Why W.I.N.G.S. for your family?
An important part of building classrooms for the next generation is utilizing components of a “Student Centered” model. Student-centered classrooms put students first, and is a shift from teacher-centered lecturing only.
Student-centered learning is focused on the student’s needs, abilities, interests, and learning styles with the teacher as a facilitator of learning. This classroom teaching method involves student as full partners in the learning experience.
Teacher-centered learning has the teacher at its center in an active role and students in a passive, receptive role. Student-centered learning allows students to be highly engaged, because they are responsible participants in their own learning.
A student-centered classroom isn’t a place where the students decide what they want to learn and what they want to do. It’s a place where we consider the needs of the students, as a group and as individuals, and encourage them to participate in the learning process all the time.
The WINGS Initiative involves a balance of both styles.
Student and Teacher centered, and will give students the best possible foundation for academic, social and spiritual success.
All types of learners are able to thrive in the WINGS classroom: Struggling Learners, Independent Learners and Higher Level Learners. Help your child soar with their personal set of WINGS today: review our FAQ, contact us for more information and schedule a visit!
How do I know if WINGS is right for my student?
Families considering enrolling in the WINGS Initiative should ask themselves a few questions
- Do you believe in educating your “whole child”?
- Are character education, respect for self and others, empathy, and a social conscience important to your family?
- Are you concerned that today’s students will need many different skills in tomorrow’s world and feel that in order to reach all students, a variety of teaching methods are necessary?
- Do you seek the following skills for your child: Critical thinking, problem solving, time management, the ability to work alone or in groups, leadership, comfort with technology, creativity, and a lifelong love of learning?
- Do you believe that in the 21st century global economy, that being bilingual or multilingual is beneficial?
If you answered yes to many of these questions, our program will be a wonderful fit for your family.
Who may attend a WINGS school? Must I be a member of a supporting parish?
Our school is open to all students, and all faiths. Many people do not realize that you do not have to be Catholic to attend our schools. In fact, our student rolls often include non-catholic families. Christian values taught at our school are universally applicable, and translate to all Christians.
What makes the WINGS Initiative Different?
One major difference is that our classrooms are “child-centered.” A student-centered classroom isn’t a place where the students decide what they want to learn and what they want to do. It’s a place where we consider the needs of the students, as a group and as individuals, and encourage them to participate in the learning process all the time.
This means that while teachers respect curriculum needs and demands, they design, plan, and implement curriculum in the context of each individual child’s needs, strengths, and timetable. As children and teachers meet over materials, ideas, and activities, teachers are constantly observing children’s understandings. If a child can move more quickly, or needs more time when a particular methodology is successful or unsuccessful, adaptations in curriculum for that child are made.
Assessment (testing) of children is done in an ongoing way rather than in a final one. This allows for continuous feedback and communication between student and teachers. Students are given a skill growth plan, tailored to their individual needs and skills. We describe growth plans as being similar to lab results indicating to a health practitioner what prescription to write for a patient.
We provide children with learning opportunities in a multi-age setting, which has lots of benefits. All children do not develop evenly across all areas; a student with strong verbal skills might struggle with writing. A child might be average in math but excel at logical reasoning and problem solving. A student may be very adept academically, but have a hard time socializing. Multi Age settings allow children are to find true peers of any and all ages. They also have the opportunity to take on roles as teachers and students, leaders and followers with their fellow classmates. These opportunities reinforce skills. A nurturing, family atmosphere is born, as our children learn win-win behaviors, and how to socialize with children both younger and older than themselves.
Will students in flexible groupings meet all the educational requirements? If they are learning at their own pace, what if my student is “lazy”?
Like all schools in the Diocese of Green Bay, we follow a curriculum that adheres to the standards and benchmarks set by the diocesan Department of Education. Multi age programs often use Themes to tie in overarching ideas for an academic year. Science Kits, and other tools engage our students and they benefit from the experiential learning taking place.
There are academic goals and guidelines for every student. However, we understand that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all method to meet those goals. A student’s “Best Pace” can be very different from their “Preferred Pace”, and our faculty recognize the difference, and direct students accordingly.
Some students are visual learners, others prefer hands on methods. While one student may read that 2+2=4, another may need to see 4 blocks or dots. The timing, materials, content, and methods will change from child to child, with the growth plan as an organizing and informational tool for children, parents, and teachers.
If they are having so much fun, how can they really be learning?
It is a myth that learning can’t be fun! It is another common misconception that fun can only occur in classrooms on special occasions like birthdays and holiday parties. Sitting in straight rows for 6-8 hours per day is not required for learning to occur. In all aspects of the school, students need to be engaged or they will tune out. Over or under-challenging students will result in them disengaging from learning. When they remain engaged, our students actively participate in the classroom and stay focused on skill growth. When fully “tuned in”, students find enjoyment in all aspects of learning, simply from the rewards they feel from gaining new skills.
By using things like learning games, discussions that are interactive, hands-on/authentic learning, project-based learning, virtual and real life field trips, our students gain skills but enjoy it so much more.