My last blog post kicked off a series of posts about how to use the CLASS™ measure in family child care (FCC) settings. Ginny Vitiello, Research and Evaluation Director at Teachstone, recently published a white paper on this very subject. From research, discussion with, and observations of FCC providers, we’ve identified four basic challenges to observers who are more familiar with center-based care.
FCC Challenge #1: Coding Across Multiple Age Levels
FCC homes include children across multiple age levels, anywhere from birth to age five, and often including school-aged children in wraparound care—care for children before and after school and days when school is not in session. The CLASS observation tool has specific measures for each of those ages: Infant (birth–18 months); Toddler (15–36 months); and Pre-K (3–5 years). When we see multiple age groups in a single setting, the question becomes: “Which tool should I use?"
Here are a few recommendations:
Based on my experience using the CLASS in FCCs, I would adhere to this last recommendation. This is particularly helpful as there is some data to show us that there can be variation in terms of effectiveness for different ages. The other benefit is that the cycle chosen can be adjusted based on the age levels represented., to capture the experience of each age group. Use of different age levels through several cycles, helps to gather enough data to see the level of interactions in the setting.
In February, I’ll examine the second challenge Ginny mentioned in her white paper: the low number of children served in FCC settings and how to establish a protocol to meet this challenge. Before then, I hope you’ll check out the white paper and let us know what challenges you encounter when observing in FCC homes. I’d love to see your comments in the Leave a Reply section below!
Receive timely updates delivered straight to your inbox.
Originally published Jan 23, 2020 by Allie Kallmann
A few years into teaching early childhood, I applied to work at a school that does incredible work in the local community. I was thrilled to get an interview but realized very quickly that, even though the environment was supportive and the students were wonderful young people, I was much too intimidated to work there.
Originally published December 22, 2016
Regard for Student Perspectives as defined by CLASS® is“the degree to which the teacher’s interactions with students and classroom activities place an emphasis on students’ interests, motivations, and points of view and encourage student responsibility and autonomy.” This often looks like following children's lead so that you can anticipate their needs during an activity.
Understanding how to effectively employ CLASS's 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:
Strong social-emotional skills are critical for student success in school and later in life. To that end, schools across the United States are implementing universal school based social-emotional learning programs (USB SEL). A wealth of research has examined the impact of such programs on students. However, little is known about how these interventions affect racially minoritized students and students with disabilities, as they have often been excluded from analyses.
We were excited to come across this study that reviews the literature on this topic and even more excited when the lead author, Dr. Christine Cipriano from Yale Medical Center, agreed to answer some of our questions about her work!
Educators learning about CLASS® are asked to narrate their actions and sportscast their children’s experiences in order to support and encourage healthy language development. Hearing this, many may wonder, “Will people think I’m weird if I start talking to myself in the classroom?”
The answer is no. Self- and parallel talk are beneficial strategies for educators to engage in because they strengthen language rich environments and enhance vocabulary development, all while supporting effective relationship building between teachers and children.