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Carlena Lowell

SEI 516 Reflection Paper


Practicum Summary/Reflection Paper and Log
Carlena Lowell
SEI 516
May 3, 2013

Carlena Lowell
SEI 516 Reflection Paper

*Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality.
As I sit in this beautiful morning sunlight and reflect upon the course of the
collaborative consultation practicum I have endeavored over the last several months, I
consider many things. When creating my outline and web for this reflection, one word
that surfaced several times was communication. Another thought I have considered
quite a bit throughout the practicum, as well as now while I am reflecting is that I really
did not know what collaborative consultation entailed. Prior to this year, I had always
been the classroom teacher, hence the consultee. Now in my role as an early
childhood special educator for Child Development Services, I am the consultant. The
timing of this particular practicum could not have been better. This practicum brought
me several times of confusion to work through, but more than that, a new knowledge of
coaching and consultation, and an experience to practically apply it in. This practicum
made a significant difference in my relationship with my co-teacher Jill, my relationship
with Tylers mother Rachel, and, perhaps most importantly, the way in which Jill and I
taught Tyler.
The beginning of the semester was accompanied by the greatest amount of
confusion, for several reasons. The first bout of confusion came with deciding who my
consultee would be; I had first asked a teacher in the other classroom in the center to
engage in this process with me. For several days we discussed the process, or at least
what I knew about it at the time, and attempted to start the Technical Assistance plan.
Over the course of those days, I heavily considered my situation and how the practicum
might play out. I realized it might make more sense to ask my co-teacher to be my
consultee for this practicum rather than a teacher in the other room. I decided it might
Carlena Lowell
SEI 516 Reflection Paper

strengthen not only aspects of our classroom, but also our relationship and
communication skills as co-teachers. In addition, I felt as though I would be able to
devote more time to the practicum, and consequently gaining more from it, if my
consultee was someone I worked closely with. Hannah and Jen presented the article
Collaboration between General and Special Education Teachers by Suzanne Ripley
which stated, However, the biggest issue is timetime for planning, time for
development, and time for evaluating (1997, p. 3). It was easier for me to coordinate
my time with my direct co-teacher than it would have been with a teacher from the other
room. Although in our December CLASS observation report we scored on the high end
of the midrange for Emotional Supports, our next step started with While some
communication among the teaching staff was observed, this was not consistent. This
practicum enabled us to communicate more openly than we had been able to in the fall
about our classroom, our routines, and the children, Tyler in particular.
Reflecting back on the Technical Assistance plan, and knowing what I know now,
I attempt to understand why this part of the practicum was such a challenge for me. For
several days I remember feeling frustrated with what felt like was unnecessary
perplexity. I had never participated in a technical assistance plan before, nor had any of
my immediate co-workers. I was not sure of which forms I needed to have, which forms
would benefit my plan the most, or whether I wanted to focus on the program as a
whole or on an individual child. While filling out the program and classroom profile and
the program strengths and needs, I strongly considered the program based route.
However, after conversations with Jill regarding Tyler and the severity of his need on a
Carlena Lowell
SEI 516 Reflection Paper

daily basis in our classroom, at the last minute we decided to engage in a child focused
The combined uncertainty of what forms were most pertinent to the plan, who my
consultee was going to be, and the focus of the entire plan created a taxing situation for
me in the early part of this practicum. However, within a few weeks with some serious
organization, and through discussions and brainstorming with Jill, my thoughts finally
settled down, and the remainder of the practicum was much less stressful and even
beneficial for most of us involved. The overall process of the TA plan and how it fit into
the entire collaborative consultation practicum became even more clear with my reading
of the Child Care Plus MeA Resource for You (2007) handout from the Center for
Community Inclusion and Disabilities Studies. This handout explained the what and
why of technical assistance, and put the first assignment into a different, clearer
perspective for me. Although I did not read this until after I had created the TA plan for
this practicum, the information on this is a handout that will aid me in any TA plans I
may assist in generating in the future.
Once Jill and I determined we would continue on with a child-focused
consultation, we met with Tylers mother Rachel before doing anything. Tyler is a three-
year-old child who receives one hour of speech therapy a week and is in his first year of
preschool. Throughout the year, Jill and I have had concerns about his emotional
regulation, defiance, and lack of progress in certain cognitive areas. We wanted Rachel
to be as involved as possible in this practicum because she has shared with us that she
sees many of the same characteristics at home with Tyler. We were in hopes she
Carlena Lowell
SEI 516 Reflection Paper

would be able to implement some of the strategies we would develop for use at school
at home.
Not only were communication skills strengthened between Jill and myself, they
were also strengthened between myself, Jill and Rachel throughout this practicum.
Rachel was included in every step of the way throughout the practicum. This was a
critical aspect of the practicum for me because as Gerald Mahoney and Bridgette
Wiggers point out in their article The Role of Parents in Early Invtervention: Implications
for Social Work that Melinda and Michelle shared in class, Interventions seem to be
successful at promoting development only when they help parents interact more
responsively with their children (2007, p. 10). Toward the end of the practicum, Rachel
reported to us on several occasions that some of the techniques we discussed such as
giving Tyler a heavy job or providing choices were working at home as well!
Most often we would meet at the center at drop off or pick up times to update her
and gather her input of how things were going at home. At points throughout the
practicum, I felt as though I was taking on an almost coach like role with Rachel, which
she often seemed to appreciate. In the book The Early Childhood Coaching Handbook
(2011), authors Rush and Sheldon explain the following:
When coaching is used with parents, the role of the coach is to identify the
parents priorities for their childs development, determine what they already
know and are doing in relation to their childs development, share new
information and ideas, and then work together to support the childs participation
Carlena Lowell
SEI 516 Reflection Paper

and expression of interest within everyday activity settings to provide
opportunities for learning. (p. 4)
Indeed, we did apply some of these strategies during the practicum. In addition to our
meetings, we had an ECT meeting in April as Tyler was evaluated this spring by several
therapists. He had an OT evaluation, a social emotional evaluation, and I did a
developmental evaluation with him. He was diagnosed with Disruptive Behavior and
Oppositional Disorder, and it was determined he is eligible for 16 hours of Specially
Designed Instruction a week. This practicum helped us to really hone in on Tylers
strengths and concerns, which aided us in developing Tylers SDI goals in his IEP. Jill,
Rachel, and I are all pleased with the outcomes of this practicum.
Toward the beginning of the practicum, we discussed at length what specific
things we should observe in order obtain the most helpful information possible. By
conducting a child observation for B we were able to get a strong idea of Tylers
preferred areas of play during free play, as well as the times in which his refusal to
follow teacher directions were the lowest, as well as the highest. Thoughtful selection of
these things allowed for a smooth transition into assignment C, which was to create and
implement a plan for activity-based intervention and progress monitoring. By using a
combination of my own progress monitoring forms and forms from Susan R. Sandall
and Ilene S. Schwartzs Building Blocks for Teaching Preschoolers with Special Needs,
Edition, we were able to implement and easily track three different pre-academic
goals. We were able to do so using a technique in the middle of the child-directed to
teacher-directed instruction continuum described by Faith Haertig Sadler in her article
The Itinerant Special Education Teacher in the Early Childhood Classroom, which was
Carlena Lowell
SEI 516 Reflection Paper

Level C: Apply naturalistic strategies to ember specially designed instruction on pre-
academic objective during free play (2003, p. 10). As I mentioned, Tyler has difficulty
with emotional regulation and defiance; however, he responds incredibly well to verbal
positive reinforcement and hugs, which we did throughout teaching the pre-academic
skills. Christine, Kristen and Kristen presented an article after I had completed the
major assignments of this practicum, Positive Reinforcementa proactive intervention
for the classroom by Kareen Smith. This article actually reinforced me as a teacher
because Jill and I cohered to all of the seven guidelines Smith put forth for effective
positive reinforcement; it felt good to read that we had just implemented something well!
By the time we completed the final assignment of this practicum, Tyler had made
noticeable gains. That was, undoubtedly, the most rewarding part of this whole
Throughout the semester, Jill and I covered the eight stages of collaborative
consultation as explained by Buysse & Wesley in Consultation in Early Childhood
Settings (2005), covering four of the stages several times each. Stage one and two had
already been established as Jill was my co-teacher, although I do feel as though
building the relationship was enhanced through this practicum. We engaged in stage 3
by doing the technical assistance plan together. From there we implemented stages 4,
5, 6, and 7 several times each over the course of assignments B and C. For both the
child observation and the activity-based intervention and progress monitoring, we set
goals, selected strategies, implemented the plan, and evaluated the plan. Finally we did
a slightly adapted version of stage 8 at the end of the practicum. An underlying theme
of each stage was communication; Jill and I thoroughly discussed each stage and
Carlena Lowell
SEI 516 Reflection Paper

assignment along the way. The assignments in this practicum allowed me to gain a
great understanding of each of Buysse & Wesleys eight stages.
With the exception of the writing of the papers, Jill and I collaborated on all parts
of these assignments. Throughout these two assignments, I was particularly glad I
chose to collaborate with Jill during this practicum because we were able to easily
discuss things daily. I recorded all of our formal meetings in the log with contact
summaries; however, we discussed the progress of these two assignments and Tyler
daily. This is a good example of how this practicum enabled us to strengthen our
communication skills with one another. I feel as though when I apply my collaborative
consultation skills during my itinerant work, it will look differently than it did through this
semester. The dynamics will be different, as I will not be collaborating with my co-
teacher in my classroom, and will have less time with the classroom teacher and child
when doing itinerant work. In the article Supporting Inclusion in Community-Based
Settings: The Role of the Tuesday Morning Teacher, Laurie A. Dinnebeil & William F.
McInerney state, Providing consultation services is an especially appropriate
intervention model given the often limited direct contact opportunities that itinerant
teachers have with children on their caseload (p. 20). Almost all of the IEPs that have
consultation from an ECSE written in, have it for one hour per month. I will need to
develop a method in which I can talk to the teacher for a few minutes several times a
month in order to provide the most effective form of consultation possible. I will need to
be efficient with my time with the teachers in order to be as beneficial as possible.
For several years, and particularly for the past year throughout my itinerant work
as an early childhood special educator, a recurring idea for me is that consultees and
Carlena Lowell
SEI 516 Reflection Paper

classroom teachers are going to expect me to have all of the answers. This is one of
my biggest concerns in my role at CDS. The field of early childhood special education
is a progressive one; I understand my learning will continue throughout my career.
However, a concern of mine is that consultees will expect me to have all of the answers;
I worry that I will have some answers, but will not be able to say them on the spot. I feel
as though I need to carry around a cheat sheet of sorts with headings such as tricks to
assist a child through circle time and ways in which to encourage self-feeding. I was
thankful to read Wesley, Buysse, & Skinners 2001 study Early Interventionists
Perspectives on Professional Comfort as Consultants. One of the participants
interviewed stated, With milder disabilities, Im supposed to be the one with the
answers. When you are drawing on your own professional knowledge, its more scary
(p. 117). This statement served almost as a relief to me. I felt it was nice to read about
another professional in comparable shoes to mine that also felt such similar feelings.
Although there were some times of confusion in the early stages of this practicum
for me, I feel this was a wildly successful semester. I was able to improve my
communication skills and relationships with both my co-teacher, as well as a parent who
sometimes struggles at home with her child. In addition, my consultee and I were able
to better teach a child with significant needs in our classroom, and see results. I have
gained so much knowledge that directly applies to my current professional role, as well
as a role I may be assuming in the next several months. I now have a wonderful base
knowledge, and look forward to continuing my learning about and increasing my
understanding of coaching and the collaborative consultation process.

Carlena Lowell
SEI 516 Reflection Paper

Buysse, V. & Wesley, P. W. (2005). Consultation in early childhood settings. Baltimore,
MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., Inc.
Dinnerbeil, L. A. & McInerney, W. F. (2000). Supporting inclusion in community-based
settings: The role of the Tuesday morning teacher. Young Exceptional
Children, 4(1), 19-26.
Mahoney, G. & Wiggers, B. (2007). The role of parents in early intervention:
Implications for social work. Children & Schools, 29(1), 7-15.
Ripley, S. (1997). Collaboration between general and special education teachers. ERIC
Digest. Washington, DC: ERIC Clearinghouse on Teaching and Teacher
Education. Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED409317)
Rush, D. D. & Sheldon, M. L. (2001). The early childhood coaching handbook.
Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co., Inc.
Sadler, F. H. (2003). The itinerant special education teacher in the early childhood
classroom. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 35(3), 8-15.
Sandall, S. R. & Schwartz, I. S. (2008). Building blocks for teaching preschoolers with
special needs. Baltimore, MD: Paul H Brookes Publishing Company.

Carlena Lowell
SEI 516 Reflection Paper

Smith, K. (n.d.). Positive reinforcementa proactive intervention for the classroom.
Institute on Community Integration, College of Education, University of
Minnesota, Minneapolis. Retrieved from
The University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies. (2007).
Child care plus MEA resource for you. Retrieved from
Wesley, P. W.. Buysse, V., & Skinner, D. (2001). Early interventionists perspectives on
professional comfort as consultants. Journal of Early Intervention, 24(2), 112

Carlena Lowell
SEI 516 Reflection Paper

Practicum Log
January 28, 2013
12:45-2:15; 1 hour
Head Start
Spent time with the consultee explaining the consultation process and giving an
overview of the technical assistance plan
January 31, 2013
7:45-8:15; hour
Head Start
Discussed technical assistance plan more in depth with the director, decided to change
consultees and classrooms; also decided the consultation efforts would be better suited
to a child who was not our initial choice
February 1, 2013
8:30-11:00; 2 hours
Head Start
Explained consultation process and filled out technical assistance plan forms with
consultee; developed goals and decided future assignments in relation to the technical
assistance plan; contacted the family via telephone to discuss plan and permission,
which will be signed on as soon as possible
February 3, 2013
8:30-11:30 & 2:00-4:00; 5 hours
Completed final drafts of forms from drafts created on Friday with consultee; developed
contact summary forms and filled out for meeting this week
February 5, 2013
8:25 am-8:40 am; hour
Head Start
Spoke with focus childs mother explaining the practicum and assignments; she signed
the permission form
February 7, 2013
1:00 pm-2:00 pm; 1 hour
Head Start
Discussed upcoming Child Observation (assignment B) with consultee; began
determining what behaviors we would like to observe

Carlena Lowell
SEI 516 Reflection Paper

February 10, 2013
9:00 am-10:00 am; 1 hour
Created templates for child observations to take place this upcoming week
February 11, 2013
8:30 am-12:30 pm & 1:00 pm-2:00 pm; 5 hours
Head Start
Day one of the child observation, discussed the data collection methods with consultee
before the children came and throughout the morning as I collected data; met with
consultee for one hour after the children left
February 12, 2013
8:30 am-12:30 pm; 4 hours
Head Start
Continued with child observations in the classroom
February 14, 2013
8:30 am-12:30 pm & 1:30 pm-3:00 pm; 5 hours
Head Start
Final day of child classroom observations; met with consultee for 1 hours
February 16, 2013
12:30 pm-5:45 pm; 5 hours
Analyzed data collected from child observations this week; wrote observation report
February 25, 2013
7:45 am-8:30 am; hour
Head Start
Met with consultee to review final product of child observation and to plan next steps
February 26, 2013
12:30 pm-1:00 pm; hour
Head Start
Met with consultee and mother of focus child to provide a copy of and discuss the
observation report; discussed techniques we will be applying at school, as well as
techniques she can use at home

Carlena Lowell
SEI 516 Reflection Paper

March 7, 2013
12:45 pm-1:45 pm; 1 hour
Head Start
Met with consultee to discuss the effects of the newly implemented teaching strategies
and environmental modifications; introduced consultee to Building Blocks for Teaching
Preschoolers with Special Needs, Second Edition (2008) by Susan R. Sandall and Ilene
S. Schwartz as I will be using it for Assignment C: Develop a Plan for Activity-Based
Intervention and for Monitoring Progress
March 18, 2013
7:30 am-8:00 am; hour
Head Start
Met with consultee to discuss preliminary plans for Assignment C; decided on several
skills to target for the ABI
March 19, 2013
11:00 am-4:30 pm; 5 hours
Worked on Assignment C; decided what forms to use from Building Blocks for Teaching
Preschoolers with Special Needs, Second Edition (2008) by Susan R. Sandall and Ilene
S. Schwartz; filled forms out as a rough draft, then again as a final draft; created two
progress monitoring forms, one to track the targeted objectives daily, the other to track
progress weekly in order to see if Tyler is meeting the objectives criteria
March 21, 2013
7:30 am-8:15 am; hour
Head Start
Met with Jill to review the forms I filled out and created on March 19
including those
from Building Blocks for Teaching Preschoolers with Special Needs, Second Edition
(Sandall & Schwartz, 2008), as well as the progress monitoring forms I created;
discussed specific teaching strategies we will use with Tyler in order to embed learning
March 21
, 2013
8:40 am-8:55 am; hour
Head Start
Met with Rachel to review the targeted skills we will be focusing on for Assignment C

Carlena Lowell
SEI 516 Reflection Paper

March 21
, 2013 (although I implemented the ABI throughout the morning, I limited the
time to one half hour per day)
9:00 am-9:30 am; hour
Head Start
Implemented plan for Activity-Based Intervention with Tyler
March 26
, 2013
9:00 am-9:30 am; hour
Head Start
Implemented plan for Activity-Based Intervention with Tyler
March 27
, 2013
9:00 am-9:30 am; hour
Head Start
Implemented plan for Activity-Based Intervention with Tyler
March 28
, 2013
9:00 am-9:30 am; hour
Head Start
Implemented plan for Activity-Based Intervention with Tyler
March 29
, 2013
9:00 am-9:30 am; hour
Head Start
Implemented plan for Activity-Based Intervention with Tyler
April 1
, 2013
9:00 am-9:30 am; hour
Head Start
Implemented plan for Activity-Based Intervention with Tyler
April 2
, 2013
9:00 am-9:30 am; hour
Head Start
Implemented plan for Activity-Based Intervention with Tyler
April 3
, 2013
9:00 am-9:30 am; hour
Head Start
Implemented plan for Activity-Based Intervention with Tyler

Carlena Lowell
SEI 516 Reflection Paper

April 4
, 2013
9:00 am-9:30 am; hour
Head Start
Implemented plan for Activity-Based Intervention with Tyler
April 4
, 2012
12:45 pm-1:30 pm; hour
Head Start
Met with Jill to discuss Tylers progress toward meeting the goals set forth in the plan for
Activity-Based Intervention
April 5
, 2013
7:00 am-1:00 pm; 6 hours
Wrote final drafts for all of the Building Blocks forms, scanned into computer, final drafts
for progress monitoring forms, wrote reflection paper, changed all contact summarys
Focus of Consultation sections to reflect which stage of the consultation process we
were in at that given point, updated my portfolio with all of this information
April 11
, 2013
12:45 pm-1:15 pm; hour
Head Start
Final meeting with Jill to review final Assignment C and to reflect upon our collaborative
consultation process throughout the semester

Total to date: 52 hours