We all want what’s best for our children. But how do we know what’s really best for them? There are hundreds of aspects to measure: nutrition, exercise, curriculum, community involvement...the list could go on.
I recently had the pleasure of spending a Sunday at the NHSAFall Leadership Institute conference in Arlington, Virginia. During a full-day session on deepening understanding of the CLASS system, we took a close look at the Instructional Support domain, while considering strategies to help increase the effectiveness of teacher-child interactions.
Tell me this title doesn’t get your attention: How to Get your Child to Listen? Having this answer is like the magic spell that parents (and teachers) everywhere are looking for. I was excited to see that the author of the original post was none other than our colleague at the University of Virginia, Amanda Williford.
As I began to delve into the results of our first-ever State of CLASS survey data, I thought, “Am I about to be out of a job?”
Immediately I noticed that our users are “doing CLASS” the right way. Not only do they have lots of experience—both in early childhood and with the CLASS tool—but they’ve taken that experience, paired it with what they know to be best practice, and are implementing CLASS just as it was intended: as a tool to measure the effectiveness of classroom interactions and as a way to improve teacher practice and drive children’s learning.
Let's talk today about the CLASS tool being used for infants and toddlers. You may be familiar with the fact that the Infant measure (birth to 18 months) has one domain—Responsive Caregiving— with four dimensions, while the Toddler measure (15-36 months) has two domains—Emotional and Behavioral Support and Engaged Support for Learning—with eight dimensions.
We received an email recently that summed up something that we've been hearing in the field regarding the use of CLASS and classroom set up. This isn't the exact correspondence, but it went a little something like this:
Maintaining your CLASS certification may not be at the top of your to-do list after you’ve attended observation training and passed your first reliability test. You’re likely looking forward to the important work you’ll be doing throughout the year, using your skills as a CLASS observer to make an impact on the quality of education in your area.
This is understandable, given that you won’t be required to recertify for an entire year, and you have a lot to do before that year is up! However, as we all know, a year goes by quicker than you think, and before you know it you’ll be receiving an e-mail reminder from Teachstone: it’s time for your annual CLASS recertification!
Our video bloggers are back to continue their discussion about Instructional Support (did you catch the first video?). This time, Sarah and Mary-Margaret drill down into a common classroom activity—children playing at a water table—to discuss some of the many learning moments that can take place with a teacher's facilitation.