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Teaching Pyramid

Multi-colored triangle next to the words Teaching Pyramid

Teaching Pyramid

Teaching Pyramid Menu

Training Modules

The Teaching Pyramid training series is designed to meet the diverse needs of adult learners. Training methods include a variety of interactive strategies, including discussions, video examples, scenarios, and hands-on activities. Each module in the series builds on the key concepts from the previous module(s).

The purpose of the Teaching Pyramid training series is to introduce key concepts, provide practical strategies, and engage in meaningful learning experiences to support the integration of the Teaching Pyramid approach into everyday teaching practices.

Module 1: Promoting Children's Success: Building Relationships and Creating Supportive Environments

This module addresses universal strategies for promoting healthy social and emotional development and preventing challenging behavior.

Topics included in this module:

  • Building positive relationships with children, families, and colleagues
  • Designing environments, schedules, and routines
  • Establishing expectations
  • Implementing activities that promote child engagement
  • Modifying and adapting materials and activities to meet the individual needs of all children, including those with disabilities
  • Providing encouragement and positive feedback to children

Module 2: Social-Emotional Teaching Strategies

This module focuses on effective strategies for facilitating children's social and emotional development and teaching foundational skills to children, including the ability to solve problems, communicate emotions appropriately and effectively, and build friendships.

Topics included in this module:

  • Identifying teachable moments
  • Facilitating the development of friendship skills
  • Teaching children to identify, understand, and express emotions
  • Teaching how to manage strong emotions
  • Teaching problem solving and conflict resolution

Module 3a: Individualized Intensive Interventions: Determining the Meaning of Challenging Behavior

This module focuses on effective strategies for observing children and identifying the meaning/function of their behavior as a means of identifying skills that could be targeted for instruction.

Topics included in this module:

  • Identifying the function of challenging behavior
  • Identifying behaviors and social skills to target for intervention

Module 3b: Individualized Intensive Interventions

After determining the meaning of children's challenging behavior and the skills the child needs to learn to communicate that meaning more effectively, a plan is developed to support the child's use of the new skills and to decrease the likelihood that the child will need to use challenging behavior.

Topics included in this module:

  • An introduction to the Positive Behavior Support process
  • Developing a plan for supporting social emotional development and preventing challenging behavior through the use of the Routines Based Support Guide
  • Using a team approach to addressing challenging behavior & social emotional needs

Specialized Training for the Top of the Pyramid and Family Modules

At the end of the training series for teaching staff, two additional trainings are offered for a subset of the participants. Each of these is described below:

The "Top of the Pyramid" training is a full day focused on the development of Positive Behavior Support Plans based on the Teaching Pyramid materials. Participants will go deeper with materials introduced in the final module (3b) and practice developing plans based on case studies. This training is intended for:

  • Administrators
  • Anyone who typically supports the process of developing behavior plans (school psychologist, mental health consultant, special education staff, director, etc.)
  • Teachers (optional for most teachers, as they are generally participants in the development of behavior support plans, but do not have responsibility for leading the development)

The "Positive Solutions for Families" modules for use with parents will be introduced for use by the programs. The program(s) receiving the training identifies teams of two individuals who can conduct groups for parents or family members.

  • At least one member of the team should have experience facilitating parent groups.
  • Many programs have classroom teachers as part of the team.
  • One staff can be the lead on facilitating the groups with support from various members of the staff.

All interested staff members are encouraged to attend.

Strong partnerships with family members are an important component when implementing the Teaching Pyramid framework. In addition to weaving family perspectives throughout the teacher training, separate materials are designed for parent groups. There are a series of six sessions in the materials WestEd San Marcos provides a one-day "training of facilitators" to appropriate parent meeting facilitators for conducting the parent groups. These materials are also available in Spanish and Chinese.