Preschool Inclusion

We are excited to share an ongoing professional development opportunity with you! On February 2, 2021 the Early Childhood Center (ECC) launched a free four-month webinar series, What it Takes to Implement Effective Preschool Inclusive Services, open to all early education providers and administrators. It addresses evidence-based practices proven to effectively include children who are at risk or have disabilities in early education settings.

At the end of each recorded webinar a link to a survey is provided. When the survey is completed a certificate for Professional Growth Points will be emailed.

What It Takes to Implement Effective Inclusive Preschool Services

Part I - By Dr. Michael Conn-Powers

Description of the video:

Hi, welcome to our initial webinar as part of our Early Childhood Center webinar series. What it takes to implement effective, inclusive preschool services. What do we mean by effective and inclusive services? When we have four criteria. For the preschoolers with disabilities, we want those services, special education-related services, to be provided within the regular early childhood classroom settings and routines. There isn't pull out. Services aren't being delivered elsewhere. They are embedded within the regular preschool setting. Second, we want children receive the level and intensity of services and supports that match their individual learning needs. Just because we're looking at including kids with disabilities and regular classrooms. We also want to make sure that they receive the intensity of supports and services that we provide in special education. Third, we want to make sure that those regular education settings provide all of the social and learning opportunities that are available for all children. We want children to be fully included as members of that classroom. And then finally, we want children to learn. It's important for them to be a part of the mainstream and have the opportunity to be fully included. And we want to ensure that they are also demonstrating substantial growth in their learning and development. Why are we talking about this? Some of you may have seen this before. It's called a scatter plot. And this is based on Indiana's data in which we chart the percentage of children receiving inclusive services. This is preschool-aged children. That's along the bottom axis, and along with the percentage of children who make substantial progress according to the federal outcomes that are state measures. Now, each dot in this scatter plot represents a school district here in Indiana. And when you look at this, you can see that many of our school districts provide services to well under half of all preschool-aged children with disabilities. This is a problem. When we look at how well our state does in comparison to other states. We are substantially behind and educate very few of our preschoolers with disabilities in regular education settings. Hi, I'm Michael Kahn powers. I'm director of the Early Childhood Center at the Indiana institute on disability and community at Indiana University. And I'm the first presenter in our series and I'll be talking about how we can go about adopting high-quality inclusive service models. And talk about some of the starting points to get new efforts underway. Before I start, just a little bit of background information. As you may know, the Early Childhood Center is one of seven centers at the Indiana institute on Disability and Community. The institute covers a lifespan for people of all ages with disabilities. We happened to attend to the beginning of that lifespan. A big emphasis at our center and in fact at all centers at the Institute is this notion of promoting research to practice. How can we take what we're learning and research and translate that into better practices and better services for all individuals with disabilities. I have three distinct goals over the next four weeks. One, I want us to imagine special education services and supports that not only foster the kinds of skills that we typically include in our IEPs, but also to think about the skills and opportunities that support children's membership and engagement, in home and community and regular early childhood settings. It requires a different skill set and it requires us to rethink how we provide services to give children the opportunities to develop those skills that support membership and engagement. Second, I'm going to introduce you to the field of implementation science that looks at how programs and districts make changes and adopt new practices and service models. And finally, using that implementation science framework, I'll make you aware of the initial steps you can take to begin to implement and effect change in your local district. Now we also tried to reference our work with the Division for Early Childhood's Recommended Practices. And I've identified three practices there that get at the importance of leadership and advocating for policies and resources that reflect best practices in early childhood special education. And specifically with a focus on those policies and practices that support more inclusive services. Okay. So we're going to think of this as a journey. And I want to share what our agenda will be for the next three weeks, with the fourth week being an opportunity for you to join us in a live forum and talk about some of the content I'm sharing today. And over the next couple of weeks after that. First, we need to think about our destination. We're looking at a journey. And in this designing of inclusive and high-quality and effective inclusive service models, we need to think about what that looks like and what that means. And so I want to talk about that today as well as introduce that roadmap for change. Then in the next session, I'm going to talk about how we can prepare for that journey. What are the initial steps we need to take if we are serious about effecting change within our own school district and community. Then finally, I want to talk about how we can begin to design and implement a plan for change. It's not an easy effort to move from a program in which the majority of preschoolers with disabilities are served in segregated environments to one that's more inclusive. It takes a lot of work. Okay, let's get started. So I want us to think about or maybe even rethink what our destination is, what is it that we want to create? Taking time at the beginning to really think through what is it that we want to accomplish? What is it that we want our program to look like as it relates to providing high-quality educational services for preschoolers with disabilities. Now the rethinking comes from the fact that when we look at what we've done over the past several years, well, you know what? We've been doing the same thing over the past. Well, I think I only show six years here, but it's probably closer to ten or fifteen years. Reality is that most of our preschoolers with disabilities are served in segregated preschool classrooms. Only about 30%, three out of ten children, have the opportunity to receive special education and related services within a regular early childhood program or classroom, or family daycare home. When I've shared this scatter plot in the past, I've had some educators and therapists say, wait a minute. There's quite a few of us that are making an incredible impact on these preschoolers with disabilities. Yeah, who were providing services that are in segregated, self-contained preschool classrooms, but they're making great gains. Is that's so bad? Well, first, there are important skills that children are not learning when they're served primarily on a segregated or self-contained preschool classroom. One, children aren't learning how to generalize the skills that we're teaching and them in the self-contained classrooms. To be able to use those skills out in regular everyday life, out in the community, or in a very busy and hectic classroom with 20 other preschoolers. And we know that generalization can be a challenge for many children with disabilities. And when we restrict and control the setting in which children are learning those new skills, makes it very hard for them to successfully generalize the skills that we've taught. Another thing, children not learning or not learning how to attend and learn and engage in a classroom with 20 other children. Many of our preschool self-contained classrooms have small class sizes. We do that for the good intention of being able to provide more individualized instruction. But the reality is, we're not preparing children to be able to learn and cope and manage themselves in a very busy and hectic kindergarten classroom of 20 to 25 other children. We're not giving them that opportunity to learn those skills. They are not learning how to function in a large group setting without them being always told what to do. They're not provided the opportunity to learn skills about how to follow directions during large group time with 25 other children. The opportunity to learn how to appropriately wait turns and share materials and make choices when there isn't the level of adult direction and supervision that they're going to get in a regular preschool or kindergarten setting. Also, there are several important opportunities that children miss out on. They miss out on the opportunity to develop friendships. Have the opportunity to develop friendships with children that they might accompany throughout all their school years. We restrict that. I don't know if you're familiar, but having friends is a very powerful intervention in and of itself. Research shows that when students with disabilities have good friendships, it helps contribute to long-term outcomes. Better academic skills, better high-school graduation rates, better adult employment status, greater chance for independent living, and so on. This opportunity for friendships and a membership gives them the time to be able to be a part of something that will help carry and support them throughout life. Finally, we might have unintended negative impact on families. Think about the messages that families might be receiving. When we meet with them during those case conferences, are brand new families coming into the system and their children are needing special education services. And they're asking about services occurring within the child's childcare or preschool setting in the community. And we're making the recommendation that that's not an appropriate one. What is it that families might be hearing? What impact does that have on families own perceptions and hopes and expectations for their sons and daughters. I'm going to borrow from the work of one of my colleagues, Dr. Katie Herron. She has a research project going on right now where she's talking to a number of families of young children, very young children with disabilities, asking about the expectations they have for their children as they get older and get a sense of what influences those expectations, their hopes and their dreams for their sons and daughters. And one of the things that we're learning and we learn from research with families of, of older children, students is that we can have a powerful influence in lessening the kinds of expectations that families have when they hear that we're recommending that self-contained classroom. Because they think that their children will learn better or they're not ready for that regular preschool setting. That this will provide a much more controlled and careful setting to provide that intensive education that their sons and daughters need. Families may begin to think about what their children are and are not capable of doing and learning. They may be picking up on the fact that we have some negative connotations associated with the child's disability. Rather than looking at the wonderful gifts and strengths that each child brings to the situation. And what we can be doing and saying can nurture much more positive and ambitious expectations for families. Katie shares this quote and I'm going to, I'm going to borrow it. It's based on research that IV has summarized. And they found that when influential people in the child's life do not believe that their children have a potential to achieve a specific outcome. It is unlikely that the outcome will be realized. So I want you to think about the impact that you're having on families. And i know unintentionally, but what is it that families hear? So I'd like to invite you to think of an alternative that rather than repeating our past journeys. And continuing to do what we've always done, in which we do serve the overwhelming majority of preschoolers in separate, segregated services. That maybe we rethink that. Perhaps we consider more inclusive service models instead that provide children and families the opportunities to expect more and learn more. Now, to do that, we've got some important things we need to attend to. We need to be able to identify early childhood settings and determine how those services, how we will provide services within those settings. And then knowing that we're going to be partnering with our regular Early Childhood colleagues, we need to be clear about our roles and expectations. When we do this, we begin to form a more clear and defined picture of the service models and practices that we want to adopt. It's an important first step. Let's go ahead and get started. Okay. First step is, let's think about the early childhood settings that we want to partner with and placing children with disabilities and providing special education-related services. In Indiana, we've seen three options. Public school base, pre-K programs, working with community partners, including preschool and child care and Head Start. Let's talk about each of these. Ok. For a number of our school districts. They're already providing public school base, Pre-K, pre-kindergarten, or preschool services for children without disabilities. And so right off the bat, we have a natural partner in which we can have the conversation about including our children with disabilities in those classrooms and negotiating how we provide special education and related services within those settings. So that's a, that's an excellent place to start. Another place to start if that's not an option for you, is to partner with our community preschool and child care programs. We have a very vibrant childcare system throughout the state of Indiana. In this map, I'm making you aware of the child care resource and referral providers and service systems that exist in our state. This is a service system that is available to families and helping families find high-quality childcare. But it's also a good resource. And helping who might be some of the preschool and child care programs in your own community with whom you might partner. Another resource that's offered. By our state's office of early childhood and out of school learning is the childcare finder. Again, this is a resource for families and helping them to find high-quality childcare or On My Way Pre-K programs. But this is a resource that you can use, again, to find high-quality early childhood programs with whom you might partner in your community. Finally, another important partner are our local Head Start programs. Head start programs located throughout the state. And Head Start has been around for decades. They are a high-quality preschool program that's available for children living with low-income families. They have a strong history and strong investment in providing high-quality services. And they have a long standing mandate to include and serve children with disabilities in their preschool classrooms. So they are and should be a strong and willing partner. Now, with Head Start and preschool and child care programs that I've talked about. There are many pluses, but, but there are also some challenges. And I want to make you aware of those challenges as you go about trying to find regular childhood partners to work with. One, for some of these programs, some of the teachers may not have a lot of experience and training. and the perception that they have the skills to effectively care for and educate children with disabilities. They don't have the same education and training that you've had. And so they may be leery and feel that they won't be able to do as good of a job. And what you'll be doing is to provide them with a level of assurance as well as support and knowing that they can do that. Also, many of these programs may not have, if they have had children with disabilities in their classrooms, they may not have had children with more significant disabilities. So again, as you start to meet with and develop these relationships, you need to also convey your role in providing the kind of training and support that will enable each of these programs effectively care for and educate all young children. Next, we need to talk about the models, what are special education and related services going to look like in one of those settings? And from our work looking at successful programs. Here in Indiana, we've identified four primary models for how special education-related services are provided. And I want to talk about each of those so that you have an idea of what might be a model or models that would work for you in your own community. Probably by and large, this is the most common model. We talked about, Push-in services. That's a term that I think is unique to Indiana. And the idea is that as the special educator or speech and language pathologist, we provide services within that regular classroom, push those services into that classroom. So depending on the activity, whether small group or free choice time or large group, we find the opportunity to take and work with those individual children on their IEP goals and objectives and provide the intensity and types of services that those children need to acquire the goals from their IP. Now the strengths of this model are one, the folks that have the greatest expertise use the special educator or therapist, are the one that's providing the service. You're there in the classroom working with the child and providing the services based on that child's IEP. the downside that model is if you're the only one that's doing that, then there's not an opportunity for the other teachers in that classroom to learn about what you're doing and what they could be doing to support that child's learning and development. It, it doesn't build the capacity of the classroom teacher to take on some of those responsibilities and learn some of the intervention strategies and techniques. And so we run the risk of children being a guest in that classroom rather than a full member. That the classroom teacher is responsible for. Another model that we see. And some districts around the state as this itinerant or consultative services model. Here the focus is on providing training and technical assistance and support to the classroom teacher or teachers, and giving them the know-how to be able to appropriate care for an educate children with disabilities. You're coming in as a consultant. You have expertise, you're familiar with the child, the child's IEP, and you're using that to share that information with the classroom teacher. So the focus now shifts. It is around building the capacity of the classroom teacher to effectively educate all of the kids in his or her classroom. Rather than on a push-in model where you're taking that responsibility now you're, you're sharing that responsibility. Plus what's nice about this model. Another strength is it provides sort of a, a relationship, a problem-solving relationship. The classroom teacher knows that he or she is not alone, and then as questions or challenges arise. They know they have a partner that they can meet with to problem-solve. Now there are downside. There are downsides to this model also. One, it's not easy. This takes and requires a good deal of organization and interpersonal skills. You have to know how to be a good collaborative partner. You have to know how to consult without being bossy and directive. You have to look at this as a mutual relationship in which two brains are coming together to plot out the best strategy. Not you as the special educator, a therapist always in this role of, of telling them what to do and how to do it. And, and that takes a great deal of skill. Another downside or possible weakness. If this is your only Soul Strategy, there may be times when an extra pair of hands or an extra pair of skilled hands are needed in that classroom. Both to model the interventions that are needed as well as to provide that support. So if you rely totally on a consultative or itinerant model, there may be times where children on your caseload are going to need a little bit more. A third model is co-teaching. In this model, your co-teaching there, both of you in the classroom who have responsibilities toward delivering education. It could be that your co-teaching, like in this picture where it's team teaching, you're both leading a large group activity. And you're there either leading the activity or supporting the classroom teacher who's leading the activity. Or maybe during free choice time, you take one of the centers. And that's the opportunity for you to provide education or therapy. And you're doing that in the context of the regular routines of class. And other children may be involved too. And in fact, maybe you're enlisting the support of peers because peers can be a powerful interventionist also. So the strengths there, it provides a wonderful opportunity for you to do push-in. But it's not just you taking the individual child to the corner and working just with them. You're working with a child. In the context of the overall classroom. You provide the opportunity to model good special education and related services, strategies and techniques for everybody to see and learn. Children are getting the kinds of intervention and support that they need. And it's a great way to improve the overall quality of the classroom. We have a lot we can offer as good educators and of ourselves. The weaknesses to this model, the downsides. Again, it can be difficult to implement. It does require a good deal of collaboration in a classroom. Teacher needs to feel comfortable with you being a member of her classroom and sharing some of those responsibilities. And it does require some advance planning coordination. You can't just show up and kind of wing it. You need to have an idea what the lesson plan involves and, and what your role is going to be and, and, and the classroom teachers role is going to be in order for this to be executed well. Finally, the, the last model when we don't see this one very often, we've seen it in a couple of school districts. And, and it's where school districts took a very strong leadership role and they decided, we're not going to have special ed classrooms. We're not going to have regular ed classrooms per se. We are going to have preschool classrooms. And those preschool classrooms are staffed with early childhood special educators. And the makeup of the classroom, again, less than half of the children or children with disabilities. And they're usually 20, there's usually 20 kids in that classroom. So it's a regular preschool classroom in which children with disabilities are members of that classroom and there's only one teacher, and that teacher is the teacher of record and providing special education services. And they are teaching all the children. In fact, they're wearing both hats, both the regular early childhood educator hat as well as the special educator hat. Or major strengths of this model. It almost provides an ideal vision of how we might want early education to look like and start to tear down these artificial boundaries between regular education and special education. That is, we're creating classrooms that are universally designed. They work and strive to work for all children. And we put people in those classrooms that have good early childhood curriculum skills as well as good special education skills. And so that children, regardless of if they're identified and on an IEP or not, have someone in that classroom that has skill to provide those multiple tiers of intervention and technical support. The challenges to that. It's it can be inexpensive model. It you know, it it requires districts to be very creative about how they fund it. And recognize that they're going to be blending or braiding different levels of funding to support those classrooms. And and what those days look like. So I think it's a, it's a great model. And one seriously look at. But you need to know there are challenges that come with it. Once you've defined where and the service models are models that you're looking at. You need to spend just a little bit of time. Especially you're using the first three of the four models for providing services. You need to think about what your role is as the special educator therapists and with classroom teachers role and spend some time in conversations with the classroom teacher to negotiate and make sure there's a mutual and shared understanding of those roles. Because now we're starting to look at more collaborative service models. And while it sounds great, it's something that's hard. It takes a good deal of skill and it takes time to have those conversations to meet and plan outside of class time so that both of you have a clear sense of who's doing what. And what each can expect of each other when, when you're in that classroom. So again, if you're talking about push-in services, you're gonna probably be the primary teacher for those children with disabilities. But it begs the question, what is it that you want the classroom teacher to take responsibility? I mean, they are providing a regular classroom experience, but are they going to be involved in that in that child's education and helping them reach their IEP goals and objectives. If you're using a more consultative model, well, it's recognizing that both of you are consultants. In face, you need to be thinking of the regular classroom teacher as a consultant to you because one of the things that she has that you probably don't have is an understanding of what a regular early childhood classroom should look like and how children should behave and function in a group of 20 children and what are typical expectations? Okay? And, you know, she's the primary teacher. And so again, within a consultative model, you need to be negotiating those roles and again, respecting what each other brings to this consultative partnership and relationship. In a co-teaching, well now you're both primary teachers. And so there than the skill is that advance planning and preparation where you negotiate. You know, am I my leading the circle time and you're supporting or is it vice versa? During free choice, where am I and who, am working with and where are you and who you're working with? And so it takes a great deal of coordination and planning. And then, you know, if it's a one teacher model where you are both the regular education classroom teacher and the special educator. Well then some of these issues are moot and you're the the end all, you do it all. Okay, we've talked about thinking about our destination at this step. Thinking about where are you going to provide services? Who are you going to partner with? What the service model is going to look like? Negotiating roles, starting to think those through. Is going to be really important. In essence, you're starting to think about, alright, what are the programs and service models that we might want to adopt in our school district. And spending some time in thinking that through and starting to get into the nitty gritty is going to help in bringing the rest of the people on board and starting to look at and explore change. I want to talk about and introduce a roadmap for that change. And we'll spend more time talking about this roadmap in the next two sessions. But I want to, I want to just touch on it here. So this roadmap involves stages of implementation. We, we borrow from a science called implementation science that looks at how well districts, agencies and programs adopt new service models and adopt new practices. And they find that there's a science for how that can happen. Very, very well. Now we borrow, this is not something we've created our shop. But we've borrowed a lot from the National Implementation Research Network located at the Frank Porter Graham Institute at the University of North Carolina and Chapel Hill. And they have a wonderful website with lots of helpful materials and in fact, even some learning hubs that talk about an implement, implementation science and bringing about change. And one of the projects that's been around for a long time is there sits up model. And in that project they've looked at the state implementation and scaling up. They work with states who are interested in taking on a particular service model and how a state can support change throughout the state and in supporting districts to adopt new practices and models. And so these are the folks that, that we look to kinda help us understand how we can translate what they're learning. To perhaps look at our own changes here in Indiana. So here's the roadmap. I'm just going to give you a high level overview and then we'll get into more next week. It really looks at the stages of implementation. You know that it's a, it's a long-term multi-year process. And, and the important, the first step is probably the most important and I'll spend time talking about it next week. And that's exploration. That's bringing all the right people together. You know, you've got a great idea. You've really started to spend time thinking about and implementing an inclusive service model that provides high quality education and related services to preschoolers with disabilities. But now we need to chew on it. We need to explore it. We need to bring people together and assess how well will that model work and our school system? What is it that we are going to need to change? What is it that we're going to need to bring into our system? Whether it's professional development, learning new strategies, or looking at how we fund our programs. You're going to need to bring in leadership. So exploration is kind of getting our act together and, and truly looking at the model and the practices we want to adopt. Once we've done that and we have our eyes are wide open where we're making informed decision. Then we need to start to work towards installation. And the idea there is, what is it that we do to begin to put the services and supports in place? Okay. Whether it's professional development, that's usually a big one. But it's all planning and infrastructure and funding and leadership. What is it that we need to put in place so when we start to move into implementation, we have all of our ducks in a row. In initial implementation the idea there is, instead of doing this across the district, perhaps we pilot, let's identify some initial school, buildings or preschool classrooms that we want to try this first, let's try it out. Let's assess and let's learn from it. And then based on what we learn and the changes we make, we can look at full implementation across the district. So I'll be talking more about this over the next couple of weeks. I want to thank you all. There's my name and my email address, please. If you have any questions, you're welcome to email me and I'll be happy to respond. We will have two more sessions and then at the end of this month, we will provide a time to have a live discussion. And that'll be an opportunity for you to join me live and ask questions or share some of your own stories and experiences. Thank you.
Part II - By Dr. Michael Conn-Powers

Description of the video:

Hi, welcome back to the Early Childhood Center webinar series on what it takes to implement effective, inclusive preschool services. I'm Michael Conn-Powers, Director of the Early Childhood Center. And I'm hosting the first month of the series focusing on adopting high-quality, inclusive service models. Starting points: And this is part two. Last week, I recorded part one. The goals for this series and particularly for the February webinars are listed here. Last week, I encouraged you to rethink your Service Delivery System and think about more inclusive service models that support membership, test patient engagement. This week, I'm going to touch on elements of implementation science, a 'la our proposed roadmap and share more specifically initial points. And then finally, I want to make you aware of all of the steps it takes to effect change in adopting more inclusive service delivery models. We also cross-reference what we're doing with the Division for Early Childhood Recommended Practices. And I've identified a couple of leadership recommended practices that this series targets. The agenda for the series: Last week we talked about thinking about our destination. And this week we're going to talk about preparing for that journey. What does that mean? Last week, I introduced this roadmap. And this is a roadmap for making changes within your program or school district, specifically in adopting new service models and curricular best practices. We borrowed from the field of implementation science, which has shown that there are four distinct and important stages in bringing about effective change. This week, we're going to focus on the first stage and that's exploration. We borrow heavily from the work of the National Implementation Science Research Network at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. And there they published numerous documents and one of them is this notion of stages of implementation. And they provide their own roadmap for how to bring about systemic change within programs, school districts, and states as a whole. This week, as I mentioned earlier, we're going to focus on exploration. And in exploration, there are key outcomes that we need to aim at if we're going to be prepared and taking this journey of adopting new and inclusive service models and evidence-based practices. We're going to focus specifically on an initial assessment tool that they've developed that helps us to get a sense of the fit and feasibility and taking on new best practices. We'll talk about the importance of communication, both in communicating with people that this new adopting these new practices will have an impact as well as making it a two-way communication and getting feedback. And then finally, the fact that this is something we can't take on individually, that we need to build an implementation team that can help us in this journey. Probably one of the most important outcomes during this initial stage of exploration is to get a really good handle on the implications and impact of adopting these new inclusive service models and practices. And that involves assessing the fit and feasibility of adopting these new practices. What does it really mean? What does it entail? How well prepared are we? Do we have the resources and the capacity to be able to do this and what do we need to do in order to get ready in adopting that? And the National Implementation Science and Research Network puts forth this, this thing they call the hexagon tool. And there are six elements that make it a hexagon. Three of the elements in green are the practice. They focus specifically on the model and practices that we're encouraging you to adopt. And they also look at three blue indicators that address your own district or program and your capacity to be able to make the changes in adopting and implementing these service practices. So we're going to take some time and go through each of these. Well, in many respects, the National Implementation Research Network pairs them up so that for each green or practice element there is the corresponding blue or program element. And so the first two, I want to talk about are evidence and need. And we talked about this in some respects in the first webinar, specifically around evidence. We presented to you models and practices and a lot of our work will delve on practices that have a strong research basis. But if you were using this to evaluate adopting another practice or perhaps a program curriculum, there are three elements that you want to focus on around that fall under evidence. You know, to what extent is there data that shows that the practice or curriculum has a data that shows that it's effective in bringing about your expected outcomes. Again, the link between the practice end your expected outcomes. Obviously with our focus on inclusive preschool services, we're looking at outcomes not only traditional early childhood special education outcomes that are measured, but also this notion of building long-term skills around membership, participation, and engagement. And then the third element is the clickability of those models and practices for your own setting. And some of the work that we've been doing does just that. What are the specific models that we're seeing adopted here in Indiana and how applicable is it so that we only share practices and service models that we have found instances of them being implemented here in the state of Indiana, Indiana school districts. The corresponding program is how well does the practice model fit in terms of program needs, the needs of your preschoolers, and the needs of your family and community. And I think that's why we really emphasize this notion of building membership, engagement, participation, and regular early education settings right from the get-go, rather than pulling children with disabilities away from their main stream, their community. We're advocating to look at service models that are built on what families tell us they hope their goals and dreams are for their children. And looks that strengthening community programs, preschool programs, early childhood childcare programs, and expand on their capacity to be able to adequately serve all children within their community. This piece really focuses on you taking the time to build a strong case that you can go to the rest of the members of your team and your school district and saying why it is we need to make the changes, especially in adopting inclusive service models. The next two elements are fit and usability. Fit, again is the program element and usability is looking at the specific practices. And I'll start there. When we assess the usability of model, what we're wanting to do is to see if there is enough information and materials and supporting documentation in professional development to ensure that we're clear about what is involved in implementing that model in practice. And that there's sufficient guidance. So that we implement that model correctly and consistently. If it's a very complex model, then it's not easily understood, then the usability might go downhill a bit because it's going to be confusing for our teachers and therapists and it may result in poor implementation. And we know if practices are poorly implemented, then it's less likely that we're going to experience the outcomes that we've targeted. So, you know, it asks, is the service model well-defined? Is there available documentation and training that can provide us guidance. Are thereeir measures to help us in assessing fidelity or accuracy in which we're implementing that. And then the fourth piece, are there places that we can go and see it being implemented? And one of the things that we've been working on over the past three years is the inclusion directory that identifies districts here in Indiana that are implementing successful Inclusive service models that are willing to make themselves available, to be observed or to have conversations with, you know, so we can get some clarity about what that model looks like in real life. The corresponding program element of the hexagon assessment is fit. So that once we have a clear understanding of what this model looks like and its usability, then we can assess the fit. How well does it fit with our current program priorities and goals and values? Are there other things that are going on in our district that might make it difficult to take on this tool. Now, you don't assess fit to say oh, it doesn't fit because it doesn't match our values and priorities. But rather you use that to help in planning how you're going to roll out this model. And the work that you might have to do ahead of time in aligning the goals and priorities and values of your district to embrace more inclusive service models. This is, this is very important. I remember one school district that we worked with that was very interested in taking on more inclusive services. And we met with them and began the exploration. But it was clear from the get go that as they brought in their preschool teachers, that provided special education services to the young children with disabilities. It was not a fit with their own values and beliefs about how early childhood special education could look like. And we didn't take the time to explore that. And think about how it might fit and how we might roll out the implementation. In fact, it, it died right there because we didn't take the time to have that conversation about what will it take to enable this program, this district to, to fit with more inclusive service models. And then the final pair in the hexagon tool looks at the support on the practice side. What are the supports that these models and practices demand in order to be implemented well and consistently and correctly? What are the costs? And then on the flip side, the program and its capacity. Does the program have the capacity to pull it off and to pull it off well? And this is a big conversation in some of the districts that we've been working in. because as they become more and more informed about what inclusive service models can look like in their district the focus of the conversation turns to capacity very, very quickly. So let's explore both of these elements of the hexagon assessment. So, so in assessing a certain model or practice like the closest service models we talked about last week. Then we recognize that there are costs in adopting those models, there are startup costs. You knew if, if we're starting to look at partnerships with the community, preschool programs or the local Head Start. Or in fact, in one of the rural areas that we're working with, they're looking at actually creating a regular early childhood program within their school district. And within that program, they would look at combining early childhood and special education children and staff. And obviously the conversation turned to does the cost in starting up such a broad Early Childhood Initiative. Another big conversation is training and professional development. For a lot of our early childhood special education teachers who's only knowledge and experience has been in their own developmental preschool and being the lead teacher and having a classroom of children with disabilities. Now we're asking them to shift focus and take on new roles and practices, such as some of the things that we talked about last week, either as a co-teacher or as a consulting teacher. There are skills that are involved in implementing these inclusive service models. And we need to take stock of what training and professional development might be needed. And then because they are new skills and they take some practice, ongoing coaching, That's an expense that takes time. And you need to know that if there are resources available to provide the training and coaching. And then finally around leadership and guidance on policies. As we take on this new service model, what are the implications of supports at leadership level and from policies that will support more inclusive service models and get us away from a history and tradition of more segregated service delivery models. So as we start to look at the individual models and practices were wanting to adopt, there are supports that That adoption is going to demand that we're gonna need to have in place. So that the flip side, we start to look at the capacity. Can we afford to do this? Do we have the resources? Do we have the staffing? Do we have the time to invest in the training and professional development? Those are some of the things as we've been working with school districts that we see. So they they know that that their folks are going to need training. And so we start to plan out a calendar of training and ongoing coaching that's going to take place over the course of the year. And making sure that we have release time or substitutes or we find times at the beginning or the end of the school year, or early summer for that professional development to take place. If we're looking at role changes and bringing on a regular early childhood or Head Start partners. Well, there are implications there both on both sides of both programs. And there may be need to be changes in our policies and procedures. And do we have the capacity and the leadership to make those changes? And there may be structural changes. I mean, again, we're talking about moving from self-contained classroom service models to service model where the early childhood special educator doesn't necessarily have their classroom and they're an itinerant. They are floating across classrooms and embedding special education services within that classroom, either through co-teaching or taking on activities for teaching within routines of the classroom. So again, there are structural changes that need to be in place. And part of the hexagon, part of this initial assessment of fit and feasibility, is looking at capacity. I wanted to start with the hexagon assessment. Assessing the fit and feasibility of adopting includes service models first, but, but probably the very first step in the exploration stage is pulling together an implementation team, doing that assessment and all of the other work and in the roadmap and and going from start to finish and implementing, adopting and implementing new practices. You're not gonna do it alone. You have to have a team and this implementation team becomes sort of the focus group in helping to design and implement and sustain inclusive services that are going to get started within your district. It's the group that helps to follow and shepherd the district along and following this journey, along the roadmap that we provide, it helps the district and carrying out all of the required steps such as the hexagon assessment we just talked about. So in our experience and working with some districts here in Indiana, we really encourage people to pull together an implementation team; that's usually the first conversation we have. When a director, administrator, or someone approaches us about expressing some interest. And we encourage these teams to be somewhat small, so they can be nimble and make decisions relatively quickly. So we, we usually recommend that there are no more than ten people. And in our experience there are usually five to ten people. Sometimes there are more, and sometimes there may be fewer. But we, we kind of encourage small and nimble team. And there are some key roles to think about who should be on that team. So obviously the first one that you see is central administration. You have to have leadership. And that leadership needs to be someone that can authorize or very quickly get with the powers that be, your superintendent, for example, to be able to authorize the activities and the resources that are going to be needed in undergoing this, this, this endeavor. They're the ones that provide the interface with the policies and procedures and resources of your district. And definitely are going to be central in helping you in assessing the fit and the capacity and resource needs in adopting these new models. So their key and sometimes we'll have more than one. You know, that a lot of times we encouraged the special education director, in some of the larger districts, there may be a preschool coordinator administrator of the early childhood special education programs and obviously that person is key. And then for districts where the preschool programs are spread across multiple elementary school buildings, we might also include a building principle as part of the administration. Who else should be involved? I mentioned early childhood special education program coordinator. More often than not, they're going to be, if you if your district has one, they're going to be the interface with staff and buildings and central administration and making all this hum. And then finally, we need to have direct service providers that are, you know, one or two early childhood special education teachers and or a speech language therapists that are intimately involved in providing special education and related services. They are where the rubber meets the road and taking this on and their perspective is invaluable. Helping to just think about that. The hexagon assessment, we cover it, think of their knowledge and experience and how they can really help to guide that process, and informed that process. And so they're important. If you're going to be partnering with regular early childhood programs as you probably will be. Whether that's in the community, maybe it's a community preschool or childcare center. Maybe it's Head Start or even if it's your own early childhood pre-kindergarten program within the schools. You're going to need someone that's a classroom teacher from that program too they're going to have a unique perspective that's going to help to provide information and guidance on adopting these practices. And then finally, a family member. We haven't seen family members be very active parts of this process to date. But you know, it's families that, in many respect have the longer-term hopes and dreams for their children to grow up and have jobs and live independently and be a member of their community. And, and that starts in preschool. And so families can give us sort of a vested and long-term or life-span perspective that's missing in all the other members. Last, and then I mentioned earlier around building principles. Again in districts where you're rolling this out across several buildings, building principals, the leadership of that building. They're going to be critical too in providing a perspective that you might not get anywhere else. This implementation team help to do. Again, we're, we're aiming for outcomes. We want children to learn, but we also want them to be around their same age peers and the opportunities to be a part of the early childhood community, to develop friendships, to be a member, and learn to participate and engage and learn in those environments. Well, to pull it off, there are some key pieces that the implementation team helps to happen. First, it takes effective practices. If you don't have an effective practice. You know, that's again, assessing the evidence and the usability of the practice. If we haven't done a good job implementation team isn't assuring that we're not going to get to those outcomes. And we know that outcomes don't happen unless that's present. Those are the best practices. We know that if we implement these and we implement them well, we're going to, we're going to see good things. But you know, it takes more than just knowing this is the best practice It has to be implemented effectively. There's a lot of research and it's come from the implementation science world. Where, this is this notion of the research practice gap. We know through research there are numerous Best Practices and effective curricula. The problem is, they're rarely implemented or they're not implemented well, or consistently. And a roll the implementation team in this whole roadmap and this journey and adopting new practices is to ensure, to help promote and ensure that those effective practices are implemented consistently and effectively. And we'll talk more about some of the things they that next week that helped ensure that. But even within that hexagon assessment, remember we're talking about capacity, fit, supports, and what is it that we're doing to ensure the effective implementation, which brings us to the third element and that is enabling context. This is probably one of the very central roles of the implementation team They're having the conversations. They're collecting the data. They're developing plans for implementation that will help create contexts that will enable these practices to come into your school district. They helped provide the training and information that people will need to understand the changes that are going to be occurring within the school district. They're providing policies, and guidance that communicate that this is an important and valued change that's coming on. And have the opportunities to have conversations that help people to understand why it is we're, we're taking on these new practices. So again, whether it's assessing fit and feasibility, developing capacity, facilitating communication, and following this roadmap to support adoption, it all falls on the implementation team. And then the final element that I want to emphasize that's part of this exploration phase, is communication. And communication with our stakeholders. And our stakeholders can be central administration and the superintendent's office. It can be families, It can be building leadership. It can be our teachers and therapists. Everyone that has a stake in this change, we need to be sure that there's a communication plan that helps to support and inform everybody about what's going on. That involves taking the time to share the initiative and the roadmap that the implementation team is following so that there's no one that's unclear about what's happening and why and a roadmap or timeline for how change is going to happen. That's part of this communication plan. It's to engage in that exploration and assessed buy-in. So thinking about the hexagon we just talked about, and we're assessing the fit and feasibility of adopting these new practices. Well, that means that we need to have conversations with a lot of folks to make sure that everyone's concerns are heard, as well as the needs that are going to arise in adopting this new model. You know, I don't know how to do this. I I've never been a consulting teacher, I've only been a classroom teacher. I don't know how. And so that we know that for that person, they're going to need training and support. to learn new skills and practices. And when we have these two-way conversations, especially during that exploration phase, it's a wonderful strategy for people to be heard, their concerns to be shared and to promote by-in and this isn't something we're coming in and, And so to speak, ramming down their throats were providing the opportunity to hear both ideas and suggestions as well as needs. Later, and we'll talk more about this next week when we start to get into implementation. It's a great way to begin to identify pilot sites. One of the things that we will recommend is you don't just jump in and, and today you know your service, 0% of your preschoolers are served and inclusive environments. Everybody right now is served in more self-contained or segregated preschool classrooms and, tomorrow 100% of the kids and all the classrooms, we're going to move to inclusive service model. So we're going to suggest you might take this a little more incrementally and identify pilot sites. And by having these communications, you're gonna find people that are interested and supported and more engaged and might make for a great pilot site. And then finally, as you do start to roll out the models and the practices. Communication allows for two-way communication to assess how it's going to get feedback. Okay, so in this week's webinar, we talked about exploration and preparation, and specifically this notion that assessment for fit and feasibility and the hexagon tool that the National Implementation Research Network has, has shared with us as a good model. We recognize that we can't do something like this alone. It takes a team and investing in that team, making sure we have the right people on that team is going to help to support the longevity and success of this. And then the third piece is a communication plan. We need to make sure that everyone is informed, that everyone knows where we're going and the timeline and the roadmap for getting there. Alright, so last week we talked about the importance of rethinking how we provide services and this notion of adopting inclusive service models. Today and this week we're talking about what we can do to prepare for the journey. And then next week I'll talk a little bit more about the later stages of implementation science roadmap and what we might do in implementing change. Again, thank you for attending. There's my email. If you have any questions, I encourage you to reach out that'll help me to know what's working and not working. And also on the link somewhere there is Qualtrics survey that you can click. Please give us some feedback. And also that is the strategy that you can get a certificate for attending. Thank you and take care.
Part III - By Dr. Michael Conn-Powers

Description of the video:

Welcome again to the continuation of the Early Childhood Center's webinar series, looking at what it takes to implement effective, inclusive preschool services. I am Michael Conn-Powers. I am Director of the Early Childhood Center located, at the Indian Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana University. This part of the series is focusing on adopting high-quality, inclusive service models. Starting points, and this is the third webinar in that series. My agenda for the February portion of our Center's webinar series has really focused on those starting points. That includes taking the time to think about our destination. And of course, our destination or hoped destination, is to look at high-quality, inclusive preschool services for young children with disabilities. And in the first webinar, I focused specifically on that topic. Then in the second webinar, I talked about preparation, a starting point, and introduced and talked about our roadmap that borrows from implementation science and the importance of the exploration stage. In this webinar. I will continue with that roadmap and the use of implementation science principles and talk about next steps and implementing a plan for change. Specifically in moving away from segregated preschool special education services and developmental preschool programs and making the change to more inclusive service delivery models. My goals for this webinar series, are 1. to re-imagine services that are more inclusive and support membership and friendships and engagements. I wanted to introduce you to the elements of implementation science and then make you aware of the steps that you can take to begin effecting change and your own school district. Because we cross-reference our training with the Division for Early Childhood Recommended Practices. I identified two leadership practices that reflect the focus of the February webinar series. Both leaders advocating for policies and resources that support DEC statements on practice and establishing the partnerships to create coordinated and inclusive services. In the earlier webinars, I introduced the tenants of implementation science. And this notion of a roadmap that covers four important stages for programs and school districts. to undergo change to be able to adopt new and best practices that we know bring about desired outcomes for children and families. And I'm borrowing heavily from the work of NIRN, the National Implementation Research Network at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. And in fact, I was in a training just last week by Karen Ward who works at Chapel Hill. And she shared this graphic and I'm, I'm borrowing, giving her credit. That shows these four stages and sort of the, the basic function of each. Last week, I talked about exploration and the importance at that stage of taking the time to examine the model and practices you wish to adopt. And assessing how well that model fits, how feasible it is and how well it addresses the needs of the children and families in your community. This week, we're going to talk about installation and installation follows exploration. And it focuses on assuring that we're ready, that we have the resources, the supports, the training in order for us to move to initial implementation. Initial implementation looks at starting and working with select pilot elementary schools or preschool classrooms. Someone that will help us to take it on first and for us to learn and to demonstrate that we can do it and do it well, before we move on to full implementation and look at generalizing across all of our program or all of our district. I also borrow from a relatively new document, implementation stages planning tool, again, offered through NIRN, the National Implementation Research Network. And you can find it on their website. And this document is very helpful in outlining the key outcomes and steps along this journey. So in this webinar, I really want to focus on the installation stage of adopting new practices. After we've done the heavy exploration work, we know we've got a model, an inclusive preschool service delivery model and practices that we know will work in our district and that we can adopt it and we can make it fit with changes and training and services. Once we've answered those questions, it's time to prepare and put pieces into place that will allow us to implement that model. And that's the installation stage. Now, I've worked for many years to help support school districts and agencies and adopt a new best practices. And the inclination is... I've got this new practice, I've got this new model. Let's just start implementing it. And we want to jump right to that. And more often than not, if it's not, if planning and preparation doesn't happen, then that initial implementation fails. Because inevitably we run into roadblocks or barriers, or finding that we don't have the skills or supports that are necessary for the successful implementation of that model. So if we want to start, if we want to, jump into implementation, there are things that we need to have in place. And so these are the outcomes of successful installation stage of work. 1. we have a successful well-functioning implementation team made up of people who have the authority to authorize and support those changes. Includes people who will help to champion and monitor and manage those changes. And it also includes teachers and therapists who are going to be the ones implementing that change so they are able to provide their perspective. And it's a team that functions well. Fidelity measures. That means that we have a clear understanding of what these new service models and practices will look like. And we've developed assessment measures so that we can ensure and assure that we are implementing what we said we'd implement and implementing. Well. There are infrastructure support, some place we know will take support and professional development and ongoing coaching. It may need required interagency agreements. If we're working with community programs. We know that people need to be trained. Very few of our practitioners have the skill and training to implement high-quality, inclusive service delivery models. And then that last component, it takes a two-way communication. We need to be sure that we're communicating with the district and at stake holders, family members, community members. And we also need to make sure that it's two-way so that we have feedback loops. So in this webinar, I want to talk about some of the activities that we can put into place to successfully install the opportunity to implement best practices that we are choosing to adopt. Okay, so first, we have an implementation team that has the capacity to support the implementation. The Implementation team is sort of the nexus for ensuring that the district is successful in adopting these new best practices around inclusive services for preschoolers with disabilities. We need to make sure that members of that team have the knowledge, the skills, the functions, and the authority to make it happen. That means you've got someone, from the superintendent or superintendent's office that can authorize the changes that are going to need to happen. That you've got people who are familiar with the models and practices. That have the knowledge that can champion and articulate that vision of moving forward. And then we have stakeholders, whether it's teachers and therapists who will be implementing these changes or principles in our elementary schools that will help to lead that change at the building level. Or family members who will be recipients of the services that can help us. Remember why we're doing this in the first place. It is a team that needs to meet regularly and have the time and the support to do its job well. And as it's setting up, it needs to have the capacity to meet on a regular basis so that they can manage and oversee the changes as they're implemented. Once we move into the initial implementation phase, they are the ones that will be the problem solvers. So once things get started, they're the ones that are going to manage and ensure that we have all the infrastructure supports in place. These are the folks that make it happen. We need to focus on this thing called Fidelity. And I'm a big believer in this maxim, what gets measured, gets done. And this focuses on the actual service models and practices that we're wanting to adopt. In the first webinar, I talked about various service models. You might have a Push-in service model, you might have a consultative service model. You might have a co-teaching service model, or you might just ought to develop a one-size-fits-all model in which a single teacher is a teacher of record and provides the special ed services. It is also the classroom teacher for all young preschoolers. Regardless of the model or models that you choose, you need to take the time to articulate and clearly define the specific practices that comprise that model. You need to have a clear understanding of what are the essential functions and practices that comprise successful push-in model, for example, what does that look like? What are the practices of successful push -in inclusive special education and related services? And then once you have a clear understanding of what those practices are, you need to have clear, measurable indicators. Because these practices, they're not rocket science, but they're not easy. You need to ensure that people have the training and are implementing these practices with fidelity or you will fail. You will have a program that's poorly implemented. So this, this focus on fidelity is to pull together assessment, both assessment measures and practices that you will use to monitor implementation of these new service models. And as well as criteria for success. That is, if it takes ten practices for special educators to successfully implement push-in practices, you know, they have they have to embed those special education services in typical classroom routines. And within the classroom that might be a practice. There are specific ways and delivering that special ed and related services that it happens within the flow and the curriculum or the classroom. It isn't disruptive to the classroom routine and what's going on with all the other children. It may be that it happens in the context of small group or free time and involves other children without disabilities. So you have same age peers that are helping you. It provides, you know, we look at practices around imbedded instruction and what is comprised in the evidence-based practice of embedded instruction. So and taking the time, we almost define the curriculum that will be our, our training and professional development curriculum, but also our assessment. And that means that we'll be measuring and assessing how well our practitioners implement those models. So we take the time, define what those practices are. We have those clear, measurable indicators so someone can show up in the classroom and observe and have a way of clearly assessing if those practices are taking place or not. or taking place with a sufficient quality. We defined fidelity and this is important. How do we know when we are successfully there? And this is all bundled up into a performance assessment. It's not used for evaluating teachers. It's not teacher evaluation. It is for the purpose of ensuring that we're implementing these practices successfully. Then we also need to look at an another big responsibility during this installation stage is this caring and developing infrastructure supports. Any change is going to involve big changes throughout the system. If we want to ensure that what we're doing is successfully done, we have to make sure that supports are in place. This can involve policies, procedures, and agreements. I put in the agreements there. If your model involves working with the local Head Start or community childcare preschool program, then you're probably going to have to take the time to negotiate interagency agreements for how we will work together to provide high-quality, inclusive early education services for all children. If it involves new policies and procedures that take teachers out of the classroom as a classroom teacher. And starts to redefine their role and position as a as a consultant or a co-teacher, then those policies and procedures need to take and effect change. Another big part is initial training and ongoing coaching. I alluded to this earlier. These are new practices. It requires new skills. And one of the areas that we find that sometimes districts want to rush in and do on the cheap is training and ongoing coaching. You know, we'll do some, will do a two-day training at the beginning of the school year and we'll call it done. Well, some of these practices require more than a couple of days. And what we know about adult learning is the importance of ongoing coaching. We can have the best five-day training to get people up to snuff with the knowledge and beginning skills are required for high-quality inclusive services. But if we don't follow that with ongoing coaching, as the teachers implement those new skills in their classrooms or in the regular early childhood classrooms. We know that those skills won't stick. So it means that we put together and have in place the resources and the experts to provide that ongoing training and coaching. Some of these models require ongoing resources and supports for some of the districts we've been working with that want to build on the efforts to establish pre-K programs in their district. And they're looking at those as placement for children with disabilities. There may be the need for additional resources and supports to make that happen. I mentioned training, but it may involve providing substitute release time for the regular early childhood classroom teachers to participate in some of that training. So they acquire the skills to universally design their classrooms and their curriculum and their teaching to accommodate a greater diversity of learners. There may be supports and materials that are going to be needed to make those classrooms well-equipped for all children. And so taking the time to think about the resources and supports that need to be in place is also part of this installation stage. And making sure we have the infrastructure in place to support it. And then the fourth piece is data and access to data and supports to use it. This implementation science model relies a great deal on data. It relies on data during exploration and ensuring that we've done a good job of assessing the feasibility and fit of the models we want to adopt and our capacity to implement it. And as we get ready to implement the desired models, we need to have an ongoing data collection system so we can see how well we're doing, how well we're implementing the changes and how well those changes are being made in the classrooms. So data for the implementation team to be able to monitor its progress in implementing these infrastructure supports? Are we able to provide the training and ongoing coaching? Is everybody accessing that training? What do we do to support ongoing training and coaching? And are we implementing that effectively? And then are the special educators and regular classroom teachers and therapists. Are they learning and practicing the skills based on that fidelity assessment I talked just talked about earlier. So that data helps us to chart. Are we doing what we said we would do in preparing and implementing this change? And two, is it having an impact? Are we affecting changes and in the desired service models and service practices that we've targeted. And then over time, are we having the desired impact on the children and families? So data is very important and it, it helps to inform and guide the implementation team. But also you can use it to create a culture of data informed decision-making with the classroom teachers and special education and, and, and therapists so that they can see they're doing what they're supposed to be doing. They're doing it well. And they can begin to monitor their impact and their collective impact on children's learning and development. So taking the time to secure and develop these infrastructure supports is a tremendously important part of this installation stage. We cannot take on the change began implementing that change unless we know we have all the necessary supports in place or, or we will fail. And it's, as you begin to think about this installation phase now and all that's involved, you can see where if we don't do this, then our efforts to implement the change may be doomed for failure. Okay, the next element, an important outcome of this installation stage is the plan and planning. Obviously after we've talked about making sure that our models are well-defined and we have fidelity measures. We've talked about the infrastructure supports we need to have in place that's going to take time. And that means we need to have a plan. And part of that plan is pulling those resources together. But they're also the plan for implementation. And when we start to think about moving into initial implementation, there are some key things we need to have as part of our plan. First, who's gonna go first? A big recommendation as a district or an agency move towards adoption is spending some time thinking about who will be your initial field test or pilot classrooms or buildings or sites. That's important. You're not gonna do this system-wide it. You're going to start small. You're going to test it out. You're going to make sure that the model and the practices make sense and they still have that fit feasibility. We're also going to test to make sure we do have all the infrastructure supports in place and that we can execute it. And, and so where do we start first? Instead of just jumping in across the whole district, we should pick a handful of sites to do this. And so who makes that first-cut? Who do we want to go with first? Well, that's a a conversation, that's a decision. The implementation team. Now you might choose to go with teachers and therapists who are on board and have good skills and practices and philosophically believe that this is a good practice so that you start with them. You know, you're not going to be waging the philosophical battles. And that their hearts are in the right place. And, and it's going to be a true test of the model and the infrastructure support. So you might start with folks that are on board and have good skill and knowledge at implementing this. So that might be part of the logic. You might have other criteria that guide who goes first. You know, you may be looking at buildings and that you've got leadership with the principal and the building that is strong, or that there is logic that they go first, one of the districts that we worked with that was very much a part of the decision-making. In that particular school. There was support and logic for the special education preschool classroom teachers to move away from classroom delivery and do co-teaching and push in services because of the strength of the regular early childhood classrooms in that school and the willingness for them to take it on. So there are a number of reasons why and it's just important to take some time and ask who do we want to go first and why, what's the criteria? Whether you're starting with strength and the people or maybe it's being strategic about the locations in schools or the sites that You take on first, how will we train and coach those folks? How will we make sure that they have the skills and capacity to implement these inclusive service models and practices. And who's going to be the coach? Do you have the expertise within your school district? Do you have folks like ourselves at the Early Childhood Center who you can ask and turn to provide the training. And perhaps this help with the coaching. That's part of what we've been doing over the past two or three years in working with districts to provide ongoing training and even coaching. Even during the pandemic, we'd been using some virtual coaching tools that allow us to coach individual teachers from a distance and using technology. So again, that plan of how you're going to execute all of the work you've been doing as an implementation team starts to fall out here. Again, data, data, data. Who has it? How are we gonna collect it? How are we going to compile it? How are we going to make it available? In a useful and usable format so that we can make informed decisions as an implementation team. Who's going to help us in doing those fidelity assessments? How are we going to ensure that the training took place and that people are feeling good and comfortable with the new knowledge and skills. How are we ensuring that the coaching supports for putting in place are being implemented and carried out, carried out well. And that the teachers and therapists are acquiring the skills. All of those are data decisions. And they will make or break the success of your implementation plan. Because mistakes will happen, you will run into problems. And there will be some folks that are going to struggle to learn these new skills. A data system will help you to identify those problems are struggles very early on and help you to problem-solve. And then finally, taking the time to define success. You know, let's say you decide to pilot with one or two or three of your special educators and their classrooms and moving those children into regular ed classrooms. So over the course of the year and initial implementation, how do you define that you're doing it well, it's going well, we are successful. And it's time to start to add new staff and new classrooms and new sites as we start to scale up. So taking the time to think about what is success that teachers and therapists are implementing their practices and implementing them well. And that we're seeing data that indicates that children are learning and people are feeling good about the change and feel it and it's working and that children and families are learning and feeling good about those changes. So we can say, all right, it's time to bring in the next three classrooms or the next building. So spending time defining what success is so that you don't just happen stance in your movements forward. Finally, communication. In our experience, change is hard. We are asking people to do business differently. We have seen a lot of questions and resistance and concerns about moving to more inclusive service models. And so if we don't provide information and communication and an opportunity for people to voice their concerns and hesitancy and have them addressed. Then we are setting ourselves up for failure and failure because of people being confused and executing poorly. Or for people who are not on board and may passively or actively sabotage those efforts. And so taking the time to set up and implement this ongoing two-way communication is key because we need to make sure people are informed and they're not making up information because there's an absence or a vacuum of information. We want to make sure we're clear about the direction we're going as a district and where we are and what stage we're in and what the plan and the timeline is. Everyone is informed and that there are opportunities for them to be able to share their questions. And as they experience problems, there's the feedback loop. And that goes back to that implementation team or to the school's leadership. So that we're all on board. We're all, you know, communicating and working together. So the putting in place those mechanisms, how is it that if I'm, a classroom teacher or speech and language therapist, and I have questions or concerns about how I'm going to do this. Who do I go to? I go to my building principle. Do I go to the special ed director or the preschool coordinator? Do I go to the person that's champion in this, that's part of the implementation team. If it's not clear what the lines of communication are, that's going to be frustrating for folks. If we don't provide who's providing the message? I mean, we have principles. They are generally the building leaders. So is the implementation team putting together the communication that goes down, goes up, comes from the superintendent's office, you know, with the work of the implementation team. And it goes to the building leadership. And it's the building leadership that provides information and communication about this initiative and the rolling out of these inclusive service models. So again, taking the time to think about what the communication plan will be and how it's executed and and what the lines of communication are. So that if I have questions, I need to know more. I've got something, some concerns. What do I do with that key piece, key piece of the stage of, of installation. So, you know, in this webinar we spent some time so far and talking about these first two stages. And and that's as far as I'm going to get, we're going to move to some very different topics and start to explore some of these inclusive service practices that I've alluded to in these three webinars. But I wanted to start with the importance of taking the time to look at that exploration and installation phases are my own experience and I know the experience of the folks at the National Implementation Research Network is that so many efforts fail. So many efforts and initiatives to adopt new models and practices fail in their implementation because we didn't spend enough time during exploration and installation. It can take a year and maybe even more for exploration and installation to occur. And so for someone that wants to start, you know, this is February and they want to rock and roll and have this off the ground and being implemented at the start of the next school year in the fall? Well, that might be unrealistic because we have to ask the question, will this give us enough time for that exploration and installation to occur? I encourage you and I've, I've shared references to the work of NIRN and folks like Karen Ward that works for the SSIP project that looks at state implement, and implementation change, have wonderful resources. And we're in the process of developing a new website that will use this model of change and provide some kind of step-by-step planning for our districts here in Indiana. I'll close. On February 23rd, I believe at four PM. I will have open forum. It will be live. That's an opportunity. If you're interested to join me with questions that you might have about what I've shared and the work that we're doing and the initiative we're undertaking as part of our collaboration with the Indiana Department of Education. Our website at the Early Childhood Center where you found this webinar, there should be links to register for that forum. So we have a sense of how many people are joining us. And I hope to see you there and please come with questions. Thank you for joining me again. There's my contact information. If you should have any questions, please feel free to email me. Thank you again for joining me.

What it Takes to Implement Effective Preschool Inclusion - Team Collaboration and Multi-tiered Instructional Supports Enhance Child Outcomes

Part 1 -  By Sally Reed Crawford, M.A., Research Associate

Description of the video:

Welcome to the Early Childhood Center's webinar series. What it Takes to Implement Effective Preschool Inclusion Services. Our March topic is Team Collaboration and Multitiered Instructional Supports Enhance Child Outcomes. Today is part one. In subsequent weeks on March 9th we will cover tier two, March 16th will be tier three. And March 23rd, we will have a live discussion forum, but you have to sign up for that. Please visit our webpage. My name is Sally Reed Crawford. I have been a Research Associate at the Early Childhood Center at the Indiana institute on Disability and Community for six years. And I've been in the field of early intervention and early childhood special education for over 40 years. The Early Childhood Center is one of seven at the Institute. And the institute covers the lifespan for people with disabilities. The work of each center promotes research to practice. The goals for the March topic are to provide an overview of evidence-based practices that improve child outcomes, illustrate the importance of team collaboration in preschool inclusion, and to illustrate what tiered instructional supports look like to meet children's unique needs. As you can see, I have paired each goal with a sample practice from the document The Division of Early Childhood Recommended Practices. Implementing effective preschool services takes a dual responsibility. Leaders establish policies and procedures and hire staff competent in inclusive service delivery, as well as create the conditions for practitioners from multiple disciplines and families to work together. For practitioners. One practice is to maintain the required frequency, intensity, and duration of instruction to address the child's pace of learning or level of support to achieve goals. Today's agenda is, again, the overview of evidence-based practices, requirements of effective inclusion, and then delving into tier one. So what is the evidence base for effective preschool inclusion and why follow it? I think the answer starts with what we want to achieve with preschool inclusion. The desired outcomes you see on the slide were put forth in 2015 by the US Health and Human Services and Department of Education offices. Some phrases that jump out at me are inclusion should promote a sense of belonging and membership, support positive social relationships and friendships, and provide supports to maximize each child's learning potential. Learning potential: research tells us that when we simply place children in high-quality early care and education, that is often not enough to increase their opportunities to learn and be socially included. Some children will need specialized supports to fully participate, engage, and to learn. I wanted to provide you a overview of the legal, science, and equity bases for using evidence-based practices in preschool inclusion service delivery. The first one is the legal basis. We learn from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 that for eligible children, the first placement option should be considered is the regular classroom where a child would attend if they did not have a disability. Both IDEA 2004 and the Every Student Succeeds Act require schools to use programs, curricula, and practices when serving children and inclusive environments. Based on scientific research. The science basis for early childhood inclusion is robust. With over 30 years of evidence pointing and telling us we need to increase inclusion for young children. A brief sampling of the research shows us that children with disabilities can indeed be educated in inclusive settings with individualized instruction. That evidence-based practices increases the probability of positive outcomes for children. And inclusion requires intentional and effective collaboration and teaming and probably professional development and coaching. The equity basis is strongly linked to the legal basis. All children have the right to equitable learning opportunities to help them achieve their full potential and to become valued members of society. Therefore, all educators have a professional obligation to advance equity. Our colleagues at the Indiana Department of Education's Office of Special Education designed this excellent visual. As a quick reminder of what each and every educator serving students with different abilities needs to be doing to support those individual needs and to meet the Indiana Department of Education mission: Every child succeeds. This visual is in alignment with the march topics. I'm going to break it down just a bit. So you see the colored elements, the four core elements of the visual, collaboration. instruction, curriculum assessment. We also see surrounding that universal design for learning and multitiered system of supports is a component of support and in the middle we see shared responsibility, shared accountability, and high expectations. More elements that we will be visiting in our March topic. At the very center of the visual is our goal or target in educating students. If we provide equity plus access, we increase child outcomes. The target in the visual drives our efforts to implement effective preschool inclusion. Lastly, the arrows around the donut or bagel reflects that this is a fluid model. Each element impacts the next. The presence or absence or strength or weakness of an element impacts our ability to hit the target, to increase child outcomes. We know that inclusion is challenging. The field of early childhood special education has a framework that was given to us in 2009 with the three features of effective inclusion. We consider these the requirements of what we need to be doing. A joint position statement was put out between the division of Early Childhood Council for Exceptional Children and the National Association for the Education of Young Children promoted three features of access, participation and system supports. I'm going to briefly define each one. Access is the first step and how adults shape the learning environment. I'm talking about the environments in a broad sense. Physical, temporal, which is the pace of a schedule, social and instructional environments. Access includes three commonly used evidence-based practices to design a wide range of learning experiences for all children and to increase access. One is Universal Design for Learning. It's a set of principles to guide selection of materials and resources. They are flexible teaching methods to provide support for all children. Adaptations, assistive technology, and other accommodations are simple changes that a teacher makes to classroom routines or activities. They are easy to implement, thoughtfully planned, and don't require other resources. These changes support a child's physical, cognitive, or emotional challenges. Some simple changes might be altering the environment or maybe modifying materials or using special equipment. Using a child's favorite activities or people or toys within activities. Planning adult and peer assistance for modelling or prompting within activities. The second feature is participation. We think of this as how we individualized supports. The evidence-based practices and participation are embedded learning opportunities which are short, intentional teaching episodes within ongoing routines, and tiered levels of instruction. These are planned with the child's goals in mind and we identify them in terms of when we will provide the instruction, where the instruction will take place, what instruction will happen, and how instruction will occur. We want special education services to be delivered within typical routines and activities. The third system, the third feature of effective inclusion is system or administrative supports. They include a variety of things. Starting with professional development and coaching, team collaboration, family engagement, program evaluation, and fidelity of classroom practices. I will be focusing just on team collaboration in March, as well as the access and participation best-practices. Let's take a look at some real world examples of the simple changes that occur in classrooms. You see colored squares to assist children in lining up. This would be altering the environment. We see a visual schedule, a large one, which is varying the method because we've paired a real photo to it. We may use iPads or other technology to modify instruction. We might simplify steps to teach a concept. Again, with visuals. We may motivate some children to stay in a group by giving them a leadership role. Sign Language is an alternative way to decide children's learning. We may provide adult assistance in social situations. Individual visuals may support a child staying with the whole group. And child preference can be utilized to engage a favorite peer, to look at a book. The second feature of participation and individualizing supports, specifically multitiered system of supports, I feel needs a bit more definition for what it looks like in early childhood education. It can be confusing. Prior to multitiered system of supports was response to intervention and positive behavior supports for elementary and high school students. It wasn't until 2004 IDEA that we began to see tiered, multitiered strategies, link to struggling elementary students. And again, in every child or Every Student Succeeds Act, tiered strategies to help with literacy. It's taken the early childhood field a bit longer to catch up. But in 2013, the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Division of Early Childhood and Head Start. All three wanted clarification on response to intervention for young students. And then they revise that position paper in 2019. And this definition was put forth that an MTSS framework in early care and education is a way of providing high-quality teaching through differentiated support for all young children, not just those who are struggling. Three distinctions characterize MTSS in early childhood. The receiver of the tiered support is the child and the family. That the person who delivers the tiered support are multiple service providers, general educators, special educators. The other thing that happens in early childhood is that there are several entities providing early childhood education. There's public preschool, there's Head Start, there's private preschool. And the third distinction is the focus. What is the focus of the intervention? It is both behavior and academics or school readiness skills, not just the struggling student. The third feature, System or administrative supports, I am focusing on the evidence-based practice of team collaboration. Research tells us that ongoing team collaboration, is essential in implementing effective individualized supports. Team collaboration is about shared responsibility and accountability. Team members would share data and resources and problem-solve how to implement individualized supports. Administrators in effective preschool inclusion programs recognize the importance of giving the team time to communicate and collaborate. And therefore they establish a structure or a procedure for collaborative teaming. Practitioners in early childhood inclusion can agree that the work of preschool inclusion is rigorous work. To remove those barriers to educational and social success. It is the evidence-based practices that provide all children an equitable learning opportunity. We do know also that practitioners have discovered that a particular evidence-based practice is not guaranteed to work for all children all the time. That's a fact. But trying an evidence-based practices is our only path to each child's access and participation in inclusive settings. You might be saying, "So where do I find these evidence-based practices?" I'm going to show you two essential resources. The first one, I introduced at the beginning of the webinar, the Division of Early Childhood's recommended practices. This is a document that you can download. It's accessible on mobile devices. It comes in English and Spanish. And there are two versions. There's a document of just the practices themselves. And then there's the same document with embedded examples to describe what it looks like in a variety of settings. These documents are for children birth through five. So some of the examples are also for infant and toddler work. There are eight topic areas with a variety of practices guiding us to try them in our service delivery. Second, go-to resource is the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center. They have developed practice improvement tools as a companion to the Division of Early Childhood Recommended practices. There are performance checklists. That is an opportunity for a practitioner to check their implementation. There are two kinds of guides, family guides and practitioner guides to use with those general educators they consult with. These are very cool. They embed a video in each guide. There is a descriptive scenario, and there are indicators of what it looks like when it's successful. The checklists and the guides are per practice in all the topic areas. We're about to go into tier one. I want to orient you to tier one by introducing this triangle. This is the MTSS or Multitiered System of Supports triangle. You may have seen in the past. You will see that Tier one is at the bottom. It is purposely wider and deeper to symbolize the foundation for all the practices above. It also indicates that these are universal practices and support that is often sufficient to meet the needs of most young children. Tier two is depicted in the middle, which is shallower than the bottom tier, yet deeper than the top tier. This indicates that some children will need more focused supports, and targeted instruction for some of their skills. Tier three is at the top. It highlights prioritizing essential individual skills for a few children who need an increased, an intent systematic instruction, which is more often and we would be utilizing prompts and reinforcers to build those skills. The arrow along the side increase reflects the increasing or decreasing of that individualisation up and down the triangle. The frequency of instruction and the frequency of progress monitoring. The arrow in the middle reflects that children move up and down across the tears. A child isn't labeled a tier two or three child. They could have skills that are being met in tier one, but they may needs a tier two strategy to support learning a skill or two. Let's look at some universal outcomes. We want all children to learn how to attend and engage so they can learn. Following directions, completing tasks, manipulating materials appropriately, sharing and taking turns and learning to negotiate, making choices, and developing friendships. And all this is occurring within a classroom of maybe 18 to 20, 22 children. So a tier one, let's review. Who gets it and why? All children receive tier-1. We have high expectations, but we will plan for varied abilities. Our universal. design is developmentally, linguistically, and socially and culturally appropriate. Well, what does it look like? Well, we're starting with those universal outcomes. We're going to use common curriculum. We may vary difficulty for some children. And we're gonna use multiple methods to engage present information and determined learning. We may do this in mixed ability small groups. What does team collaboration look like at tier-1? Planning for tier-1 often falls to the classroom teacher, but it doesn't mean the whole team couldn't be consulted to look at the whole design of the environment to make sure every child has access to all activities and routines. And what about families sharing what they do at home that's successful. And offering family some practices to try that we have found that work in the classroom. Progress monitoring generally takes place three to four times a year. The key about progress monitoring is that we need to discover method setters; simple, reliable, something you can sustain over time and that all adults can do. I want to check in with the Division of Early Childhood Recommended Practices for the tier one supports. First of all, their access topic is called environment. Their participation topic is called instruction. And they term team collaboration, Team collaboration. These are just three of the many practices to review. So I want to think about a classroom teacher and what we have to remember to do as classroom teachers and providers. We need to be asking, when we're universally designing an environment, we need to ask, what is it we have to do? What, what barriers have to be removed? And how do we make learning accessible for all children? Classroom teachers know the children in their, in their group. They have varying abilities. They have different ways of learning. Teachers have specific learning goals for each child. A teacher's going to consult with other team members. Let's look at it a little more specifically. Teachers are going to build on interests and motivation and children's curiosity. She may extend engagement by scaffolding and hints. And vary difficulty for some children. She is going to present information in an accessible way in a variety of formats. Use of technology might be used to support independence for some children. To decide on child learning, she's going to first start with very planned and focused observations, expecting varied responses. Using variety of materials. She is going to keep in mind that one size doesn't fit all in designing her learning environment. Some general questions to consider when designing a barrier free learning environment and activities are, are adults performing tasks for children that they could be doing? Is the child doing what his, his or her peers are doing? Could we incorporate social engagement into the routine or task? How should the environment, the physical environment, be altered to increase socialization and independence? Does the length or duration of a routine need to be altered? I'm going to review a planning sequence using a literacy example. I'm going to use a common IEP outcome. And I'm using the Indiana Early Learning Foundations. So what is taught? If we want to teach a child to recognize common objects, we're going to teach the name and the function or use of an object. We want all the adults and family members to be doing that instruction. It will happen in the classroom and during home activities, throughout the day. At recess. In the car. And we're going to use language rich interactions and suggested question prompts might be at the center. So all adults can add to that rich interaction. Will do lots of shared book reading, supplementing with concrete objects, and picture labels. As I think about one of the center times, a book exploration, this is what that outcome or that planning could look like. To engage a particular child. Let's say it's a child who's not very interested in books, but it's very interested in the housekeeping quarter and is also a dual language learner. So I might use some shared book time with that child. Invite a favorite peer, and make sure there are dual language books as part of what the child chooses to look at. We will explore it together. We will look at the photos and the dual language to identify objects and their function in the preferred interest content he likes, which is the housekeeping quarter. We might model matching the concrete object to the picture in the book. The adult could model, the favorite pier could model. We will use multiple ways for a child to respond and participate. Speech in their home language, gestures, visuals. We will collect data, the method of choice over several weeks, share progress, an input with the team and the families, and review effectiveness and adjust the intervention. So let's look at our general questions. Was the adult performing a task a child should be doing? Could be doing? No. Child was involved with peers. Is the child doing what peers are doing? Yes. It's book expiration time. Was social engagement part of it? Yes. Was the physical environment or the materials altered to increase engagement? Well we added dual language books. Did the duration of the routine or activity need to be altered to meet that child's needs? I think if we have done all the other elements then the child would be very interested in staying with the activity. Let's do a quick review of what occurred in this webinar. We looked at the legal, science, and equity basis for using evidence-based practices. We outlined several evidence-based practices to increase access, participation, an impact team collaboration. And you learned maybe, or you knew already about the resource of the Division of Early Childhood Recommended Practices or the performance checklists and guides. And we learned about what team collaboration and multitiered system of supports is in early childhood. The next webinar on this topic is March 9th. It will be posted. It will focus on tier two. The upcoming months series topics is here. And I want to thank you for participating. Please, find the webinar survey link to complete the survey to get professional growth points.
Part II - By Sally Reed Crawford, M.A., Research Associate

Description of the video:

Welcome to the Early Childhood Center's webinar series, What It Takes To Implement Effective Preschool Inclusion Services. This for month's series is a partnership between the Early Childhood Center and the Indiana Department of Education's Office of Special Education. Our hope for this series is to foster high-quality, evidence-based early childhood special education services in regular early childhood classrooms and to address the possible training and technical assistance needs. We are currently in our March topic, Team Collaboration and Multi-tiered Supports Enhance Child Outcomes. Today, March 9th is Tier Two. Tier Three will happen next week. And on March 23rd, we will have our live discussion forum that you need to register for. Please find the link on our series webpage. My name is Sally Reed Crawford. I've been a research associate at the Early Childhood Center at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community for six years. I've been in the field of early intervention and early childhood special education for 40 years. The Early Childhood Center is one of seven centers at the Institute. The Institute covers the lifespan for persons with disabilities. Each center's work, promotes research to practice. Please visit our website and our early childhood web page and sign up for our new E newsletter. The goals for March are to provide an overview of the evidence-based practices that improve child outcomes. To illustrate the importance of team collaboration, and to illustrate tiered instructional supports to meet individual needs. I have paired each goal with a sample practice from the document, The Division of Early Childhood's recommended practices. These practices are informed by research of what it takes to increase child outcomes in inclusive or natural settings. I share examples here because of the dual responsibility of implementing inclusion requires leaders have a role and practitioners have a role. Exploring the recommended practices administrators will find a range of guidance in establishing policies and procedures, how to support staff in implementing recommended practices, and for creating the conditions for practitioners for multiple disciplines and family members to engage in team collaboration. The practitioner will find a variety of guidance on classroom practices to provide universal access to all children, to individualize for children's needs, and to build relationships with colleagues and family members. Today is all about Tier 2. We will get into team collaboration and planning and the instructional strategies. I'm going to start with some context of what tier 2 looks like in a preschool inclusion classroom. Placing children in an inclusive classroom does not automatically create an equitable educational experience that promotes child outcomes. We need to keep in mind what research tells us. Placement alone in high-quality early care and education environments does not increase their opportunities to learn and be socially included. Some children will need specialized supports to fully participate, engage, and learn. It is the adult's responsibility to shape the learning environment for each and every child successful learning. The adult's attention to each child's individual needs and shaping of the learning environment helps to create the equitable preschool experience. What is required of adults to shape environments to meet individual needs? It begins with these three features: access, participation and system or administrative supports. Access is essential to ensure that each and every child can successfully navigate and engage in learning environments. From the physical to the temporal, social and instructional and environments, each child needs a way to successfully participate. Universal Design for Learning, adaptations, and assistive technology are all flexible teaching methods to engage students, present information, and determines student learning. The second feature is participation. This includes everything we do to individualized supports so a child can successfully learn. First, it means special education services are provided in the classroom, during routines and activities and transitions. It means it embedded instruction occurs within that daily routine. And it also means tiered instructional supports are planned and provided to meet a child's unique needs. The third and last feature is system or administrative supports. These encompass the administrative decisions, procedures, and policies that include ongoing professional development, opportunities for team collaboration and communication among families and practitioners. Program evaluation and a monitoring of the fidelity of classroom practices. Research tells us that these features, when effectively and consistently provided, remove the barriers to access and learning and create the equity that inclusion promises. This levels the playing and learning field, as it were, by laying the foundation to achieve the desired outcomes and inclusion, which are developed partnerships with families. increase a child's successful engagement and participation to learn, and to build the child and family sense of membership. Feeling unsure of how to implement preschool inclusion is common among practitioners. Recent research tells us that much of what is required to effectively implement preschool inclusion is lacking among general education and special education practitioners. For example, they have limited experience in progress monitoring and database decision-making, minimal training and behavior management, lack of training and individualized or systematic instruction, and limited or no experience with team collaboration. The formal education training that most general educators and special educators receive has not included inclusive practice, service delivery There's a long history of children being segregated from their typical peers to receive special education. Effective preschool Inclusion takes preparing staff, the provision of ongoing staff support, professional development and coaching. I'm revisiting this multi-tiered system of supports triangle I introduced in part one, guide our focus of Tier 2. As you see, each of the tiers reflects differences in how often supports are provided, the intensity of those supports, and the level of individualization and progress monitoring. Tier 1 supports are delivered daily to all children and most children's needs will be met in Tier one. This tier is the deepest tier because it is the foundation of the practices used to promote the universal outcomes of all children and are the basis of the practices that are added to at Tiers 2 and 3. Some of those universal outcomes are learning to attend and engage in a classroom of 20 other children, to make choices, to be able to follow directions, to use materials as expected, appropriately waiting turns, sharing and negotiating with peers, and ultimately learning to develop friendships. I want to keep these outcomes in mind today. Tier 2 is less steep than Tier 1, but deeper than Tier 3. There will be some children who will require more practice for some individualized or targeted skills. Often when we implement Tier 2 support, it will reduce the need for Tier 3. Tier 3, the top tier is the shallowest, meaning only a few children in an inclusive classroom will need to receive supplemental instruction that is more individualized, more intense, and systematic. Some key points to remember about tiered instruction is that the supports differ in dosage, individualization, and frequency of progress monitoring. Children move fluidly between tiers. They are not locked in for all of their skills in one tier or labeled a Tier 2 or Tier 3 child. The context, situation and data based decision-making drives the tier type and instructional practices. Tiers are additive. Tier 1 continues to be provided to a child's instruction when supplemental instruction is provided at Tier 2 or 3. Tiered instructional practices are evidence-based and are to be delivered with fidelity. When a child makes progress, intensity or dosage of instruction changes. Let's check in with the division of Early Childhood Recommended Practices and see what the guidance looks like for ensuring individualizing instruction occurs. These sample practices highlight the intentional planning required to individualize instruction, database decision-making, and the intentional use of peers to teach skills. I'm going to go ahead and be quiet for a moment so you can review the practices. Okay? A strong data system is critical to making good instructional decisions. And research tells us there are five steps of a good early childhood data driven decision-making process. Those steps are provided in this visual. This needs to be a commitment for staff members to not only collect the data, but then to summarize it and analyze it together and to interpret the meaning of that data. The methods themselves can be many. They can be checklists, they can be anecdotal observations. They could be narrative running records, samples of children's work. The data method must be sustainable. To be able to be used over time. The method must be reliable and allow for instruction and evaluation. And the method must be used by all adults. And it must be collected and reviewed regularly. Let's start to operationalize Tier 2. Who gets it and why? Basically children whose development has stalled or a child has a skill that's not progressing. The data has informed us that Tier 1 supports have been inadequate. Well, what does it look like? There will be more focus on an individual's skill or outcome that seems to not be progressing it at Tier 1. Additional opportunities for facilitated instruction will take place in the format of increased use of mixed ability small groups, numerous times to target the skill instruction throughout the daily routines. And team collaboration. I mentioned that the team begins with a review of the quality of Tier 1 practices. They review child performance data, identify the skill that's lagging to target, or to prioritize. They make a plan, implement it, and collect data. Think of tiered supports as being embedded in everything we do in the early childhood classroom to promote child learning of social and academic skills and how they learn the concepts of rules and expectations. So tiered supports occur when we are building relationships and engaging children. When we are structuring transitions and individualizing instruction. When we provide environmental cues and teach expectations and rules in a variety of formats. And when we collect and use progress data to adjust interactions and instruction. The evidence-based practices most commonly use to implement tiered levels of individualized supports. I'm going to share now. The first one, excuse me, is universal design for learning. As we check the quality of our Tier 1 supports, before deciding on Tier 2 supports, we need to answer. Did we do all we could do to remove the barriers and make learning accessible? Have we looked at the social environment and the linguistic environment? What about the pace of the schedule? The second evidence-based practice is embedded learning opportunities. These are short plan teaching episodes throughout the day, within play and the routines to avoid pull out for special education services. These are episodes are implemented by adults in the classroom. It could be the lead teacher, it could be the speech language pathologists. It could be the special education teacher, or the instructional aid. It could be another related service provider. The third evidence-based practice is the use of small groups. We want to increase the use of small groups at Tier 2, where the adult modifies activities to practice skills, to model, to provide additional assistance. They may vary the complexity of an activity, and they may intentionally utilize peers. The fourth evidence-based practice is called response prompting. Research tells us this strategy is most helpful with children who lack skills to complete tasks. Response prompting is characterized by a hierarchy ranging from the most to the least prompts or supports. So the range goes from full physical help to modeling. Maybe a visual prompt is adequate or gestural prompt could be adequate or a verbal prompt. The adult provides the prompt or the cue and observes the child's response, giving immediate encouraging feedback and correcting if there were errors. Tier 2 and Tier 3 practices do not necessarily have to differ from Tier 1. Remember, we just need to increase dosage and intensity. However, depending on a specific skill the child is working on, there may be a need to explore the use of an evidence-based intervention package. The pyramid model for promoting social competence is widely used at Tiers 2 and 3. Another intervention package, prevent - teach - reinforce, is commonly used at Tier 3 with children with autism. Let's look at some real-world examples of some selected instructional supports. Like adult assistance, facilitated peer-to-peer interactions, and flexible expectations and scaffolding. In the small group table photo we see here, we see a common curriculum content being provided, but the activities are varied. We see peers as models and conversation partners. And the adult is sitting by the target child using explicit interventions and positive feedback, using dual language to engage. In this second picture, we see an adult could be a therapy provider, providing adult assistance to encourage child participation in a small group activity. The adult models, has peers model, both instruct how to place the Ten grams together. The water table. And appealing activity and preschool is an excellent opportunity for an adult to facilitate peer-to-peer interactions and turn taking. The adult uses the words or gestures to model asking for return with the toy. and follows up with praise. The garden picture. In this scene, the adult might be differentiating the types of questions she's asking about the plant they are observing. Based on the child's proficiency. She might as one child to point to the plant and the jar. She might ask another child what is in the jar. She might ask another, what do you see? What is different about the plant than yesterday? This differentiating of instruction allows all children to participate in lessons together. After covering the what and the how of Tier 2 supports, we're now going to move on to team collaboration. Research tells us that effective team collaboration is necessary to increase child outcomes. Effective team collaboration is when preschool, special educators and related service providers and general educator share responsibility to improve child outcomes. Team collaboration also promotes the Individuals with Disabilities Act, mandate of service provision in natural environments or the least restrictive environment. Effective team collaboration builds on the knowledge and experience of all team partners. As the team focuses on each other's issues and concerns, they identify and build on partner's positive actions and interactions. Problem-solving together, and making suggestions consistent with the partner's role and learning styles. An effective team increases the instructional options and strategies to implement. Let's look at a sample of the Division of Early Childhood Recommended Practices on team collaboration. I'm going to be quiet for a moment so you can read the practices. Okay? An effective team collaboration process, to make good database decisions, results in revising instructional variables to individualized supports. So first, this includes identifying what child outcome is taught, who will deliver the instruction, where the instruction will take place, when instruction and interventions will be delivered and how instruction is delivered and the data collected. Frequency and method. Activity matrices are commonly used by many inclusion classroom teachers and teams to document the instructional plan. There are three primary areas of an activity matrix to complete. You want to match the activity or routine so the practice of the targeted behavior can take place. You want to identify all the adult resources and decide who's best to provide and facilitate that instruction. And you want to look for numerous opportunities within the day to schedule and target the instruction. There are numerous examples of activity matrices. I'm going to show you two. The first one is from the headstart inclusion.org. And you can see that there are names of children at the top. There is a schedule of the day down the side. Some teams use a big whiteboard in a classroom or maybe not in the classroom, but maybe a side room. It could be large easel paper with sticky notes. The second example is from Building Blocks: Teaching Preschoolers with Special Needs. You can see the same format and organization of the daily schedule, the targeted skill, and the name of the child. They only thing that's missing from these is adding the adult who's going to facilitate the instruction. And if the matrix is going to be in public view in a room, then you probably would need to use child initials instead of full names. A particular format for an activity matrix is not better than another. One size doesn't fit all teams or each teacher. The format must fit the following takeaways. Outline the plan with the targeted skill. The times during the day when the skill can be practiced numerous times, maybe including instructional strategy tips and who's responsible to teach. I'm going to use a child scenario to illustrate two planning examples for two skills. First a literacy skill, and second to social emotional skill. Mela is a four-year-old enrolled in public preschool. She's a dual language learner with language delays in Spanish and English. She prefers to play alone, but does tend to play beside a favorite peer. She has outbursts when directed to transition. And peers avoid her sometimes. She prefers dramatic play, art and occasionally books. The literacy skill we're going to be working on is expressive communication, to recognize common objects, and the social emotional will be cooperative play with adult guidance. Let's do the literacy skill first. So first we want to review the tier 1 literacy supports that have been provided. So after looking at what was provided at Tier 1, it was determined that no dual language visual common objects were available in the room. They did note the play and people preferences of Mila. There were limited books in Spanish. Mela had a short attention span at adult facilitated table activities. And there was no Spanish imbedded in adult facilitated instruction. Let's see how the instructional plan went. The child outcome, recognize common objects - they were going to teach, naming and using the use of common objects. Who will teach? I've included carry over at home in my illustrations. So who will teach where and when? And how? I want to spend a couple a minute or more on the how we want to increase share book reading based on child's interests and supplement with concrete objects and maybe use that utilize the Spanish-speaking instructional assistant that Mila has begun to be bonded to. Use prompting questions with dual language, increase the use of small groups to play matching games. embed dual language during the day to identify colors, numbers, objects, and food. And the data should be collected weekly and reviewed regularly. Let's do the social emotional skill. First, we're going to look at the Tier 1 evaluation. Noted the child preferences of play and people still liking the Spanish-speaking instructional assistant. No dual language was embedded in social interaction opportunities, although there's planned and facilitated opportunities, but the dual language was missing. There's some ongoing teaching of social skill expectations. But there were no dual language or visuals embedded in the social skills expectations. And no dual language books on friendships or expectations. This team's instructional plan was on cooperative play with adult guidance. And they want to teach turn taking. Again, the who will teach and where and when includes the classroom and family members. How are we going to do this? We're going to increase mixed ability groups with the Spanish speaking instructional assistant targeting social games with preferred peers. We're going to increase facilitated social skills instruction with adult and peer using visuals, modelling, and dual language. We're going to use a timer during turn-taking. And we're going to refer to visuals at centers to cue the turn taking steps. Increase use of dual language book reading about friendships and taking turns. And the data again, collected weekly and reviewed regularly. Determining instructional plan effectiveness. Basically, you got to try it for a few weeks, documenting the progress along the way and reviewing the data and edit as needed, and adjust that instructional plan and begin the cycle again. Okay. We are at the review portion of the webinar. Today we looked at Tier 2, who received it, what it looks like, how data-based decision-making informs the instructional plan, and a variety of evidence-based practices to use. At Tier 2, we looked at the importance of progress data and the data collection method. And we looked at Tier 2 collaboration. And how when shared responsibility is a commitment between all the providers and classroom adults child outcomes increase. And I introduced a planning for framework and an activity matrix. Coming up on March 16th. I'll be going into the details of Tier 3. Our monthly topics, if you want to look ahead, and you can also look at the topics on our webinar series page. Thank you for participating. Don't forget to go to the webinar series page and select the webinar survey to complete and receive your professional growth points. Thank you.
Part III - By Sally Reed Crawford, M.A., Research Associate

Description of the video:

Welcome to the Early Childhood Center's four month webinar series, What It Takes To Implement Effective Preschool Inclusion Services. This series is produced in partnership with the Early Childhood Center and the Indiana Department of Education's Office of Special Education. With this webinar series, we hope to foster high-quality early childhood special education services in regular early childhood classrooms and to address possible training and technical assistance needs. We are in our March topic, Team Collaboration and Multitiered Supports Enhance Child Outcomes. Today is March 16th and we will cover tier 3. Next week will be our live discussion forum on March 23rd. Please don't forget to register on our webinar page. My name is Sally Reed Crawford. I have been a Research Associate at the Early Childhood Center at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community for six years. I've been in the field of early intervention and early childhood special education for over 40 years. The Early Childhood Center is part of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community. We're one of seven centers, and the institute covers the lifespan for people with disabilities. Each center works to promote research to practice. Please visit the Institute website and our early childhood web page to check out our resources and sign up for our newsletter. My goals for the March topic, are to provide an overview of evidence-based practices that improve child outcomes in inclusive settings, illustrate the importance of team collaboration and inclusive services, and illustrate what tiered instructional supports look like to meet children's needs in inclusive settings. I have paired each of the goals with a sample practice from the document, the Division of Early Childhood's Recommended Practices, Implementation of Effective Preschool Inclusion has a dual responsibility. Leaders have a role and practitioners have a role. For leaders: We need them to establish policies and procedures and hire staff knowledgeable in effectively implementing inclusion. Leaders also need to create the conditions for practitioners from multiple disciplines and family members to collaborate. For practitioners, one best practice is to implement the frequency, intensity, and duration of instruction needed to address the child's pace of learning or level of support to achieve child goals. This document provides a range of evidence-based practices in eight different topic areas that impact program effectiveness. I encourage you to explore the document if you haven't already. Today's webinar on Tier 3 will provide a guide to considering the feasibility of serving a few children with higher support needs in regular early childhood classrooms. Let's start with a shared understanding of what effective inclusive services are. The promise of early childhood inclusion is an equitable education for all children with disabilities, not just for those with mild educational needs. So the promise continues with services within regular early childhood classrooms, providing the level of services and supports that match child's needs. When children are fully included, they engage in all social and learning opportunities. And all children demonstrate substantial growth in learning and development. A little bit of context on what early childhood inclusion looks like in Indiana. In 2016, we began the inclusion project in partnership with the Indiana Department of Education's Office of Special Education, with the intention of shining a spotlight on preschool special education. And to grapple with why the level of inclusive services for Indiana preschool has hovered between 29 and 30 percent for several years. We wanted to find out where were the programs implementing preschool inclusion and at what level, what was the impact of those inclusive services? And what were the barriers and challenges of preschool inclusion? And lastly, who were the model programs and what were they doing to characterize them as exemplars of effective inclusive services? This slide shows the percentages of preschoolers receiving inclusion in Indiana. You can see this, the map of Indiana, is covered with a bunch of blue dots, some lighter in color and some darker. The lightest blue dots reflect those districts who are providing inclusion between 0 and 20 percent. The darkest blue dots are those districts who are providing preschool inclusion between 80 and a 100 percent. So in our initial investigation of preschool inclusion in Indiana that resulted in us realizing a one in three Indiana preschoolers receive services in early childhood settings. Let's break down what that looks like. So you see on the bottom that there's five years represented and the inclusion percentages go up the left side. The gray boxes of percentages are who is being included in regular early education classrooms. The pink percentages reflect who is in that general education classroom with an IEP, but who is not receiving special ed in that classroom, meaning that they are being pulled out. The deepest pink percentages reflect those children being served in self-contained or segregated classrooms. Today, I want us to consider two things. How do we decrease pull out, the lightest pink percentages? And what is the possibility of serving children in self-contained classrooms, in an inclusive classroom. What Indiana preschool early childhood special education program serve the most preschoolers with IEPs and have high child impact. We know from research that placement alone is not enough to increase child outcomes and that some children will require individualized supports to succeed socially and academically. After our original inclusion study, we began to focus our efforts on two additional inclusion studies to highlight model preschool inclusion programs. We wondered, could a directory of inclusion models celebrate, highlight, and be useful in networking among Indiana school districts providing preschool special education? Are studies investigated who had the highest preschool LRE and who had the child, the highest child impact. We investigated the practices they use. And we launched the directory in 2019 and 2020, we updated it. Currently, there are 32 districts included in this directory. Those included must demonstrate both high LRE for preschool and high child impact. If you haven't explored our directory, please do so on our early childhood webpage under Resources and preschool inclusion. In our experience of studying preschool inclusion in Indiana for the past six years, children with higher educational aids are not always found in inclusive classrooms. And this is despite what the Individuals with Disabilities Act tells us of what LRE is. Basically they tell us children with disabilities ought to be educated with their non-disabled peers. And those children can't be removed from those classrooms unless tried they have tried everything to make it work. However, preschool inclusion is still not a predominant service model in Indiana. What does the research say about the challenges of raising percentages of preschool inclusion? Here are just a few examples of the challenges. Program philosophy and service model. Prevalence of a readiness model. Provider beliefs and training to effectively implement the individualized instruction that is required in inclusive classrooms. And this is so even after over 30 years of research in preschool inclusion that tells us children with disabilities can successfully be included with specialized instruction. Successful inclusion requires effective team collaboration. And inclusion benefits both children with and without disabilities. What does it take to include preschoolers with higher support needs and regular early childhood classrooms? Research tells us it takes the consistent and effective implementation of these three defining features of early childhood inclusion. Access. This is the means for providing a wide range of activities and learning environments for every child to remove physical barriers and offer multiple ways to promote learning and development. Participation. This means using a range of instructional approaches, promote engagement in play and learning activities and a sense of belonging for each child. System or administrative supports refers to the broader aspects of system. Components such as developing policies and procedures committed to and embracing best practices of early childhood inclusion. Supporting staff with professional development and ongoing supports to effectively implement inclusion. Establishing team collaboration opportunities between family members and professionals, and monitoring program quality and measuring fidelity of classroom practices. Why would we change our service model and do things differently? It not only is a legal mandate, but inclusive service delivery creates access and participation. It is the first step to membership. Inclusive service delivery supports, learning and behavior in context. And inclusion has a positive impact on children with and without disabilities. What would this mean for system change in programs to increase preschool inclusion? First, it starts with having and sustaining high expectations for each and every child. Developing a program philosophy on inclusion. Establish a system of services and supports to support individual needs, revising program and professional standards. And to improve professional development with a focus on inclusion. This is the early childhood multi-tiered system of supports triangle I have shown in each of my three webinars. It is a framework for delivering tiered instructional supports in preschool. The purpose of the tiered supports in preschool is to prevent later challenges in academic and social areas. Implementing tiered supports requires periodic screening to accurately identify those in need of tiered instruction. Briefly, tier 1, the bottom tier is purposely wider and deeper to symbolize the foundation for other practices. It indicates universal practices that we want all children to learn. And the support offered at tier 1 is often sufficient to meet most needs of young children. All children receive Tier 1 every day. Tier 2 is depicted as shallower than Tier 1, yet deeper than Tier 3, this indicates that implementation of more focused supports and strategies for some children's needs when they are struggling or when their development and learning has stalled. This is implemented most often in increased small groups, as well as strengthening the ongoing embedded instruction at Tier 1. Practices at Tier 2 can reduce the need for tier 3. And tier 3, this is a requirement for a few children to have instruction at a more systematic, explicit intensity to meet outcomes. It is important to note that tier 3 is not automatically synonymous with early childhood special education. Some children with IEPs can be adequately served at Tiers 2 and 1. The arrow on the right side illustrates the dynamic nature of how instruction and interventions are designed and delivered. They increase or decrease in dosage, individualization, and frequency of progress monitoring as children go up and down the tears. The arrow inside the tiers illustrates the dynamic nature of tiered supports. Children are not identified for a specific tier broadly, for all their skills, they are not labeled as tier 1 or 2 They may have a skill being intensely focused on in tier 3, but the rest of their skills are at tier 1. Tiers are additive. We build based on the skill and the context and the performance data. So Tier 3, who gets it and why? Significant learning needs of a few children in the areas of attention to tasks, social, behavioral, oral language, phonological processing that are caused by disability like cognitive delay or autism. Tiers 1 and 2 have inadequately supported achieving outcomes. Therefore, a few children will need more individualized and intensive extra instruction to remediate and accelerate progress. Well, what does that look like? It's more systematic and individualized and an essential skill is prioritized teach. It is taught with increased opportunities for a child to respond in daily small group work with smaller groups or one on one. And team collaboration. In Tier 3. First, teams come together to look at the quality of tier 1 and 2 and determine what skill is needing intensive instruction. And then they create a plan for daily And how to strengthen tears 1 and 2. And progress monitoring is done per activity. And daily. I'd like to share some evidence-based practices of Tier 3. Systematic instruction has to do with teaching skills in a sequence. Explicit instruction means our instructions will be step-by-step. We will prioritize skills to focus on the most critical skills and instruct at an optimum sequence and optimum rate. We will deliver instruction in with increased opportunities for child responses. High number of practice opportunities, small groups, as well as ongoing opportunities throughout the day. Our instruction will be individualized. This means that we differentiate instruction. We might change activities. We will repeat lessons. We increase duration, alter the pace. We use scaffolding and prompting. In our instruction. So what's the difference really between tiers 2 and tier 3? While research tells us that tier 2 is focusing primarily on the core curriculum. With the use of increased small groups. Along with integrating those individual goals for some children throughout daily routines. And the goal of Tier 2 is remediation. Research tells us tier 3 is a focus on an essential skill. Instruction is at a up optimum rate and sequence with daily smaller groups or one-on-one. And the follow through with integrating individual goals during all routines and activities. The goal of Tier 3 is remediation and acceleration. It is important to note that research also has told us that preschool at Tier 3 indicates that eight weeks of intervention is enough time to accelerate growth for some children, but not others. And that not all children need to go through Tier 2 before receiving Tier 3 supports. Tier 3 instructional supports and interactional supports are evident in the Division of Early Childhood's recommended practices. I've selected some samples that focus on prompting strategies, task analysis strategies, and the strategies to provide descriptive feedback to sustain engagement. I'm going to pause while you take a look at the practices I've selected. Tier 3 requires well-designed interventions with careful planning. In with the addition of strategic classroom management. It is small group work that makes tier 3 feasible in the early childhood classroom. Research tells us that small-group instruction is one of the most underused and ineffectively implemented strategies in regular early childhood classrooms. Let's look at some guidelines. The classroom is organized to accommodate daily small group work. For children who are not receiving Tier 3, they will not participate in daily small-group instruction. There is intentional assignment of children to small groups based on their needs. And all groups do not have to be of equal size. Establishing a plan to manage small groups is important to identify who's delivering the instruction. Where will it occur? What are the other children going to be doing and how children will rotate or move through the groups? The classroom schedule for small groups will be flexible throughout the year. You may begin withm initiallym daily small groups for a few children with a duration of five to ten minutes, but that will extend as children get used to working in the small group and responding to teacher-led instruction. There are two common models to implement small groups at Tier 3. Both are flexible, dynamic, and change based on children's needs. Let's look at them. The first model, most of the children in the classroom are engaged in center activities and teaching assistance monitor those center activities. A lead teacher or special education provider is working with a small group of children or one-on-one for 5 to 15 minutes. In the second model, all children are assigned to one of four groups. During the designated small group time, the groups rotate every 10 to 20 minutes. And both the teacher and the special education providers and teaching assistants are working directly with groups and monitoring the independent work of children in the adjoining center. Tiered supports are additive. We add to what is provided at the lower tiers. So when we provide tier 3 intervention in daily small groups, we must maximize that support by combining opportunities to practice, apply, and generalize skills across the day. We do this by utilizing evidence-based practices of embedding learning opportunities, scaffolding our interactions, explicit child focused instruction throughout the day. We know from research that effective team collaboration is a cornerstone of successful preschool inclusion services. This is especially true for Tier 3 supports. There will be focused planning time to individualized supports that a few children will need. I'm going to show you some samples of team collaboration on assessment, and I will pause talking while you reflect on the practices. Tier three planning will result in an instructional plan that has revise those instructional variables to identify what is taught, who will deliver it, where instruction and interventions are delivered, when instruction and interventions are delivered, and how it's delivered, and the frequency of data collection. Many teams use an activity matrix as a document to share the method of how instruction will occur and ensure that teaching happens. Individualizing for a few children amongst 20 can be challenging. So a matrix is a reminder of the plan schedule. With the number of children to receive the support, the number of activities to implement the support, the number of adults who are available to assist, and the activities to be used. This is one example. As you can see, it doesn't have the adults included here but basically it has child's names. If this were up for public view in a classroom, you would want to use child initials. But in essence it includes the plan. This is another example. There are a variety of ways to create a matrix. It can be embedded in a weekly lesson plan. It can be put on a whiteboard or the easel board with sticky notes as you saw previously. The format isn't important. One is not better than the other. One size doesn't fit all. The format has to fit the team. And the key takeaways are the target skills to teach for the individual children. The times during the day when an instruction will occur. And I suggest the adults listed as who will deliver the instruction and some instructional strategy tips. So the adult responsible for teaching the skill can do it with fidelity. I am using a child scenario to illustrate a team planning process for tier 3. Jenna is a three-year-old with Down syndrome. She demonstrates mild-to-moderate delays in most areas of development. She received early intervention services as an infant and has been enrolled in a public preschool inclusion class. She enjoys art, outside time, dramatic play, and music. She uses some sign language and single words. Special Education Teacher visits the classroom daily for 45 minutes. The speech language pathologist visits the classroom four times a week for varied periods of time, but we'll total an hour per week. And the occupational therapists and physical therapists both consult with the classroom teacher on a regular basis. The team wants to focus on the outcome of build positive relationships with peers. With the essential skill to be taught, imitate friendship skills. First they're going to review the tiers 1 and 2 and the child performance data. This is a summary of that review. Turn-taking visuals are present. There are planned and facilitated social interaction opportunities. There are some efforts to teach friendship skills. There is no sign language incorporated into teaching recognition of emotions or friendship skills. They noted the child preferences. They note that Jenna engages in parallel play and that she will engage in simple conflict resolution with adult help. And Jenna observes peers friendship behavior. I want us to keep in mind these evidence-based practices of Tier 3. As I provide the outline of Jenna's instructional plan. Jenna's instructional plan, the overall outcome is to build positive relationships with peers. We want to begin with the essential skill of imitating friendship skills. The special educator and all classroom staff will be involved in the instruction. Instruction will be delivered in the classroom with some home carryover. Instruction will be delivered during daily small group time, plus embedded learning opportunities throughout the routines and activities. How it will look. Daily small groups with a maximum of three peers. Turn-taking visuals and sign language will be incorporated during short social games. Peer and activity photos will be included in Jenna's individual visuals to prompt selecting a friend to play. During the day. They will add friendship sign language visuals at centers. They will incorporate sign language during whole group, shared book reading, and songs on making friends, emotions, and cooperation. And they will embed some social and partner games during routines. At home copies of friendship visuals, books, and songs. Carryover will be provided. There will be daily per group progress monitoring plus daily anecdotal notes. Let's review what we've covered today for tier 3. We reviewed who gets tier 3? What is Tier 3? Why we provide Tier 3 and how we do it. We learned about the essential component of small, daily small groups. To support tier three instruction. We looked at the importance of team collaboration for tier 3 and to create a matrix to ensure that everybody understands the skill to be taught. Who will teach, when, where, and how that instruction will be delivered. And we identified the daily data collection method must be used. Coming up next week, March 23rd will be our live forum at 04:00 PM on Team Collaboration and Multitiered Support Enhance Child Outcomes. Don't forget to register. Thank you all for attending this webinar. I look forward to seeing you at our live forum next week on March 23rd. Thank you. To receive your professional growth points, go to our webinar series webpage and select the survey link to this webinar. Thank you.

Embedding Instruction within Daily Activities

Part I - By Susan Dixon

Description of the video:

Welcome to the Early Childhood Center'sfour month early childhood webinar series,What It Takes to ImplementEffective Preschool Inclusion Services.This series is in partnership withthe Indiana Department of Education,Office of Special Education.Through this series, we hope to fosterhigh-quality evidence-based early childhoodspecial ed services inregular early childhood classrooms and toaddress possible training andtechnical assistance needs.The third topic in this series is embeddinginstruction within daily routines,lessons and activities.Today is part 1, andwe'll be covering the foundations of whythis practice is an important partof implementing effectivepreschool inclusion.We'll also take a look at the central rolecollaborative relationshipshave in the process.My name is Susan Dixon and I'ma Research Associate atthe Early Childhood Center.Another fact about me that it'simportant to know isthat I was a Speech and Language Pathologistfor 40 years.During that time, I workedin an institution withearly intervention programs inseveral states and in the public schools.Since I moved to Bloomington in the mid-80s,I've also been involved withthe Early Childhood Center.During that time, I've alwaysworked in natural environments.Even in my early years,it didn't make sense to remove an adult withsignificant needs into a therapy room andexpect them to transferthe communication skills on which we wereworking into an environmentwith a lot of people,a lot of noise, and a lot of activity.That philosophy has beenformalized over the years by educators andresearchers into the theory andpractices we will betalking about this month.As you can see, we're one of seven centers atthe Indiana Instituteon Disability and Community,which covers the lifespan for people withdisabilities andpromotes research to practice.The Early Childhood Center connectsIndiana University to the broader community.By sharing ideas and innovations,we improve systems and programs impactingthe lives of young childrenand their families.Here are the members ofthe Early Childhood Center's preschool team.It's just for your reference.This month we will focuson embedding instructionwithin daily routines,lessons and activities.Today we'll focus on the foundations,including the legal and research foundations,as well as some rationale.We will also look at the role collaborationhas on the process.On April 13th, we'll delvedeeper into the how of the practice.On April 20th, we'll discusshelping families embed goalswithin their daily routines at home.And finally, on April 27th,there will be a live discussion forumon these topics.Don't forget to register for our Zoom liveforum on our Webinar Series homepage.Our agenda for this webinar is tofirst define embedded instruction,followed by describingthe many reasons embedded instructionis important to qualityinclusive early childhood settings.And lastly, looking at the rolecollaborative relationshipshave on the process.This translates into these goals.They follow our agenda Exactly.So I'll let you take a quick lookat them for yourself.Embedded instructions means providingfocused teaching episodeswithin the daily activities,lessons, and routines that already exist.In short, embeddedlearning means providing focus,teaching episodes withinthe existing daily flow.It allows children to receivesufficient systematicand intentional learning opportunitiesthroughout the day within the context ofthe already existing activities,lessons, and routines.Embedded instruction involvesmultiple brief teaching interactionsbetween a teacher and a childduring everyday classroom activities.This means rather thanproviding instruction for a child witha disability in a separate room or ina separate activity or routinewithin the regular education classroom.The teacher embedsinstruction in the ongoing activities,lessons, routines,and transitions in the classroom.The Childhood Technical Assistance Center,based on the Eivisionof Early Childhood Centerrecommended practices that we'lltalk about more fully in a little bit.I'll give you a moment to read it.In 1990, the Americanswith Disabilities Act, the ADA,required reasonable modifications toallow full participation forchildren with disabilities forpreschool and school-age childrenages three to 21.Idea requires that children withdisabilities to be educatedin the least restrictive environment.There are six pillars to this legislation.Many of you can recite thesein your sleep. I'm sure.Individualized Education Plan,the Free and Appropriate Public Education,the Least Restrictive Environment,an Appropriate Evaluation, Parent andTeacher Participation,and Procedural Safeguards.LRE, or the least restrictive environment,is defined as education inan environment which is as closeas possible to the general educationreceived by regular students.And this is the pillar that we aregoing to be talking about this month.The bottom line is,current federal legislation mandatesproviding services for studentswith disabilities in settings that includetypically developingindividuals wherever possible.Inclusive classrooms providean opportunity for individuals withdisabilities to act withtheir friends who don't have disabilities.Let's look a little more closelyat some specific documents.That joint policy statement releasedby the United States Department of Healthand Human Services andDepartment of Education states thatall young children withdisabilities should have access to inclusive,high-quality early childhood programswhere they are provided withthe individualized and appropriate supportand meeting high expectations.Being meaningfully included as a member ofsociety is the first stepto equal opportunity.One of America's most cherished ideals.And it's every person's right,a right supported by our laws.More recently, the UnitedStates Department of Education,Office of Special Education andRehabilitative Servicesreaffirmed that position statement.Here's what they had to say.There is a broad range ofresearch surrounding this topicbut today we're going tovery briefly sample afew of the pertinent research efforts.Research indicates that meaningful inclusionis beneficial to children withand without disabilities acrossa variety of developmental domains.Meaningful inclusion inhigh-quality early childhood programsthat support children with disabilitiesin reaching their full potential,resulting in broad societal benefits.Embedded instruction is partof a high-quality program.These two sets of researcherssummarize their research by sayingthat individualizedevidence-based strategies for children withdisabilities can be implementedsuccessfully andinclusive early childhood programs.It is interesting to notethe dates and this research,we have known this since at least 2009,that this is a successful practice.We have also known formany years the children with disabilities,including those withthe most significant disabilities,can make significantdevelopmental learning progressin inclusive settings.Throughout the webinar, you willsee slides like this toremind you of the recommendationsthat the Division of Early Childhoodof the Council for Exceptional Children hasmade on the topicsrelevant to embedded instruction.Most explicitly to the point,the Division of Early Childhoodrecommends that practitionersembed instruction within and across routines,activities, and environments to providecontextually relevant learning opportunities.They provide an exampleof team members identifyinglogical and appropriate opportunitiesfor the child topractice and learntargeted skills during routine,planned and child initiatedactivities that occur in the classroom.In summary, 1. it'sthe law 2. research shows us it works.And 3. DEC recommends it.I don't want to get boggeddown in terminology.Different professions, different authorscall this strategy by different names.As you learned from Sally andher webinars last month.Embedding instruction isa Tier 2 intervention.However, there's also a practicethat we will be wrapping intothis concept this month thatinvolves the integration of IEP goalsprovided by therapists andspecial education teachers intothe same natural environments.Special education teachers and therapists,along with the classroomteachers and assistants,are all embedding uniquelearning opportunitiesinto the daily routines,lessons, and activities.There are separate bodies ofliterature for each practice.The rationale and many ofthe specific strategies are the same.So I don't want to get boggeddown in the terminology.While we recognize thatsome therapy might need to be providedoutside the classroom based onthe individual needs of the child,there is general agreementamong the organizationsthat governthe most frequently seen therapies.The American Speech Languageand Hearing Association,the American OccupationalTherapy Association,and the American PhysicalTherapy Association,that at the very least,therapists need to be collaboratingwith classroom teachers to ensure thatthey are understanding the child's goalsand that they can effectivelyreinforce those identified needs intothe daily activities, lessons, and routines.However, in many instances,therapists can work in the classroomduring the ongoing day so thatthe child is learning and practicingthe skills in the environmentin which they will be used.Next, explore why this is considered tobe best-practice and much of the literature.From this point on, we'll be using the termembedded instruction to includeany special education andrelated services that areprovided within the contextof ongoing classroom activities.Embedded instruction is based ona recommended instructional practice forpreschoolers with or atrisk for learning challenges.It is an approach usedto promote child engagement,learning and independencein everyday activities,routines and lessons,and involves intentionallyinserting individual child learning goalswithin the context ofthe child's ongoing classroom life.By embedding instruction in daily routines,we can provide sufficientsystematic andintentional learning opportunitiesacross their day.The focus of embedded instruction is onskills that children needin their everyday lives.In addition to academics,we can be sure to focus on the skills a childneeds that facilitate learningand membership in the classroom.Your goals may look differentas you begin to focuson providing instruction in activities,routines, and lessons ofthe ongoing day in an inclusive classroom.Goals developed for implementation ina segregated setting areoften more developmentally orprerequisite focused.While goals developed to beembedded in an inclusive setting,will focus on instructional, social,communication and movement skills necessaryfor current lessons, activities and routines.The membership and participation needs ofthe child may becomea focus of many of the goals,meaning that they will need tobe written differently.Ideally, the therapists orspecial educator has assessedthe needs of the child intheir natural setting and developed those goalsand collaboration withthe classroom teacher and family.Goals developed and implementedin this manner are often morefunctionally necessary for the child successin their daily life.Here is how the Division ofEarly Childhood addresses that.One of their examplesillustrates an early childhood teacher,speech therapist, occupational therapist,and the child's familyobserving the child in the settings inwhich he regularly spends time, such as home,the car, and school,to identify the skillshe needs to participateactively in the activitiesand routines in those settings.By embedding therapy into the day,the therapist or special educatoris able to plan lessons aroundthe classroom curriculum andhelp classroom staff findopportunities for students to practiceskills throughout the instructional day.Typical goals such as takingturns or making requests,are easy to embed within an activitysuch as the one you see on this slide.When the team makes a plan toexplicitly teach these skills, here,it provides a focusteaching episode that givesthe child repeated practice withhis peers during a single play activity.Embedding therapy and routineshelp special educators and therapistsprovide teachers with activities they canactually do in settingswhere they're actually needed.Providing therapy and naturalsettings allows therapists tosee if their strategies arefeasible for direct caregivers.It also allows them tolearn from the people whospend a greater amount oftime with the child than they do.There are many ways to accomplish a goaland by collaborating special educators,therapists and regular education teachers candiscover which works best foreach provider at that time.Embedding therapy allows the therapist,special educators and teachers,to develop a dynamic relationshipwhereby they can establishmutual goals and a shared responsibilityfor the children's growth.And here's just another reminder,what the Division ofEarly Childhood states aboutpractitioners embeddinginstruction within and across routines,activities, and environments to providecontextually relevant learning opportunities.When special educators and therapists areworking alongside regular education teachers,they can model techniques forthe teacher and staffon how to facilitatetarget skills during the school day.This means that the goalsare work done throughoutthe day and not just in therapy.Being in the classroom together increasesopportunities for the teamto collaborate about supports.Looking at the cooking activity in this slidefrom a speech andlanguage pathologists point of view.One could seethe opportunity to help childrenlisten for information and ask questions.Learn or reinforce new vocabulary,not only relatedspecifically to the activity,but for use in future settings.Practice, waiting and taking turns.Practice speech or languageskills identified in their IEP,in contexts, engage with peers.and so much more.The skills or behaviors onwhich educators are focusingshould be useful in multiple settingswith multiple people,multiple times a day,and be relevant for the rest ofthe child's life. Byembedding instruction in the classroom,this checks off allfour of these essential elements,which means that children learn anduse important new behaviors andskills during different classroom activitiesand a variety of different people.Teachers can observe and learn fromthe special educators and therapists.But conversely, teacherscan share strategiesthey know work for the child and setting.As I said earlier, they'rethe professionals who spendthe most time withthe child and can provide valuable insight,including the knowledge of inwhich activities the child excels,in which activities arethe child's favorites.By choosing activities into which we embedgoals that match a child'sinterests and preferences.We enhance the child's motivationto participate and learn.Further insightthe child's regular education team mayhave is in the area ofany unique cultural needs.Just aswe are experiencing a diversityof abilities in our classroom,we are also an experiencing theneed to address the diversecultural and linguistic needs of the childrenas we embed our intentionalsystematic instruction into the day.This means that therapists,and special educators,have a better knowledge ofthe child's skills inthe environment in which they are needed.This doesn't just come from the insights andinformation from the classroom teacher,but also from beingpresent in the classroom to seethe continued progress andthe remaining needs of the childin the contexts in which the skillsand behavior will be used.Classroom staff and therapistswork and learn together to sharetheir knowledge and expertise withthe goal of optimal growth for the children.When services are delivered withinthe natural context of the school day,there's more time to communicateand collaborate betweenprofessionals about strategieswhen you aren't presentin the classroom to observeboth the children and the other adults,it's difficult to offerguidance that will be useful.Therapists and special educators needto be active participants inthe planning and delivery ofservices in the natural environments.This supports that understandingof team roles andexpand for knowledge baseof all professionals involved.Collaboration is on challengesand to share and celebrate success.Embedded instruction is used to meetchildren's needs withoutchanging daily routinesand activities by providing opportunities tolearn and practice important skillsin meaningful contexts.Embedded instruction means that children canremain engaged in the classroom activities.Which means that they do not missinstructional time and transitions.Not only does it eliminatetherapy time spent outside the classroombut it helps minimize those transitionsto and from separate therapy times.And it gives the therapist and specialeducators a chance toinclude peers in therapy.By enlisting peers asmodels during a session,it increases the potential for them tocontinue to model targetskills during the day.Research shows that peer interactionfacilitates learning,particularly in the speech, languageand social realms.It's also highly motivating.Other students who may needextra support can also benefitfrom the therapist orspecial educators presence in the classroom.Often teachers spend a great deal oftime and energy providingextra attention to students who aren'tidentified for special education services,but who need a lot ofadditional support and intervention.Frequently,those students are struggling withthe same or similar skills asa students on a therapistor special educator'scaseload. Interventions can beprovided to the whole class or a small group,meaning that other students canreap the benefits as well.And we'll return to the Divisionof Early Childhoodand one of the recommended practices thatsupports what we've just been speaking about.Practitioners use peer-mediated interventionto teach skills and to promotechild engagement and learningto the therapists and the audience that areworried about diluting your therapy.Keep your therapeutic focus.Remember, you're using your specialist slashtherapists lens and the angle youtake makes experience, therapeutic.The identified skills can be foundin many parts of the preschool day.And we can provide strategiesand practice of target skills forour students in a variety ofsettings, using a variety of materials.Being familiar with the curriculumallows you to determinethe underpinnings necessary foryour student's understanding andparticipation in the lessons.It means that you can schedule your timeto focus on what the child needs.A child cannot practiceexisting skills or learnnew behaviors if he orshe is not given the opportunities thatevoke or provoke those behaviors.Traditionally, therapists have looked atthe number and length oftherapy sessions per week.To provide those opportunities.It's time to move to embeddingour therapies into daily activities androutines and lessens. The classroomsand other areas of the schoolare were a student puts all ofthose important functional skills to use.Your fine motor, gross motor, cognitive,communicative, self-care, social, and more.When skills are taught andreinforced in the natural settingthere's a better chance forcarry over and generalization.Because the teaching takes place inthe natural setting of the classroom,the child is more likely to usethe newly learned skill by him orherself in familiar environments.So this means that we're promotinggeneralization and maintenance of skills.As an added bonus when evaluation,data collection, and progressmonitoring happen in the classroom,special educators are able todocument true functioning andperformance and how itimpacts educational outcomes.So this means thatnot only are we promotinggeneralization and maintenance,the maintenance of skills,we're also increasing engagement,participation and independence inactivities throughout the day.Our last topic in this webinaris Building Collaborative Relationships.Teaming and collaborationpractices are those thatpromote and sustaincollaborative adult partnerships,relationships, and ongoing interactionto ensure that programs andservices achieve desired childand family outcomes and goals.The Division of Early Childhood intheir recommended practicesstresses teaming andcollaboration betweenpractitioners representingmultiple disciplines and families.They recognize that programs foryoung children who have or who areat risk for disabilitieswill involve more than one adult.And that the quality ofthose relationships and interactions amongthe team will influencethe success of the childrenin those programs.In this webinar, we havefocused on classroom practitioners.But please don't forget thatfamilies are part of the team.In the third webinar of this series,we'll look atsupporting families and embeddinggoals into their daily routines at home.In this context,collaboration is being defined asa variety of approaches that supportongoing communication and sharedwork to help childrenmove toward their goals.Several practices involved ineffective collaborative relationshipsrecur in the literature.One of these as beingan active and attentive listener.This involves demonstrating an interestin what your communication partner is saying.Then reflecting on what has beenshared and encouragingthe partner to continue.Asking questions to clarify the issues andsummarizing the ideas canhelp the discussion forward.Building on each other's ideasto create imbedded activities thatmeet the goals ofthe child within the classroom,is another practice tocreate good collaborative relationships.Remember that new concepts andpractices take time to master.So be willing to acceptsuggestions and support from each other.Respectful and honestrelationships are important.Partners working together inthe classroom need to honor and trust eachother and know that their team memberis working towards the same goals.Collaboration is one cornerstoneof effective inclusive programs.In order for all the children in the class tobenefit socially and instructionally.Adults who are supporting them intheir education need tosystematically worktogether towards the same goals.Effective collaboration can enablehigher quality instruction forall the children in the classroom andindividualizationfor the children who need it.We know from research thatinterdisciplinarycoordinated service delivery systemsare related to better outcomes for children.No single discipline can meet the needs ofthe increasingly diverse groupsof children in our schools.The emphasis in this webinar has beenon collaboration with the school team.But as I said earlier,please don't forget thatthe family's involvement onthe team is critical.Research tells us thatcollaboration produces positive outcomes.When preschool special education andrelated service providers worktogether with their generaleducation colleagues to utilizeeach other's strengths andsupport each other's issues and concerns.So the push for collaboration emanatesfrom the commitment to increasethe effectiveness of instructional optionsand strategies for all children.Building on the knowledge and experience ofall team partners lays the foundation.This begins with the assessment in whichall team members, includingspecial educators,regular educators and family members,provide informationon the child's strengths andneeds in the routines andactivities that make up their day.It continues with the writing of the IEPand remains critical isthe team plans for systematic,intentional, focused, embedded instructionalepisodes throughoutthe child's daily experience.Last but not least,collaboration and taking dataensures that decisions are being madeconsidering the many settings in whichthe child is usingthat new behavior or skill.We have seen that byproviding embedded learning opportunities,special educators, therapists andregular early childhood educators,have more physical contact.Thus learning about the strengths,preferences, needs,and strategies that workfor the child from one another.That happens throughout the day.However, it's important to carve outspecific times to meet so that the teams arenot trying to plan when theyrun into each other overthe copy machine or whilethey're trying to eat a quick lunch.The definition of embedded instructiondescribes systematic, intentional,planned, focused instruction that isprovided within the child'snaturally incurring daily events.This requires planful collaborationbetween team members.Intentionally allocating time providesthe opportunity for professionals toget to know one another and developrelationships that allow open communication,which in turn lets themplan activities together,taking into account how they will share inthe instructional load and embedand individualized instruction when needed.Respectful, honest,and supportive relationships,take time and effort to develop.This is one advantage the DEC hasidentified when practitioners work together.I'll let you read this.When teams work together as defined by DEC,their collaborative efforts promptreflection about a child'sprogress and needs,but also about team members,current skills and ongoing needs.Working together to addressthe challenges and to share andcelebrate successes creates a strong teamwhich can meet the needs of the children.It creates an environmentin which children receivesufficient systematicand intentional learning opportunitiesthroughout the day,within the context ofthe currently existing activities,lessons, and routines.In other words, good embedded instruction.Here's what we covered in this webinar.We defined embedded instruction,identified the legal research foundationsfor embedding instruction.We describe the reasonsembedding instruction isimportant to qualityinclusive early childhood settings.And briefly examined the rolecollaborative teaminghas on embedding instruction.Thank you for joining me todayand check in next week forsome specific strategies andtechniques forreading instruction in the classroom.Thank you.Don't forget that to receiveyour professional growth points,you must complete the webinar survey.Find the link on the series web page.
Part II: Embedding in the Classroom - by Susan Dixon

Description of the video:

Welcome to the Early Childhood Center's four month early childhood webinar series, What it Takes to Implement Effective Preschool Inclusion Services. This series is in partnership with the Indiana Department of Education, Office of Special Education. Through this series, we hope to foster high-quality, evidence-based, early childhood special education services in regular early childhood classrooms and to address possible training and technical assistance needs. The third topic in this series is embedding instruction within daily routines, lessons and activities. Today is part 2 and we'll be covering some of the strategies and techniques used in implementing this process. My name is Susan Dixon and I'm a Research Associate at the Early Childhood Center. Another fact about me that it's important to know is that I was a Speech and Language Pathologists for 40 years. During that time, I worked in an institution with early intervention programs in several states and in the public schools. Since I moved to Bloomington in the mid eighties, I've also been involved with the Early Childhood Center. During that time, I've always worked in natural environments. Even in my early years, it didn't make sense to remove an adult with significant needs into a therapy room and expect them to transfer the communication skills on which we were working into an environment with a lot of people, a lot of noise, and a lot of activity. That philosophy has been formalized over the years by educators and researchers into the theory and practices we will be talking about this month. As you can see, we're one of seven centers at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, which covers the lifespan for people with disabilities and promotes research to practice. The Early Childhood Center connects Indiana University to the broader community. By sharing ideas and innovations, we improve systems and programs impacting the lives of young children and their families. This is a list of the staff of the preschool team at the Early Childhood Center. It's just for your reference. Last week we focused on the foundations of embedding instruction and inclusive therapy and daily routines, lessons and activities. Today we'll delve deeper into the how of the practice, looking at some of the strategies and techniques of implementation. On April 20th, we'll discuss helping families embed goals within their daily routines at home. And finally, on April 27th, there will be a live discussion forum on these topics. Don't forget to register for our Zoom live forum on our webinar series webpage. The agenda for this webinar starts with a brief review of the reasons we embed instruction. Some models of collaboration, what, when and where to embed instruction, and some strategies and techniques. Our goals closely follow the agenda, to briefly review why to embed instruction, to understand various models of collaboration, to examine what to embed with functional goals as foundational, to explore what, when, where, during the day embedded instruction should take place, making use of the activity matrix. And to become familiar with some basic strategies of embedding. Let's quickly review why we use embedded instruction. Embedded instruction is based on a recommended instructional practice for preschoolers with or at risk for learning challenges. It involves intentionally inserting individual child learning goals within the context of the child's ongoing classroom life. In other words, using the child's everyday activities and experiences as the foundation for instruction. Embedded instruction is an approach used to promote child engagement, learning and independence. This is accomplished by identifying times during the day when instruction designed for teaching a child's priority learning targets is implemented in the context of ongoing naturally occurring activities, routines, and lessons in the classroom. Embedded instruction is used to meet the children's needs without changing daily routines and activities by providing opportunities to learn and practice important skills in meaningful contexts. Classroom staff and therapists work and learn together to share their knowledge and expertise with the goal of optimal growth for the children. By embedding instruction and daily routines, we can provide sufficient systematic and intentional learning opportunities across their day. Every once in awhile throughout this webinar, you will see a slide that looks like this, which will remind you of the Division of Early Childhood. The DEC, Recommended Practices that align with the contents of this webinar. This one is clear, DEC Recommendeds the embedding of instruction across the entire day. To further emphasize that recommendation, they recommend that practitioners provide services and supports in natural and inclusive environments. Teachers, para professionals, therapists, special educators. How do you choose who should embed instruction? Consider how hard the skill is for the child. If the skill is new and there's a degree of difficulty or complexity, it might be best addressed by the therapist or special educator. The teacher can certainly start embedding skills whenever he or she is comfortable with the new skill. How challenging is the setting? If this is a goal that's been accomplished in a calm, familiar setting, but it's a struggle for the child elsewhere. It is another goal for a teacher or therapist to continue to embed. If it's a goal that the child is working to strengthen and maintain various settings. A pair professional might be a very logical choice, but don't forget that any member of the team can work with the child at any time during the day. As we think about who should be implementing embedded instruction and begin to talk about models of collaboration. To accomplish that, we returned to the DEC recommendations to find unsurprisingly that they recommend multiple disciplines and families work together as a team. We can't forget that families should be part of the team at each step. And we'll be talking much more about families in the webinar number three, but are focusing primarily on the school team at this time. This slide illustrates some of the more common collaboration models. We'll look at some of these in a little more detail. But however, you decide to work together to serve the children in their routines is a valid model for you. You can learn much more about coaching in my colleague Lynn Hall's webinars and practice-based coaching coming up in May, coaching and consultation are very similar strategies. But as you can find in live webinars, coaching is a much more interactive strategy. Consultants often pop in and ask if anyone needs anything and pop out. There's often a power differential. If the consultant having the information they will share the teacher as they perceive it's needed. Practice-based coaching is a cyclical process for supporting classroom staff, the use of effective practices that lead to positive outcomes for children. It's an ongoing process that occurs within the context of a collaborative partnership between a coach and a cochee. Typical coaching cycle components involve the partners planning goals and action steps than the coachee implementing the plan. Followed by reflection and sharing feedback about teaching practices. The cycle repeats until the partners feel that there is competence on the goal or a new goal is needed. In the model in which a therapist or special educator leaves the lesson. They plan the lesson for the whole class in which a goal will benefit the entire group, including children with IEPs, something like social skills. They demonstrate their strategies for the teacher to use for the whole class. During the lesson than the teacher assists with any students who need help or elaborates on the content as needed. When the therapists or special educator assist one or more students during the lesson activity or routine. They participate in whatever the child is doing to provide support. Everything from large group lessons to free play to meals to recess makes sense for this model. In co-teaching with co-planning, the therapists or special educator and teacher plan lessons or activities together and choose how to embed target goals. The two of them brainstorm strategies that will be beneficial to all students, but may specifically target students with IEPs. The teacher teaches the lesson or embeds him or herself into the activity. While the therapist or special educator supports with elaboration or clarification as needed. Then they switch roles. In the team teaching or parallel teaching model the teacher and therapists and special educators share centers or stations during center time. The children rotate through. So all children work with both the teacher and the therapist or special educator at different times. Sometimes the therapist or special educator does an activity at his or her center that specifically targets IEP goals that benefits all the children. The teacher does an activity that allows all the children to practice those same needed curricular skills. As I wrap up this brief discussion of models of collaboration, I want you to realize that there are many definitions of these models in many ways to implement them. I began this discussion by saying that however, you decide to work together to serve the children in their routines. is a valid model for you. And I went to end by reiterating that point. Collaborating with each other is a foundational strategy for good inclusive programming. And these models are simply a jumping off point for your efforts. Let's begin to look at what to embed. The Division of Early Childhood has an entire section of their document that addresses assessment. The item that's most germane to our discussion in this webinar, focuses on doing the assessment during daily activities, routines, and environments. This will allow goals to be written that can be implemented in those natural environments. Okay, so what do we embed? First, we need to identify the target skills and functional behaviors the child needs to be successful in the classroom. This is basically part of your functional assessments that you do prior to writing your IEPs. Collaboratively decide which skills and behaviors will be needed in multiple settings with multiple different individuals during multiple times of the day. If a skill is needed in a limited environment with only one person, it may not be the most useful skill to be teaching. So when we choose target skills and write IEP's carefully, that means that instruction on the child's IEP goals and objective can be implemented in the context of several ongoing and naturally occurring activities, routines, and lessons, rather than in an isolated therapy setting. This slide is just to reminder about writing good goals. The problem is that we often write perfectly measurable goals that can meet all of these criteria without having the goal be a functional one. And we can meet them in segregated settings. As we think about assessing children and writing goals, we need to consider the child's membership and inclusion in settings with peers who were active in a classroom filled with activities that children who are developing typically engage in. The rule of 3 may help you remember what kind of skills are functionally important for the child's life trajectory? The skills should be able to be used in multiple times a day, with multiple different people, and in multiple different settings. Therefore, it will increase the child's ability to interact within the daily environment, both academically and socially. And it should be useful throughout the child's life. Clearly, I chose a very concrete goal for which I could find pictures. I also included it because there's some self-help goals that will not follow the rules I just laid out. In addition, some districts are considering whether self-help goals are educationally oriented and belong in an IEP at all. But we will not get into that discussion here. But think of the types of goals on which we focus in early childhood education. There are so many skills and individual needs to function successfully throughout their life that it's almost inconceivable. Then ask yourself if the goal you are writing addresses a skill that the child can use in both the present and future settings with their peers and adults in many environments such as school, outside, at home, in the community, and will increase this ability to engage, participate, and be independent. I'm so hopeful that we're approaching our IEP goals with functional skills in mind these days. You know what we don't see when we write functional goals. A lot of rote learning or ideas that take skills out of contexts. I think rote learning with such an entrenched teaching strategy that it's hard to get past sometimes several years ago I was working in an adult group home and I walked in one evening to find one of the guys sitting at the dining room table. The staff member failing miserably at identifying his colors. How many years had that guy been taught that he was a failure by not being able to identify pink, purple, and brown. Is it even a skill that will be needed in multiple settings with multiple people, multiple times throughout the day. Is it a skill needed throughout his daily life? Take a moment to think about what kind of goals you write. Hopefully our goals will meet this recommendation from the DEC. Take a moment to read and reflect on what they have to say. What I have not said yet is that your goals may look different as you begin to focus on providing therapy in the activities, routines, and lessons of the ongoing day. In an inclusive classroom. goals developed for implementation in a segregated setting are often more developmentally or prerequisite focused. While goals developed to be embedded in an inclusive setting, will focus on instructional social, communication and movement skills necessary for current lessons, activities and routines. The membership and participation needs of the child may become a focus of many of the goals. Meaning they will need to be written differently. Goals developed and implemented in this manner are often more functionally necessary for the child's success in their daily life. Is there anything else we need to think about? We also need to think about how many goals you've ever written that address the child's strengths, preferences, and desires while at the same time meeting their IEP needs. Herb Lovette, a great advocate for people with significant disabilities, asked how many of us would choose to spend our lives majoring in our deficits. And sometimes IEPs in their implementation look like that's what we're asking of children. And lastly, we need to think about how meaningful those goals are to the family in which the child spent so much of his or her time. We must think about each child as part of a family. Each of us carry a lifetime of exposure to common societal biases about ability and potential based on gender, race, ethnicity, social class, disability, and English language proficiency, along with other characteristics and labels. Now more than ever, we need to be aware that these assumptions can create obstacles to providing historically marginalized students full access to high expectations and outcomes that fairly meet the needs of the child and family. As we write our goals, we need to recognize our implicit biases as obstacles to the success of individual children in our classrooms. We also need to be aware of our understanding of the behaviors, beliefs, values, and historical experiences of our local community. And to understand how the community perceives school. One of the children in my past was the child of a highly successful farmer who had experienced such failure in school that he was extremely hesitant to have his child in school at all. In fact, he refused to meet with me until we decided to meet at the local saloon where we had all the subsequent meeting that year. He eventually came to school to see his son's class and meet all his teachers. But that is a real legacy of the failure of a school system. That means that we need to consider what is important to each child and family and what parts of the family belief system and culture we need to take into account as we write our goals and make our plans. Do you believe that we, as educators can do all that? Be strength-based? Write meaningful goals? Be responsive to the family's needs and the goals for their child? I believe we can balance all of this for our children. I believe that we can. Let's move on and talk about when to embed instruction. Embedding first involves identifying what activities best meet the needs of the child to meet their goals. We've started this process during our assessment. Use the same data you collected then to now make some of the decisions about when to embed instruction. Another way to look at this is to identify when goals will be addressed during the day and develop strategies for achieving them that can be integrated into multiple classroom activities and routines. Be sure to embed goals within a mix of child-directed and adult-directed. Large groups, small groups, and independent activities. Remember, if a skill it's not needed at least several times during the day, during several different activities, it may not be a functional goal. Identify any adaptations needed. What do you need to do to make it possible for the child to remain an active participant and member of the group? While, additionally, embedding in an IEP goal into an activity. Hopefully if you've designed your classroom and activities for a diverse group of learners, fewer adaptations will be needed. You may need to tweak so that the child has more time to accomplish a task or can watch peers go first in a sharing in a meeting, so they have a model, but major adaptations shouldn't be necessary. Here's an example of an activity matrix. It's a simple table. You would probably need several matrices to cover all your routines and activities. But this gives you an idea of how to look at your day in light of some of the common goals the children in your class may have. I want to stress that all these goals are not IEP goals. And all the children whose initials appear at the top do not have IEPs. The matrix helps focus instruction for many children. I did not make this matrix, but it's very similar to what we used in a preschool room where I provided services. I like this one because the sticky notes can change. In our room each staff person had a different colored sticky note, so they knew with whom and where they should be working, as well as the goal to be addressed that ensured that neither children nor goals were forgotten. It also cued staff as to whose goals they were responsible for charting. So that when the therapist or special education teacher came into the room, they knew who needed their attention, in what activity. So let's take a look at your classroom routines. Are there any times of the day that are particularly problematic for any one of the children in your class? If you need to consult with other members of your interdisciplinary team about what you are seeing, that probably means there's something you need to address. Is the issue with the activity, the link, the complexity, the difficulty, et cetera, or with the child's skills? When you're looking at your routines, don't forget about transitions. Transitions make up a portion of the day that often get overlooked, but can be problematic for some children. Transitions are also logical times in which instruction can be embedded. An added bonus of the activity matrix. An extremely helpful when administrators visited. Principles often don't fully understand preschool and preschool special education is an entirely different animal. Learning objectives are skills that children need to use during the activity to engage and participate more effectively. Goals are connected to concepts, not activities. So that means we need to look at the goal and decide which activities best meet that goal. It also means that we're saying that to have met the goal, the child can show us in any way that they are able. When and where are closely aligned. However, you may find some differences as you have assessed your child's needs. For example, a child may do very well within the classroom, but experience difficulty at PE, on the playground or cafeteria, et cetera. He or she may do well in the small group, more focused and predictable activities, a table time, but struggle in the open-ended type activity, the block area presents. Again, use the data you have collected through assessment and observation to make these decisions. So far, we've looked at in-class settings, but think about the possibilities here. Children will be interested in what they have access to. Exposure to more things can prompt use of skills and behaviors not previously seen. Look at this picture and think about the children who need to work on listening to gain information or on asking or answering questions. The possibilities here, huge. Exposure to multiple environments and activities may also pull in peers who can then support and model throughout the rest of the day. Let's look at a few strategies and techniques. You've assessed the child so you know in which situations the goals are important components of engagement and independence. First, identify several times during the day during which the skills or behaviors would likely to occur as a natural part of participation. As I said in the previous slide, finding a time during the day when the skills or behaviors occur naturally is a first step because by embedding goals into the day, therapists and special educators are able to plan lessons around the existing classroom curriculum, supporting the child and the goals in which all the other children are involved. This also helps classroom staff to follow up and find opportunities for students to practice skills throughout the instructional day. This is an important strategy. Be sure to develop specific strategies for use in different activities, routines, lessons, and transitions. Strategies will vary depending on the requirements of the activity. For example, gaining attention in whole group circle time will be different than during free play or lunch and different again during outside play. Teachers can share strategies they know work well for a childhood setting. This is an important technique. Effective classroom collaboration can enable higher quality instruction for all the children in the classroom, and individualization for children who need it. You can see where this comes into play in the planning and implementation of goals. Another basic strategy is to model and demonstrate the skills where they're actually needed, as it will make it more likely that the goals will be worked on throughout the day. Use step-by-step instructions and visual cues. This type of visual cue may already be in place in many classrooms. However, though it may serve as a simple reminder to most children, it might be an essential teaching tool for some. Breaking down tasks or task analyzing is a skill that is probably new to many general educators and is helpful when looking at how to support a child in any given daily routine. Special educators and therapists can help general educators break down goals into incremental, smaller steps of a logical sequence so that a child who may need extra assistance is provided a smaller amount of information, given additional prompts or a bit more time to accomplish a task. Arrival is a routine that has multiple routines within that routine. Breaking it down into the steps of greeting your teacher, taking off your backpack, unzipping, then hanging up your coat, zipping the backpack and taking out your papers and putting them in the basket or giving them to your teacher. Then put the backpack in the cubby. This can help the teachers see how complicated a single big routine of arrival actually is. As I said, task analysis may come naturally to many special educators and therapists, but it's new to many classroom teachers. Any one of these subroutines may need additional support during which a special educator may embed their services. Ensure the child's success. Start with a skill that draws on the child's existing capabilities. If you're introducing a new skill embedded into an activity or routine that child enjoys and one with which he or she is comfortable. Provide materials and physical space that are appropriate to the child's needs. Choose activities, materials, and peers that are reinforcing. Assist the child with scaffolded instructional supports. Verbal or physical models to demonstrate the skill can be helpful and decrease the assistances as competence increases. Be sure the child has enough time to process the information or request to respond in whatever way is appropriate for the child. Again, support when needed, but be sure to fade so that only as much support as needed to accomplish the target behavior is offered. Reinforced by providing continuous positive interactions with the materials, peers, and activities in which the target goal has been embedded. The DEC has an entire section that focuses on interactions that addressed the previous slide. I've chosen two of the five recommendations to give you a taste for their commitment to the instructional process involved in embedding. I'll give you a moment to read. Using peers is a great strategy. By enlisting peers, this models while embedding goals. It increases the potential for them to continue to model target skills during the day. Research shows that peer interaction facilitates learning, particularly in the speech, language, and social realm. It's also highly motivating. Once again, we turned to the Division of Early Childhood, the DEC, for some guidance on using peer-mediated intervention. I have repeatedly mentioned the benefit of increased opportunities to practice when embedding instruction. An important strategy is to intentionally plan those times within the daily schedule. A child cannot practice existing skills or learn new behaviors. If he or she is not given opportunities that evoke or provoke those behaviors. Our last, but critically important strategy, is to create a data collection system. When evaluation, data collection, and progress monitoring happen in the classroom, special educators are able to document true functioning and performance and how it impacts educational outcomes and access. In this webinar, we briefly reviewed why to embed instruction. We looked at an overview of various models of collaboration. We examined what to embed with a focus on functional goals. We talked about making use of the activity matrix. And I illustrated some basic strategies and techniques for embedding. Thank you for joining me. In the next webinar, we will be talking about supporting families in embedding goals into routine at home. To receive your professional growth points, you must complete the webinar survey, find the link on the series webpage.
Part III - Embedding Instruction At Home - By Susan Dixon

Description of the video:

Welcome to the Early Childhood Center's four month early childhood webinar series, What It Takes To Implement Effective Preschool Inclusion Services. This series is in partnership with the Indiana Department of Education, Office of Special Education. Through this series, we hope to foster high-quality, evidence-based early childhood special education services in regular early childhood classrooms and to address possible training and technical assistance needs. Today is Part 3 and we'll be looking at some ways to support families' ability to embed instruction within home routines. My name is Susan Dixon and I'm a research associate at the Early Childhood Center. Another fact about me that it's important to know is that I was a Speech and Language Pathologists for 40 years. During that time, I worked in an institution with early intervention programs in several states which allowed me to work with families in their homes and in the public schools. Since I moved to Bloomington in the mid-eighties, I've also been involved with the Early Childhood Center. During that time, I've always worked in natural settings. Even in my early years, it didn't make sense to remove an adult significant needs into a therapy room and expect them to transfer the communication skills and which we were working into an environment with lot of people, a lot of noise and a lot of activity. That philosophy has been formalized over the years by educators and researchers into the theory and practices we will be talking about this month. As you can see, we are one of seven centers at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, which covers the lifespan for people with disabilities and promotes research to practice. The Early Childhood Center connects Indiana University to the broader community. Sharing ideas and innovations, we improve systems and programs impacting the lives of young children and their families. This is a list of the staff of the preschool team at the Early Childhood Center. It's just for your reference. During the first webinar, we focused on the foundations of embedding instruction and inclusive therapy and daily routines, lessons and activities. In the second webinar, we delve deeper into the how of the practice. Looking at some of the strategies and techniques of implementation. This webinar about helping families embed goals within their daily routines at home. And finally, on April 27th, there will be a live discussion forum on these topics. Don't forget to register for our Zoom live forum on our webinar series web page. Here's our agenda for this webinar. We'll start by taking a brief look at how we can connect with families, followed by a discussion of why this is important. We will examine how written goals impact family's ability to embed them at home. And conclude with strategies and suggestions. And then our goals for this webinar follow our agenda to take a look at how and why to connect with families. To understand why embedding instruction and family routines is important. To become more aware of how your goals impact implementation and family natural environments. And to learn some strategies to support families and embedding instruction into their daily routines. We're going to start with one of the Division of Early Childhood's Recommended Practices. Every once in awhile throughout this webinar, you'll see a slide that looks like this, which will remind you of the DEC, Recommended Practices that align with the content of the webinar. As we begin this webinar on supporting families and embedding goals into their home routines. We will need to recognize the importance of this recommended practice that tells us the practitioners need to build, trusting and respectful partnerships with the family through interactions that are sensitive and responsive to cultural, linguistic, and social economic diversity. This will be a recurring theme throughout this webinar. It is obviously important regardless of where goals are being implemented. But more so when we're asking to be included in the family home routines. Logically, the first step in supporting the family to support their child at home is with a collaborative assessment. Throughout the assessment, an IEP writing families are part of the process. Family input as to routines that may be difficult for the child and family and about the skills the child might need in order to be more engaged, independent, and interactive in those routines at home and in the community should have been collected as part of the assessment, as well as information about their child's strengths, interests, and preferences. The assessment should also include information generated by the parents about what they see their child doing next and what they hope will happen in both the near and distant future. This information should have led to IEP goals that will support the child both at school and at home. So in separate ways, you've already connected with the family around writing the IEP. But what we have experienced this past year during the pandemic has been different, hasn't it? What have we learned that we can carry forward with us into the future? We have asked families to include us in their home life to a greater extent than ever before in order to embed learning opportunities and the places that are most needed and yet the least intrusive to their routines. Building relationships is foundational and was probably more challenging virtually than in person. However, having a strong relationship to talk to the families about their home life was critical. We discovered that we needed to be more flexible in providing ways to collaborate, over sharing information. All the strategies can remain as we move forward. Here's a quick rundown of some of what we learned that we should not forget if we move back to more frequent in- class educational practices for both online and offline opportunities tailored to the needs and resources of families. During your initial conversations with the family, you should have discovered which families have technological advantages. So you realize that it's important to facilitate equitable access to accommodate the level of technology available. Even if a family has a computer in the home, not everyone has Internet access. Be sure to remember to offer information in multiple forms. Individualisation for both children and families became paramount. As we move forward, It's important to keep this recommendation in mind. Take a moment to read. We each carry a lifetime of exposure to societal biases about ability and potential based on gender, race, ethnicity, social class, disability, family composition, and English language proficiency, along with other characteristics and labels. As we move into providing guidance in families' homes, it becomes even more important that we recognize our own biases so that we can honor the family's culture and that of the community in which they live. We value each family's cultural and linguistic needs. We become more able to connect and guide the embedding of goals into the family life. Although many families have regular schedules, a significant number do not. However, families still have routines. Families typically have three types of routines. Daily routines such as bedtime and mealtime, weekly routine such as laundry, grocery shopping, and other routines that have a community or school component. We have to recognize that family routines vary from family to family. However, within each family's day, there's a time to get up, time to eat, time to play, time to work, and a time to go back to bed. Some families bathe their children daily at bedtime and some wait until they feel the child needs a bath. Some families eat at the table together whenever they can. Some eat front of the TV. Some have separate times for adults and children. Some children just snacks throughout the day. There are cultural variations of what is acceptable and this is true for every single family and every single routine at home. The role of the adult in performing physical care tasks and practices varies. For example, tying their shoes or putting on their coats for them. While you may want independence in your classroom, this may not be a priority at home. A spill at snack time may be an acceptable part of learning at school, while it may be disrespectful and wasteful at home. The critical element in being able to embed goals into family routine is that you have established a relationship within the family that allows you to discuss those routines without judgment so that you can explore the times of the day that either the parents feel they need help or that you can see a path to introduce some of the goals you have been working on at school without carving out school time. In the beginning of your conversation, ask the family to describe what a typical day is like, for their family. You may already know a lot of this from the assessment, but it's a good reminder to both you and the caregivers that we are not looking at a recreating classroom activities at home, but embedding goals into their existing routines. A good question to begin with is something like, How does your day start or who's the first person to wake up at your house? During each routine, ask questions to help the family describe what each person does during the routine, what the child does doing the routine, their skill level, how the child participates, their engagement and the routine, what the child can do on his or her own, their independence, how the child communicates and gets along with others, their social relationships during the routine, and how satisfied the parent is with the routine. Note areas that sound like concerns for the family and start thinking about how your IEP goals can facilitate an easier routine. Some families will describe routines in detail without needing a lot of follow-up questions. Other families are less forthcoming and may need specific questions to get sufficient detail. And still other families will provide so much detail that you may need to move them along, like what happens next? But the bottom line is be flexible. This should be a conversation and not a formal interview. At the end of each routine, it's important to ask the family whether or not they're satisfied with routine or if they could change anything, what would it be? You'll want to know what's going well? What are the happiest times of your day? What does your child like to do? What do you like to do with your child? When do you need help? When are you struggling in your daily routines at home? If the family member and repeatedly expresses satisfaction with your teams and indicates that the child's engagement, independence, social relationships, and skills are acceptable. What would the family member like the child to do next? Not all situations involve a discrepancy between reported and desired behavior. So this allows the parent to indicate what a potential intervention priority might be in the absence of any concerns. So you've gathered information for writing IEP goals, but it's also critical information and embedding those goals into the family's day. Here's what the DEC has to say. The rule of three may help you remember what kind of skills are actually functionally important for the child's life trajectory. The gist of this three rules is that the skill chosen can be used across a number of different settings, number of activities, and a number of people throughout the day. Therefore, it will increase the child's ability to interact within the daily environment at school and in all developmental areas at home as well. In addition, it should be useful throughout the child's life. I know that many of you write goals that include skills such as following directions, initiating interactions with adults and peers, sharing and taking turns, completing a task independently. Goal could look something like this. Jackson will indicate his preferred object, interaction or activity by using a sign or spoken word at least five times a day during play time, meals, circle, center time or family routines so that he can become more independent and so that others will be able to meet his needs. To see how this applies both at home and at school. This would give the family a concrete goal to embed, follow with strategies, some specific to a routine, to give them a place to start, and some broad enough to the family so that they can generalize to any setting. The above skills are perfect for embedding at home. But there are many others that address literacy, numeracy, motor skills. and that also can embed easily with a bit of imagination. Guide the family like you guide the children. Start with specific, easily implemented strategies and increase complexity, scaffolding when needed. By writing goals that can be implemented both in the classroom and at home the child has significantly more opportunity for practice. This is a major reason to embed goals at home. In addition to bringing the family into their child's continued growth and development. We must think about each child as part of a family. I mentioned earlier our lifetime of exposure to common societal biases. Now more than ever, we need to be aware that these assumptions, when unexamined, create obstacles to providing historically marginalized students full access to high expectations and genuine connections with the educators in the school environment and outcomes that fairly meet the needs of the child and family. As we write our goals, we need to recognize our implicit biases as obstacles to the success of individual children. We also need to be aware of our understanding of the behaviors, beliefs, values, and historical experiences of our local community, and understand how the community perceives school. One of the children in my past was the child of a highly successful farmer who had experienced such failures in school, that he was extremely hesitant to have a child in school at all. In fact, he refused to meet with me until we decided to meet at the local saloon where we held all subsequent meetings that year. He eventually came to school to see his son's class and meet all his teachers. That's a real legacy of the failure of a school system and a critical piece of knowledge I needed in order to connect with this family. I've mentioned this here, but we will revisit the idea, although not in detail when we talk about embedding goals into family routines. Is there anything else we need to think about? I'd like you to think about how many goals you've ever written that addresses a child's strengths, preferences, and desires while at the same time meeting their IEP needs. Herb Lovett, a great advocate for people with significant disabilities asked how many of us would choose to spend our lives majoring in our deficits. And sometimes IEPs and their implementation look like that's what we're asking of children. And lastly, I'd like you to think about how meaningful those goals are to the family in which the child spends so much of his or her time. Do you believe that we, as educators, can do all that? Be strength-based, write meaningful goals to the child and family, and be responsive to the family's needs and goals for their child. I believe that we can balance all of this for our children. Before launching into embedding IEP goals, have a conversation with the family about the ways that they're currently supporting their child. Highlight the strategies that they are already using that are likely to lead to positive outcomes. Embedding involves identifying what activities best meet the needs of the child to meet their goals. Another way to look at this is to identify when goals will be addressed during the day and developing strategies for achieving goals that can be integrated into multiple family routines and then develop specific strategies for use in those different routines. One of the most important things to stress to caregivers is that we are not wanting them to play school at home, no drill and practice. Encourage exploration. How can they entice their child to explore existing materials in order to use them in different ways to meet goals. What are some open ended household items that your families could use to encourage this? As we look at the following scenarios, remember that they're just examples and that every family is different. Let's start our conversation on the strategies to use in daily routines with the topic of using books and stories. Reading and storytelling with children promotes imagination, develops language and emotions and strengthens relationships among other things. Just a combination of reading, storytelling and even singing, pointing out which IEP goals they are addressing. by doing this. Let parents know if they don't already. Repeatedly telling the same story or reading the same book is not a bad thing. It may be keying into their child's interests or needs at the time. It's a perfect time to work on vocabulary by utilizing the repeated exposure to words and their meaning in a story context. It can help the child get to know sounds, words, and language, and develop early listening and literacy skills. Share a favorite story or create a new one. Books and stories can be a springboard for creativity and fun. It can be used while the family is engaged with them, as well as later when they retell the story, strengthening the vocabulary and language they have previously heard. Talk to caregivers about the importance of sharing stories, talking, and thinking every day, and keep reminding them of the IEP goals they can embed into those activities. They can help their child understand new or frightening events and the strong emotions that come with them. Demonstrate how they can help their child expand their understanding of the world and learn about their own culture and other cultures. Sharing stories doesn't mean you have to read from the book. Suggest that they try out funny noises and sounds, play and have fun. Show them how to involve their child by encouraging talk about the pictures, and by repeating familiar words and phrases. Playing outside gives the child a chance to explore the natural environment and have adventures. Help caregivers see the potential of playing games with simple rules, testing physical limits, expressing him or herself both verbally and physically, and building self confidence. When their child is outside, there is more space. Read it. It's like running, jumping, kicking, and throwing. This is an obvious time to work on all those motor skills. Witness my little friend Nate hanging upside down. But don't forget all the other goals that can be embedded while outside. It can be a time to practice social skills with siblings, such as sharing, cooperating, and taking turns. And when it happens as it often does, it can be a time to work on resolving conflicts. These are common goals on our preschool IEPs. It can be a time to work out some fun new vocabulary words including what they're seeing and doing. Go on a treasure hunt and put found items into a bag. That way they can talk about the items when they pick them up and again, when they get them home. This might be a great time to propose writing a story which can be told repeatedly on the ride to the store, before bed, while waiting for the hamburger at the fast food restaurant. Remember when we found that pretty rock, where was that? Tell me the story about finding that rock. Children often have goals about following directions. Saying something like run as fast as you can to the swings. Is much more fun than put it in your closet. It's also fairly complex, and helps parents see how much information their child is using given this one request. We used to count how long it took, which embeds quantitative concepts into this game. Think about open-ended prompts you can share with your families to expand the learning of their child. Remember earlier when I suggested encouraging exploration? Here's a great time to demonstrate to families how they can encourage their children to explore their toys or other materials so that they can use them in different ways to meet their goals. Working on prepositions, a big box with cars and trucks or stuffed animals provides opportunities for both the vocabulary needed, but also the social components of turn taking and the language of following directions. What are some household items that your families might never have thought about that they could use in this manner? Toilet paper rolls, empty containers, wooden spoons, are all options for imaginary play that opens the door to social, motor, cognitive, and communication goals. The time committed to this can be a short three to five minutes engagement, or as long as the caregiver has and wants to expand and explore the ideas with which the child is playing. Help them think about open-ended questions, not testing questions, that will let them learn what their child knows so they can build on that with the IEP goals you have been discussing. Make screen time worthwhile. Talk to the caregivers about co-engagement and how they can even use TV time as an activity to support their child's growth or encourage them to watch together so that they can help their child make connections between what they're seeing on TV in their home life. Here's yet another place for open-ended questions. Comment on the action and then predict what might happen next, Ask why they are so excited about that character or why they like that show so much. Whether a family eats meals at the table, pizza on the couch, or whatever form meals take in the family, it's time that goals can be embedded. Propose goals such as following the rules of the routine for a child that may need help with behaviors during meals. Requesting food or requesting help in cutting it up is another possibility. There's a technique called Communicative Temptations, where you leave something undone that prompts the request. Like the crust on a sandwich, if it is preferred that it's taken off, or only two grape halves if your child loves grapes. This creates a situation during which the child will want to make a request. And you can help the parents work on doing that in a socially appropriate manner or with a full sentence or whatever goal. Fifth, talking about attributes such as color, texture, temperature, and taste is an obvious possibility. And of course, conversation goals which involve listening, asking, and answering questions, staying on the topic and knowing when to stop talking, work here as well. Here's another time that stories could be retold so the new vocabulary could be reinforced and old vocabulary could be practiced. Remember that time when.... Parents may need help with some of the more open ended activities here as elsewhere. And if they're already doing that, be sure to let them know how much that helps their child in so many ways. There are many community activities in which IEP goals could be imbedded. I chose grocery shopping because it's one of my favorites. Here's a younger Nate again. He's practicing with self-regulation skill of sitting while his mom gathers some needed items. Sometimes when he has trouble sitting still and waiting at the doctor's office his Mom tells him the story about how he sits in the car at the Grocery store, and how long he can sit and how good he is at waiting patiently. The story they tell about all the groceries they shopped for can last as long or as short as they wait for the doctor. The cognitive and language goals at the grocery store are endless. Size, shape, color, location, taste, boxes, no boxes, cans, jars and on and on. Some children may be at a level where matching objects physical descriptions. Plenty of opportunities here for matching objects to making simple choices. This one or that one, the big one or the little one. To planning a menu together. What vegetables you like to eat when I make meatloaf, let's go find it. It's an opening for a longer conversation. Talk to parents about open-ended questions here again, what we do with this when we get it home. Tell me about your favorite. It's yet another place to practice following directions. You put the apples on the belt while I get the milk. That Milk is heavy, we can just buy one of those today. That's an implied request. You need to put the rest of those back on the shelf. It's a level of complexity that makes total sense here. When you're discussing the ways caregivers can embed IEP goals and various activities and routines throughout their day. It may be helpful to have a symbol graphic to remind them. Families are busy and we're asking them to do things in a slightly different way. Remember to stress that we're not asking them to play school or do any of the typical drill and practice things, but to find ways to strengthen and support their child's growth within their daily routines. Things on a table may be a way to reinforce that. If, and this is a big if, you want families to keep track of how it's going at home, make it fun and easy. And for families to submit photos or videos of their children. Not just doing the things you have suggested, but throughout the day. Ask to see the really fun times, ask to see the rough times if they have the time and energy. Let the children and families guide you as to the next steps, Provide meaningful alternatives to initial suggestions and problem-solve with the family. They are your partners. Showing off photos and videos is easier than ever and it can be indispensable in helping you keep track of how things are going. Try not to be judgmental. The sharing of information is a positive thing, which adds value to your assessment of progress. Here's what we talked about during this webinar. We looked at how and why to connect with families. We talked about why embedding IEP goals into family routines is important. We examined how the way you write your goals impacts the implementation and family natural environments. And finally, we discussed several routines and the strategies you could suggest or demonstrate to help caregivers discover ways to embed goals to support their child. Thank you for joining me. Next week we will have an open forum during which you are welcome to add your ideas. Have conversations on this topic, or ask questions. To sign up, go to the Early Childhood Center website and click on the free professional development webinar series for preschool educators box. Scroll down just a little and you'll find the registration link for the live discussion forum. Thank you again for your interest in supporting families ability to embed instruction within their home routines.

Practice-Based Coaching Framework

Practice-Based Coaching (PBC) Framework - Part IBy Lynne Hall

Description of the video:

Welcome to the final month of the Early Childhood Center's four month early childhood webinar series, What it Takes to Implement Effective Preschool Inclusion Services. This series was created in partnership with the Indiana Department of Education, Office of Special Educaiton. We hope to foster high-quality, evidence-based, early childhood special education services in regular early childhood classrooms, and to address possible training and technical assistance needs. This is the first of three May webinars regarding practice-based coaching and how it can be leveraged to support high-quality preschool inclusion. Today's webinar will provide an overview of the practice-based coaching framework. My name is Lynn Hall. I've been in the field of early education for over 30 years. Most of those years were spent as a preschool classroom teacher. I've been a Research Associate at the Early Childhood Center for six years. The Early Childhood Center is part of Indiana University's Institute on Disability and Community. It is one of seven centers that collectively cover the lifespan for people with disabilities. As a Service and Education Center, we work with a variety of stakeholders, including state agencies, school districts, and community programs to promote research to practice. Please visit our website to check out resources and sign up for our e-newsletter. Here you will find the goals for our next four weeks. Today's webinar will increase your familiarity with the evidence-based practice- based coaching models framework. Practice-based coaching aligns with several of the Division for Early Childhood Recommended Practices. Here are two examples. Be sure to visit the DEC website to find other recommended practices alignment. This is today's agenda: to meet the goal of increasing your familiarity with the practice-based coaching model. First, I'll tell you why you should consider using practice-based coaching. And then I'll explain its framework. And finally, I'll share how using practice-based coaching supports high-quality inclusive practices. At the end of the webinar, I'll quickly review what was covered and you will be directed to the ECC webinar series webpage to access the webinar survey link. After completing the survey, you will receive a professional growth point certificate. With all the different professional development options available today, why should you consider practice-based coaching? Researchers have found that the more common forms of professional development, such as infrequent and decontextualized training resulted in low implementation of new practices in the classroom setting. Conversely, training reinforced by ongoing coaching lead to over 90 percent of implementation of new practices. When done with fidelity, coaching helps practitioners bridge the research to practice gap by continually developing and honing skills learned in initial trainings. Even more specifically, recent research tells us that many of the required skills to effectively implement preschool inclusion is lacking among preschool teachers. For example, many have limited experience in progress monitoring and data-based decision-making, minimal training in behavior management, a lack of training in individualized systematic instruction, and limited to no experiences with teaming. Practice-based coaching can be leveraged to both increase and refine inclusive classroom practices. The goals of coaching align with most professional development needs and are focused on two areas. One, improving practice with a particular emphasis on increasing the use of practices shown to be highly effective, including evidence-based practices. And two, improving learner academic and behavioral outcomes to improve teaching practices. Promising evidence about practice-based coaching reveals that it supports teacher implementation of effective teaching practices. It is associated with desired changes in teaching and instructional practices. It is correlated to child learning. And it is socially valid because it is viewed as acceptable, feasible, and beneficial by those who coach and are coached. This section we'll share the components of practice-based coaching. Practice-based coaching is a cyclical process for supporting teachers use of effective teaching practices that lead to positive outcomes for children. It occurs within the context of a collaborative partnership. Each component in the cycle is designed to inform the actions taken by a coach or teacher during the subsequent component. The cyclical nature of practice-based coaching emphasizes that expectations and desired outcomes of coaching are regularly reviewed and updated. This figure shows the practice-based coaching cycle and illustrates the relationships among the components. Let's begin by thinking about what coaching is and what coaching is not. Coaching is collaborative. Think partnership and reciprocal. Both parties are equals. And while the coach has expertise, they are not the expert in the coaching relationship. Coachees know their children best and have unique expertise to share. Coaching is focused on skill building. Improved skills lead to improved outcomes for children. Coaching includes observation and feedback. These practices are intended to build teacher skills. Coaching plans embedded supports to provide children additional learning opportunities within their daily routines and activities. Coaching is goal directed. These goals are established by identifying coachees priorities based on their needs. Coaching has not just providing advice and tips. It includes modelling specific effective strategies and supporting coachees in ways they deem most effective for them. Coaching is not supervision. Coaching is not evaluative and is intended to be an equal, collaborative, trustworthy, reciprocal relationship. Coaching is not about changing attitudes. It's about using best practices to meet identified goals, priorities, and needs. And lastly, coaching is not therapy. It is action oriented with observable and measurable steps to achieve a goal. Practice-based coaching is grounded in effective teaching practices. When it comes to inclusion, effective teaching practices are those that research has identified as attributing to high-quality inclusion. When embarking on the coaching journey, current inclusive practices should be assessed and the data used to inform the coaching process. The inclusive classroom profile, or ICP, is one tool that addresses inclusive preschool practices. Ideally, assessments would include objective and self-assessment, and then some follow-up training on the identify practices. The practice-based coaching components centered on those evidence-based practices include, first, developing collaborative coaching partnerships. Because learning happens within the context of relationships, the importance of developing this partnership cannot be overstated. The quality of the coaching relationship directly impacts the effectiveness of the other three components. The second is shared goal and action planning. This includes reviewing the effective practices assessments to identify a mutual coaching go and develop a plan to meet the goal based on the coachee's priorities. The third component is the focused observation. The focused observation is used to either model practices or collect data. Practice implementation as identified on the coachee's action plan. The fourth and final component is reflection and feedback. A debrief meeting in which the coach facilitates a reflective conversation with the coachee to examine progress on and or achievement of the current goal and to identify subsequent goals and the plants to meet them. Let's examine the goals are the three coaching components that happen within the coaching partnership and are centered on the effective teaching practices. The goals of shared goals and action planning include assessing needs, identifying discrete practices to focus on, and developing clear, concrete, achievable plans for reaching goals. The goal of the focused observation is to gather information. And lastly, the goal of reflection and feedback are to encourage the coachee to reflect on progress towards the goal. Next, I'm going to unpack the four effective practice-based coaching components, starting with collaborative coaching partnerships. The role of the coach is performed by a range of adults. For the purposes of supporting inclusion, we will use the term coach to describe any one that is providing coaching support. These could be special education practitioners, general education practitioners, therapist, or technical assistance providers. And we will use the term coachee to describe anyone that is being coached to provide services to children. These might be general education practitioners, special education practitioners, para educators, classroom assistance, or family members. Here are some points to think about when identifying practitioners to engage in coaching. Consider practitioners that have expressed a need for additional support. When coachees have requested support, they are generally open to and even enthusiastic about the coaching process. Some practitioners may identify that they are having difficulty or had been observed as having difficulty implementing practices as intended. In these instances, coaching can support fidelity of practice implementation. Another consideration is data. Consider coaching in classrooms or programs with data suggesting that coaching on instructional practices can have a positive impact on child outcomes. Because coaching as a collaborative reciprocal partnership, building relationships is critical to its success. Some literature refers to this relationship as an alliance. A strong alliance between the coach and cochee establishes a solid foundation for subsequent work. Investing time into to building this relationship is a crucial part of that success. We will talk more about how to develop the coaching partnership in next week's webinar. The second effective practice-based coaching component is shared goals and action planning. In planning, it is important to take some preliminary steps to identify an initial coaching focus. Ideally, the coach would perform an observation of the evidence-based practices being implemented. And the coachee would do a self-assessment of the same set of practices. The coach and coachee would use these assessments to mutually identify a specific coaching need. Once identified, the two will translate that identified need into a smart goal. For example, let's assume that the coach and the coachee identified providing children scaffolding support as an area of focus. The coach and the coachee would then develop a smart goal based on that need. Smart goals are specific, identifying what the coachee will do. In this smart goal the coachee will provide scaffolding support. Smart goals are measurable so that the coachee will know if the goal has been met. In this case that scaffolding and support will be provided at least two times if needed. Smart goals must be achievable so that success is realistic. Here, providing that support at least two times, leaves plenty of room to provide it more often, but giving a minimum amount keeps goals achievable. Smart goals must be relevant, meaning they meet the child's needs. In this case, scaffolding support enables children to respond to request, which is an important skill. Lastly, they are time-bound so that the coachee knows exactly what will be done, when it will be done, as in what part of the day and how often. In this example, we know that the coachee will be providing scaffolding support during circle time, at least two times as needed. Once the smart goal has been created, an action plan is developed that includes specific steps identified to meet the goal. A focused observation. How the coachee, you will know the goal was achieved. And when the reflection and feedback session will take place. Action plans are mutually created between the coach and coachee with the coachee's preferences guiding decision-making. Each action plan timeline varies based on the goal and the action steps identified. Most plants take about two to four weeks to complete. When developing action plans, there are essential coaching strategies that coachees employ and include on the action plan. These include goal-setting. The coach helps the teacher to identify and write the smart goal every two to four weeks. Providing resources and materials. The coach offers additional items that may help the teacher learn more about the selected practices or strategies. Focused observation. If observing the coach takes notes about the teachers implementation of the selected strategies or practices and observe these without using other coaching strategies. Teacher classroom video. The coach will sometimes videotape the teacher or invite the teacher to share a video he or she recorded. Together, they will view videos to reflect, problem-solve and discuss implementation of selected practices or strategies. Reflective conversation. These are the discussions between the coach and teacher designed to prompt thinking about strategies or practices. Feedback, supportive feedback emphasizes teacher strengths that support the implementation of selected practices or strategies. Constructive feedback include suggestions or supports for improving selected practices or strategies. Suggestions or supports might focus on what to teach. When to teach, how to teach or how to evaluate. Graphic feedback. Graphic feedback includes a visual display of teacher data or child data and specific verbal information to the teacher about his or her practice for strategy implementation. Along with the essential strategies, there are additional enhancement strategies the coaches and coachees may decide to include on their action plans. These include things such as modeling, verbal, gestural, physical, or signed actions that demonstrate how to implement a specific practice. Side-by-side verbal or gestural support. Verbal or visual actions are used by the coach to guide the teachers implementation of a specific practice. When providing verbal or gestural support, the coach stands or sits in close proximity to the teacher while the teachers implementing a practice. Environmental arrangements. The coach helps the teacher to rearrange or enhance the classroom environment and available materials to set the occasion to support a specific practice. Problem-solving discussion. Systematic process involving identifying the problem, generating options and deciding on a possible solution and evaluating the strengths and challenges with that solution. Project developed video, watching a short video clip of another teacher that focuses on implementing a specific practice. Role-play, in a role-playing situation, the teacher may take on the role of the child while the coach demonstrate the strategy. Or the coach may take on the role of the child while the teacher practices a strategy and other, the coach should always ask the coachee what other ways he or she would want to be supported. We will talk more about developing shared goals and action plans in next week's webinar. The third practice-based coaching component is the focused observation. Focus means that the observation targets only the practices pertaining to the identified coaching goal. During the initial coaching meeting or the subsequent shared goal and action planning sessions, the coach and coachee determine the observation type and time when planning. The plan outlines what is observed, who has observed, and how and when the observation takes place. For example, the coach may watch the coachee use the practice, or the coach might provide one of the enhancement strategies previously described. Some type of focused observation activity occurs every coaching cycle, whether it be a data gathering observation, the coach modeling, the coach and coachee engaging in role-play. The coach supporting environmental arrangement. The coachee reviewing video, the coach providing verbal or gestural support, or the coach and coachee having a problem-solving discussion. The observation is used to inform and guide the following reflection and feedback session in the coaching cycle. For the shared smart goal example, the coach should be focused on observing or providing support for the coachee's efforts to provide children scaffolding support to respond to requests during circle time. We will talk more about the focused observation in our third webinar. Practice-based coaching's fourth and final component is the reflection and feedback. These go hand in hand. The goal of providing feedback is to have the coachee reflect. We want to remember that in order for a coachee to feel comfortable to reflect, the interactions need to feel non-judgmental. Coaching should be a safe place for the coachee to try out new things. Reflection should offer the coachee an opportunity to think about what was effective and what was the barrier to improving or refining implementation of the teaching practices. Sharing feedback about teaching practice involves providing information about performance that is both supportive and corrective if needed. Supportive feedback is used to recognize and encourage successful implementation of teaching practices by connecting information from the observation with the goals and action plans steps to illustrate progress toward desired outcomes. Corrective feedback is used to help recognize opportunities for improving or refining teaching practices. Corrective feedback should be specific and constructive. Feedback is informed by experiences from examining and supporting teaching practice and also informed by coachees reflective statements. We will talk more about reflection and feedback in the third webinar. How does the coaching cycle continue? Within that collaborative coaching partnership as part of the debriefing meeting, information from the processes is associated with reflection and feedback lead the way to engaging in ongoing goal setting and action planning. For ongoing goal setting and action planning the existing goal and action plan are reviewed and updated. Updating the goal and action plans might include continuing with the same goal and revising the action plan, or revising the selected go and updating the action plan or identifying a new goal and creating a new action plan. At some point during the ongoing process, the original needs assessments might be reviewed or updated to determine new priorities. As with all evidence-based models and practices, fidelity of implementation is needed to achieve the results research supports. The practice-based coaching materials offer a couple of checklists for coaches to keep track of their implementation. Here's an example to make sure that the coaching goals and action plans meet specific criteria. You'll noticed indicators regarding the goal. The goal achievement statement, the action steps, the resources, and the timeline. This one is a coaching practices fidelity form, which we adapted and modified to a one-page log. Using checklist helps to ensure that all critical coaching components are delivered. We will look at these more closely in the third webinar. Practice-based coaching can be maximized to support inclusive services. Inclusive services is about education equity. Coaching supports keeping children in the classroom with their peers while supporting them to fully participate in their home and classroom environments. Coaching attributes to the long-term goal of inclusion for all children to become engaged members of their communities with rich and meaningful relationships and experiences. We cannot replicate the experiences children can have in a regular education environment and segregated settings or when providing pull out services. It's our responsibility to provide children equitable access to educational opportunities. Their special education services are just that. They are a service, not a place. Coaching focuses on providing children their services within authentic environments. Children learn within the context of relationships. Coaching practitioners to implement inclusive practices keeps children in the classroom with their peers, rather than pulling them out for services. By coaching practitioners, children will have more opportunities to work on identified skills during their daily routines and activities. Research supports that coaching has a more positive effect on sustainable change when it is delivered using key effective practices. Coaching can have a positive impact on child outcomes by providing additional time to form relationships, an additional practice opportunities, and by increasing practitioners skill level. When we think about providing the collaborative services mentioned earlier in this webinar series. Coaching is an effective way to work with teachers and families to support children's outcomes. It's stepping away from the hands-on approach, that medical model and equipping teachers and families to support children in the general education classroom and home environment. Coaching build equitable learning experiences for all children by ensuring that everyone's individual learning needs are addressed in their daily environments. Remember, this is one of the Division for Early Childhood Recommended Practices. Let's quickly review what we talked about today. The practice-based coaching model includes four affective components based on a set of effective teaching practices. After the fourth component, reflection and feedback, the cyclical process is repeated. Planning between coaches and teachers is paramount to the reciprocal partnership relationship. This the process of deciding the what, the how, and the when for the next coaching cycle. These decisions are informed by the reflective conversations that happened during the feedback session. Today, I shared that the practice-based coaching model has evidence to support its effectiveness. Next, the four components of the model were explained. And lastly, you learned how practice-based coaching supports high-quality inclusive services. Here's the list of what is coming up the rest of the month. I hope you will view next week's webinar that will provide additional information on the first two practice-based coaching components, developing collaborative partnerships and shared goal setting and action planning. Thank you for taking the time to view this webinar, highlighting the practice-based coaching model.
Part II - Coaching Partnerships and Developing Shared Goals and Action Plans -  By Lynne Hall

Description of the video:

Welcome to the second webinar in the final month of the Early Childhood Center's four month Early Childhood webinar series, What it takes to implement effective preschool inclusion services. This series was created in partnership with the Indiana Department of Education, Office of Special Education. We hope to foster high-quality, evidence-based early childhood special education services in regular early childhood classrooms and to address possible training and technical assistance needs. This month's topic is practice-based coaching, and today is Part 2 on developing coaching partnerships, shared goals, and action plans. Last week's webinar provided an overview of the practice-based coaching framework. Today's information will explore the frameworks first two effective components, collaborative partnerships and shared goals and action plans. Next week's webinar will address the framework's last two components, focused observation and reflection and feedback, as well as fidelity of implementation. The following week will be our live open discussion forum, to talk more about the model and its implementation. Be sure to visit our website to sign up for the forum. If this is your first webinar this month, my name is Lynne Hall. I had been in the field of early education for over 30 years. Most of those years were spent as a preschool classroom teacher. I've been a Research Associate at the Early Childhood Center for six years. Again, for those of you new to the webinar series, the Early Childhood Center is part of Indiana University's Institute on Disability and Community. It is one of seven centers that collectively cover the lifespan for people with disabilities. As a service and education center, we work with a variety of stakeholders, including state agencies, school districts, and community programs, to promote research to practice. Please visit our website to check out resources and sign up for our e-newsletter. This slide illustrates our goals for the May webinars. Today's focus will be on developing your understanding about building coaching partnerships and setting mutual goals with plans for achieving them. Practice-based coaching aligns with the Division for Early Childhood Recommended Practices. Here are two examples. Be sure to visit the DEC website to find other recommended practices alignment. This is the agenda designed to increase your understanding of the first two practice-based coaching components. First, I'll explain to you why the coaching relationship needs to be defined as a partnership. Next, I'll share several strategies for developing that collaborative partnership. And then we'll talk about how the coach and the coachee identify a mutual goal and create an action plan to meet that goal. Lastly, I'll do a short review and then you will be prompted back to the Early Childhood Center webinar series webpage to complete your webinar survey. After completing the survey, you'll receive a certificate of professional growth points. Before we jump into our agenda, I'd like to quickly review the practice-based coaching framework. It is an evidence-based model with research to support its effectiveness when it is delivered with fidelity. Each coaching cycle is grounded in effective teaching practices. In regards to inclusion, effective teaching practices refer to evidence-based practices supporting high-quality inclusive services. Research shows that special education and general education practitioners are not trained and providing inclusion. Practice-based coaching consists of engaging in these four effective components. Collaborative partnerships, shared goals, and action planning, focused observation and reflection and feedback to support high-quality inclusion. Today we will focus on the first two components, collaborative coaching partnerships and shared goals and action planning. We'll start with collaborative coaching partnerships because they are the foundation of the coaching relationship. And without strong partnerships, the other components will be less effective. This section will explain why the coaching relationship is considered a partnership. Because some of you may be new to this webinar series. It's important to point out that you will hear the term coach and cochee throughout. The role of the coach is performed by a range of adults. For the purposes of supporting inclusion, we will use the term of coach to describe any one that is providing coaching support. These might be special education practitioners, general education practitioners, therapists, technical assistance providers. And we will use the term cochee for anyone that is being coached to provide services to children. These might be general education practitioners, special education practitioners, para educators, classroom assistance, or family members. People are more likely to be receptive to change when they are the drivers of that change. Therefore, coaching focuses on the coachee's priorities within the context of an equal, reciprocal partner relationship that values, considers, and respects the perspectives of both parties. This relationship revers both the coach and the coachee as experts. Cochee is the expert on the context and needs of the classroom. And the coach has expertise in implementing the identified practices. Now that we understand why the relationship is defined as a partnership, we will examine what it takes to build strong collaborative coaching partnerships. Research suggests some specific strategies for supporting a positive coach / cochee partnership. These include using interpersonal skills to confirm that coaching is not evaluative. Engaging in collaboration that focuses on the coachee's needs and goals. And conveying deep content knowledge about the practices the coachee has prioritized. Expertise is not to be confused with being the expert. Remember that the coachee also has expertise on his or her classroom, children, and needs. Next, we'll unpack each of these. Using interpersonal skills support effective communication, and builds trust. It includes things like summarizing what the coachee has said, such as, what I hear from your comment is.... Asking open-ended questions like, can you tell me more about that? Affirming that change is difficult by using statements like, "this is really hard." And being non-evaluative when teachers are insecure and express sentiments like the kids were crazy today. Or my room is a mess. By reminding and assuring them that coaching is about meeting their needs and goals. Collaboration is all about meeting needs and goals and conveying that improving practice takes teamwork. Some strategies that support collaboration include referring to past accomplishments. For example, you might say last month, you helped Tamelow imitate your words to ask for what she wants several times each day.