About DEC Learning Decks
Webinars are hosted on GotoTraining.
Upcoming Learning Decks:
One week, one day, and one hour prior to each Learning Deck, registrants will receive a link for the webinar and handouts from presenters.
All Learning Deck sessions will be recorded, archived, and available for purchase in case participants miss a session or want to sign up for a session which they cannot attend on the date offered.
Archived Learning Decks:
Archived Learning Deck purchases will also be sent via email. This process can take 1-3 business days.
Certificates of Attendance:
Individual live webinar purchases include one certificate of attendance.
Group orders and archived webinar purchases do not include certificates of attendance.
Placing an Order:
All Learning Decks, upcoming & archived, are available for purchase.
Purchase orders and credit card payments are accepted.
Orders can be placed here. You will be taken to a separate website to upload your purchase order or complete payment via credit card.
For each group order, the purchaser will need to designate a host. If the group is placing an order for a live webinar, the host will receive a link to log on to the webinar platform. All group members will need to view the webinar from the same location using the host's computer.*
The Difference Between Large Group and Statewide or National Purchases:
Group pricing allows the purchaser to complete a one time viewing for a group of participants of a certain size. If an agency (e.g. a Part C/619 program) purchases statewide access, then they would be able to use the webinar for ongoing training and would not need to repurchase for each group.
*Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak, group members can temporarily view the webinars in separate locations as long as the number of participants does not surpass the number of group members included in the original webinar purchase.
Please Note: Sharing a Learning Deck with one or more parties, without prior written permission from Division for Early Childhood, is a violation of copyright law.
2021 Learning Decks
Balanced Intervention - Supporting Caregiver and Child Learning during EI/ECSE Visits
Thursday, August 12th, 2021, 3:00 to 4:00 PM Eastern Time
Description: You know how to teach children; it’s your super power. Do you know how to teach adults too? As an early interventionist or an ECSE teacher using virtual parent coaching, it is becoming more and more essential that you have an understanding of how caregivers learn. Join this webinar to discover how integrating six adult learning principles into your practice can help you balance the intervention you provide so that both learners – the caregiver and the child – are engaged and learning during and between visits!
1. Recognize the link between caregiver coaching and adult learning
2. Identify 6 adult learning principles
3. Learn from a mother of a preschooler who also received EI about the importance of supporting caregiver learning via video clips
4. Gain at least 5 strategies for integrating adult learning principles into coaching practices with families
5. Plan for how to use what they learn after the webinar by focusing on a specific principle or strategy to add to their practice.
Presenters: Dana Childress, PhD
DANA CHILDRESS, Ph.D., is an Early Intervention Professional Development Consultant with the Partnership for People with Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has worked in the field of early intervention (EI) for more than 25 years as an educator, service coordinator, supervisor, trainer, author, and consultant.
What Do Assessment Practices REALLY Look Like in EI? A Three-Part Series
This Learning Deck series was archived June 2021.
Description: While early childhood researchers have described and defined authentic assessment, much of the work has been based on classroom and teaching practices. By exploring how to consider infant and toddler skills across settings, time, and interactions within everyday life contexts, practitioners will be able to implement functional assessment throughout the EI process. Supporting EIs to understand how to step away from focusing on discrete test skills to incorporate observation and gathering of information is also essential. This session will provide tools, vignettes, and practice to apply the research and RPs specifically for infants, toddlers, and families in Part C based on an article in the DEC Assessment Monograph.
Using a systematic crosswalk, the sessions will align a practical definition of early intervention (EI) functional assessment with nine of the eleven DEC Assessment RPs. Focusing on good assessment practices, the definition incorporates eight important elements including: “continuous, collaborative, observing, asking meaningful questions, listening, analyzing, naturally occurring everyday routines and activities, and across multiple situations and settings.” These elements will be linked to EI decision points including eligibility determination, program planning, and progress monitoring supporting practitioners to use recommended assessment practices during multiple activities.
Participant Outcomes: Supporting early interventionists (EIs) to apply the DEC RPs during assessment and service delivery to families of infants and toddlers in Part C is essential. To enhance confidence and competence and build capacity, it is important for EIs to understand the evidence behind practices. By participating in this session, practitioners will understand the applicability of the DEC RPs to their assessment practices. After learning a practical definition of functional assessment (FA), participants will explore various EI decision points where FA can be implemented. They will strategize how they can use this definition and the assessment RPs to guide service delivery.
Presenters: Cori Hill, M.Ed.; Lisa Terry, MS, M.Ed., IMH-E®; Dana Childress, PhD
CORI HILL, M.Ed. is the Principal Investigator and provides overall coordination and oversight for the Integrated Training Collaborative (ITC), Virginia's Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) project. She has worked in the field of early intervention for over 25 years as an infant program director, educator and service coordinator.
LISA TERRY, MS, M.Ed., IMH-E® provides support for the design and implementation of professional development activities for early intervention providers and administrators in Virginia. Lisa is a certified trainer in the Growing Brain, a ZERO TO THREE curriculum. She maintains endorsement in infant mental health as an Infant Family Specialist.
DANA CHILDRESS, Ph.D., provides support for the design and implementation of professional development activities for early intervention providers and administrators in Virginia. She has worked in early intervention for over 20 years as an early childhood special educator, service coordinator, program supervisor, local system manager, trainer, and writer. She is the co-author of the book, Family-Centered Early Intervention: Supporting Infants and Toddlers in Natural Environments.
How Early Intervention Providers Can Support Foster Parents using a Family-Centered Approach
This Learning Deck was archived Wednesday, February 24th, 3:00 to 4:00 PM Eastern Time.
Description: The CAPTA legislation requires child welfare professionals to refer children between birth and three years old to early intervention programs (About CAPTA: A Legislative History, 2019). Many of these children are being cared for out of their biological homes by foster parents. Early intervention providers are in the unique position to support foster parents as they care for and support the development of a vulnerable population. This presentation aims to provide guidelines for supporting foster parents using a family-centered approach that is inclusive to the unique needs of foster parents and those they care for. We will use the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices on Family and Teaming and Collaboration as our reference point (i.e. F1 & TC 2). Real-life vignettes will be shared to illustrate the importance of terminology, as well as the importance of using family-centered practices to support foster parents of young children with disabilities. First presenter will also share experiences as a foster parent and a certified early intervention specialist in Massachusetts.
1. Participants will understand the value of family-centered practices when supporting foster parents who are caring for young children with disabilities.
2. Participants will understand the importance of terminology when engaging with foster parents during initial meetings and ongoing service provision.
3. Participants will gain knowledge about the CAPTA legislation as it pertains to collaboration between early intervention and child welfare agencies.
Presenters: Kelly Brown; Serra Acar, PhD; Angi Stone-MacDonald, PhD
KELLY BROWN is a doctoral student at UMass Boston. She has been active in the field of Early Intervention since 2008, becoming a certified early intervention specialist in 2011. Kelly’s primary research interest is the collaboration between child welfare and early intervention. Kelly is also a foster and adoptive parent.
SERRA ACAR, PhD (she/her/hers) is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education and Care at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Dr. Acar’s research interests include culturally and linguistically responsive assessment in EI/ECSE, EF in dual language learners, and personnel preparation.
ANGI STONE-MACDONALD, PhD is the Associate Dean for Grants and Research College of Education and Human Development, associate professor, and Early Education and Care in Inclusive Settings Program Director in University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her research focuses on increasing fidelity in assessment and supporting EI practitioners working with diverse families.
Free Learning Deck
Understanding Implicit Bias and Its Role in Early Learning Environments
Archived Webinar - This webinar was originally recorded on June 6, 2018.
Description: Racial inequities have long been present in our educational system. Recently, there has been a growing emphasis on the role of implicit bias in how programs discipline children, implement classroom practices, and establish teacher-child relationships. This session aims to support early childhood professionals in reducing implicit biases and using culturally responsive practices. Specifically, the session will focus on (1) identifying barriers to equity in early childhood environments for children of color (L7; E1); (2) defining implicit bias and its role in perpetuating inequitable practices (L7); (3) describing strategies for identifying and overcoming implicit bias (INS6); and (4) providing specific culturally responsive practices that can be used in early learning environments to promote equitable outcomes for children from culturally diverse backgrounds (E1; INS2; INS6). This session will actively engage participants in learning self-reflection and debiasing strategies, and how to use culturally responsive practices.
After taking part in this session, participants will be able to:
1. Identify barriers to equity in early education, specifically related to the disproportionate number of Black children who are suspended or expelled from programs.
2. Have a basic understanding of implicit bias and its role in early childhood education.
3. Describe specific strategies for identifying and overcoming implicit biases.
4. Describe the components of a culturally responsive teaching practices, including an emphasis on family involvement, how to view child development through a culturally responsive lens, and specific culturally responsive strategies designed to prevent challenging behaviors within early learning environments.
Presenters: Jen Neitzel, PhD, Megan Vinh, PhD, Ebonyse Mead
JENNIFER NEITZEL, PhD, is a Research Scientist at the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Neitzel’s work is focused on implicit bias, early childhood suspensions and expulsions, and racial equity in early childhood education.
MEGAN VINH, PhD, is the Co-Director of the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center, a co-PI of the Early Childhood Recommended Practice Modules project (RPM), and the evaluation lead for the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy).
EBONYSE MEAD is the Family Support Program Officer at the Smart Start of North Carolina. In her work, Ms. Mead focuses on implicit bias and its role in early childhood education, particularly related to families and their experiences within early learning environments.
All Available Learning Decks
A Framework for Engaging Families in Early Intervention: Current and Best Practice
Description: Family engagement leads to improved outcomes for children. Some families are harder to engage than others. Explore recent research conducted by Indiana University and learn about a family engagement framework that incorporates practical strategies for getting all families engaged during early intervention and the benefits for children, families and providers.
Presenters: Katherine Herron and Janet Ballard
KATHERINE HERRON, PhD is a research associate with the Early Childhood Center, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University. Katie has a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Indiana University (2003), a program that focuses on high-quality research and the importance of implementing empirically based treatments. Her focus shifted to early intervention during graduate school when her son was born with a disability. Her experience as a parent in First Steps, the state’s early intervention system led her to work as a service coordinator within the same system, as well as on grants focused on parent advocacy and transition. Katie has also worked within First Steps doing education and outreach to families and professionals. She serves as chair of a city-supported Council for Community Accessibility. Katie has worked at the Early Childhood Center for almost two years. She works on a quality
improvement grant for First Steps as well as doing work on preschool quality and family engagement in both early intervention and early education programs.
JANET BALLARD is a Research Associate at the Early Childhood Center (ECC) at Indiana Institute on Disability and Community. She works on the First Steps Quality Review grant and as part of the assessment team for the Early Education Matching Grant. She is CLASS trained and has worked in the Birth to three realm for the past 20 years as a First Steps Provider and State Consultant. More recently, Janet helped create and implement the Early Head Start Program in Monroe County and served as the Coordinator of the program before coming to ECC. She is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.
Beyond Feedback: Communicating Assessment Information with Families
Description: Assessment is a multifaceted, complex procedure. Writing meaningful, functional, and individual reports to share assessment information with families is an important skill. This presentation aims to provide guidelines for early intervention/early childhood special education practitioners to successfully communicate assessment results with families and writing collaborative assessment reports from a family-centered approach. We will use the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices on Assessment as our reference point (i.e., A2 & A11). Real-life vignettes will be shared to illustrate the communication between practitioners and family members who have young children with special needs. Moreover, examples of high-quality assessment reports from the Battelle Developmental Profile: II (Bliss, 2007) will be shared to highlight the importance of word use, language, and format. Practitioners will learn to utilize the “LAFF don’t Cry” strategy as a method for active listening, a key concept in collaborative assessment reporting (McNaughton, Hamlin, McCarthy, Head-Reeves, & Schreiner, 2008).
Participants will understand the value of family-centered practices during the assessment process, with a focus on providing verbal and written feedback.
Participants will increase their knowledge of providing assessment feedback through a family-centered approach, including the use of the “LAFF don’t CRY” strategy.
Participants will gain knowledge about follow-up activities to assessments that are framed in a family-centered approach.
Facilitators: Kelly Brown, Stephanie Silva, Serra Acar, PhD
KELLY BROWN is a doctoral student at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is a Certified Early Intervention Specialist and has spent 10 years working in the field. Her research interests include collaborations between early intervention and the foster care system and trauma-informed practice in early childhood settings.
STEPHANIE SILVA is a doctoral student in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Stephanie is a Certified Early Intervention Specialist and Master’s Level Psychologist in Early Intervention. Her research includes personnel preparation and transitions into and out of early intervention.
SERRA ACAR, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has worked in the field for more than 10 years. Her research includes culturally and linguistically responsive assessment, executive function, and second language learners, and personnel preparation in early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE).
Focus Age Group: 0 - 3
Building Essential Toolkits for Novice Teachers
Description: Beginning teachers are often overwhelmed in the first few years as to what their classroom should have in order to provide essential teaching and implementation of the information learned in higher education. In this webinar, Dr. Reinking will outline a toolkit for first year teachers and/or veteran teachers entering an early childhood special education classroom for the first time. The “essential tool-kit” focuses on collaboration, assessment, and implementation of math, literacy, and science areas.
Participants will learn about essential items for beginning classrooms; gain knowledge on how to use a small toolkit of items for several instructional methods in the classroom; and report an understanding of how to use and gather a toolkit.
Presenters: Anni Reinking, EdD
ANNI REINKING, EdD, is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). She has degrees in Psychology, Early Childhood Education, and Curriculum and Instruction. Dr. Reinking’s research interests include play-based and developmentally appropriate practice in birth-2nd grade classrooms, teacher preparation techniques, effective coaching and mentoring strategies, and multicultural education in early childhood classrooms
Collaborating with Interpreters in EI/ECSE
Early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE) professionals need strategies for working with interpreters in order to provide effective services to children and their families who are linguistically and culturally diverse. In this session, we will share guidelines and ideas to improve communication in EI/ECSE service delivery when the EI/ECSE team includes an interpreter. This session will help you to improve your knowledge and skills when working with interpreters in order to deliver high-quality and cost-effective services.
Participants in the Learning Deck will:
(1) Increase awareness and understanding of the roles and responsibility of interpreters and the EI/ECSE team when working with families who are linguistically and culturally diverse; and
(2) Identify strategies that EI/ECSE professionals can implement in their programs to effectively collaborate with interpreters.
Presenters: Patricia M. Blasco, PhD, Serra Acar, PhD
SERRA ACAR, PhD, received her PhD in the Early Intervention Program from the University of Oregon. Dr. Acar is working as project coordinator at The Research Institute (TRI) at Western Oregon University and an adjunct faculty at Portland State University. Dr. Acar’s primary areas of expertise include family-centered practices, culturally and linguistically responsive assessment approaches, and personnel preparation in early EI/ECSE. She is from Istanbul with a multicultural family.
PATRICIA M. BLASCO, PhD, Dr. Blasco is a project director at TRI and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). She has extensive experience in collaborating with interpreters and families and their children who are linguistically and culturally diverse. She has worked collaboratively with EI/ECSE teams as a supervisor of EI/ECSE and ECE students and as a researcher.
Collaboratively Supporting Social Emotional and Mental Health
Description: Early childhood mental health and social emotional development are such important parts of overall child health. Even with recognition of this, we don't yet have a system that truly supports these factors in young children. This session will help put the puzzle pieces together of how leadership, practitioners, and families support the social emotional development of young children and make sure their mental health is prioritized. This session is geared towards decision-makers and leaders of early childhood initiatives, who can then provide guidance to programs and practices on best practices in early childhood mental health.
Participants will receive a framework for best practices in early childhood mental health, including ideas such as how social emotional screening as well
as maternal depression and anxiety can be addressed in well-child visits; policies and practices to support early childhood mental health consultation in early learning environments; and integrated care strategies.
Presenters: Sarah Davidon, PhD
SARAH DAVIDON, PhD, has led policy and systems-building initiatives related to early childhood, mental health, disabilities, and coordination of human services systems and practices, and has provided guidance and direction for 20 years in Colorado’s development of an early childhood system-of-care that intentionally includes social emotional, and mental health.
Creating Accepting Classroom Communities: How Are Positive Attitudes Formed
Description: As classes become more diverse, negative attitudes towards those who are different persist, and bullying behaviors are on the rise. Self-reflection activities that teachers can use to understand how attitudes are formed will be
shared, along with research-based strategies from the Making Friends Program. Together, these foster a sense of belonging for all children.
Presenters: Michaelene M. Ostrosky, PhD, Paddy C. Favazza, EdD
MICHAELENE M. OSTROSKY, PhD, is a Professor of Special Education and the
Head of the Special Education Department in the College of Education, University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
PADDY C. FAVAZZA, EdD, is a Professor of Early Childhood Special Education
and a Center for Social Development and Education Senior Research Fellow at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Culturally Responsive Behavioral Supports for Children With Challenging Behaviors and Their Families
Description: Presenters will describe issues and challenges for supporting
preschool children with challenging behaviors and their families and provide recommendations for using
culturally responsive, evidence-based strategies when conducting functional behavior assessments,
creating behavior support plans, and supporting parent implementation of the plan.
Presenters: Rashida Banerjee, PhD and Erin Barton, PhD
RASHIDA BANERJEE, PhD, is an associate professor and Special Education: Early Childhood Program coordinator at the University of Northern Colorado’s School of Special Education. Dr. Banerjee’s research areas and interests are culturally responsive practices for young children and their families who are from diverse backgrounds, effective assessment of young children, teacher preparation, and effective community, family, and professional partnerships. She serves on the DEC Executive Board and the DEC Recommended Practices Commission. She is an associate editor for Young Exceptional Children.
ERIN BARTON, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education. She teaches courses on single-case research design, early childhood assessment, and social and behavioral interventions. She focuses on identifying evidence-based behavioral interventions that teachers and parents can implement in natural settings. Her intervention research is largely focused on socially valid and effective practices for increasing pretend play skills in young children with disabilities.
Deconstructing Decision-Making with Families to Foster Meaningful Partnerships
Description: DEC (2014) recommends early educators collaborate with families in decision-making that incorporates family knowledge, concerns, and priorities (F3, F4, TC2). How early educators facilitate dialogue with families plays a key role in the extent to which families participate in decisions about their child. Understanding how conversations unfold is important to promoting equitable interactions with all families, and particularly families from culturally, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse backgrounds. Yet nuances of language use are difficult for speakers to recognize in the moment, and educators are likely to need supports to recognize specific ways in which they use language.
In alignment with DEC Recommended Practices (2014) and the DEC Family Monograph (2017), this Learning Deck deconstructs decision-making, illustrating how decisions are made through language with examples from real-life interactions between early educators and families. Participants will learn to identify and interpret key aspects of decision-making, focusing on implications for parents’ participation in decisions. The session highlights research-based communication strategies that contribute to more equitable parent participation in decision-making conversations. In doing so, this session supports participants’ understanding of how early educators engage in responsive interactions with families (TC2, F3) that foster shared decisions regarding a child’s goals or individualized plans (F4).
Participants will understand ways in which discourse contributes to decision-making by families and early educators in EI/ECSE settings.
Participants will be able to identify key features of EI/ECSE decision-making interactions with families.
Participants will learn a range of communication strategies early educators can apply to foster more equitable parent participation in EI/ECSE decision-making.
Presenters: Christine Hancock, PhD, Greg Cheatham, PhD
CHRISTINE HANCOCK, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Special Education at Wayne State University. Her scholarship focuses on how early educators and families of young children communicate and collaborate. She aims to support professionals in facilitating more equitable interactions with all families, resulting in meaningful and mutual decisions.
GREG CHEATHAM, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Special Education at the University of Kansas. His scholarship focuses on the provision of effective, appropriate, and equitable services for young children and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. He has a particular interest in language diversity.
Deliver Effective Professional Development and Support Inclusion: 3 Tips for Blending Practices
Description: As a teacher educator, supervisor, consultant, trainer, or coach, have you struggled with delivering professional development (PD) that results in actual change in practice? Do providers in your area struggle with meeting the needs of children with diverse abilities? If yes, then join us for a webinar designed specifically for PD providers to support blended practices. Like you, we have struggled to support adult learners, and recognize that to get to change, we need to utilize strategies that help shift mindsets. We have carefully designed a webinar where information on the elements that underlie blended practices will be described, while simultaneously demonstrating 3 effective PD strategies to support early educators to implement key practices. All participants will also receive training materials for future use when delivering lectures, workshops, and/or conducting coaching sessions on blended practices.
Presenters: Kristie Pretti-Frontczak, Ph.D., Jennifer Grisham-Brown, Ed.D., and Songtian (Tim) Zeng, M.S.E
KRISTIE PRETTI-FRONTCZAK, Ph.D., is the owner of B2K Solutions, Ltd, a company dedicated to transforming services for children from birth to kindergarten. Dr. Pretti-Frontczak spent 16 years in higher education as faculty at Kent State University and served as an applied researcher, trainer, and mentor. Dr. Pretti-Frontczak areas of expertise include authentic assessment practices, blended approaches, and the curriculum framework, a tiered instructional model.
JENNIFER GRISHAM-BROWN is a Professor in the Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education program and faculty director of the Early Childhood Laboratory School at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Grisham-Brown is co-author of two books on blended programs in early childhood education. Her research interests include authentic assessment, tiered instruction, and inclusion of children with significant disabilities. Dr. Grisham-Brown is the founder of a children’s home and preschool program in Guatemala City called Hope for Tomorrow.
SONGTIAN (TIM) ZENG is a doctoral student, research assistant, and field supervisor at the University of Washington. His research interests include blended practices and effective instruction strategies for children with and without disabilities, effective use of online technologies for teacher preparation, professional development and parent support.
Designing Inclusive Environments that Promote Physical Activity
Description: Childhood obesity is a national concern. While recent reports show that rates have begun to decline for preschool age children, special educators need to be particularly attentive to this issue. Data indicates much higher rates of overweight and obesity for children with disabilities, especially those with autism. Early childhood and early childhood special education practitioners report difficulty meeting national recommendations for physical activity and for including children with and at risk for disabilities.
Participants in the Learning Deck will: (1) Learn to use utilize universal design for learning (UDL) principles to design high-quality environments that promote physical activity for all young learners (Recommended Practices E2, E6); (2) Use an established rubric to reflect on instructional and physical aspects of the learning environment; (3) Identify strategies to set the stage for physical activity and to lead structured activities
Presenters: Karin H. Spencer, EdD, Lorelei E. Pisha, EdD
KARIN H. SPENCER, EdD, is a parent educator and professional learning consultant. She also serves as adjunct faculty at the George Washington University and Shepherd University. Dr. Spencer has over 20 years of experience in the field of early childhood education as a practitioner, program administrator, and teacher educator. She has directed personnel preparation and training grants and a national training and technical assistance center. She has published and presented nationally on physical activity, resilience, inclusion, and culturally responsive practices.
LORELEI E. PISHA, EdD, is adjunct faculty at the George Washington University and Project Coordinator for an Office of Special Education Programs funded early childhood leadership personnel preparation and training grant at GWU. Dr. Pisha has extensive experience as an early interventionist, early childhood practitioner and teacher educator. She provides online professional development and coaching for early intervention systems and families through Early Intervention Partnerships. Her expertise i