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Children sit next to each other on a classroom carpet. One child has her hand extended, thumb raised.

Coach's
Column

Amanda Gooch

Amanda Gooch

November 1, 2022

It was incredible seeing those of you who were able to join us at Childcare Resources’ most recent professional development day featuring Mr. Alan Guttman formally from the Johns Hopkins University School of Education. Mr. Guttman has come to us with more than forty years of service children and families including twenty years leading Head Start programs.


For those of you that weren’t able to join us, our training focused on the importance of play and engagement in learning. We also discussed emergent literacy and nurturing pre-reading and pre-writing in early childhood education. He showed us factors that contribute to and support literacy. We enjoyed his in-depth discussions on the benefits of recognizing levels of engagement in young children. He emphasized paths we take as educators towards high quality engagement when creating learning environments that support frequent and long periods of engagement. 


One of my favorite parts of the training was our introduction to the R.A. McWilliam’s Scale for Teachers’ Assessment of Routines Engagement (STARE). As we observed videos of teacher-child interactions, we rated the amount of time the child is engaged with adults, peers, and materials. We also rated the complexity of the child's engagement. This was an incredible insight for all of us as educators in our path to high quality engagement. Mr. Guttman reviewed the Classroom Assessment Scoring Systems’ (CLASS) dimension Regard to Child Perspectives. This dimension captures the degree to which the teacher’s interactions with children and classroom activities emphasize children’s interests, motivations, and points of view and encourage children’s responsibility and independence.


 As your Early Childhood Education Coach I am here to help you focus on child engagement and work as a collaborative team to enhance your practice. We will focus on ways in which to create child led activities, be flexible in our plans within those activities, and make an effort to emphasize children’s interests which facilitates learning. These elements of the classroom will become more valuable to us as we use them in engaging children and providing learning opportunities for effective teaching.


 

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