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The Environment Rating Scales: Strategies on how to raise quality and scores A training on how scoring works and ways to easily increase scores.

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Presentation on theme: "The Environment Rating Scales: Strategies on how to raise quality and scores A training on how scoring works and ways to easily increase scores."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Environment Rating Scales: Strategies on how to raise quality and scores A training on how scoring works and ways to easily increase scores

2 Finding out who is here Teachers and directors Family child care providers Parents and other family members, like grandparents Early childhood professionals Others?

3 Session Objectives Identify similar items across the Environment Rating Scales Introduce Environment Rating Scales (ERS) -How scoring works using the ERS -What factors go into determining scores Identify common challenges Discuss strategies to improve scores

4 What is Quality? The concept of “quality” in early childhood education settings has gained attention over the last few years because current research shows that the quality of care makes a difference on children’s social and academic growth and development Different ideas exist about how quality is best measured in Pre-K settings

5 Classroom “Quality” University of VA CASTL, Grace Funk presentation 12/2007 What? Who? Where? STRUCTURE Curriculum Standards How? PROCESS Implementation Relationships Children’s Academic & Social Development Academic & Social Interactions Materials Training and Education

6 Environment Rating Scales Overview Scales are differentiated by: – Age of children in the setting – Type of setting Why so many scales? – Expectations for environment differ greatly

7 ERS currently used in Minnesota’s Quality Rating System Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale (used in center-based classrooms with children birth-29 months) Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (used in center-based classrooms serving children 30 months to Kindergarten entry) Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale (used in FCC homes serving children birth to kindergarten entry in MN, but FCCERS tool can be used through schoolage)

8 ERS has Similar Items 30 items cross all scales – Similar items are focused on: Space and Furnishings Personal Care Routines Activities Interaction Program Structure Parents and staff

9 What we should see in a setting: Enough space for children to move around easily Child-sized furniture No areas of classroom which are difficult to supervise Enough materials so all children are able to choose Low, open shelving and containers which open at children’s level Smooth transitions from one activity to the next Enough time for children to explore materials and activities on their own Conversations in which children can express themselves and learn

10 Overview of the ERS Structure The ERS framework includes: – The Scale to be used (ITERS, ECERS, or FCCERS) – Broad subscales (e.g., Space & Furnishings, Activities, or Interaction) – Items (Individual areas assessed; e.g., Art, Free Play, or Nature/Science) – Indicators (statements which require a yes/no answer; determines the score for the item)

11 Overview of the ERS Structure Today we will mostly be concerned with items and indicators Please watch the following video about scoring

12 Overview of the ERS Structure: Scoring Activity Pretend for a moment that you are a teacher in a preschool classroom. You believe that a strength of your program is the interactions between the teachers and children. With a few people around you, make a list of what you would see in a typical day in your classroom.

13 Overview of the ERS Structure: Scoring Activity What were a few of the things from your list?

14 Overview of the ERS Structure: Scoring Activity Since your classroom serves children ages 3-5 in a center, you choose the ECERS Looking at the Interactions subscale, you decide to focus on Staff-child interactions (item #32) You answer yes or no to the indicators, using the notes in the manual and the All-About Book to clarify any terms or requirements

15 Overview of the ERS Structure: Scoring Activity The examples given in the ERS indicators include: 1.1: Staff members are not responsive to or not involved with children 1.2: Interactions are not pleasant 1.3: Physical contact used principally for control

16 Overview of the ERS Structure: Scoring Activity 3.1: Staff usually respond in a warm, supportive manner 3.2: Few, if any, unpleasant interactions

17 Overview of the ERS Structure: Scoring Activity 5.1: Staff show warmth through appropriate physical contact 5.2: Staff show respect for children 5.3: Staff respond sympathetically to children who are upset, hurt, or angry

18 Overview of the ERS Structure: Scoring Activity 7.1: Staff seem to enjoy being with the children 7.2: Staff encourage the mutual respect between children and adults

19 Overview of the ERS Structure: Scoring The indicators scored indicate that you have received a score of 3 for Staff-Child Interactions How would you react to a score of 3? What does a score of 3 mean?

20 Overview of the ERS Structure: Scoring According to the ERS: 1 = Inadequate 3 = Minimal 5 = Good 7 = Excellent

21 Overview of the ERS Process A trained, reliable observer spends 3 hours observing in a classroom or home Observations focus on the environment, hygiene, language, materials, interactions, and program structure

22 Top 5 ways to increase your quality Materials are accessible to children for much of the day Learning areas which engage children Understand your challenges as well as your strengths to strategize the best outcomes Interactions are pleasant and positive And……. wash your hands!

23 Materials accessible “much of the day” “Much of the day” is when materials are accessible to children except during routines like meals/snacks, toileting/diapering, and nap/rest 20 minutes of leeway Definition of ‘accessible’

24 Much of the day vs. Substantial Portion of the Day ITERS/FCCERS “much of the day” ECERS “substantial portion of the day” SPOD is 1/3 of center’s operating hours – Open from 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. – SPOD would be 4 hours for this classroom

25 Much of the Day and Substantial Portion of the Day Why is it important for materials to be available for much of the day/substantial portion of the day? Discuss with a few people around you

26 Much of the Day and Substantial Portion of the Day What were some of the reasons you discussed?

27 Much of the Day and Substantial Portion of the Day Materials are great, but not if children can never access them Ensures children are not in lengthy routines, group times, or waiting for any length of time Prevents behavioral problems because children are actively involved in their play More sensitive teachers because they are thinking of children’s needs first

28 Learning Areas Set Up to Engage Children When learning areas (such as the dramatic play area, sand/water table, writing center, etc.) are set up to engage children, what do they look like? Discuss with a few people around you

29 Learning Areas Set Up to Engage Children What were a few things discussed?

30 Learning Areas Set Up to Engage Children Low, open shelves for containers Containers which open at the children’s level (i.e., no lids, toy boxes which children cannot get in easily, etc.) Variety of materials which stimulate learning Materials rotated for greater variety of experiences

31 Understanding Challenges and Strengths Is it ever okay to not get a 7 on an item? Yes! Example: ECERS item 25 looks for a variety of Nature/Science materials, but you don’t have the space to accommodate many items Is it ever okay to get a 1 on an item? Yes! Example: Playground isn’t considered ‘safe’ by the ITERS, but changing it would be costly

32 Understanding Challenges and Strengths By building on areas of strength, those items over which you have less control will be balanced out and scores will increase where possible Knowing areas of common issues will help to maintain scores on those items

33 Interactions are Pleasant and Positive While materials, curriculum, and schedule are important, interactions play a large part in what and how children learn How can teachers, staff, and providers ensure interactions are pleasant and positive? Discuss with those around you

34 Interactions are Pleasant and Positive Ensure tone of voice is warm and pleasant Minimize interactions that are unpleasant, such as when children are hurt, sad, or angry Find opportunities to use physical contact in a positive way Use supervision as an opportunity to have pleasant interactions with children Help children to see adults as a resource

35 Handwashing Several items on each of the Scales require frequent and adequate handwashing Adequate handwashing means: Wetting hands with water, applying soap, washing vigorously for about 10 seconds, rinsing thoroughly, and drying hands with a paper towel

36 Handwashing Hands should be washed: -Upon arrival -Before and after water play -After sand or messy play (painting, etc.) -After touching contaminated items or bodily fluids -Before and after meals -After using the bathroom (adults too!)

37 Activity Look at the pictures with a few people around you Decide what elements of quality are seen or not seen

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44 Contact CEED abouters.html Kerry Gershone:


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