before Season 7 of the season premiere. I had to do something. Don’t judge.
While I was watching, I had the strangest feeling of deja vu. I felt like I had actually walked through a herd of zombies, but couldn’t quite place why it felt so familiar. Then it hit me—I had unknowingly created zombie-like participants during at least two of my previous CLASS trainings.