Online Learning Opportunities

Early Childhood Investigations: Webinars

  • Free, engaging webinars that are presented by many of the thought-leaders and experts in the field of early care and education. The presentations explore critical topics that offer new ideas and insights to ECE professionals, especially administrators from early literacy to challenging behavior. All webinars are archived for future use!

The Division for Early Childhood:  Learning DECks

  • One hour webinars addressing key topics in the field of early childhood special education.

Connect: The Center to Mobilize Early Childhood Knowledge Online Modules

  • Current free modules: Embedded Interventions, Transition, Communication for Collaboration, Family-Professional Partnerships, Assistive Technology Interventions, Dialogic Reading Practices, Tiered Instruction. CONNECT Modules are practice-focused instructional resources for faculty and other professional development providers. CONNECT modules are designed using a 5-Step Learning Cycle, an approach for making evidence-based decisions about practice dilemmas, based on the integration of multiple sources of evidence.

Virginia Early Intervention Professional Development Center:  Talks on Tuesdays

  • Talks on Tuesdays are free professional development opportunities that are held the first Tuesday of each month. These one-hour webinars are designed to provide free online training opportunities related to important topics in early intervention. Topics chosen for the Talks on Tuesdays webinar series are based on feedback from EI practitioners about what they need to know more about!

Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention Webinars

  • Archived free webinars include:  Prevent-Teach-Reinforce for Young Children: An Intervention Model for the Most Serious Challenging Behaviors, LEAP Preschool: An Inclusive Model of Early Autism Intervention, Moving Right Along Planning Transitions to Prevent Challenging Behavior, and more.

Early Childhood Outcomes Center

  • Free webinars and resources supporting the implementation of high-quality outcome systems (Indicator 7) for early intervention (EI) and early childhood special education (ECSE) programs.

Autism Center for Excellence @ VCU

  • Free, 1 hour, archived webcasts on a variety of topics related to autism spectrum disorder.

T-TAC Created Resources


Improving Early Literacy Instruction

  • Learn ten ways to incorporate literacy instruction into your daily routine.

Improving Early Math Instruction

  • Learn ten ways to incorporate math instruction into your daily routine.

Layers of Literacy

  • Make literacy instruction a top priority by adding a literacy “layer” to your room, routine, and instruction.


IEP Development

Four Tips for Writing Measurable Annual Goals in ECSE

  • Use this quick reference guide to ensure you have developed measurable annual goals that target meaningful skills.  A sample goal template is included.

Writing Measurable Performance Criteria in ECSE

  • Keep this excerpt from the “Four Tips” guide above handy for determining measurable performance criteria for annual goals.

Instructional Resources for Early Childhood

Early Literacy Resources

Center for Early Literacy Learning (CELL)

-Resources and activities including adaptions for children with disabilities

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

-Position Statement: Learning to Read and Write

-Where We Stand Summary:  Learning to Read and Write

Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS)

-Activities organized by skill

Reading Rockets

-Pre-K Guide: Learning to Read and Write

Zero to Three

-Early literacy and language tips and tools


 Early Math Resources

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

-Position Statement on Early Childhood Mathematics:  Promoting Good Beginnings

-Where We Stand Summary:  Early Childhood Mathematics

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)

-Illuminations:  Lesson plans for teaching math

NRICH: Enriching Mathematics

-Math activities for the early years

U.S. Department of Education:  What Works Clearinghouse

-Teaching Math to Young Children: Practice Guide and Related Resources


Important Early Childhood Announcements

Creating Connections to Shining Stars is back for 2015!

Creating Connections to Shining Stars, Virginia’s collaborative birth to five conference, will take place at the Wyndham Oceanfront Hotel in Virginia Beach from July 8-10, 2015!  Registration will be available this spring.  Click here for more information.

The Call for Proposals is now available!  Share the knowledge you have gained in working with children, birth to five, by submitting a proposal to present at this year’s conference. Accepted proposals will qualify for a registration discount! Click here for more information.

Submission Deadline: December 15, 2014

Recommended topics include: Adult Learning Principles, Assistive Technology, Autism, Behavior, Children with Special Needs, Coaching, Collaboration, Curriculum and Instruction, Dual Language Learners, Evidence-Based Practices, Inclusive Practices, Prematurity, Regulations and Requirements, Social Emotional Development, Transition, and Universal Design for Learning

Making Math Count in Preschool

November 6, 2014 or December 2, 1014

Preschool is the perfect time to provide opportunities for a child to count, compare, and measure as teachers make math an integral and active learning experience during centers and other play-based activities.  This session will highlight strategies for effective, developmentally appropriate math instruction and demonstrate how to embed math standards from Virginia’s Foundation Blocks for Early Learning throughout the school day.  You will find treasures galore for your classroom and a few ideas to send home to families when you attend this interactive session.  Math for preschool is “hands on” and should be presented so children want to “stay and play” with the materials that you will make and add to your classroom.

Congratulations to the Region 2 Teacher of the Year!

Bevin Reinen, a first grade and special education inclusion teacher at Three Oaks Elementary School, has been named the 2015 Region 2 Teacher of the Year by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). Bevin also serves as an after-school tutor for students performing below grade level expectations and is working to achieve National Board Certification as an Early Childhood Generalist. She has founded, an educational website that focuses on academic, social, and emotional growth of early childhood users. Bevin holds her bachelor’s degree in English from Mary Washington College and her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Old Dominion University. When awarded the Region 2 Teacher of the Year Bevin commented’ “I really like having a positive approach with the kids. I like engaging them…I try to provide as many authentic, real world opportunities as possible.” Congratulations Bevin!


E-News You Can Use for Early Childhood

Moving Beyond Letter of the Week

It is well documented that the instructional practice of introducing a new letter/letter sound to children each week does not reflect how they learn.  In fact, some feel this practice may actually “undermine, rather than promote the very goals of improving literacy learning” (Neuman & Roskos, 2005).  Learning letters and their sounds rotely and in isolation makes it difficult for children to use this knowledge in context when beginning to decode words and, ultimately, become emergent readers.   Children learn best when experiences with new concepts are integrated with what they already know and find meaningful.


More useful is the practice of teaching letter identification in the context of something relevant and functional to every preschool child, such as their name.  The internet abounds with a variety of activities and ideas for using names to teach letter identification.  Post a preschool word wall at eye level to further develop letter-sound connections and include children’s names and pictures.  Also add a variety of recognizable environmental print, such as a McDonalds logo under “M” or a Cheerios box under “C”.  Further integrate your literacy instruction on letter knowledge by reading a variety of ABC books, adding magnetic letters to centers, and labeling objects in the classroom.


*Need ideas for developmentally appropriate literacy instruction? 

Check out the Center for Early Literacy Learning (CELL)!  They have activities and adaptations for all areas of literacy development, including practice guides for preschoolers and toddlers.


*Interested in reading more on this topic?

Available online

Available from the T-TAC ODU Library

  • Literacy Beginnings:  A Prekindergarten Handbook by Gay Su Pinnell and Irene C. Fountas
  • Words Their Way: PreK-K by Francine Johnson, Marcia Invernizzi, Lori Helman, Donald Bear, and Shane Templeton



Neuman, S.B., & Roskos, K. (2005).  Whatever happened to developmentally appropriate practice in early literacy?  Beyond the Journal:  Young Children on the Web. Retrieved from