Universal Tier 1

In an MTSS framework, Tier 1 represents the universal instruction or core curriculum that is provided to all children. Tier 1 includes a comprehensive evidence-based curriculum along with the use of effective teaching and learning practices that include differentiated instruction and the cycle of teaching and re-teaching. Universal design for learning in early childhood emphasizes advanced curriculum planning to ensure children have multiple means for engagement, representation and action/expression. Differentiation happens through the adaptations and modifications needed by each child. Young children with disabilities are a diverse group, with both learning needs and strengths. Tier 1 serves as the foundation for all other tiers and early childhood programs should not overlook the importance of ensuring they have a strong Tier 1 that adequately addresses the Missouri Early Learning Goals. Regardless of class make-up, if a classroom has a majority of students in need of Tier 2/3 intervention, efforts to strengthen Tier 1 using data-based decision making should be their first priority.

General Tier 1 Resources
Title Resource Category Description
Preschool Curriculum Consumer Reports Reports Provides reports on evidence-base for many different preschool curricula. Users can download full reports and/or compare different curricula on 14 evidence-based criteria.
Universal Design for Learning Guidelines Website From the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center providing an overview of Universal Design for Learning and links to a variety of resources and tool kits.
Division of Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices Document Developed to provide guidance to practitioners and families about the most effective ways to improve the learning outcomes and promote the development of children who have, or are at-risk for, developmental delays and disabilities.
Quality Indicators of Inclusive Early Childhood Programs/Practices Document Indicators of High-Quality Inclusion designed to support state leaders, local administrators and educators in understanding the key elements that are necessary for promoting high-quality inclusive services.
Early Childhood Environments: Designing Effective Classrooms Training module Recommended by the Department of Early Childhood (DEC) offering information on how to set up effective inclusive early childhood classroom environments for young children, including adaptations for young children with disabilities.
Embedded Learning Opportunities Document Outlines the use of embedded instruction as a practice and provides links to further information.
Title Resource Category Description
Teaching Alphabet Knowledge and Phonological Awareness Document Describes and outlines a sequence for teaching alphabet knowledge and phonological awareness.
Promoting Young Children’s Literacy Website Provides a basic overview for different aspects of early literacy (e.g. vocabulary, storybook reading, alphabet knowledge) that can be used to help educators, paraprofessionals and/or families.
Engage New York Preschool Language Arts Curriculum Provides resources for key components of early literacy.
Dialogic Reading Practices – CONNECT Module Training module Describes effective dialogic reading practices for enhancing the language and literacy skills of young children. 
Language and Vocabulary in the VPK Classroom Teaching strategies Provides links to a variety of early literacy teaching strategies from the Florida Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program.
Emergent Literacy Instruction Preschool Brief Document From the Kansas MTSS Project, document summarizes key elements for early literacy instruction.
Title Resource Category Description
Engage New York Mathematics Curriculum Provides resources for key components of early mathematics.
Teaching Math to Young Children: IES Practice Guide Practice guide Provides recommendations for teaching mathematics to young children, included a summary of supporting evidence.
Early Math Matters: Preparing Preschoolers to Succeed Article Reviews the dimensions of preschool mathematics and links to several early childhood mathematics resources.
Social/Emotional Behavior
Title Resource Category Description
Missouri School-Wide Positive Behavior (SW-PBS) Support Project Website Framework for schools and teachers for creating safe and orderly learning environments.
Promoting Social and Emotional Competence in the Preschool Classroom Training module Developed by the National Center on Social Emotional Foundations for Early Learning and focuses on the implementation of positive behavior supports in preschool.
Early Childhood Behavior Management: Developing and Teaching Rules Training module Recommended by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Division of Early Childhood (DEC) and includes information on how to create developmentally appropriate behavior rules for the early childhood classroom.
Clarifying Expected Behavior

Training modules



As part of the Missouri District Continuous Improvement Framework, these training modules can be useful in helping teachers understand the practices associated with behavior expectations. These modules can also be found in the Missouri Virtual Learning Platform.
Encouraging Expected Behaviors
Discouraging Inappropriate Behavior