As the Production Specialist on Teachstone’s Content Innovation Team, one of my job responsibilities is to decide how we use the classroom footage we film throughout the country in our online programs and observer certification testing. I’ve been certified on Infant, Toddler, and Pre-K for awhile, since most of Teachstone’s current products are aimed at birth-to-five users.
At Teachstone, we spend so much time focused on early childhood that it's easy to lose track of all the great work being done in the upper grades. For this reason, my colleague, Joe Pierce, and Jessica, our blog moderator, asked me to review some of the research on interactions in upper elementary and secondary classrooms. There are recent findings that point to the importance of teacher-student interactions, even for students in high school. Here are some key points, along with links to articles in case you want to dig deeper.
UE? CLASS-S? You may not be aware that there are CLASS observation tools and supports for use at the Upper Elementary and Secondary School levels. I’ve facilitated quite a few trainings at these levels and am excited to see them being used more widely. Most people I meet in the process find the upper-level tools aligned with school-wide initiatives, best practices, and their own sense of what good teaching looks like.
Entering elementary school is a big step for children, a true rite of passage. I can still remember my very first day of school, how excited I was to join my big sister on the bus, how much I loved the little containers of milk and my teacher’s bouffant hairdo! I made a best friend that day—and was confounded by the “K-I-S-S-I-N-G” song kids sang on the bus. By the time I hit third grade, though, I knew what to expect. I was a real “big kid” (and old enough to know not to call myself one).
The CLASS tool measures interactions in classrooms serving infants through high school students. That’s quite a span—and also why there are six different tools tailored to each age level. So what links these different tools? That’s where a fancy-pants term comes in: heterotypic continuity.