For Preschool

The Code for Interactive Recording of Children's Learning TabletEnvironments (CIRCLE) is a mobile app that allows for observation of preschool classrooms using a tablet or smart phone. Collected data are uploaded to a computer for processing, including scoring and reporting. CIRCLE is designed to reflect the ecology and activity systems of the preschool classroom experience. Scores produced include the percentage of occurrence of specific events (see the The CIRCLE Taxonomy) from the perspective of a focus child.

CIRCLE is designed to capture information on the ecological and behavioral features of the preschool classroom that can be used to inform intervention decision making for teachers and students. One such intervention is Literacy 3D which focuses on increasing Teacher Literacy Focus as measured by the CIRCLE without making changes to curriculum or classroom routines.  Recent peer-reviewed reports have established the effectiveness of Literacy 3D, and use of CIRCLE data in Teacher Coaching.  Among them are:

  • Greenwood, C. R., Abbott, M., Beecher, C., Atwater, J., & Petersen, S. (2016). Development, validation, and evaluation of literacy 3D: A package supporting tier 1 preschool literacy instruction implementation and intervention. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 1-13. doi:10.1177/0271121416652103, online at

CIRCLE provides data that address the following illustrative questions.

  • What percentage of time children are exposed to teacher literacy focus (e.g., letters, words, sounds, etc.)? What is the emphasis placed on specific literacy content?
  • To what extent are children engaged in literacy behaviors (e.g., writing, talking, etc.)?
  • To what extent is a child with an IEP actually included in instruction and social activities with the teacher and peers?
  • What inappropriate behaviors of a focal child are observed and in what settings/situations?

CIRCLE’s ecobehavioral taxonomy of recorded events includes:

  • Classroom context consists of the structure of the activity such as large group, story time or meal/snack time.  Within a context, the content of the instruction can also be identified (numeracy, comprehension, vocabulary, etc.).
  • Teacher behaviors are also recorded, for example reading, asking questions, or listening to a child’s response, etc.).  Other aspects of the teacher, for example who the teacher is addressing at the moment, the whole group or the only the child, can be recorded.
  • Child behaviors are also recorded, for example, ADD Here. CIRCLE  observers can also record the child’s social partner(s).  This can help teachers and service providers identify patterns or circumstances that are either beneficial or related to a lack of positive social or academic engagement for the target child.

The following documents present a more detailed description about the CIRCLE application:

The CIRCLE application package consists of:

  • The CIRCLE APK (Android application package file)
  • The CIRCLE Database (Microsoft Access file)
  • The CIRCLE Report (Microsoft Excel file)
  • The CIRCLE Application Manual (PDF file)
  • Training (fees may be negotiated)
  • Technical Support

An EBASS Usage Agreement (see SAMPLE) is required for those who wish to download and use these tools.  Please contact us directly, if you are interested in learning more about it.