Curriculum & Instructional Strategies

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Description: This manual was developed by the Virginia Department of Education and the state system of Training and Technical Assistance Centers to help local school divisions meet federal and state mandates that children with disabilities be educated in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). The manual contains 8 modules and extensive resources which provide critical information for understanding, building, supporting, and sustaining inclusive placement opportunities for young children with...
Description:  This free instructional content from FPG's autism team marked the formidable milestone after only 15 months, and here's what users around the world have been learning about how to apply evidence-based practices.  What will I learn in a module? Key components of an EBP including the various approaches that can be used with learnerswith ASD Behaviors and skills that can be addressed using the practice A step-by-step process for applying the practice Specific resources that you can...
Description: It is important that children have high-quality, developmentally appropriate math experiences from an early age. In this learning deck, we will discuss how engaging learning activities can be developed and implemented in preschool classrooms to help children learn a variety of math skills, from counting to patterning and beyond! We also will discuss how intentional, systematic instruction can be used in the context of engaging activities to ensure student learning. Facilitators: Jessica Hardy,...
Description: Included in this VPI+ video clip directory are a series of video clips that have been carefully vetted and selected by staff from the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL). Video clips on specific topics can be narrowed down using the categories on the left. Please note: The links below direct you to a website not associated with the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). The VDOE does not necessarily endorse the views expressed or the data and facts...
Description: Included in this VPI+ Professional Development library are resources that have been carefully vetted and selected by staff from the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL). Articles, online learning, web pages, and documents on specific topics can be narrowed down using the categories or by searching for a particular keyword. Topics include: Classroom Interactions and Organization Teacher-child interactions (CLASS) Supportive Environments Play-based learning...
Description: Hyperactive, non-compliant, and disruptive behaviors in the classroom are often challenges for early childhood educators, regardless of whether a young child is diagnosed with ADHD or not. Understanding the rationale for and principles of behavior management and self-regulation approaches can help you support positive development for young children with challenging behaviors using evidence-based strategies.  This "Ask the Expert" video is full of information and strategies that you may find...
Description: This free 10 minute video explores the value of play, playful inquiry and the role of adults in supporting, advocating for  and investing in children’s play.
Description: A variety of one hour professional development archived webinars focused on early intervention and early childhood topics.  These are hosted by the Division for Early Childhood and can be purchased $35.00 for non-DEC members; $25.00 for DEC members.
Description: This website currently supports the Virginia Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) leaders responsible for administrative oversight of local ECSE programs. The primary focus is to provide consistent information statewide to improve the collection, reporting, and use of ECSE indicator data; and connect, support, and empower local leaders to build capacity and provide high-quality programs and services throughout the state for young children ages 2-5 years with IEPs.
Description: What is  music therapy? How are children referred to music therapy services? Do music therapists conduct assessments? These are just a few of the questions that parents, educators, and allied health professionals may have when first encountering music therapy in the early childhood setting. This article provides a brief overview of music therapy and outlines the major aspects of the systematic treatment process.
Description: The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) conducts academic research to inform policy supporting high-quality, early education for all young children. Such education promotes the physical, cognitive and social development needed for children to succeed in school and later life. NIEER provides independent, research-based analysis and technical assistance to policymakers, journalists, researchers, and educators. NIEER publishes the "State of Preschool Yearbooks."
Description: The vision of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (hereafter known as The Departments) is that 1) all young children will have adults in their lives who are well-informed on how to use technology to support learning at various ages; and 2) all young children will have opportunities to learn, explore, play, and communicate through a multitude of approaches, including the use of technology.  The purpose of this policy brief is to:...
Description: If you have just recently found out about your child’s hearing loss or know of a child who has been recently diagnosed with a hearing loss you are on the right track to finding more information for Virginia residents. Knowledge is power! Being informed in the area of deafness/hearing impairment and teaching your child or children with hearing losses to be independent is important.
Description: The I’m Determined project, a state directed project funded by the Virginia Department of Education, focuses on providing direct instruction, models, and opportunities to practice skills associated with self-determined behavior. This project facilitates youth, especially those with disabilities to undertake a measure of control in their lives, helping to set and steer the course rather than remaining the silent passenger. There are resources and videos for Educators, Parents and...
Description: The following presentations are available: State of the States on Systemic Improvement Planning: A National Overview of Phase I SSIPs A National Picture: Indicator C4 Family Data for FFY 2013 Using Surveys to Understand How the Child Outcomes Summary Process is Being Implemented in Local Programs Performance Checklists for Facilitating Practitioner Use of DEC Recommended Practices A National Picture: Child Outcomes for FFY 2013-14 Session 1: Use of Fiscal Data for Budget Development and...
Description: The goal of this website is to provide a one-stop-shop for parents, families and caregivers of children with special needs to:  Learn about and plan your child's educational program Understand your legal rights and responsibilities Access local resources including school system contacts and disability services in your community Access an abundance of resources, including instructional strategies, assistive technology and behavioral supports to help your child succeed.
Description: These materials are available for Professionals Who Work with Birth – 6 Year-Olds with Deafness/Hearing Loss, Blindness/Visual, or Deaf-Blindnes. They are provided by Outreach Services, VSDB to the TTAC Lending Libraries and the VA Hearing Aid Loan Bank. (Funding provided by the Virginia Department of Education)
Description: Many parents wonder what they can do to ensure that their preschooler will be successful when she enters school, especially now with so much emphasis on state testing and learning standards. Through play and everyday activities such as cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping, your young child is acquiring the information and skills needed to learn more difficult skills, including how to read, write, and solve problems. This guide is meant to help you understand that the...
Description: The following are implementation resources that correlate to evidenced based practices as identified by the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders, http://autismpdc.fpg.unc.edu/. The resources listed are available for check-out in every Virginia Department of Education Training and Technical Assistance (T-TAC) lending library.
Description: Play is an integral part of most early childhood special education programs. For many young children with ASD and severe learning needs, this skill may be very difficult.  This webcast will discuss the importance of teaching social skills in early childhood education programs that serve students with ASD.  Elements of social skill instruction will be explored to include both systematic and naturalistic teaching strategies.  Methods of how to embed evidenced-based practices in...
Description: Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project that offers a wealth of research-based reading strategies, lessons, and activities designed to help young children learn how to read and read better. Our reading resources assist parents, teachers, and other educators in helping struggling readers build fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.
Description: CEC's (Council for Exceptional Children) divisions individually explore a single facet of special education in thoughtful detail, bringing together professionals to exchange ideas, stimulate research, and promote expertise in key areas of each fast-growing field. These include: Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE), Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders (CCBD), Division for Research (CEC-DR), CEC Pioneers Division (CEC-PD), Council for Educational Diagnostic Services...
Description: This is a compilation of journal articles dealing with Coaching/Services and Supports for Early Childhood.
Description: Pretti-Frontczak, K., Jackson, S., Goss, S.M., Grisham-Brown, J., Horn, E., Harjusola-Webb, S., Lieber, J., & Matthews, D. (2007). A curriculum framework that supports quality early childhood education for all young children. Young Exceptional Children Monograph Series, 9, 16-28. Grisham-Brown, J.L., Pretti-Frontczak, K.L., Hemmeter, M.L., & Ridgley, R. (2002). Teaching IEP goals and objectives in the context of classroom routines and activities. Young Exceptional Children, 6(1), 18-27.
Description: The IRIS Center has assembled an impressive collection of Evidence-Based Practice Summaries of research about the effectiveness of various instructional strategies and interventions. The summaries include links to research reports, information about an intervention’s level of effectiveness, and the age groups for which it is designed. Summaries are available on the following topics: Assessment (includes progress monitoring), Behavior and Classroom Management, Content...
Description: This website focusing on the five core components of reading offers information and resources to educators and parents with the goal of ensuring that all students are able to read at grade-level by the close of their third-grade year.
Description: Executive function and self-regulation (EF/SR) skills provide critical supports for learning and development, and while we aren’t born with these skills, we are born with the potential to develop them through interactions and practice. This 16-page guide (available for download, below), describes a variety of activities and games that represent age-appropriate ways for adults to support and strengthen various components of EF/SR in children.
Description: Over 100 early literacy activities are posted on the PALS website. Activities are sorted by grade level (PreK, K, 1, 2-3) and by literacy skill. Teachers can target instruction to PALS-identified needs with this helpful resource.
Description: Young Audiences – Arts for Learning – Virginia is the leading provider of quality arts-in-education programming in Virginia. We offer an array of arts performances and workshops grounded in the core curriculum, residencies for children of all ages, and professional development in arts-integration techniques that improve students’ literacy skills, motivation to read, and ability to learn.
Description: This information brief is written for educators who are familiar with early intervention and early childhood special education to introduce the special issues families experiencing homelessness. It provides an overview of developmental concerns and homelessness, summarizes a Virginia survey of early childhood educators, and offers promising practices to better serve this population of young children and their families. (Project Hope-Virginia) (Homeless Education)
Description: This information brief is a companion document to Issue Brief No. 9. It provides an introduction to early child development, including resources to consult when developmental concerns arise. The intended audience is families experiencing homelessness and the service providers who provide support. (Project Hope-Virginia) (Homeless Education)
Description: Finding a shared definition of early childhood inclusion has not always been an easy task for those of us in the field of early care and education. In 2009 the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) released a joint position statement on early childhood inclusion. The position statement defined early childhood inclusion, and provided the defining features of high quality early childhood inclusion: access, participation, and...
Title: Vroom
Description: New science tells us that our children's first years are when they develop the foundation for all future learning. Vroom turns shared moments into brain-building moments. Whether it's mealtime, bath time, or anytime in between, there are always ways to nurture our children's growing minds. There is also a free app available for download on Google Play or iTunes.
Description: Start with the Arts is an instructional program created by VSA for pre-school and early elementary school learners that uses the arts to assist young children, including those with disabilities, in exploring themes commonly taught in early childhood classrooms. You can now download an accessible version of the Start With the Arts in its entirety or in chapters for free!
Description: This article introduces the framework of Universal Design for Early Childhood Education (UDECE). The goal of the framework is to synthesize best practices within the field of early childhood education and special education, providing a template to support access and equity for all children. (UDL)
Description: Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an approach to teaching, learning, curriculum development and assessment that uses new technologies to respond to a variety of individual learner differences. IDEA 2004 defines Universal design using the same definition as the Assistive Technology Act of 1998. (The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center, ECTA)
Description: UD and UDL support access to early care and education environments through the removal of physical and structural barriers (UD) and the provision of multiple and varied formats for instruction and learning (UDL).
Description: This includes: Why Do It? (the evidence base), Read About It (books, chapters, and articles), See for Yourself (videos and demonstrations) and Find it Online (websites with additional resources).
Description: A framework for supporting all young learners is universal design. This framework calls for early educators to value from the beginning the importance of planning learning environments and activities for a diverse population-creating universally designed settings in which all children and their families can participate and learn. (UD, UDL)
Description: The Books Build Connections Toolkit has information about the benefits of promoting early literacy and early learning for children. It includes publications with information and tips for pediatric professionals and families that are available to print, download or share on social media.
Description: This brief Building Blocks article will outline some UDL basics in an attempt to provide access to tools that teachers can use to meet children’s needs in the classroom so that they can learn successfully.
Description: Apps for Children with Special Needs (a4cwsn) is committed to helping the families and caretakers of children with special needs and the wider community of educators and therapists who support them, by producing videos that demonstrate how products designed to educate children and build their life skills really work from a user perspective. Our aim is that these videos, along with relevant information and advice from an independent source you can trust, provides valuable insight into whether a...
Description: The Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Toddler Initiative will expand on the work conducted by the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (NPDC-ASD) funded by the Office of Special Education Programs. The ASD Toddler Initiative will develop new materials and modify existing processes to support the use of evidence-based practices for young children (birth-3) and for their families.
Description: Play is vanishing from classrooms as teachers try to align their curriculum to meet new state standards. It’s time to look again at block building as an essential learning process which fosters and facilitates the learning and innovative skills children need to be successful in the future.
Description: If you’re concerned about the development of an infant or toddler, or you suspect that a little one has a disability, this page will summarize one terrific source of help—the early intervention system in your state. Early intervention services can help infants and toddlers with disabilities or delays to learn many key skills and catch up in their development.
Description: El nacimiento de un niño es un evento lleno de emociones que le cambiará la vida por completo. Un nuevo bebé hermoso llega a su hogar, familia, y comunidad. Es un tiempo para celebrar. Sus familiares conocen al niño y se preguntan: ¿Va a ser un futbolista, será una famosa cantante, va a descubrir la cura para el cáncer, o se convertirá en el presidente de los Estados Unidos?
Description: Si Ud. tiene o conoce un niño entre las edades de 3 a 21, y tiene preocupaciones acerca de su desarrollo, bienestar emocional, conducta, aprendizaje o discapacidad, esta página le ayudará a familiarizarse con los sistemas de apoyo para niños con discapacidades en los Estados Unidos.
Description: The education of children with disabilities is a top national priority. Our nation’s special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), sets high standards for their achievement and guides how special help and services are made available in schools to address their individual needs.
Description: As a child care provider or preschool teacher, you may even be among the first to notice a child’s difficulties or special needs. That’s why, quite often, child care providers and preschool teachers play a key role in recognizing that a child may need special help and in connecting families with the systems of that help that address children’s developmental and disability-related needs.
Description: Games and activities are more than just fun for a preschooler — they also help with physical development and early learning. Find creative activities for your preschooler in areas such as arts and crafts, cooking, music and dance, and basic academic skills.