In last month’s blog post in our family child care (FCC) series, we looked at the challenge of maintaining objectivity. This month’s we'll look at another challenge CLASS observers face while using the measure in a family child care setting: coding when there are multiple adults.
FCC Challenge #4: Multiple Adults
There may be the provider and a helper or possibly a family member that is present During one or more of the cycles, there may be a help or family member present in addition to the care provider. What do you do when a family member or other adult is not really providing care but is in the room chatting with the provider or is having a meal in the kitchen while the children are eating?
Figuring out how you'll manage this as an observer takes a little forethought. Let’s start with some basic questions that will help you develop a plan for just such a scenario:
Once you make these important decisions, you can proceed to collect the data that will help you weigh the effectiveness of the interactions. From there, form your professional development or support for the providers to improve outcomes for children.
As always, I urge you to take time to read Chapter Two of your CLASS manual, where you'll find great answers to just about any coding question you may have.
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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.