Advanced Learning Opportunities
(note this content is in the process of being updated, please check back)
Advanced learners flourish in the West Woodland community because all our teachers hold high expectations with a rigorous curriculum. Through open-ended assignments, differentiated instruction, flexible grouping, intra and cross grade level partnerships, challenging materials and many enrichment opportunities, West Woodland Elementary School provides a rich academic environment designed to challenge all students to work to their potential. We strive to create educational success stories for every child.
Advanced learners are first through fifth grade students who have been tested and qualified for Seattle Schools Spectrum or APP programs and are expected to be performing at least one grade above their current grade level expectations. They remain qualified for these higher level designations by participating in our ALO program and receiving the ALO report card. Success in our program along with strong teacher recommendations, allows these students to enter available spaces in Spectrum and APP classes, at anytime, including middle school programs. We serve our advanced learners within the classroom and include other students capable of above grade level work.
Throughout West Woodland, the teachers are committed to creating engaging opportunities across the curriculum:
Reading groups offer multiple levels of texts, often 2-3 years beyond the grade level. Additionally, literature projects requiring higher levels of thinking, vocabulary and comprehension skills are assigned regularly. Occasionally, primary students may participate in reading instruction in a classroom a grade level above their own
Writer’s Workshop is stressed in every classroom, offering every child open-ended opportunity to write at a level that challenges them. They are encouraged to use levels of voice, word choice, sentence structure and principles of writing that reflect their higher intellect. These culminate in published works showcasing the student’s writing.
The Everyday Math curriculum includes daily lessons that challenge the ALO students to expand their mathematical thinking beyond their grade level. Concepts are practiced at a higher level through increasing numbers, extending the questioning and adapting projects to the daily assignments. The curriculum plan includes a challenge option that teachers may use. Our ALO 3rd-5th students currently receive instruction one year above grade level.
Story Path, history projects, simulations, science units, and science fair projects all offer opportunities for our ALO students to extend their learning. These subjects lend themselves to challenging thinking, research, writing, and presentation skills.
Homework: Weekly homework includes open ended and challenging activities for advanced learners
Art and music docent lessons, Spanish and computer classes offer rigorous lessons addressing different learning styles and strengths. After school programs including an award winning chess club, two choirs, and classes such as art, Legomation and drama offer enrichment.
Our parents help set the standard for their child. Parents support their child in doing homework at an appropriate level, which would include any challenges provided by the teacher. Parents communicate with their child’s teacher about their expectations and classroom work.
Teachers understand that to reach every student, instruction must be differentiated. Through close observation and assessment, teachers strive to know each child as an individual. Understanding students’ strengths and weaknesses enable teachers to support and challenge them appropriately, nourishing their learning and fostering intrinsic motivation. By having flexible groups and open ended projects, ALO students receive their challenge within the regular program and leave West Woodland well prepared for their next academic endeavor.
Important Information about qualifying as an Advanced Learner:
Applications for the advanced learner program must be turned in by October 8. Testing occurs in November to qualify for the following academic year. After qualifying, students will receive an ALO report card. If a student does not qualify as an Advanced Learner through the district test, they still may receive the ALO level of challenge as the teacher and parent see fit. (This is important because some students may qualify in math, but not reading. They can still participate in West Woodland’s ALO program, as appropriate.)
- Inform parents of the ALO option
- Nominate students for testing in October (Students from previous class may be nominated.)
- Know who has qualified as an Advanced Learner
- Collaborate with other staff to support the ALO program
- Provide an ALO report card for qualifying students.
- Differentiate curriculum to challenge advanced learners even if they do not have the ALO designation
- Support ALO students in writing – an area that sometimes lags behind
- Use Social Studies, Science, the arts, and service learning to engage ALO students in ways that challenge their thinking.
- Provide challenging homework designated for ALO students or others who are able to do the work
- Accommodate advanced learners who have a disability
- Inform the community about programs for advanced learners
- Support the ALO model which integrates students in the regular classroom
- Support teachers with professional development, time, and materials as needed.
- Seek out and accept the challenges presented in the classroom.
- Do their personal best.
- Find ways to be a leader in the community.
- Be a risk taker. Challenge yourself, and learn from your mistakes.
- Help your student accept his/her responsibilities.
- Communicate with the classroom teacher.
- Involve your student in the after school enrichment programs