A program of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota and Lakes & Prairies Community Action Partnership in eastern North Dakota

Classroom Assessment and Scoring System (CLASS)

Early childhood programs are complex. Every day, in the midst of this complexity, adults make hundreds of decisions and engage in hundreds of interactions that directly impact children.

The CLASS observation tool breaks down this complexity and focuses on interacting effectively with children, no matter what setting or subject.

Data from CLASS observations are used to support adults’ unique professional development needs, set program-wide goals, and shape system-wide reform at the local, state, and national levels. Based on research from the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and studied in thousands of classrooms nationwide, the CLASS tool:
• Focuses on effective teaching
• Helps adults recognize and understand the power
  of their interactions with children
• Aligns with professional development tools
• Works across age levels and subjects (toddler through 3rd grade
  currently available; infant under development)

Children in programs with higher CLASS scores achieve at higher levels than their peers in programs with lower CLASS scores (Hamre, Goffin, & Kraft-Sayre, 2009). Observations rely on categorizing interactions within the CLASS framework. The CLASS tool organizes adult-child interactions into three domains:
• Emotional Support
• Classroom Organization
• Instructional Support

Within each of these domains, interactions are further organized into ten dimensions. A score ranging from 1 (minimally characteristic) to 7 (highly characteristic) is given for each dimension and represents the extent to which that dimension is characteristic of that classroom. Dimension examples include:
• Positive Climate – focuses on how adults interact with children to develop warm relationships that promote children’s enjoyment of the classroom community.
• Concept Development – focuses on how adults interact with children to promote higher-order thinking and cognition.

Learn more about the Classroom Assessment and Scoring System by visiting Teachstone