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Instruction

three kids and a teacher playing on the playgroundInstructional practices refer to specialized, intentional, and systematic teaching and learning opportunities that support the education and development of young children, especially those at risk for or diagnosed with disabilities. These practices are aligned with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF) in the following domains: Approaches to Learning, Social and Emotional Development, and Language and Communication. Learn more about recommended practices related to instruction from the Division for Early Childhood (DEC).

The resources below are organized based on their level of impact for learning and are only a sampling of the resources available on these practices.

Knowledge Awareness Level

Resources that fall into this category provide basic information and do not include activities that draw participants in to respond or reflect. They include archived webinars and checklists.

15-minute Inclusion In-service Overview
Read a brief overview of the 15-minute in-service resources designed to help Head Start programs include children with disabilities in their classroom and other programs.

Adult Support
This in-service suite presents adult support strategies that can be used to increase the participation of children who need more support or challenge. Links to supporting materials are provided, including tips, tools, and resources for teachers, supervisors, and trainers.

Classroom Visuals and Supports
Find an array of visual supports teachers can to use to increase a child’s understanding and engagement in the classroom. The visuals include daily schedule pictures, problem-solving cues, classroom jobs, behavior expectations, and more. These can be downloaded and printed.

Curriculum Modifications: An Introduction
Watch this brief overview of curriculum modifications. Learn the eight different kinds of modifications staff can make to meet individual needs of the children in the classroom. Explore the supporting materials to use the tips and tools in your daily practices.

Head Start Center for Inclusion
Learn more about the Head Start Center for Inclusion, which provides Head Start teaching staff with chances to learn innovative and research-based practices to improve their work with children who have disabilities.

Instruction Checklists and Practice Guides for Practitioners and Families
Learn more about using the DEC Recommended Practices on instruction. Use the checklists to learn about naturalistic, embedded, and systematic instructional practices. Practice Guides include Following the Child's Lead, Getting Specific, and Learning Comes Naturally.

Invisible Support
Watch this in-service suite for strategies and examples for using invisible supports to increase the participation of children who need more support or challenge. Links to supporting materials are provided, including tips, tools, and resources for teachers, supervisors, and trainers.

Peer Support
Discover strategies for using peer support to increase the participation of children who need more support or challenge. See examples of what the strategies look like in the classroom. Supporting materials include tips for teachers and supervisors, helpful resources, and in-service suite materials for trainers.

Policy Statement on Expulsion and Suspension Policies in Early Childhood Settings
This policy statement from HHS and ED provides research-based evidence and guidance on preventing and limiting expulsion and suspension practices in early childhood settings. Find resources to improve practices that can support children's social and emotional development.

Policy Statement on Supporting the Development of Children Who Are DLLs in Early Childhood Programs
Find recommendations from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education (ED) for promoting the development and learning of all young DLL children, birth to age 5, including those with disabilities. This resource provides specific guidance for identifying and supporting children with disabilities who are DLLs. It also offers general strategies and practices that can be adapted to meet the individualized needs of children with disabilities who are DLLs and their families.

Putting It Into Action
Review strategies to create plans for using curriculum modifications to help children participate in the classroom. Links to supporting materials are provided, including an activity matrix for modifications, teacher modification worksheet and evaluation forms, helpful resources, and tools for supervisors.

Social Stories
Find out what social stories are and how they can be used to support children who have difficulty with an activity, routine, or specific situation. The 11 one-page social stories can be downloaded, printed out, and customized for teachers and parents to use.

Supporting Children with Disabilities Who Are Also Dual Language Learners
Listen as Dr. Amy Santos and Dr. Lillian Durand discuss high-quality screening practices used to determine if a dual language learner (DLL) needs further evaluation. Discover teaching practices that promote classroom engagement for and additional resources about children who are DLLs.

Knowledge Acquisition Level

Resources in this category provide information and include activities that draw participants in to respond or reflect.

Activity Matrix: Organizing Learning Throughout the Day
This in-service suite introduces the Activity Matrix as an effective tool teachers can use to organize learning opportunities for children who need additional support during daily classroom activities and routines. Examples of how the matrix can be used with children’s individual learning goals are shared. Supporting materials for teachers, supervisors, and trainers include tips, tools, and helpful resources.

Break It Down: Turning Goals into Everyday Teaching Opportunities
Watch a short video that shows how to break down children’s learning goals into smaller parts to make teaching and learning easier and more manageable. Links to supporting materials are provided, including tips, tools, and resources for teachers, supervisors, and trainers.

DLLs with Disabilities: Supporting Young Children in the Classroom
This IRIS module provides a general overview of the importance of maintaining children's home language while learning a new language. It also discusses considerations for screening and assessing children who are DLLs. This one-hour module identifies strategies for support in the classroom, as well as additional resources.

Early Childhood Behavior Management Activities:

Explore two activities that address early childhood behavior management strategies related to classroom rules. Learn the importance of teaching and reinforcing rules with early learners, including those with disabilities.

Early Language and Literacy Series Module 9: Working with Struggling Learners
Children who have delays in language and literacy development need additional instructional support early on to promote their learning. This module introduces evidence-based strategies like explicit teaching, intensive instruction, and responsive and supportive feedback, along with examples and action plans to work with struggling learners. Download the readings to find out how to support all learners in early childhood classrooms.

Head Start Center for Inclusion: Individualizing
Explore a suite of materials to assist teachers and supervisors with individualizing in the classroom. Teacher resources include practical strategies, planning guides, learning center signs, and helpful resources. A supervisor’s guide offers a model for observations in the classroom. A quality indicator checklist is included to help teachers ensure foundational elements of a quality classroom are in place.

Highly Individualized Teaching and Learning: An Overview
This short video and supporting materials introduce the levels of individualization that may be appropriate for children with diverse strengths and needs. The video briefly describes three ways that teachers can individualize their teaching: making simple modifications, providing many embedded learning opportunities, and using more intensive teaching practices. Supporting materials include tips, tools, and resources for teachers, supervisors, and trainers.

The Teaching Loop
This short video introduces the "teaching loop," a strategy for providing individualized instruction to children. It helps to identify a child’s individual learning objective and plan the appropriate level of support so the child will practice that learning objective. The video also includes examples of the teaching loop. Supporting materials include tips and tools for teachers and supervisors, helpful resources, and a link to in-service suite materials for trainers.

Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children
This website offers an array of free products, resources, and practical strategies to help caregivers, service providers, and decision-makers apply best practices to improve social and emotional outcomes for children with or at risk for delays or disabilities. Materials include information about the Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children framework of evidence-based practices. Many materials are also available in Spanish.

Mastery Level

Coaches, faculty, and professional development providers can use these resources to teach content to and support others in developing knowledge and skills application related to the content.

Activity Matrix: Organizing Learning Throughout the Day
This in-service suite introduces the Activity Matrix as an effective tool teachers can use to organize learning opportunities for children who need additional support during daily classroom activities and routines. Examples of how the matrix can be used with children’s individual learning goals are shared. Supporting materials for teachers, supervisors, and trainers include tips, tools, and helpful resources.

Adult Support
This in-service suite presents adult support strategies that can be used to increase the participation of children who need more support or challenge. Links to supporting materials are provided, including tips, tools, and resources for teachers, supervisors, and trainers.

Break It Down: Turning Goals into Everyday Teaching Opportunities
Learn how to break down children’s learning goals into smaller parts to make teaching and learning easier and more manageable. Links to supporting materials are provided, including tips, tools, and resources for teachers, supervisors, and trainers.

CONNECT Module 1: Embedded Interventions
Learn about embedded interventions, including peer support, that allow children to participate in a variety of learning opportunities. CONNECT Modules start with a real-life dilemma and include video demonstrations of the practice, a research brief, activities, and practice checklists. CONNECT Module 1 is also available in Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese.

CONNECT Module 6: Dialogic Reading Practices
Discover the importance of dialogic reading practices and how they can help develop the language and literacy skills of young children. CONNECT Modules start with a real-life dilemma and include video demonstrations of the practice, a research brief, activities, and practice checklists. The modules are also available in Spanish.

CONNECT Module 7: Tiered Instruction
Explore the practice of tiered instruction, or Response to Intervention (RTI), and how it can be used in the classroom to enhance learning and development for young children. Learn how to make appropriate selections of the practices and how practices for the classroom can be used in combination or independently to promote learning. CONNECT Modules start with a real-life dilemma and include video demonstrations of the practice, a research brief, activities, and practice checklists. The modules are also available in Spanish.

Head Start Center for Inclusion: Individualizing
Explore a suite of materials to assist teachers and supervisors with individualizing in the classroom. Teacher resources include practical strategies, planning guides, learning center signs, and helpful resources. A supervisor’s guide offers a model for observations in the classroom. A quality indicator checklist is included to help teachers ensure foundational elements of a quality classroom are in place.

Invisible Support
Review strategies and examples for using invisible supports to increase the participation of children who need more support or challenge. Links to supporting materials are provided, including tips, tools, and resources for teachers, supervisors, and trainers.

Peer Support
Discover strategies for using peer support to increase the participation of children who need more support or challenge. See examples showing what the strategies look like in the classroom. Supporting materials include tips for teachers and supervisors, helpful resources, and in-service suite materials for trainers.

Putting It Into Action
Review strategies to create plans for using curriculum modifications to help children participate in the classroom. Links to supporting materials are provided, including activity matrix for modifications, teacher modification worksheet and evaluation form, helpful resources and tools for supervisors.

SpecialQuest Multimedia Training Library: Preschool Inclusion Series
With five learning sessions, this module provides policy and research foundations for the inclusion of preschoolers with disabilities and their families in programs. It includes case studies to discuss effective and supportive inclusive instruction strategies and information for Individualized Education Program (IEP) planning and partnerships with families and other professionals.

The Teaching Loop
This short video introduces the "teaching loop," a strategy for providing individualized instruction to children by identifying a child’s individual learning objective and planning the appropriate level of support so the child will practice that learning objective. The video also includes examples of the teaching loop. Supporting materials include tips and tools for teachers and supervisors, helpful resources, and a link to in-service suite materials for trainers.

Topic:Children with Disabilities

Resource Type: Article

Last Updated: July 25, 2018