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A training on how scoring works and ways to easily increase scores

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1 A training on how scoring works and ways to easily increase scores
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? -Ask audience to raise their hands based on which group(s) they are in (can be in more than one!) -Ask who was not covered based on groups provided and ask where they work and/or what they do

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 -Comment on quality in early childhood -We will learn today about one way to measure quality in Pre-K settings; there are also others (give examples of other Pre-K tools, such as the CLASS)

5 Children’s Academic & Social Development
Classroom “Quality” University of VA CASTL, Grace Funk presentation 12/2007 STRUCTURE PROCESS What? Who? Where? How? Curriculum Implementation Standards Relationships Materials Training and Education Academic & Social Interactions Give CREDIT to slide from UVA (Grace Funk, 12/2007) Describe structure versus process Both important: Structure = things like curriculum that is in place, the standards driving instruction, the materials, and teacher factors such as how long they have been in the profession and what their education and training has been. Process = more of implementation side. E.g., how are materials and the curriculum implemented? What are the relationships like between adults and children in the room, and among children? What are the social and academic interactions like, and what is the effect on the children? People used to think both the structure and process affected children equally, but research showed that the structure actually flows through the process. An example might help. Have you ever had an experience where you were using a new curriculum which was supposed to be the greatest material available, but it felt a little stiff, or awkward to use in teaching? In those first days of using the new materials, what do you think was the effect on the children? Did they get everything possible they could out of the curriculum? How about after you became more familiar with the materials? Were you able to work with the materials in different ways to really help children understand and learn from the content? An example on the other side might help too. Have you ever had a really interactive, and rich experience with a child or group of children which wasn’t necessarily planned, but you and the children were really connected in a shared learning experience? What was the effect of that interaction on the children? The ERS picks up on both of these types of experiences. For example, Activities subscale looks at the materials available and the amount of time that they are available, but also looks at how they are used in the classroom. It looks at relationships, both in terms of the interactions that occur and in the number and type of interactions that make up the relationships. Research has shown that it is this process piece that has the largest effect on children’s outcomes. We are not saying that a curriculum and standards don’t matter. They do. But it is the quality of the interactions and the implementation of curricula and standards that has the strongest impact on how children learn. Children’s Academic & Social Development

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 SACERS is also available; however, MN is currently only using the tools appropriate for children before kindergarten entry Scales are differentiated by the age of the children and the type of setting in which they are enrolled. Clearly, infants and preschoolers are very different. What one would expect to see in an infant classroom would vary greatly from what would be expected in a Pre-K classroom.

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) Hold up copies of each manual so participants can see that all are part of the same “family” of tools

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) The lens you choose to view a classroom determines what you will see, and observers who have been trained to use ERS in a reliable way spend a long time learning how to use the ERS ‘lens’ when they are observing classrooms. You may have other observations completed in your classroom that look for different things. When an observer uses ERS, he/she is looking for indicators measured by the tool (classroom is considered ‘accessible’ for those with disabilities – may require the use of the All-About book to know what ‘accessible’ means in terms of the ERS) So let’s get to know the basic structure of the tool: The ERS is focused on 7 broad areas, or subscales, and 30-some individual items. Each item is broken down into indicators. Our training today focuses on becoming acquainted with these 7 subscales and becoming familiar with the types of things picked up by the tool. You will not be able to know the tool very well by the end of this training, but you will be able to know the basic structure (e.g., “it has 7 big areas, and separate items all linked to children’s learning”) and you will hopefully be able to name a subscale or two that you think are working well in your classroom, and a subscale or two you think is an area for growth and professional development.

11 Overview of the ERS Structure
Today we will mostly be concerned with items and indicators Please watch the following video about scoring Play ITERS video Part 1 Introduction from 4 minutes 29 seconds to 6 minutes 2 seconds.

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? Give opportunity for each group to say 1-2 items from their list, depending on the size of the group

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 Taken from page 61 of the ECERS guidebook

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 Taken from page 61 of the ECERS guidebook

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 Taken from page 61 of the ECERS guidebook

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 Taken from page 61 of the ECERS guidebook

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 May want to teach them a bit of language here, so what happens if you get a 4? What is that called?

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 Overview of ‘reliable’ observer: Someone who has shown their ability to score the scale within 1 point of an anchor on 85% of the items in a given scale.

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







44 Contact CEED http://www. cehd. umn. edu/ceed http://www. cehd. umn
Contact CEED abouters.html Kerry Gershone:

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