At this time, we do not have data to validate a specific number of materials that are proven to be meaningfully different from each other. We found that numbers created arbitrary cutoffs that forced decisions that might not otherwise make sense (e.g., “failed” to get a score of 3 because of 1 fewer item than needed, when other features related to the item would clearly earn a 3). When we field tested scoring both ways, we found that using specific numbers of materials made raters less reliable. With experience, coaches will begin to get a holistic feel for the different rating categories.
This depends on the type of item and whether more than one child can use it at a time. There should be enough of popular items or those needing to be washed frequently for several children to play with at a time. For example, several children might use a bucket of blocks or a tunnel to crawl through, but only one child can use a rattle or other toy instrument at a time. Children may fight over items such as riding toys and balls if there is only one. Teething toys need to be taken out of circulation for washing after a child has used it.
Yes, if a particular toy or other item fits the description of more than one checklist item, you may credit both items. For example, a book about feelings may also show photos of diverse families, so it may be used as evidence when rating both “Materials to Promote Emotional Awareness” and “Representations of Diversity” items.
Homemade materials count as long as they are safe and age-appropriate! For example, a large cardboard box to crawl through can count as a gross motor play item. Homemade sensory bottles are scored the same as purchased ones. It would also be appropriate to give credit for clean, empty food boxes that children can build with or use for pretend play.
CIRCLE Progress Monitoring System, User Management, Collaborative Tools, Texas Rising Star
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