Editor’s Note: There are several ways to approach coding in a mixed-age setting. Teachstone’s official recommendation when observing in multi-age settings is to alternate between two age levels in order to capture the experiences of most children and produce independent scores between the age levels. That being said, we are interested in hearing how other organizations approach observations. Which approach you choose depends on lots of factors, like the purpose of the observation, and time or money constraints.
So, you’re dual certified on the Infant and Toddler CLASS tools. Congrats! Not only can you observe in Infant classrooms (birth to 18 months) and Toddler classrooms (15 to 36 months), but you can also observe in classrooms that contain a mix of the two age levels! Observing in mixed age classrooms may seem daunting, but I’m here to tell you that it’s completely doable. If you’re preparing to do Infant/Toddler CLASS observations, read on. This blog presents solutions to three of the most common challenges dual Infant/Toddler observers face when observing in a mixed-age setting.
When we’re looking at Quality of Feedback, we’re really looking at what children know, understand, and do—and how teachers respond in ways that build from there to expand their learning, understanding, and persistence.
Whether you’re a new CLASS observer or you’ve observed in hundreds of classrooms, you may wonder about or struggle with where to position yourself in the classroom during an observation. There’s no straight answer to this conundrum since every classroom and each day is different, but it’s all about finding a delicate balance between being as non-obtrusive as possible (we at Teachstone like to call this being “a fly on the wall”) and still being able to see and hear what’s going on.
In my last post, I shared some of my personal struggles to master the CLASS measure and promised to take you on a “deeper dive” into some of the trickier CLASS concepts I encountered in my CLASS journey.
We’ll start with conversations—what we might consider the vehicle for all of the other Instructional Support dimensions.
We are excited to have Sara Beach guest blog for us today. As a former Teachstone Staff Trainer, she frequently presented on topics such as Helping Teachers with the Instructional Supports, through active, adult-learning approaches. She has been an Infant-toddler teacher, center director, education specialist, coach-mentor, and early childhood college instructor, and her highest honor has been supporting teachers.