1. Teaching and Learning

1C. Instructional Quality

Brief Overview of Standard: Daily activities and interactions within early learning and development programs are indicators that a program is providing an environment and experiences that are safe, healthy and stimulating for children. The fundamental elements of quality teaching and learning practice include well-organized and managed learning environments, responsive social and emotional supports, and use of curricula materials and meaningful instructional interactions to facilitate children’s thinking and skill development.

 

Informational Resources

Core Qualities for Successful Early Childhood Education Research Report and Toolkit
http://www.nclr.org/index.php/issues_and_programs/education/ece/core_qualities_for_successful_early_childhood_education_programs/
The National Council of La Raza developed Core Qualities for Successful ECE Programs as a resource for programs serving young Latino and dual language learner children. The purpose is to facilitate children’s successful acquisition of school readiness skills and support children to become culturally and linguistically competent members of their families and communities.

Environment Rating Scales Tip Sheets
http://mccormickcenter.nl.edu/tag/scale-tips-pages

Lead Learn Excel Online Library
http://www.theounce.org/library/LLE-Homepage
As part of the State of Illinois Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant, the Ounce of Prevention Fund has launched the Lead Learn Excel Online Library. This new destination features a collection of high-quality tools and resources designed to support early learning leaders in partnering with teachers to achieve instructional excellence in their schools and centers. The resources featured were curated in partnership with the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership.

Preparing Young Latino Children for School Success: Best Practices in Language Instruction

http://www.nclr.org/index.php/publications/preparing_young_latino_children_for_school_sucess_best_practices_in_language_instruction
Language development is the key to literacy development and is often a predictor of a child’s academic success. For young Latino children, many of whom are English language learners (ELLs), early learning programs can provide significant language supports to help them prepare for school success. Children acquiring English as a second language, however, have a very distinct path toward language development, and instructional strategies must be carefully designed to ensure ELLs are acquiring language at a developmentally appropriate pace. This policy brief highlights the importance of intentional language instruction for Hispanic children, particularly ELLs, highlights a best practice in the field, and concludes with policy recommendations for bringing successful programs to scale.

 

Specific Tools - Program Assessment

Environment Rating Scales  
www.ersi.info
The Environment Rating Scales (ERS) are designed to assess process quality in an early childhood care group. Process quality consists of the various interactions that go on in a classroom between staff and children, staff, parents, and other adults, among the children themselves, and the interactions children have with the many materials and activities in the environment, as well as those features, such as space, schedule and materials that support these interactions. 

There are four environment rating scales, each designed for a different segment of the early childhood field.(ECERS-R) The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised: The revised ECERS contains inclusive and culturally sensitive indicators for many items as well as items on Interaction (staff-child, child-child and discipline), Curriculum (nature/science and math/number) Health & Safety and Parents & Staff.  Scale consists of 43 items organized into 7 subscales:

• Space and Furnishings

• Personal Care Routines

• Language-Reasoning

• Activities

• Interactions

• Program Structure

• Parents and Staff

(ITERS-R) The Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale-Revised:  Curriculum and program items in the revised ITERS include: Helping children understand language; Nature/science; Use of TV, video and computer; Free play; and Group play activities. Items have been added to make the scale more inclusive and culturally sensitive, to address professional needs of staff, and to reflect the latest health and safety information.  Scale consists of  39 items organized into 7 subscales:

• Space and Furnishings

• Personal Care Routines

• Language-Reasoning

• Activities

• Interactions

• Program Structure

• Parents and Staff

(FCCERS-R) The Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale-Revised

(SACERS) The School-Age Care Environment Rating Scale

 

Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)
http://teachstone.com/the-class-system/
The Classroom Assessment Scoring System™ (CLASS™) is an observational tool that provides a common lens and language focused on what matters—the classroom interactions that boost student learning.  Data from CLASS™ observations are used to support teachers’ unique professional development needs, set school-wide goals, and shape system-wide reform at the local, state, and national levels.

  • Infant CLASS (Birth to 18 months), Domain: Responsive Caregiving
  • Toddler CLASS (15 to 36 months), Domains: Emotional and Behavioral Support; Engaged Support for Learning
  • Pre-K CLASS (3 to 5 year olds): Domains: Emotional Support; Classroom Organization; Instructional Support


The Inclusive Classroom Profile (ICP)
http://npdci.fpg.unc.edu/resources/inclusive-classroom-profile-handout
A structured observation rating scale designed to assess the quality of provisions and daily practices that support the developmental needs of children with disabilities in early childhood settings. It was developed in response to a lack of validated instruments designed specifically to measure the quality of inclusive practices.
Author(s): Elena Soukakou
Publication Date: May, 2012