Child Centered Design

At Child1st, our teaching resources are meticulously designed with the Child's needs at the forefront, embracing a holistic approach that leverages both left and right brain functions to ensure optimal learning outcomes.

The Process Behind Our Products

This study, initiated in the fall of 1999 with a group of Kindergarteners, initially focused on teaching the alphabet and reading through a systematic, explicit phonics approach based on Orton Gillingham principles. While the children excelled in decoding individual sounds and spelling, they struggled to transition to reading fluency, often getting stuck in a cycle of continuous sounding-out. Recognizing this challenge, I introduced right-brain elements to the phonics instruction, incorporating stories, illustrations, and multisensory techniques. 

The results were remarkable, with students making significant progress and testing above grade level by March. This shift to a whole-brain approach transformed reading from a purely mechanical task to an engaging and accessible skill for all learners, particularly those with visual/spatial strengths. At Child1st, our teaching resources are meticulously designed with the Child's needs at the forefront, embracing a holistic approach that leverages both left and right brain functions to ensure optimal learning outcomes.

Child Centered Design

In my experiment, I delved into the factors underlying children's struggles and failures in learning, aiming to pinpoint the essential elements that facilitate ease in learning. With the objective of crafting teaching resources that effectively cater to children across the learning spectrum, I embraced a comprehensive, whole-brain approach, integrating crucial right-brain elements often absent in traditional educational systems.

The experimental framework comprised several key components, including problem identification, thorough research, development of theoretical frameworks, strategic planning, resource design, and rigorous testing protocols. 

This structured approach allowed for systematic exploration and validation of innovative teaching methodologies, ensuring that the resulting resources are optimally designed to meet the diverse needs of learners.


In 1990, I embarked on a journey to address the pressing issue of bright students struggling to learn, determined to bridge the gap between learning theory and teaching practice. Pursuing graduate studies offered me a valuable opportunity to delve into formal research, enabling me to explore in-depth the underlying factors contributing to my students' learning challenges. My quest was driven by a fervent desire to uncover insights that would illuminate the roadblocks impeding my students' educational progress.


In tandem with delving into formal research, I closely observed my students during teaching sessions, aiming to discern the specific challenges they faced and identify common threads among these difficulties. Through meticulous studies conducted alongside my graduate coursework, I gained valuable insights into how my students absorbed and processed new information. These observations allowed me to meticulously document both the weaknesses and learning strengths exhibited by each student, providing a comprehensive understanding of their individual learning profiles.


My plan involved embedding abstract concepts like letters and words within visually engaging images to convey their shape, sound, and meaning. By incorporating body movements that mimicked the meaning of each letter or word, I aimed to effectively target kinesthetic learning preferences, providing students with a hands-on experience that enhanced comprehension and retention. Additionally, my plan to integrate stories into each concept would not only provide context but also serve as mnemonic devices, offering hooks for recall and reinforcing understanding through narrative context. This holistic approach ensured that learners of all types could engage with the material in a meaningful way, fostering deeper understanding and mastery of key concepts.


Design I designed prototypes that incorporated images, body movement, and story elements. Each prototype was carefully crafted to present the global whole, allowing students to identify patterns and connections within the material. My teaching approach moved from whole to part, emphasizing the relationship between seemingly disparate elements in the learning process. This design plan was applied consistently across prototypes for both reading and math, ensuring a cohesive and effective instructional approach across subjects.


I conducted thorough testing of each prototype with my students and gathered feedback to inform revisions. With guidance from my professors and in conjunction with my coursework, I extensively evaluated the effectiveness of these prototypes in the spring. The goal was to assess how well they facilitated student success in learning. Based on the results of these tests and ongoing feedback, I refined and streamlined the design elements over time.


Initial research focused on Kindergarten students, with subsequent studies including students from Kindergarten to 7th grade. Observations were made on mechanics of writing and work habits.

Assessments conducted

  • Phonics Mastery Inventory 
  • Assessments on blends, digraphs, syllables, base words, affixes, plurals, vowel teams, and spelling features
  • John's Basic Reading Inventory, including graded word lists and oral reading passages

Outcomes showed

  • Kindergarten students achieved reading levels ranging from 2nd to 4th grade
  • All students mastered addition and subtraction computation, including place value concepts for numbers over 10