Embedded interventions are strategies that address specific learning goals within the context of everyday activities, routines, and transitions at home, at school or in the community. Other commonly used terms to describe embedded interventions include: routines-based interventions, embedded instruction, and embedded learning opportunities.
Examples of Embedded Interventions
Embedded interventions can occur naturally anytime and anyplace; they build on children’s interests; and they extend learning by offering multiple opportunities to practice new skills. Adult support is the essential ingredient in the effective use of any embedded intervention.
Watch the videos and look for the ways adults support children’s development and learning through daily routines and activities.
Video 1.3: Routine at home – playing peek-a-boo
A mother takes a normal everyday routine like changing a diaper and turns it into a learning opportunity by adding a game of peek-a-boo (running time: 1 min. 21 sec.).
This video clip shows a mother playing at home with her infant son splashing in the bathtub and playing peek-a-boo while putting on his diaper. [splashing]
Where’s Justin? Boo! Where’s Justin? Justin. Boo! Justin. Boo! Where is he? Boo! There you are. Justin, Peekaboo! Peekaboo, Justin, where are you? Boo!
Hey! [knocking] You’re not going to let mom in? [knocking] Hello. Hi!
Video 1.4: Routine at home – talking on the phone
A mother encourages social learning by giving her daughter an opportunity to speak to a relative on the phone (running time: 51 sec.).
This video clip shows a mother at home encouraging her toddler to talk on the phone with a family member.
I don’t know. She might just help me answer the phone.
Hey, Christie, somebody’s talking to you. Do you want to talk to her for just a second?
Ok. There it is. You have to hold it. Talk to Aunt Christie. Say hello.
Say how are you?
How are you?
Say talk to you later.
Talk to you later.
Thank you. Ok.
Video 1.5: Routine in a program – enjoying mealtime
Jalisa, a toddler with multiple disabilities has joined a newly inclusive child care setting. A practitioner helps Jalisa get into her special chair, and provides assistance for Jalisa to use a spoon. Jalisa’s team –Head Start practitioners, therapists, and the family – work together on planning and implementing embedded interventions (running time: 1 min. 42 sec.).
This video clip shows a little girl with multiple disabilities during mealtime at an Early Head Start center . Watch how practitioners provide her with some additional support to help enjoy mealtime alongside
Your bib. You have to put on your bib. Good morning. Hello.
Ann has been working with Jalisa and would come over once or twice a week and work with her. They would give us tips and let us know what they were working on. For instance, they wanted to start using utensils, so then they talked with us and as a team we all started putting, you know, a spoon in Jalisa’s hand and have, I remember, applesauce. It would be upside-down and all over but that’s the next step, right?
You’re using your spoon! Miss Carrie helped, huh?
Her vision. She sees better on the sides. To put her food, you know, on either side, she sees it a lot better. From what I understand, she wasn’t feeding herself. Well, she was doing some finger food type things, but she eats completely by herself here. I personally think that the other kids have a big part in that. She sees, you know, them playing or doing something and she imitates a lot better. It’s good.
Video 1.6: Routine in a program – taking turns
A teacher facilitates a game of peek-a-boo between two boys with special needs. She embeds learning by encouraging communication with signs. She also supports turn-taking (running time: 1 min. 23 sec.).
This video clip shows a teacher in a preschool classroom working with two boys with special needs. She facilitates a game of peek-a-boo using simple signs and encourages turn taking.
I’m in Book Center with a little boy named Rashawn and a little boy named Connor, and we’re playing peek-a-boo with each other. It started out as just a free-play activity with Connor and Rashawn came over and wanted to have a turn.
I was prompting Connor to say where is Rashawn and then he would pull the sheet off. And we practiced taking turns with each other.
At this time, we’re using sign language to help Connor to say short sentences like, “I want a turn” or “Where is Rashawn?” So then the boys would lay down, and we’d cover them up and Rashawn would say, “Where is Connor?” Then, they would begin to laugh. So, a lot of their goals were embedded in this short activity.
Video 1.7: Routine in a program – building with blocks
A speech therapist works with a toddler in a child care facility. The therapist models appropriate communication orally, using signs, and using a picture board. She encourages a response by withholding toys and requiring him to ask for them (running time: 1 min. 08 sec.).
This video clip shows a speech therapist working with a boy in a child care setting. She encourages the child to use his words by withholding access to the desired toys; and models communication using signs and a picture board.
Oh. Come here. People in. People in block. Ohhh. Ouch.
Oh my block. What? What? Are they mine? My blocks. You want block? You want block? Do you want block? What do you want, Simon? Do you want people or block.
Blocks. Blocks. Right, blocks. Now you want more block? I want block.