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!
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The idea of being observed while performing a job can make anyone feel a little nervous. But understanding what CLASS observations are really about can help teachers relax and approach their classrooms with the same skill and attention they normally do.
Marnetta Larrimer, host of Impacting the Classroom, is today’s guest. She’s an early education professional and trainer who is currently a Professional Services Manager for Teachstone. In her conversation with Kate, she’s going to talk about what a CLASS observation is all about. Listen to the episode to hear what she has to say about what she would be doing while observing a classroom, who she’s paying attention to, and what happens after an observation. The answers you hear will help you feel more confident the next time you’re being observed.
Louisiana is leading in the way in making improvements in the lives of their students and teachers. In this episode, Marnetta meets with Nasha Patel, managing director of Watershed Advisors, and Sarintha Stricklin, early education consultant for the Jefferson Network. They discuss how leaders at the state and local level in Louisiana used CLASS® to build their QRIS and improve quality.
New research from the nonprofit, LENA, suggests that babies born since the pandemic started are talking less and experiencing fewer conversational turns than babies born before COVID. This supports other studies that show that COVID-era babies are experiencing developmental delays and may impact their school readiness as as they get older. So, what does this mean for educators? And, how can we support these infants and toddlers with their language development?
IIn our recent webinar, Making the Move to CLASS® 2nd Edition, we shared how programs and individuals can begin to experience and use the enhanced Pre-K–3rd CLASS tool. Certified CLASS observers play a critical role in helping every child reach their full potential.
Without reliable and valid data on the quality of educator-child interactions, programs and educators would not have the actionable insights they need to make continuous quality improvements in the areas that matter the most for children.