Teachstone has long been an advocate of using CLASS in a variety of educational settings. We're proud to have two case studies about family child care (FCC) settings!
Family child care often presents different challenges for teachers, observers, and admins/directors. FCC providers usually have mixed-age groups, they might involve multiple adults being present in the same room, and they sometimes serve lower numbers of children. A few years ago we published a white paper on FCC homes, Using the CLASS Measure in Family Child Care Homes. In it, we discussed these unique challenges that observers face and recommendations for addressing them.
Our Ventura County Case Study and First 5 Santa Clara County Case Study both discuss how myTeachstone was used in FCC settings to support teachers in their classrooms and to improve teacher-child interactions. myTeachstone is especially effective as it allows coaches to give personalized professional development recommendations to teachers. Teachers are able to learn based on their own individual needs and they get to see what effective teacher-child interactions look like in action.
Our coaches carry a very heavy load. myTeachstone has been a great tool because you can reach a lot of teachers
-Sloane Burt, Operations Specialist, Early Childhood Programs, Ventura County Office of Education
Both counties have had promising outcomes after implementing program such as myTeachstone, CLASS Group Coaching, and A CLASS Primer for Teachers. Specifically, in Ventura County, 97% of the FCC providers said that the myTeachstone work, “influenced their teaching practices and interactions with children, providing new ideas and strategies to implement." Not to mention, the county's CLASS tool scores beat national averages in every domain!
If you run a family child care center and want to learn how CLASS can help your teachers and students, shoot us an email. We love talking to different programs and helping them figure out how they can improve teacher-student interactions and student outcomes!
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Originally published October 18, 2021
There is always an opportunity for interaction. Some opportunities are easily recognizable: times of play, free choice, centers, small group. We often see teachers engaged in activities alongside children during these times or hear questions being asked. Other opportunities might be a little less obvious. These are the times of your day that you might see as mundane moments that merely require your supervision or monitoring. The times where you’re going through the motions. “I’m doing this thing so I can move on to the next thing.”
In a previous blog, colleague and early childhood environment extraordinaire, Heather Sason, discussed how your classroom environment can help promote effective teacher-child interactions. In this blog, I propose we explore some of the often overlooked times in your day that are ripe for interactions with children and that do promote exploration, learning, and development!
Originally September 15, 2021
How do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? I posed that question to a random selection of contacts via text message. What did I discover? Everyone in my sample group spreads on the PB first, then the J. There are a variety of ways though to apply the jelly, but in my random group, the jelly always comes second.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches make me think about Behavior Guidance, a dimension in the CLASS® toddler observation tool. Especially the first two indicators of behavior guidance: proactive and supporting positive behavior. Proactive is the peanut butter! It goes first. That layer of peanut butter is the base for the jelly, which promotes positive behavior.
Originally Published April 8, 2021
The foundations for language and literacy success are built in the early years. Trajectories for reading proficiency in third grade and beyond are set in birth to five early learning environments. Knowing this, preschool and early elementary educators work hard to provide literacy-rich environments and interactions, but the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into the plans of even the most veteran teachers. These disruptions have changed learning across the board, including in the critical area of early literacy.
Can we talk about structure? When CLASS® entered my life, I was 20 years into my career in the field of early childhood education. What I remember most about that initial training, besides the nervousness about an impending reliability test, was a sense of relief. Structure, including state and program standards, curriculum, materials in the classroom, and approaches to childcare and pedagogy, had dominated my working hours. CLASS was a lot to learn, but for me, it was a breath of fresh air. Observing with CLASS meant I could set aside my obsession with all things structural, which encompassed my thoughts every time I walked into an early childhood classroom.