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posted: Tue, Apr 9th, 2019

Nicholas Fernandez and Michael Watkins work on a math enrichment activity 

A WINNing strategy
Madison Hughes studies an enrichment assignment in English language arts

Third-graders at Mountain View Elementary School know that the half hour between 2:45-3:15 p.m. is their time. It’s a block carved out every day for students to work on the skills they need the most help with or enrich their already strong knowledge.

The new program is called WINN (What I Need Now) and provides students with personalized instruction that is tailored to meet their individual academic needs – a focus of the entire school district. During WINN, the entire grade (nearly 70 students) is divided between six teachers (three third-grade teachers, an English language arts specialist, a math specialist, and a special education teacher). The students in each group work on one of the specific ELA or math skills that the third-grade teachers have identified as most difficult, or complete activities and projects designed to help them excel.

Walk into the classrooms during this half hour and you might see students independently practicing their skills on computers, working collaboratively on an activity, and still others sitting with their WINN teacher and receiving direct instruction.

In just a short time, WINN has impacted the mindset of students and made them more serious learners.

“WINN has helped our students reflect on where they are in their learning and take a deeper look at what they need now,” said teacher Emily Cali. “They’re realizing that although their teachers are working to help them learn, they need to take more responsibility for their own learning. Students are opening up and letting me know what they’d like to spend more time on, what they feel is too easy for them, and when they want to be challenged.”

Teacher observations and benchmark exams that show student progress toward achieving mastery of state standards were used to help place the third-graders in appropriate English language arts and math groups. The students are re-evaluated every 12 days; some stay in their current groups and others move to different teachers and different skill reinforcement or enrichment.

The Mountain View second grade will introduce WINN in the coming weeks.

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Mountain View School
118 Cloverhill Drive Flanders, NJ 07836
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Phone: 973.927.2201 Fax: 973.927.2202

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