I recently completed a Train-The-Trainer program with an enthusiastic and well-prepared group of CLASS observers. Yet, despite their status as certified CLASS observers, several of them were identifying basic conversational exchanges as feedback loops.
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.
It's true, school cafeterias have a bad rap. Experiences in cafeterias have contributed to some low CLASS scores. For example, one observer was scoring a group of preschoolers in a public school cafeteria where all the children were required to be silent during lunch. One can hardly score high on Language Modeling or other CLASS dimensions when the children are asked to sit in silence!
The science is in on New Year’s resolutions. According to a recent article by Bob Sulilvan in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, about half of us will resolve to change something in 2016, and about half of those resolvers will have given up by Valentine’s Day (that makes sense to me, I mean, the chocolate alone!). In spite of those odds, I love a good couple of New Year’s resolutions. Setting meaningful CLASS goals for the rest of your school or program year don’t have to be overwhelming, in fact, the simpler the better!
I have noticed that many of my participants have a difficult time understanding the indicator of creating in Concept Development. Recently, one of my participants shared the following coding scenario with me to ask how I thought this activity should be considered in the coding process:
During small group time, the teacher provided the children with crayons and paper and tells them to draw a picture of their families. The children draw the pictures and when they are done, the teacher asks the children to tell her about their pictures-- whom did they draw? The children tell her that they have included their moms, dads, siblings, cousins, pets, and one student even put the teacher in her picture.
Watch as our CLASS experts discuss some of the common misconceptions of the Instructional Support domain in the pre-K CLASS tool. You'll get clarity on what concept development really means, why not all conversations are feedback loops, and why some people mistakenly think children must initiate a quality of feedback conversation.
In last month’s post, An Exception to Scoring Productivity, we talked about exceptions to the general coding protocol of needing to see consistent evidence of all of the indicators across the observation cycle to assign a high range score. We noted that, if you do not see a transition during an observation, it’s OK to not take that indicator into account when scoring Productivity. Instead, score the three remaining indicators. This blog post is going to take a look at some other exceptions that can be a little sticky for trainees.
Yesterday, we spoke with a trainee who had attended two different CLASS Observation Trainings and heard conflicting information related to scoring the indicator of transitions under Productivity. His first trainer stated that, if a transition does not take place during an observation cycle, then the indicator should be disregarded. The second trainer indicated that if a transition is not observed that the indicator should be scored in the low range. The trainee wanted to know which is correct.
The commentary on the TNVPK evaluation continues. Study authors Farran and Lipsey wrote a pushback piece addressing critics’ claims that the study findings are due to the poor quality of TNVPK programs. They also laud the TNVPK program as being among the nation’s highest quality models. Now we’re on my favorite topic: quality.
Preschool programs have been shown by numerous studies to be effective in increasing children’s social and academic achievement by kindergarten entry, so why do we continue to question the value and worthiness of these investments in critical early learning experiences, particularly for more disadvantaged children? Similarly, why would we want to think of preschool as an inoculation? Do we really think we can dose a vulnerable four-year old with nine months of decent early education and voilà they read like the kids from the fast lane? It’s like we think pre-k “pours in” skills to the container that is a four-year old, and those skills are permanently there, they won’t leak out. We treat this as if the years before preschool and then again the years between preschool and third grade don’t matter.