Inclusionary Practices

14 Priorities to Dismantle Systemic Racism in Early Care and Education
These strategies, paired with the work of families and advocates, will move the field closer to realizing racial equity for our youngest children. The actions are to be taken collectively today to ensure more equitable systems tomorrow.
Authors: Shantel Meek, Iheoma U. Iruka, Rosemarie Allen, Dawn A. Yazzie, Veronica Fernandez, Evandra Catherine, Kent McIntosh, Lisa Gordon, Walter Gilliam, Mary Louise Hemmeter, Darielle Blevins, and Tunette Powell
Publication Date: December 2020
Publisher: The Children’s Equity Project

A Guide to Adaptations
This document defines and describes an evidence-based inclusion framework and provides definitions and examples of adaptations that adults can use to ensure young children with disabilities can participate fully in STEM learning experiences.
Authors: Victoria Waters, Tracey West, Chih-Ing Lim, and Megan Vinh
Publication Date: March 2022
Publisher: STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education Center

A Guide to Teaching Practices
This document defines and describes evidence-based teaching strategies and provides examples of each teaching strategy that adults may use to ensure young children with disabilities can participate fully in STEM learning experiences.
Authors: Victoria Waters, Tracey West, Chih-Ing Lim, Pip Campbell, and Sarah Pedonti
Publication Date: March 2022
Publisher: STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education Center

Assistive Technology Short Term Loan Library
A wide variety of assistive technology devices, equipment, software, and professional development materials are available free of charge to Arizona school personnel.
Publisher: Arizona Department of Education

Building Environments That Encourage Positive Behavior: The Preschool Behavior Support Self-Assessment
This article shares a teacher self-assessment tool, the Preschool Behavior Support Self-Assessment, that helps teachers of preschool children examine how their classrooms support children’s positive behavior. It aligns with the key features of positive behavior support, an approach grounded in theory, supported by research, and applicable to the values and needs of early childhood settings.
Authors: Christine L. Hancock and Deborah R. Carter Publication Date: March 2016
Publisher: National Association for the Education of Young Children

Case Studies of Schools Implementing Early Elementary Strategies: Preschool Through Third Grade Alignment and Differentiated Instruction
This study examined two types of strategies, aligning instruction from preschool through grade 3 and differentiated instruction, that preliminary literature searches revealed as promising practices to support children’s learning in early elementary school.
Prepared by: Karen Manship, Jonathan Farber, Claire Smith, and Katie Drummond
Publication Date: December 2016
Publisher: American Institutes for Research

These free, practice-based modules are designed to build early childhood practitioners’ abilities to make evidence-based decisions. They emphasize a decision-making process, realistic problems to solve, the importance of integrating multiple perspectives and sources of evidence, the relevance and quality of content, and feedback.
Publication Date: December 2018
Publishers: FPG Child Development Institute and University of Kentucky

DEC Recommended Practices
The DEC Recommended Practices highlight those practices specifically known to promote the outcomes of young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays/disabilities and to support their families in accordance with the DEC/NAEYC 2009 position statement on early childhood inclusion.
Publication Date: April 2014
Publisher: Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children

Developing a Thriving Reader From the Early Years: A Continuum of Effective Literacy Practices
This tool was devised specifically for practitioners to be a guide for defining the early literacy system for Arizona. Grounded in the Arizona Infant and Toddler Guidelines, Arizona Early Learning Standards, and Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards, this tool is meant to be a resource for all adults who work with young children in Arizona.
Publication Date: 2014
Publisher: Read On Arizona

Digital Resources in Early Childhood Literacy Development
This research brief discusses how careful, intentional, and developmentally appropriate use of digital texts and tools can build young children’s language and literacy skills while providing young children with opportunities to deepen their understanding about the forms and functions of digital text in meaning making.
Publication Date: 2019
Publisher: International Literacy Association

Early Childhood Environments: Designing Effective Classrooms
This module, a DEC-recommended resource, offers information on how to set up effective inclusive early childhood classroom environments for young children. It also provides details about the interrelated physical, social, and temporal components of those environments, as well as adaptations to help teachers meet the needs of children with disabilities.
Publisher: The Iris Center, Vanderbilt University

How Will I Know Before It’s Too Late? Screening in Early Grades
A main goal of multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) is to identify and intervene early with students who are struggling. This article breaks down how to identify struggling students who need intervention.
Author: Allison Gruner Gandhi
Publication Date: January 2019
Publisher: Center on Multi-Tiered Systems of Support at the American Institutes for Research

Implementing Multi-Tiered Systems of Support with Dr. Brittney Bills
Dr. Brittney Bills explains what MTSS is and how it centers on prevention rather than intervention. She talks about the intersection of universal screening data and MTSS and provides advice on evidence-based strategies and techniques to make a positive impact in the classroom. Using examples from her own district, Dr. Bills discusses avoiding burnout, learning to use data, and the process of ongoing improvement.
Speaker: Brittney Bills
Publication Date: April 2022
Publisher: Science of Reading: The Podcast

Joyful Reading and Creative Expression with Young Children: Planning Guide
This guide provides help for planning read aloud lessons that will engage children in critical thinking and discussions. It includes planning extension activities that will unleash children’s innate creativity, cultivate their emotional intelligence, and promote their language and literacy development.
Author: Pam Spycher
Publication Date: November 2021
Publisher: Regional Educational Laboratory at WestEd

Neuroscience and Early Literacy
Dr. Bruce McCandliss discusses combining neuroscience with education by answering: How does neuroscience help us understand the changes going on in the brain of a child learning to read? and Why do some children struggle so profoundly? He shares his research into focusing the student’s attention on letters and sounds versus on the word as a whole.
Speaker: Bruce McCandiss
Publication Date: March 2020
Publisher: Science of Reading: The Podcast

Position Statement on Challenging Behavior and Young Children
This statement provides a position summary on the identification of and intervention with challenging behavior and offers recommendations about positive approaches to prevent and address challenging behavior.
Publication Date: July 2017
Publishers: Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children

Position Statement on Multitiered System of Support Framework in Early Childhood
This position statement has been developed by the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children. The purpose of the revised statement is to define an early childhood multitiered system of support (MTSS) framework and to promote a broader understanding and discussion of the implications for young children, their families, and those who serve them.
Publication Date: 2021
Publisher: Division for Early Childhood

Preschool Through Third Grade Alignment and Differentiated Instruction: A Literature Review
This literature review provides a review of policies, programs, and practices that have the potential to help students sustain the positive effects of preschool as they progress from kindergarten through grade 3 (K–3). The review focuses on two specific approaches: preschool and K–3 alignment and differentiated instruction in kindergarten and first grade.
Prepared by: Katie Drummond, Aleksandra Holod, Marie Perrot, Antonia Wang, Michèle Muñoz-Miller, Mackson Ncube, and Herb Turner
Publication Date: August 2016
Publisher: American Institutes for Research

Routes to Grade Level Reading: Strategies for Improving Early Literacy Outcomes
This guide covers family engagement, early literacy strategies, professional development, assessment, building an early literacy continuum, and creating a plan to institute the strategies to serve children 0-8 years old.
Publication Date: 2015
Publisher: Read On Arizona

Service Coordination in Early Intervention
This position statement acknowledges the importance of early intervention service coordinators and details the knowledge, skills, administrative support, professional development, and resources they need to provide the highest quality services to children and families.
Publication Date: December 2020
Publishers: Division for Early Childhood and IDEA Infant and Toddler Coordinators Association

Summer '22 Rewind: Research, Comprehension, and Content-Rich Literacy Instruction: Sonia Cabell
Sonia Cabell shares findings from her research trials on content-rich literacy curricula and discusses whether activating students’ background knowledge alongside explicit phonics instruction is more effective than the traditional approaches. She describes what constitutes “compelling evidence” in the Science of Reading and explains why students need to interact with both written and spoken language while learning to read.
Speaker: Sonia Cabell
Publication Date: July 2022
Publisher: Science of Reading: The Podcast

Summer '22 Rewind: The Symbiotic Relationship Between Literacy and Science with Jacquey Barber
Jacquey Barber discusses her research on the symbiotic relationship between literacy and science and what educators should be looking for in high-quality, literacy-rich science curricula. She goes into strategies for engaging students, including the do, talk, read, write model, then ends the episode by highlighting the many ways science supports reading.
Speaker: Jacquey Barber
Publication Date: July 2022
Publisher: Science of Reading: The Podcast

Supporting Practitioners in their Implementation of Recommended Practices: Using Practice-Based Coaching
This document describes the use of practice-based coaching that was developed from the literature on effective coaching elements and has been used with classroom teachers and early intervention personnel.
Author: Lisa Fox
Publication Date: April 2017
Publisher: Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center

Teaching Math to Young Children
This practice guide presents five recommendations designed to capitalize on children’s natural interest in math to make their preschool and school experience more engaging and beneficial.
Authors: Douglas Frye, Arthur J. Baroody, Margaret Burchinal, Sharon M. Carver, Nancy C. Jordan, and Judy McDowell
Publication Date: November 2013
Publisher: Institute of Education Sciences

The Assessment Continuum Guide for Pre-K through Third Grade in Arizona
This guidance document was developed to promote best practices for this kind of beneficial assessment process in an early childhood setting. The recommendations are for components of a comprehensive assessment system that utilizes a robust continuum of tools and resources.
Publication Date: Revised 2016
Publisher: Arizona Department of Education

Visual Supports for Routines, Schedules, and Transitions
This document provides visual supports to help children learn new skills and prevent challenging behavior, help young children learn and follow routines by helping them understand what is happening “now” and what is going to happen “next,” serve as reminders for verbal directions, and help children know exactly what is expected of them.
Publication Date: September 2020
Publisher: National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations