Have you ever thought that the CLASS tool seemed subjective? Perhaps you’ve coded with another certified observer and come up with very different scores for the same classroom? Maybe you’ve struggled with the reliability test or CLASS Calibration and felt that it was due to you seeing the classroom in a different light or interpreting certain situations differently? You’re not alone. Many observers have been there.
Concept Development and Quality of Feedback. These dimensions fall under the Instructional Support domain in the Pre-K CLASS measure. They have some similarities, of course—but they are truly distinctive in the ways they play out in the classroom.
In our previous “Real World Examples” post, we focused on Behavior Management. Keeping with the Classroom Organization domain, Productivity is our next dimension of exploration. Looking through the CLASS lens, teachers who are high in productivity have a classroom that work like a well-oiled machine. Everyone is aware of the expectations and how things work in each part of the day. There is little instructional time lost during the day. In real life, we often do not stop to think about what makes a day more or less productive. By being intentional in how we structure our time, we can better understand the benefits of productivity in the classroom.
The CLASS is multi-faceted and complex. It’s no surprise new and old CLASS participants carry around and pass on misconceptions about it. Here are four common misconceptions about CLASS and ways we can address them during and after trainings.
In our previous Behavioral Marker Series post, we focused on the often-misunderstood marker of “Disconnected Negativity.” As a reminder, CLASS behavioral markers are the bulleted lists of concrete examples located under indicators. You will find the indicators listed under each dimension’s face page.
Let’s dive right into our next challenging behavioral marker, “Evaluation.” Evaluation is found under the indicator of “Analysis and Reasoning,” in the dimension of Concept Development.
In our previous “Real World Examples” post, we focused on Regard for Student Perspectives. As we continue our journey through the CLASS manual, today we will move into our next domain, Classroom Organization. Let’s dive right into the dimension of Behavior Management. And speaking of diving, summer is here and temperatures are at an all time high, so I’m sure we are headed to our local community pool to cool off!
In the last "Real World Examples" post, we focused on Teacher Sensitivity. Moving on through the CLASS manual, today we will explore Regard for Student Perspectives, the last dimension in the Emotional Support domain. The English Oxford Dictionary defines the word regard as “pay attention to;” for CLASS, this translates to: “pay attention to student perspectives.” When teachers purposefully plan activities and lessons that incorporate students' ideas and interests and allow them opportunities to talk, the children feel like they have a place and ownership in the classroom. The same rings true in day-to-day life—when we welcome others’ perspectives, there are more opportunities for intentional learning.
If you're like me, you've started to notice that CLASS domains and dimensions are applicable to life even outside the classroom. You start wondering why your siblings aren't giving more regard to your perspective, and you start asking your significant other more open-ended questions.
In the last “Real World Examples” post, we focused on Positive Climate. Moving on through the CLASS manual, today we will explore the dimension of Teacher Sensitivity. When thinking about Teacher Sensitivity, it helps to understand how it plays out in our everyday lives. Throughout any given day, many opportunities present themselves (sometimes the smallest moments) to provide thoughtful and sensitive responses. Supporting those we train to make a connection between everyday experiences and classroom experiences helps make learning the CLASS tool more meaningful and relatable!
Concept Development and Quality of Feedback—these two CLASS dimensions used to elicit a sense of fear in me, and I suspect they do for other early childhood educators, too. The fear came from hearing the average teacher’s scores in these dimensions, confusing the two dimensions, and from knowing how important they are to impacting children’s cognitive development.