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Intentional Design: Promoting Positive Behavior

About This Series

The Early Intervention team’s four-part webinar series for 2020 focuses on
promoting positive behavior in young children. This webinar series covers the ABCs and the function of behavior, multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), environmental arrangement, working with families, and promoting friendship and belonging.

headshot of Dr. Hardy
Jessica Hardy – professor of special education, College of Education

Jessica Hardy received her Ph.D. in early childhood special education from Vanderbilt University and her M.Ed. and B.A. from the University of Florida.  She taught in Portland, OR as a Head Start teacher and an early childhood special education teacher.  Jessica’s primary research interests are supporting social-emotional development; evidence-based instructional practices, particularly for teaching early math and science; and early childhood coaching and professional development.

Behavior Basics: Laying the Groundwork for Positive Change

Dr. Hardy explains the ways in which multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) can be utilized to manage challenging behavior for all children, but especially children with disabilities or who have experienced trauma.  The use of tally sheets, forms, and checklists to inform decisions that support positive behavior and sustain behavioral change is also addressed.

Creating Space: Arranging Environments to Promote Positive Behavior

This webinar provides practical strategies and resources early childhood practitioners can easily implement in their work.  Useful tools for navigating transitions, routines, and communicating expectations and rules are shared.

Let’s Work Together: Building Relationships with Families to Support Positive Behavior

This webinar addresses ways practitioners can connect with and include families of young children with disabilities in identifying and implementing strategies to support positive behavior at school, childcare, and home.  Presenters share tips for navigating difficult conversations with families regarding challenging behavior.

Make New Friends: Promoting Friendship and Belonging

This webinar explores how early childhood practitioners can create a culture of friendship and belonging for all children.  Friendship skills and strategies to support their development in young children with and without disabilities in inclusive environments are addressed.

More from the Blog


Unpacking Stay-Play-Talk

Stay-Play-Talk (SPT) is a peer-mediated intervention strategy. This strategy can be so beneficial for children who are socially isolated! Stay-Play-Talk can really be adjusted in so many ways to meet the needs of both the child and teacher. In this blog post we want to briefly review the steps for…

Why Can’t They Be Friends?

Do you ever wonder how to help young children build and maintain friendships with peers?  Do you have children who struggle to have conversations, use kind words, play together, or solve social problems?  If so, this webinar is for you!

Working Together Isn’t Always Easy

As an early childhood practitioner, connecting with and including families of young children with disabilities to support positive behavior at school, childcare, and home is important work.  However, this isn't always easy. At times you may feel frustrated with some of the families you work with. 

Building Relationships with Children’s Families Can Make a Big Difference

Do you want to build stronger relationships with families?  Do you struggle to have conversations with families around sensitive or difficult topics?  Do you need ideas for how to meaningfully involve families in early childhood? Building positive relationships with children’s families that affirms their culture and identity is an important part…

Expanding Understanding of Classroom Rules

When creating and teaching classroom rules, it is very important to remember that teaching the rules is not a one-time event. Reviewing classroom rules often is necessary. 

Using the Environment to Support Children’s Engagement and Appropriate Behavior

“Is it time for recess?” “It’s my turn to be line leader!” “Stop running!” If any of these sounds familiar, consider how the classroom environment can be used to help. The classroom environment can play a powerful role in helping children understand and follow routines and expectations. 

Collecting Data on Challenging Behavior

In our first webinar in the “Intentional Design: Promoting Positive Behavior” webinar series, we discussed the importance of gathering information about children’s challenging behavior and shared some tools for doing so.  But how do you know what data collection tool is best?  Luckily, the tools we shared all help you…

What is Challenging Behavior? What Can We Do About It?

Families and teachers often identify challenging behavior as a significant problem in the home and school/childcare settings.  Challenging behavior is defined as "any repeated pattern of behavior...that interferes with or is at risk of interfering with the child's optimal learning or engagement in pro-social interactions with peers and adults" (Smith…