Early Intervention Strategies for Success

Sharing What Works in Supporting Infants & Toddlers and the Families in Early Intervention

Early Intervention Strategies for Success, Tips, Insight and Support for EI Practitioners


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  • Learning Bytes: Activities YOU Can Use for Staff Development(current)

Once upon a time, a local EI system manager was planning her staff meeting and thinking, “I wish I had a quick staff development activity to help my staff reflect on their intervention practices.” Then, she looked at the time and, with a sigh, realized she didn’t have time to come up with something or search the VA Early Intervention Professional Development Center site or the internet for ideas.

“Oh well,” she thought, “maybe next time.” Except that next time the same thing happened. Good intentions but limited time to pull together staff training – that was her reality.

Does this sound familiar? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Learning Bytes logo

In response to a request from a local system manager here in Virginia, we have created a group of free, easy-to-implement staff development activities called Learning Bytes. These activities are relatively short in duration (depending on your group size, how talkative your group is, etc.) and designed to address training needs expressed by supervisors. Each learning byte has everything you need to pull off an effective – and brief – training activity during a staff meeting or inservice. Each pdf includes a purpose statement, list of materials you’ll need, detailed step-by-step instructions, handouts, links to online resources, and answer keys (as appropriate) with guidance on how to debrief. The learning bytes are organized by topic tabs, and so far include: Assessment, EI Service Delivery, IFSP Outcomes, Interest-based Learning, Professional Responsibilities & Considerations, Service Coordination, and Substance Exposure. As of today, we have posted 33 learning bytes and more are on their way!

So next time you find yourself wishing or searching for a quick activity to help your staff brush up on their skills, reflect on their practices, or learn something new, be sure to check out our Learning Bytes page. You can find it from the VEIPD homepage under EI Topics & Tools!

What activity ideas to you have? What does your staff need to learn? 

How could YOU use a learning byte at your next staff meeting?

Share your thoughts in the comments below and we might build a new learning byte with your idea!

2 comments on “Learning Bytes: Activities YOU Can Use for Staff Development

  • Mirlena says:

    My team loves the venting paper bag activity. It is simple and it can be used to discuss any topic. You just need a paper bag, post-it notes, and a pen.
    The leader of the group will present a topic and start a discussion. For example, you can ask your staff what are the best part about coaching and what it is the most difficult part of coaching for them. People are encouraged to anonymously write on the post-it note their answers and place the notes inside the paper bag. Then the leader will guide the conversation with the team by addressing each of those notes.

    It’s a great opportunity for those team members that are usually quiet in your meetings and afraid to talk. It is an opportunity to get authentic feedback from your staff without any fear of judgment. Many times you will find out a common strength or a common issue that can give you more ideas of what areas your staff need more support or in what areas they are more solid.

    • Thanks for this great idea, Mirlena! What a smart way to make venting and sharing honest feedback feel safe for your staff. I need to write your activity up as a learning byte! 🙂


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