CLASS Training: How to Naturally Implement Instructional Support throughout the Head Start Day

As we all know, it’s essential to have high CLASS scores. High scoring classrooms are a great indicator of positive teacher/child interactions that effectively support children’s learning and development. This leads to successful CLASS Reviews as well as best practices in the classroom. Most Head Start programs score lowest in the Instructional Support domain. This is understandable as some of the indicators within Concept Development, Quality of Feedback and Language Modeling are complex.

This hands-on training will address the indicators & behavioral markers under each of the dimensions within Instructional Support. Utilizing the teachers’ daily schedule, we will provide concrete strategies on how to attain high CLASS scores in Instructional Support. This targeted training will focus on ways to implement Instructional Support throughout the day. We will demonstrate how to naturally incorporate high scoring Instructional Support during large group activities, small group activities, center time, transitions & routines, meals… every part of the Head Start day!

This custom designed training will include items such as:

  • Analysis and Reasoning: Learn how to integrate the “how” and “why” of children’s learning.
  • Integration: Learn how to effectively make meaningful connections from new to prior learning.
  • Scaffolding: Learn how to provide assistance, feedback and questioning to assist children in continuing to learn and work at a higher level.
  • Feedback Loops: Learn how to increase language through sustained conversations, comments and follow-up questions in supporting a higher level of insight and comprehension.
  • Repetition & Extension: Learn how to acknowledge and build on each child’s unique ideas and contributions to a lesson or conversation.
  • Self- & Parallel Talk: Learn how to best map both your actions & the children’s actions as a means for language modeling.

The entirety of the training will be framed in terms of the Head Start classroom – including what a “7” looks like for each of the indicators and behavioral markers under Instructional Support. We will offer practice-based strategies to increase CLASS scores in each of these indicators and behavioral markers. We will address best practices as it pertains to teaching behaviors and interactions.

If your program’s scores are lowest in Emotional Support or Classroom Organization, we can focus on that domain instead.

A variety of learning styles will be explored such as videos, role plays, small group activities, pair and share, question and answer sessions, and other interactive exercises. The participants in this training will have many hands-on opportunities to see what high-scoring Instructional Support looks like – as adult learning is best when the participants can see, feel and experience the information that is being presented.

Are you looking for highly interactive CLASS Training: How to Naturally Implement Instructional Support throughout the Head Start Day? Give us a call at (704) 451-3255 or email us at kristinecortina@hsessentials.com.

CLASS Training Specifically Designed for Head Start Teaching Staff

High CLASS scores in each of the domains are essential in Head Start. High scoring classrooms are a great indicator of positive teacher/child interactions as well as effectively supporting children’s learning and development. This leads to successful CLASS Reviews as well as best practices in the classroom.

Our custom designed CLASS training includes specific examples and strategies in terms of the Head Start classroom. We will address best practices as it pertains to teaching behaviors and interactions. This training will address what high scoring domains and dimensions look like and what they don’t look like. It includes a description of the dimensions, indicators and behavioral markers in terms of the Head Start classroom – including what a “7” looks like in each domain.

We offer highly interactive, practice-based CLASS training that includes items such as:

  • How to be responsive to children & encourage child-directed activities;
  • Strategies to maximize learning time & foster children’s problem solving skills;
  • Lessons to expand children’s language;
  • Strategies to manage children’s challenging behaviors;
  • Specific examples of what to say to children to help them think critically.

Effective CLASS training consists of keeping the Head Start teaching staff highly engaged by utilizing a “learning by doing” approach. It’s based on the principles of adult learning which results in high impact learning. This hands-on strategy allows the teachers to take back the information that they learn in the training and implement it in their classrooms. Adult learning is most effective when the participants can see, feel and experience the information that is being presented.

Are you looking for highly interactive & practice-based CLASS training designed specifically for Head Start teaching staff? Give us a call at (704) 451-3255 or email us at kristinecortina@hsessentials.com.

CLASS Training Using the “STAR” Method

Effective CLASS training consists of keeping the participants highly engaged by utilizing a “learning by doing” approach. It’s based on the principles of adult learning, which results in high impact learning. This hands-on strategy allows the teaching staff to take back the information that they learn in the training and implement it in their classrooms. Adult learning is most effective when the participants can see, feel and experience the information that is being presented.

We conduct highly interactive and practice-based CLASS training using the STAR method.

  • Specifics are presented.  Our trainings include specific content regarding the CLASS tool as well as strategies to increase CLASS scores. We share with the participants what CLASS observers will be looking for and what the expectations are regarding CLASS. The training includes a description of the dimensions, indicators and behavioral markers in terms of the Head Start classroom. We will address what high scoring domains and dimensions look like and what they don’t look like. The training will address best practices as it pertains to teaching behaviors and interactions.
  • Take a look.  Our CLASS trainings include opportunities for the participants to view video clips of high-scoring behaviors and low-scoring behaviors. We take each domain & dimension and show videos of what they should look like and should not look like. We will take time to discuss the video clips and talk with the participants about what they saw in the videos and how they can deliver high scoring behaviors in the classroom. The training will include exploring the behavioral markers, including what a “7” looks like in each domain and dimension.
  • Activities for practice.  Our CLASS training consists of keeping the teaching staff engaged by ensuring that the training is highly interactive. In addition to presenting the content, practice-based activities are implemented throughout the training. This strategy allows the teaching staff to have hands-on experiences with the new information in order to facilitate true learning. Adult learning is most effective when the participants can see, feel and experience the information that is being presented.
  • Reflection & Reminders.  In addition to content, videos and activities, the training consists of multiple opportunities for discussion. Small group and large group discussion about the videos and activities allows for active learning. Pair & share as well as question & answer sessions provide the participants with time for reflection. The training will include activities that result in the teaching staff having items to take back to their classrooms as reminders. Some of these items can be posted in the classrooms to remind them of things to ask children that are aligned with high scoring behaviors.

Are you looking for custom designed CLASS Training Using the “STAR” Method? Give us a call at (704) 451-3255 or email us at kristinecortina@hsessentials.com.

CLASS Training to Increase Your Instructional Support Scores

High CLASS scores in each of the domains are a must in Head Start. High scoring classrooms are a great indicator of positive teacher/child interactions as well as effectively supporting children’s learning and development. This leads to successful CLASS Reviews as well as best practices in the classroom.

Most Head Start programs score lowest in the Instructional Support domain.  This is understandable as some of the indicators within Concept Development, Quality of Feedback and Language Modeling are complex.  We offer hands-on, practice-based CLASS training designed to increase instructional support scores.

Effective CLASS training consists of keeping the teaching staff highly engaged by utilizing a “learning by doing” approach. It’s based on the principles of adult learning, which results in high impact learning. This hands-on strategy allows the teachers to take back the information that they learn in the training and implement it in their classrooms. Adult learning is most effective when the participants can see, feel and experience the information that is being presented.

Our CLASS training includes showing video clips that demonstrate the interactions and teaching strategies that you want your teachers to display. We will take each dimension within Instructional Support and show videos of what it should look like and should not look like. We take time to discuss the video clips and talk about what the teaching staff saw and how they can deliver high scoring behaviors in their classrooms.

Our hands-on training includes specific examples and strategies in terms of the Head Start classroom. The training participants will have many opportunities to see what high-scoring Instructional Support look like. A variety of learning styles will be utilized, such as:

  • Small group activities;
  • Video clips;
  • Practice scoring;
  • Pair and share;
  • Question and answer sessions; and
  • Interactive exercises.

Are you looking for highly interactive & practice-based CLASS training? Give us a call at (704) 451-3255 or email us at kristinecortina@hsessentials.com.

Making the Most Out of CLASS Observations

CLASS observations are a critical piece of the puzzle in achieving success in Head Start.  The data that comes from CLASS observations is invaluable… as long as the observations are conducted by objective observers and the CLASS tool is implemented with fidelity.

CLASS observations can provide you with a tremendous amount of data – data to prepare for a successful CLASS Review, data to improve teacher practices, data to make decisions about professional development as well as data to provide mentor coaching services, just to name a few.

We conduct comprehensive CLASS observations that include all of the following items:

  • As outside observers, we have the objectivity needed to observe classrooms without the possibility of bias.  We have English-speaking and bilingual (English/Spanish) observers.
  • We will debrief with each teacher after the observation in order to give them some immediate feedback (strengths & opportunities for improvement).
  • At Essential Elements, we offer the opportunity for your Education Coordinator or Mentor Coach to sit in on the debriefings that we do with teachers – for continuity purposes.
  • We offer the opportunity for your Education Coordinator (or other CLASS-reliable staff person) to join us for dual coding on a couple of classrooms.
  • We will debrief with you (and your Management team if you wish) to discuss the results of the observations.
  • At Essential Elements, we will provide you with CLASS scores, a summary of each classroom observed and a list of program-wide issues that are causing lower CLASS scores as well as recommendations to address and correct those issues.

Are you looking for an outside observer to conduct your CLASS observations & provide you with valuable data? Give us a call at (704) 451-3255 or email us at kristinecortina@hsessentials.com.

Hands-On CLASS Training

Are you looking for CLASS training that is relevant to your Head Start classrooms and that inspires your Head Start teachers? Are you looking for CLASS training that is highly interactive and fully engages your Head Start teachers in practice-based learning?

As you know, it’s important to have and maintain high CLASS scores. High scoring classrooms are a great indicator of positive teacher/child interactions that effectively support children’s learning and development. This leads to successful CLASS Reviews as well as best practices in the classroom.

Effective CLASS training consists of keeping the teachers highly engaged by utilizing a “learning by doing” approach. It’s based on the principles of adult learning, which results in high impact learning. This hands-on strategy allows the teachers to take back the information that they learn in the training and implement it in their classrooms. Adult learning is most effective when the participants can see, feel and experience the information that is being presented.

We offer highly interactive and practice-based CLASS training designed to increase CLASS scores. The training will be custom designed to meet the specific needs of your Head Start program. It can cover all of the domains and dimensions – or it can focus on specific domains or dimensions. This hands-on training will include specific examples and effective strategies in terms of the Head Start classroom. The training participants will have many opportunities to see what high-scoring domains and dimensions look like.

Our CLASS trainings include showing video clips that demonstrate the interactions and teaching strategies that you want your teachers to display. We take each domain and dimension and show videos of what each dimension should look like and should not look like. We take time to discuss the video clips and talk about what the teachers saw and how they can deliver high scoring behaviors in their classrooms.

Are you looking for highly interactive & custom designed CLASS training? Give us a call at (704) 451-3255 or email us at kristinecortina@hsessentials.com.

Conducting Your Program’s CLASS observations: More than Just Scores

How are your CLASS observations going? Are you getting the most out of them that you can? CLASS observations are an important piece of the puzzle to ensure best practices in the classroom. They are also critical in the data collection and analysis process. CLASS data is carefully considered when planning training and mentor coaching. CLASS observations are also important when preparing for a CLASS Review.

When conducting CLASS observations, consider the following:

  • Videotape the CLASS observations. Videos are a great tool to use for mentor coaching. It provides the teachers with real examples of teaching behaviors in the Head Start classroom. It’s a good way to show the teachers their strengths as well as opportunities for improvement.
  • Debrief with each teacher after the observation. Take a few minutes to speak with each teacher following the observation. The teachers will appreciate some immediate feedback. It’s a good time for to reflect on the observation and to build a foundation for future mentor coaching.
  • Write a summary of each classroom in addition to the scores. Document what you saw in the classrooms as it pertains to each of the domains and dimensions. It’s great feedback for the teaching staff and the Head Start Director. It’s also good information to have when providing mentor coaching.
  • Consider custom designed CLASS training after the observations. The observations will provide you with valuable CLASS data. It will show you exactly which dimensions your teaching staff are strong in – and which ones your staff can use additional guidance and support.

We conduct CLASS observations that include all of the items listed above and the points listed below:

  • As outside observers, we have the objectivity needed to observe classrooms without the possibility of bias.
  • We can observe your English-speaking and bilingual classrooms.
  • We offer the opportunity for your Education Coordinator or Mentor Coach to sit in on the debriefings that we do with teachers – for continuity purposes.
  • We offer the opportunity for your Education Coordinator (or other CLASS-reliable staff person) to join us for dual coding on a couple of classrooms.
  • You will receive CLASS scores, classroom summaries and a list of program-wide issues that are causing lower CLASS scores as well as recommendations to address and correct those issues.

Looking for an outside observer to conduct your CLASS observations? Give us a call at (704) 451-3255 or email us at kristinecortina@hsessentials.com.

Practice-Based CLASS Training

As you know, it’s essential to have and maintain high CLASS scores. Having high scoring classrooms is a great indicator of positive teacher/child interactions that effectively support children’s learning and development. This leads to successful CLASS Reviews as well as best practices in the classroom.

Effective CLASS training consists of keeping the participants highly engaged by utilizing a “learning by doing” approach. It’s based on the principles of adult learning, which results in high impact learning. Training participants can then take back the information that they learned and implement it immediately. Adult learning is most effective when the participants can see, feel and experience the information that is being presented. This includes utilizing a variety of learning styles throughout the training.

We provide highly interactive and practice-based CLASS training designed to increase CLASS scores. It will be custom designed to meet the specific needs of your Head Start program. It can cover all of the domains and dimensions – or focus on specific domains or dimensions. You can expect hands-on training that includes specific examples and strategies in terms of the Head Start classroom. The training participants will have many opportunities to see what high-scoring domains and dimensions look like. A variety of learning styles will be explored, such as:

  • Small group activities;
  • Video clips;
  • Practice scoring;
  • Pair and share;
  • Role plays;
  • Question and answer sessions; and
  • Interactive exercises.

Are you looking for practice-based CLASS training to increase your program’s CLASS scores? Give us a call today at (704) 451-3255 or email us at kristinecortina@hsessentials.com.

Considerations When Conducting CLASS Observations

As you know, it’s important to have high scores on your CLASS observations. High CLASS scores correlate with effective teaching practices. In addition, low CLASS scores is the leading cause of programs being placed in Recompetition.

When conducting CLASS observations, consider the following 3 points:

  • Attain buy-in. Talk with your teaching staff about the process prior to the CLASS observations. Discuss the purpose of the observations as well as the plan to provide support to teaching teams after the observations are completed. You’ll secure buy-in when everyone knows what to expect and are informed of the benefits.
  • Provide feedback and mentor coaching. After you complete the observations in each classroom, provide immediate feedback to the teaching team on their strengths and areas for improvement. Follow up with mentor coaching to teaching staff who could benefit from individualized support. Mentor coaching activities can include:
    • Setting goals to work on during the mentor coaching process;
    • Sending video clips to the Teachers to review along with guided questions to answer;
    • Providing video clips to the Mentor Coach that were taken by the teachers in their classrooms. These clips will provide an opportunity for the Mentor Coach to provide feedback;
    • Sending activities to the Teachers to work on and reflect upon;
    • Having phone calls or meetings between the Mentor Coach and Teachers to discuss the video clips and activities.
  • Utilize the results. Analyze the results of the CLASS observations as a part of your programmatic planning. You can utilize the results when reviewing your school readiness plan and in strategic planning. These results are critical when making decisions about the training plan for your teaching staff as well as their professional development plans. They should also drive your decisions as it pertains to classroom instruction, purchasing of supplies and mentor coaching.

Looking for an outside observer to conduct your CLASS observations or long-distance Mentor Coaching? Give us a call at (704) 451-3255 or email us at kristinecortina@hsessentials.com.

Here are my CLASS Scores … Now What?

A client recently asked me, “How do I raise my Instructional Support scores?” You’ve certainly heard a lot about the importance of high CLASS scores. In Head Start, they are the measure of high quality classrooms and are tied to Recompetition. Your staff conducts CLASS observations and the scores are then shared with all. If your program is like most programs, your lowest scores are in the area of instructional support. So now, what can you do to improve those scores?

We’ve found that successful training in this area includes the following 3 points:

Use every moment as a teaching moment.

Training activities should focus on finding teaching opportunities throughout the entire day. Select a well-known story and discuss questions to ask children. Practice skills such as feedback loops as well as repetition and extension by talking through real scenarios in Head Start classrooms.  Intentionality is key here.

Think back and look forward.

Provide teaching staff with CLASS observation notes of one of their classrooms. Be sure to guide the staff through a review of the feedback. Take a look back at what could have been done; and look forward to what can be done. These steps will help your staff to identify and take advantage of teaching moments.

This is a new language.

The dimensions within the instructional support domain are a new language for us all.  Incorporating these skills into daily practice is a process and it takes time.  Specialized training followed up by mentoring and coaching are the first steps.

Have a question about improving your CLASS scores? Give us a call.