Classrooms are complex. To say the least.
One child arrives late, another needs to clean up after a painting, and some children are having a dispute in the block area—all while a teacher is trying to get a small group engaged in a letter-learning activity.
It’s just not possible for that teacher to give equal focus and attention to every demand in every given moment. So what’s a teacher to do?
Part of becoming an expert teacher is to break through the complexity and learn how to focus attention on the truly important demands, and to make the most of those moments. Teachers can gain the insights they need to focus on what matters in different ways (online courses, trainings, peer learning), but there’s something uniquely powerful about seeing effective teaching moments as they occur. And that’s where videos come in.
Research has shown that by watching videos of other teachers in action, teachers can make real, lasting changes in their own practice. The more time teachers spent watching videos of exemplary teaching moments, the more their own classroom interactions improved.
Given how helpful classroom footage is for teachers, we recommend that professional development programs include the use of video to focus teachers’ professional lens. Video can be used as a self study tool, as an example during a conference, or as the basis for discussion between colleagues. That’s why we put so much effort into maintaining our ever-growing CLASS Video Library and why video is at the heart of myTeachstone, Teachstone’s new online subscription service.
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When I was a teacher, I can remember taking care to intentionally plan differentiated, or individualized, instruction. And, when I was teaching pre-K I added the same level of intentionality to which materials were available in interest areas, and how I approached transitions throughout the day.
While any level of intentionally, specifically in relation to planning, is important -- I missed a critical opportunity in being more intentional in my interactions with the children in my class.
Teachstone, pioneering developer of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS®) included in 23 states' Quality Rating and Improvement Systems and used by Head Start programs nationwide, today announced it partnered with Kaplan Early Learning Company to release toolkits to support the literacy skills of all children, including dual-language learners, in the classroom and at home. The CLASS® Literacy Support Kit and the Literacy At-Home Kit, designed for children in prekindergarten and kindergarten, are now available for purchase and shipping.
From coast to coast and around the globe, there’s a common thread that unites teachers: wanting to be better for their students.
Even when things are tough in education, educators are striving to be their best. Their dedication to equitable, ongoing development is what inspires Teachstone’s work. It will take a systematic, data-driven approach to reach the day when all children are afforded excellent education and care. And, we are enthusiastic partners in getting to that goal.
Hey there, Teachstone community! My name is Stephanie Lewandowski, and I am the Senior Product Manager for myTeachstone. Before joining Teachstone, I built digital products for education companies, financial institutions, and government agencies. I’m passionate about delivering impactful products, particularly the tools that make the everyday work of teaching and learning a little bit easier. As a parent, and as a product manager, I know how invaluable early childhood education is, and I’m inspired by the teachers in both my personal and professional life.