Training Components


1. Teachers are certified by Innovative Educational Programs (IEP) as 21st Century Subject Specialists.

CHILD teachers and administrators participate in specialized training to learn to use the CHILD methods and supporting materials. Teachers function as subject specialists using 21st century strategies and skills to provide quality instruction in an innovative environment. To be certified by IEP, teachers will attend all prescribed professional development, complete and pass the subject-specific certification examination, self-assess and observe in other classrooms, and successfully implement the model as documented by an IEP consultant. Teachers will continue their professional development through ongoing self-study, attendance at CHILD workshops and conferences, and by becoming mentor/trainers for new CHILD teachers.

“CHILD is an instructional model reflecting best teaching practices. The instructional model is based on the research from the following sources: Marzano, Wong, Vygotsky, Montessori, Piaget, Erikson, Glasser, Skinner, Gardner.”

2. Students participate in a structured orientation to learn self- management techniques.

Students follow a structured orientation plan at the beginning of each school year. This orientation prepares them to be self-regulated learners, to responsibly use and care for materials and equipment, to stay on-task while working independently, to develop strategies to cooperate and help one another, and to move efficiently to the classroom learning stations. Integral to this orientation is learning to use the Passports/Work Logs and Task Cards.

Teacher Components

3. Teachers form interdisciplinary teams with a common corps of students.

A cluster or team of teachers will work with a common corps of students. Each classroom will have learning stations equipped with computers and other appropriate learning materials. Students typically spend at least one hour in each of the subject classrooms every day. Support staff such as music, art, guidance, media, physical education, and resource teachers for students with special needs, will also help extend student learning by coordinating with the teachers where possible.

4. Teachers meet regularly to plan and coordinate instruction.

Teachers within each cluster or team will share a common planning time. They participate in weekly structured meetings to facilitate interdisciplinary curriculum planning, coordinate instruction and encourage teamwork. They complete a Meeting Agenda form, which is then shared with their administrator.

5. Teachers observe students in other classrooms on a regular basis.

Teachers spend thirty minutes observing in the other classrooms in their cluster or team. If there are multiple clusters/teams at a school, it is recommended that teachers include a subject area observation and an observation within a different grade level as well. Teachers complete a Structured Observation Form and report to their colleagues at a team meeting.

6. Teachers use research-based resources to plan lessons and coordinate instruction.

While CHILD and TEAMS schools use their own curriculum materials, a wealth of online and print resources are available to plan for active, station-based learning. Materials are provided online to assist teachers with planning both vertically and horizontally, to assist teachers with integrating technology, and develop hands-on station activities tied to lesson objectives.

7. Teachers use a structured management system to organize small group instruction.

Teachers assign students to stations on a rotating basis and monitor station visitation to ensure that all students are gaining frequent and balanced access to station activities. As students become more self-directed, they provide input into the station selection process. Whole group instruction and station work share the instructional unit time (i.e. two week instructional unit rotation) to create balance between direct instruction, guided and independent practice.


8. Students set and assess unit goals.

Goal setting is a 21st century skill that is explicitly taught to CHILD and TEAMS students. Students are guided by their teachers to set reasonable long and short-term goals which they record in their Passports or Work Logs. At the end of each unit and periodically throughout the station rotation cycles, students will use the Passports or Work Logs to assess their progress toward achieving these goals. Throughout the year, teachers will model goal-setting for students as reinforcement for this life-long behavior.

9. Students assume significant responsibilities in the daily management of the classroom.

Students have access to and control over all materials and equipment at designated learning stations. They use equipment carefully and store materials properly. They develop leadership roles by assuming more management opportunities within the classroom, monitoring their own behavior, and developing individualized learning pathways within the instructional rotation.

10. Students have frequent opportunities to work in cooperative groups.

Students often work at stations in cooperative groups where they learn to help and support one another. At the Technology Station, students may work with a partner in order to increase access to these tools. Peer coaching and collaborative problem-solving will be introduced during orientation and encouraged throughout the year with recognition and incentives to foster cooperation.

11. Students stay with the same teacher team for multiple years.

Project CHILD students stay with the same cluster teachers for multiple years (i.e. kindergarten through second grade; third through fifth grade). Each year the students will move to a different homeroom within the cluster, but will have the same subject teachers throughout the multiple year cycle.

TEAMS schools may choose to utilize this Essential Component to allow for a common corps of students to remain with the same team of teachers for multiple years.


12. The classroom ambiance is supportive, equitable, and risk-free, with high expectations for all.

Teachers create a risk-free learning climate which supports inquiry and creativity, enabling students to learn from their mistakes. All students have equal opportunities to participate in all activities. Teachers set high expectations and clearly define these expectations. There is a positive tone where students are frequently encouraged for their efforts.

13. Students work at a variety of learning stations on a regular basis.

Each classroom will have learning stations to accommodate all learning modalities. Stations may include a Teacher Station for small group instruction, and additional ones for technology, hands-on and text activities. Students work individually or cooperatively at the learning stations when they are not working with the teacher. Whole group instruction and station work share the instructional period to create balance between direct instruction, guided and independent practice. Students will have access to all learning stations on a frequent and equitable basis.

14. Station activities are clearly defined with Task Cards, aligned with standards, are appropriate to students’ abilities and needs, and provide feedback.

Each instructional rotation, teachers clearly explain station activities and use Task Cards to specify assignment requirements at each station before independent station rotations begin. Station activities are designed to coordinate with lesson objectives and are appropriate to students’ level of intellectual, academic, and social development. The activities provide feedback and samples to ensure quality and on-task behavior.

15. Students use a record-keeping tool (Passport or Work Log) and Task Cards to develop 21st century skills.

Task Cards are provided by the teacher at each station to clearly communicate expectations and academic purpose to students. Students use their Passports to set goals, record information about their station work, express their opinions, reflect on their learning, and evaluate goal accomplishments. Students use their Passport/Work Log to guide their independent movement to the various learning stations within the classroom. These 21st century tools help students stay focused, organized, and accountable. Parents/Guardians use the Passports to stay informed.


16. The district/governing board and site-based leadership provide support and adequate resources.

All site-based and district/governing board leadership attend designated CHILD training and visit the classrooms frequently to become thoroughly familiar with the CHILD methods and materials. Site-based administrators support CHILD teachers and ensure that necessary resources to fully implement the program are in place. Communication is provided to parents, district staff, and the community at large to stay informed about the CHILD implementation.

17. There is sufficient time for collaborative planning.

Each CHILD cluster will have a common planning time, before, during or after school. At least one meeting per week is essential to ensure ongoing collaborative efforts and effective and timely communication between teachers. Teachers also meet regularly to plan and coordinate with subject area colleagues.

18. Instructional time is free from interruptions.

Instructional time is protected within the CHILD classroom. Interruptions such as pull-outs, unscheduled special events, and announcements are limited. Block scheduling or other innovative scheduling plans that accommodate longer class periods are highly desirable to facilitate the station rotation process. Shorter station rotation times should be included to allow for active learning time for students following mandatory testing times.

19. Students have frequent and equitable access to technology.

Technology is a tool within the CHILD classroom. Each classroom is equipped with adequate technology tools to provide for equitable access for all students and sufficient resources for instruction. All students work at the Technology Station in each of the subject-area classrooms on a frequent and equitable basis.

20. Parents/Guardians use the CHILD Passports to stay informed and provide input.

Parents/Guardians attend a CHILD orientation meeting at the beginning of the school year to become informed about the instructional model. Parents/Guardians review their child’s Passport, sign it and make comments at the end of each unit.