Once you have been through CLASS Observation Training, it is hard not to notice interactions everywhere you go! You even start to sort those behaviors into dimensions mentally—at least I know I do! When this happens, it can lead us to our own "ah-ha!" moments when preparing for training and gives us some great examples to use with participants who may be experiencing CLASS for the first time. Being able to connect the tool with a relevant, real world examples helps participants connect new content with something they may have experienced, too!
We want to help add to your collection of examples to use during trainings, and thus the “Real World Examples" series is born. Each post in this series will take a look at one dimension and give real world examples of its indicators. Today we will start by looking at Positive Climate.
The Example: Getting To Know New Neighbors
Consider the process in getting to know new neighbors. It starts by talking in passing and asking how things are going. As you get to know them, perhaps you offer to help them out with a garden chore (peer assistance). As the relationship builds, you begin talking about everything from kids to work to family (social conversation). Soon, you’re planning trips to the park together or even neighborhood barbecues (shared activities) where everyone pitches in and comes together to talk and eat around the picnic table (physical proximity).
The Example: Grocery Store Demonstrations
Think about a trip to the grocery store, when the management thoughtfully places a tasting cart close to the entry. What makes these trips memorable is not just the placement of the tasting cart, but the demonstrator that consistently greets customers. Upon arrival, she greets you with a big smile and says, “Welcome back!” Her enthusiasm draws you in to look at the product on display, and when you approach the table, she is so enthused about what she is serving that you can’t help but take a taste! You leave feeling a bit more cheery, which makes shopping in a busy store more enjoyable.
The Example: Kid’s Soccer Teams
Have you ever experienced children’s sports games, the ones where they are just learning their sport of choice? Take soccer, for example: imagine one team of girls learning the game and trying to find their coordination all at the same time. It's adorable but also a time of great influence for the girls trying to find their way in a new experience. Here, you will often find ample examples of positive communication. You might notice the coach greeting each girl with an enthusiastic, “I’m so glad you are here today!” (verbal affection) and high-fives (physical affection). During a water break, the coach crouches down and tells the team, “I am so proud of how hard you are working today! I know if we work together, we can make some goals” (positive expectations).
The Example: A Visit to the Doctor
Taking a child to the doctor can be a great experience—especially if you have a doctor who respects the child they are working with. Respectful doctors greet the child when they enter the examination room: “Good morning Joe, good morning mom” (using names). They use a warm, calm voice, and always ask for the child’s permission before checking eyes and ears. At the end of the appointment, they thank their patients (respectful language) for coming in for the visit.
By connecting CLASS indicators to your life, CLASS will be more meaningful and relevant! Stay tuned for additional dimensions in this series. What are some of your favorite real-world examples of Positive Climate?
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Moving towards a post-pandemic world, early childhood education is still in a fractured state of recovery. Numerous headlines define the inequitable foundation early childhood system is built on that limits educators’ capacity to thrive and impact children’s lives. Yet demand for early learning remains steadfast as families get back to routines in communities everywhere. How do policymakers start to level the playing field for early childhood programs with equitable policies while increasing access for families in need of high-quality care?
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!
The CLASS® tool’s Instructional Learning Format (ILF) dimension refers to the ways educators enhance engagement. We all know students who are engaged in school regardless of who their teacher is just simply because that is who they are. But, this dimension examines the ways in which educators expand involvement by using a variety of modalities, strategies, and providing hands-on opportunities. This dimension is not about the actual learning that may or may not take place, but rather the “hooks” and methods an educator uses to “set the stage” for learning.