I was quite taken aback recently when an intern completing her first semester with a group of young toddlers told me, “My goal when I started the semester was to use more self-talk and parallel talk, but the toddlers are now talking, so that’s no longer needed.”
How to respond? Clearly she assumed that the self- and parallel talk supported language for very young children, and the effectiveness ended there. But that's not really true.
Understanding how to effectively employ Regard for Student Perspectives while maintaining a constructive learning environment can be challenging. In the following paragraphs the fictional preschool professional, Mrs. Jones, will illustrate the indicators of Regard for Student Perspectives at circle time. I’ll then discuss her exemplary examples:
As you know, CLASS is a tool that captures teacher-student interactions. When it comes to the dimension “Concept Development” the focus is on the method the teacher uses to provide instruction in the classroom. While the interactions are what get measured with CLASS, as a teacher you can plan for Concept Development to be present throughout your lessons.
I could sit for hours watching a group of young children play. And I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to do so as an observer in toddler and pre-K classrooms around the country. The freedom with which children explore and use materials, test and experiment, and practice new strategies is fascinating and educational to watch.
A great transition is one that is efficient, quick, has clear teacher follow through, and all the while, students know what to do and what is expected. Oh! And it must have learning opportunities embedded within.
With all of that, is it possible to complete a smooth transition and still incorporate Instructional Support (IS)? Let’s explore the possibilities!
First of all, “rote” learning is not the enemy; there is a time and place for everything. It’s necessary to memorize addresses, PINs, birthdays, the speech for your award, and so much more. It’s when we stop and only use rote learning that we are doing a disservice to our children. Rote learning does not promote creative thinking, original thought, problem solving, or create new brain pathways. More importantly, if a teacher relies on a rote approach to teaching she may inadvertently turn children off to learning. Children then disengage from the activity and behavior challenges result.
Early educators are prepared for transitions in a child’s life. Whether it’s introducing them to solid foods, teaching them how to paint within the lines, or even toilet training, it’s important to help children ease into new responsibilities by instilling confidence in them. One of the more significant transitions is from a child care setting to kindergarten. As children get closer to five years of age, it’s vital toprepare them for a smooth transition into kindergarten, but depending on where they are coming from— a family child care, their own homes, or a center-based setting—their transition might be more noticeable and/or challenging.
We often hear people asking about conducting CLASS observations during mealtimes. What kinds of interactions can be observed while children are just eating? Turns out—there are many examples of high-quality interactions during breakfast or lunch. Let's focus first on the Emotional Support CLASS domain.
If you’ve ever been to a CLASS training, you’ve probably seen a graph showing a sort of “state of the union” for CLASS scores, the range of scores in each domain that we typically see in pre-K to third grade classrooms across the country. The peak of the curve for Emotional Support sits proudly right between mid and high quality. Classroom Organization is not too far behind it, on the high side of mid. But the Instructional Support curve looks like a sad little turtle in the race to high quality, smack dab in the low range. You can see this in the graph below which shows the average CLASS scores in Head Start pre-K classrooms.
I started out thinking I would write about how CLASS can help children who have challenging behavior, and then the thought occurred: that while yes indeed, I am helping children with difficult behaviors, I’m actually using CLASS to take away the focus from the child having the challenging behavior and instead, placing it on the teacher who sets the environment for the child.