siskin children's institute logo

The Engagement Classroom Model

Teacher reads to children

The Siskin Early Learning Center implements the Engagement Classroom Model, incorporating the engagement classroom model, project approach, and is inspired by the philosophy of Reggio Emelia, a nationally recognized model that focuses on positive outcomes for children and their families. They also apply the Routines-based Early Intervention Model through the home visiting program.

Children cannot learn if they are not engaged, and environments with engaged children promote academic and social success.

Benefits of the Model:

  • Improved thinking and reasoning 
  • Improved behavior  
  • Increased interaction with peers
  • Increased independence
  • Increased opportunities for skills to emerge
  • Better rapport and support between teachers and therapists
  • Teachers, staff, and therapists are held accountable
  • All children benefit  

Strategies in Meeting Developmental Goals:

  • Incidental teaching
  •  Zone defense schedule
  •  Integrated therapy
  •  Behavior management 


  • Follow children's lead to elicit elaborations on their behaviors.


  • Management of the schedule, room arrangement, adult responsibilities, and transitions to improve engagement and to empower classroom staff.


  • Professionals visiting classrooms to provide services to young children with disabilities do so by consulting with the teaching staff, rather than taking the child out of the classroom or working with the child in the classroom but isolated from the ongoing activity.
  • The rationale is that very young children are highly unlikely to learn skills through short periodic (e.g., weekly) sessions but that they can learn from ongoing intervention from their teachers—and, of course, parents.
  • Models of Service Flyer