Assessing Preschoolers’ Disruptive Behavior: Associations Among Teachers, TAs, and an Impartial Observer


This study examined associations among Teachers, TAs, and Observational ratings of children’s disruptive behavior. Alignment between Teachers and TAs did not predict observational measures above a single teacher’s ratings. Teachers and TAs were equally aligned with observational measures, except for ratings of oppositionality. Findings point to the importance of a multi-method assessment that gathers information from various sources, including TAs.

Source: The Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL), Curry School of Education

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What Predicts How Well Teachers Implement Banking Time with Disruptive Preschoolers?


This study examined the implementation of a teacher-child intervention, Banking Time, with 59 preschool teachers and children with disruptive behavior. Implementation quality was assessed with regard to dosage, quality, and generalized practice. Additionally, program and teacher characteristics were examined to better understand what predicted intervention implementation.

Source: The Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL), Curry School of Education

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Expelled in preschool


CHICAGO — A few years ago, 4-year-old Danny was on the verge of being expelled from a Chicago preschool for violent behavior when a woman named Lauren Wiley was called in to help.

She met with the boy’s teacher, who thought he needed to be medicated for attention deficit disorder. But as Wiley listened, the teacher admitted she was angry at Danny, whose name has been changed to protect his identity. Her job was to keep her students safe, she said, and the boy’s aggression made her feel like a failure. Next, Wiley and the teacher met with Danny’s mom. As the teacher dropped her judgmental attitude, it came out that Danny had watched his father beat his mother and get taken away in handcuffs. No one had ever talked to the child about what he saw. He did not have ADD. He was reeling from trauma, and he needed his teacher to like him and want to help him, not to be rid of him. That began to happen when she heard his story.

Wiley is an early childhood mental health consultant. The job title often evokes an image of a baby on a couch talking to a therapist, but her work is about listening to adults so they can create an emotionally healthy environment for children. She trains teachers and others who work with young children to recognize the trauma that so often causes misbehavior. She supports them in confronting cultural biases and forging relationships with parents. She shows them how to recognize families’ strengths and promote mental wellness before problems develop. This is particularly significant since we know that “adverse childhood experiences” like violence and family dysfunction predict everything from academic failure to cancer to heart disease.

Source: The Hechinger Report

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Are We Closing the School Discipline Gap? — The Civil Rights Project at UCLA


The main body of this report documents gross disparities in the use of out-of-school suspension experienced by students with disabilities and those from historically disadvantaged racial, ethnic, and gender subgroups. The egregious disparities revealed in the pages that follow transform concerns about educational policy that allows frequent disciplinary removal into a profound matter of civil rights and social justice. This implicates the potentially unlawful denial of educational opportunity and resultant disparate impact on students in numerous districts across the country.

Source: The Civil Rights Project at UCLA

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Health Education Materials for Parents and Staff


Explore these low literacy health education materials below. The resources, which include topics such as lead awareness, home safety and injury prevention, and mental health, can be given to both parents and staff. Find useful information and basic tips that parents and staff can easily understand.

Lead Awareness
Lead is toxic to everyone, but unborn babies and young children are at greatest risk for health problems from lead poisoning. Unsafe levels of lead in blood can lead to a wide range of symptoms and can also affect a child’s developing brain. This brochure can be shared with parents and staff to inform them of how to avoid lead exposure.

Home Safety
Young children have the highest risk of being injured at home because that’s where they spend most of their time. The majority of childhood injuries can be predicted and therefore prevented. Supervision is the best way to prevent injuries at home but even the most prepared parents can’t keep kids completely out of harm every second of the day. This brochure can be shared with parents and staff to inform them of how to reduce injuries at home for their children.

Reducing Stress
Stress is a part of life. Yet, too much stress can have negative consequences. Too much stress can cause health problems and can make parenting more difficult. Caregiver stress can even contribute to children’s challenging behavior. This brochure identifies some easy-to-use stress reduction and self-care tips. It can be shared with parents and staff.

Learning about Depression
Parental depression is common and it is particularly common among Early Head Start and Head Start families. Parenting is challenging for every parent, at times; however, for parents experiencing depression it can be extremely difficult. It can be hard for parents experiencing depression to provide responsive, consistent, and sensitive care. When a parent is depressed it increases the risk of his or her child having behavioral, emotional, or cognitive problems. Seeking support to address depression can make a difference in the life of a parent and a child. This brochure can be shared with parents and staff to offer information about depression and strategies to seek support for concerns about depression.

Responding Positively to Your Child’s Behavior
All children misbehave or exhibit challenging behavior sometimes. How a parent responds can make a big difference in how a child develops. Treating a child with kindness and respect helps him or her to treat others with kindness and respect. Parents who nurture themselves and their children are teaching their child positive lifelong skills. This brochure can be shared with parents and staff to provide tips and tools to positively respond to your child’s behavior.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center, National Center on Health

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Promoting Optimal Development: Screening for Behavioral and Emotional Problems


By current estimates, at any given time, approximately 11% to 20% of children in the United States have a behavioral or emotional disorder, as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Between 37% and 39% of children will have a behavioral or emotional disorder diagnosed by 16 years of age, regardless of geographic location in the United States. Behavioral and emotional problems and concerns in children and adolescents are not being reliably identified or treated in the US health system. This clinical report focuses on the need to increase behavioral screening and offers potential changes in practice and the health system, as well as the research needed to accomplish this. This report also (1) reviews the prevalence of behavioral and emotional disorders, (2) describes factors affecting the emergence of behavioral and emotional problems, (3) articulates the current state of detection of these problems in pediatric primary care, (4) describes barriers to screening and means to overcome those barriers, and (5) discusses potential changes at a practice and systems level that are needed to facilitate successful behavioral and emotional screening. Highlighted and discussed are the many factors at the level of the pediatric practice, health system, and society contributing to these behavioral and emotional problems.

Source: Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatrics

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Reducing Suspension and Expulsion Practices in Early Childhood Settings


Recent data indicate that expulsions and suspensions regularly occur in preschool settings. This is a problematic issue given the well-established research indicating that these practices can influence a number of adverse outcomes across development, health, and education. In addition, stark racial and gender disparities exist in these practices, with young boys of color being suspended and expelled at much higher rates than other children in early learning programs. These trends warrant immediate attention from the early childhood and education fields. The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Education issued a policy statement and recommendations to assist states and public and private early childhood programs in partnering to prevent and severely limit expulsions and suspensions in early learning settings.

Source: Administration for Children and Families

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Positive Behavior Support for Young Children: A Free Online Course


If you work with young children, you may struggle with challenging behavior. Positive Behavior Support for Young Children is a free, nine-week online course that will begin Tuesday, June 10, 2014. It is being offered by the National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQTL), in partnership with the University of Washington (UW) College of Education. Dr. Gail Joseph will lead the course. Dr. Joseph is an associate professor of educational psychology and the director of early childhood family studies at UW. She also serves as co-director of NCQTL.

Head Start and Early Head Start staff will learn how to address this problem with evidence-based practices to support the social-emotional development of infants and young children. Explore current research about the development of children with early-onset aggressive behaviors. Staff will discover ways to respond with positive behavioral supports and interventions to promote positive early childhood mental health.

About the Course

Audit this free, nine-week online course for complete access to all of the materials, tests, and the online discussion forum. When you have finished the course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the developmental stages of social-emotional development for infants and young children
  • Identify adult-child interactions that are emotionally supportive and build positive relationships
  • Describe classroom management skills that prevent challenging behavior and increase active engagement in early learning
  • Observe and record a functional behavior assessment of a child in an early care setting
  • Write an individualized behavior support plan based on the assessment

This course is being offered in an experimental format. Students are welcome to audit the course and participate in all activities. You decide what and how much you want to do. Certificates will not be issued.

How to Register

To register or for more information about auditing the course, visit:


For more information about this free course, visit:

via National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning.

Moving Right Along: Planning Transitions to Prevent Challenging Behavior

Monday, May 19, 2014
1 – 1:45 p.m. EDT

The National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQTL) hosts the Front Porch Series Broadcast Calls on the fourth Monday of each month. These calls are your opportunity to hear from national experts on current research and findings in early childhood education.

Join us for Moving Right Along: Planning Transitions to Prevent Challenging Behavior, May 19, 2014 at 1 p.m. EDT. Dr. Michaelene Ostrosky will moderate the call. Doctors Kathleen Artman Meeker and Kiersten Kinder will present. Dr. Artman Meeker is an assistant professor at the University of Washington. She has served as a K-3 special education teacher, pre-service supervisor, teacher coach, and researcher. In addition, she works with NCQTL.

Dr. Kinder is the site director at the Susan Gray School of Peabody College, an inclusive child care center that serves as the lab school for the Early Childhood Special Education Program at Vanderbilt University. She has taught in inclusive preschool and pre-K programs, and coached teachers to implement the Pyramid Model. Dr. Kinder has participated in research on coaching, preventing challenging behaviors, and embedded instruction. She also develops trainings for NCQTL.

For many teachers, transitions are the hardest parts of the day. Researchers estimate that young children spend up to 30 percent of their day transitioning: arrival, departure, getting ready for meals, and moving between areas or activities. Children’s challenging behavior may be related to how staff members plan, schedule, and implement transitions. Predictable, structured routines are critical for helping children feel secure, and for helping teachers maximize learning.

Topics for the webinar include:

  • Why transitions can be challenging for children and adults
  • Ideas for using transitions to teach
  • Strategies to help all children participate successfully in well-planned routines

Who Should Listen?

This broadcast call will benefit an array of audience members, including: Head Start, Early Head Start, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start, and American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start program staff, parents, directors, managers, and administrators; T/TA managers; T/TA providers; federal and Regional Office staff; and State Collaboration Offices.

Participating in the Broadcast Call

The broadcast call will be accessible only via computer. Select this link to register for the broadcast call and to review system requirements for participation:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing additional instructions on how to join the broadcast. Space is limited to 1,000 participants. This presentation will be archived in the Front Porch Series section of the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC).

Stay Connected with #NCQTL

During and after the presentation, we encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences regarding the Front Porch Series Broadcast Call on Twitter! Include #NCQTL in your tweets to participate in the chat. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can still follow the conversation at


You may send your questions to or call (toll-free) 1-877-731-0764.

via National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning Event.

Social Stories – Head Start


Children who have difficulties with social interactions often have trouble interpreting social situations and responding appropriately. Social Stories™, developed by Carol Gray, help children understand the events and expectations in their lives.

The Head Start Center for Inclusion (HSCI) offers a library of one-page Social Stories™ that can be downloaded, printed out, and customized for immediate use. Teachers and parents may also use these as a template to write their own stories that meet a child’s individual needs.

What is a Social Story?

A social story is a simple description of a situation, concept, or social skill. It is individualized for each child, and features the child as the main character. Social stories help explain situations that children find challenging.

Why would I use a Social Story?

A social story can support a child who is having difficulty with an activity, routine, or event. It can help them to understand it, step by step. Social stories can be about specific situations at school, home, or in the community.

How do I implement a Social Story?

When the child is calm and relaxed, read the story together. Stories may be read as often as a child requests. Teachers can organize a child’s social stories in plastic sheet protectors and keep them in a folder or three-ring binder. A child’s social stories should be kept within reach so they can easily be used.

Source: Head Start Center on Inclusion

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Spanish Version Available at: