In WAWM professional educators build conceptual understandings, content knowledge and skills, and learner dispositions using the Balanced Instruction Model. Personalization occurs within the Balanced Instruction Model with attention to the curricular framework, academic needs of students, student goal setting, positive relationships with students, and learner styles and preferences. The intent is to utilize voice and choice to build ownership in the learning process and to optimize each child’s learning potential to develop engaged, academically prepared learners who graduate prepared for college, career and life.
Because our teachers realize that learning is not a spectator sport, teachers use multiple methods to inspire students to be active learners in large group, small group, and independent environments. Students problem solve, make decisions, and self-manage independently and collaboratively. Teachers pay attention to learning styles, levels of ability, and interests as they hook students’ interest, maintain a steady instructional pace, and provide meaningful feedback. Students reflect on ideas, relate learning to their past experiences, and apply their understanding to their daily lives.
Inquiry provides a framework for adaptive critical thinking on meaningful projects that require students to formulate questions, sustain engagement, collaborate, and manage sources, resulting in a performance, discussion, or product. Students engage in literature circle, curricular, open, and mini inquires. As teachers gradually release in balanced instruction, students are immersed in a topic, generate questions, investigate and collaborate, coalesce, and communicate their new understanding, ideas, or results. Teachers model, guide, facilitate, mentor, and provide feedback during the inquiry process.