I’m very excited to go to the Zero to Three National Training Institute next week in Texas. I’ve never been before, and I hear that it’s an energizing and inspiring conference. I’m especially excited for Nathan Fox’s plenary session on the developing brain. Dr. Fox is an amazing researcher who studies temperament and individual differences in infancy.
On Friday, I’ll be speaking about the Infant and Toddler CLASS measures with my good friend, Christine Hughes. The Infant CLASS measure, set for release in April, focuses on the interactions that are most important for babies from birth to 18 months. Unlike other age levels, the Infant CLASS tool has a single domain that the authors call Responsive Caregiving. The four dimensions are Relational Climate, Teacher Sensitivity, Facilitated Exploration, and Early Language Support. Together, they capture how caregivers provide babies with a secure base for exploration, respond to their needs in sensitive ways, and encourage early language development.
The Toddler CLASS measure covers children from 15 months to 36 months old. It focuses on how teachers help children navigate the choppy waters of toddlerhood—establishing some degree of autonomy, learning to manage their behavior, and beginning to make connections between things that they learn. I’ve been helping my own two-year-old through some of these challenges, so I have a renewed appreciation for teachers who do it well!
Christine Hughes will be taking the conversation a step farther, talking about how Miami-Dade County in Florida has implemented the CLASS in their QRIS. She has a lot of practical experience and advice to share.
We hope to see you there!
Zero to Three National Training Institute
Friday, Dec. 13, 10:15 a.m. –11:45 a.m.
If you’re interested in staying up-to-date with the release of the Infant CLASS measure and related professional development and resources, please fill out this form.
In the wake of the widespread civil unrest after the killing of George Floyd, the national conversation about the inequities in the educational opportunities provided white students and students of color has been amplified. Due to racial and socioeconomic segregation, Black students, and other students of color, are more likely to attend poorly funded schools. EdBuild, a non-profit focused on fair and equitable school funding, reports that high poverty school districts that predominantly enroll children of color receive on average, $1,600 less per student than the national average. By their calculations, there is a $23,000,000,000 gap between funding for schools that primarily serve high poverty Black students and those that predominantly serve white students. Schools that predominantly serve high poverty white students, only receive $1440 less per student (EdBuild, 2019).
Teachers everywhere have yet another new challenge—supporting students and their families from home. We know that high-quality interactions, including interesting, hands-on experiences that are facilitated and supported with feedback, scaffolding, and higher-order thinking questions, best support young students' learning. So how do you help your students' caregivers offer the same high-quality interactions while at home? Well, Rachel Giannini has some super fun ideas to share! The following are ideas she shared during her session at our recent InterAct CLASS Summit.
As an infant classroom teacher, you know that talking to babies is important. For instance, you tell the infants in your care what they are looking at (“You see the new block basket on the shelf!”). You label objects (“You have the red ball!”). And you describe events that take place in the classroom (“The tray just fell off the table! That scared you.”). These are all examples of talking with babies. Why, then, can it be so challenging to do this consistently in the classroom?
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.