The LENA Grow program uses data from LENA’s “talk pedometer” technology, weekly coaching sessions, and easy-to-use materials to help teachers build more talk into daily classroom activities. The key to the program's effectiveness is using a practice-based approach to help early childhood educators increase the number of "conversational turns" they have with each child in the classroom. 

LENA Grow feedback cycle

Each week in the LENA Grow program consists of:

  1. A LENA Day, when the children wear their LENA devices and the classroom's audio environment is analyzed.
  2. A coaching session, when a coach helps each teacher assess how their LENA day went, teachers set goals, and together they identify strategies to make the next LENA Day even better.
  3. Practice days, between the coaching and the next LENA Day, where teachers practice they've learned and work toward achieving their goal. 

The coaching sessions are important for the teachers, of course, but they also provide a novel approach for the coaches themselves. LENA Grow is designed for teachers to make their own insights and to arrive at their own "a-ha" moments. In addition, a lot of the heavy lifting is done by the curriculum materials, which are available in both English and Spanish. That means coaches have more freedom to personalize their approaches for each teacher and to keep the learning experience active.

"I’ve been coaching a long time," said Kathy Cestaro, a coach with the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County, Florida. "To have a different direction, to have it be so data-driven, has been just a different approach for me. It’s been really exciting."

 


Video: How LENA Grow works 

 

 

What a coaching session looks like

Reviewing LENA Reports
There will always be new data from the most recent LENA Day to review at each coaching session. Reports help begin strengths-based conversations about what educators’ real-life classroom days are like, along with the experiences and behaviors of individual children: 
coach teacher session_20220228-01

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Coaching for increased interaction
After reviewing the reports, coaches share techniques for increasing quality interaction in the room. 
 
The 14 Talking Tips are simple, research-based strategies for increasing talk throughout the day. 
 
Grow 3 CS posters
 
Conversation Starters are colorful posters with suggestions on how to increase interaction during daily care routines like outdoor play. These helpful reminders can be posted near where the activity usually takes place, like next to a changing table or classroom door. Each double-sided poster features ideas specific to infants and toddlers on one side and ideas for preschool-aged children on the other.  
 

 

 
Setting goals

Each coaching session ends with a discussion of goals for the next LENA Day. Teachers set their own goals based on their personal interests and desired areas of focus. Self-directed goal setting encourages reflection and ownership over their own professional development.

At the next coaching session, the cycle continues: teachers review the data from their most recent LENA Day, reflect on whether they met their goals, learn new strategies for increasing talk, and set new goals for their next LENA Day.

 


Want to learn more?

If you are interested in bringing LENA Grow to your community, we'd love to learn more about your work.

Our team is available to answer any questions big or small. 

Schedule a call   or   Send us an email

 

We also invite you to take the LENA Program Readiness Assessment, an important first step to bringing LENA Grow to your community.