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Wednesdays are a Win for Gregory Elementary Students

students working in class, teacher holding basketball

At Gregory Elementary School, it’s all hands on deck on WIN Wednesdays, or What I Need Wednesdays. When the idea of a half day devoted solely to providing targeted instruction for each student was presented, staff knew it would require extra planning and thinking outside the box. We focused on math, as we already had systems in place to meet student needs in reading.

We created a schedule so our art, music, and physical education teachers, paraprofessionals, Title I teacher and instructional coach could all join in-person classroom teachers.

In Lisa Hilstad’s and Carly Jocson’s second grade classrooms, WIN Wednesdays feature math instruction and centers designed to engage students, make math fun, and positively impact student achievement. An important skill for second graders is fluency with addition and subtraction facts, and students work on building that skill throughout the year.

As you might expect, all of Mrs. Hilstad’s and Ms. Jocson’s students don’t need to work on the same set of facts. The teachers and the instructional coach assess students to see which sets of facts they need to practice. Then, they create hands-on games that hone in on what each student needs to gain fluency. On any given Wednesday morning, friendly competition and cooperation can be found as students play games like Addition Bingo, Race to 100, and Spinning More or Less.

The teachers also created opportunities for students to work in small groups to reinforce grade-level mathematical concepts. Coach Anthony Stone, Gregory’s physical education teacher, works with small groups of Mrs. Hilstad’s students who are ready for concepts above grade level.

As the students work and play on Wednesdays, the instructional coach and a paraprofessional observe and assess the progression towards fluency. They also show students efficient strategies for fact fluency as they play fun and engaging games.

WIN Wednesdays have blossomed into a unique opportunity for both our in-person and remote students at Gregory. The remote classrooms of Nicole Morris, Angelika Demeas and Rocio Grana have provided engaging, fun lessons and games to increase achievement for students at all stages along the math continuum. In one lesson, students dribbled a basketball while skip-counting. The teachers differentiated the lesson by choosing the appropriate set of numbers to skip count for each group.

Ongoing assessments show the students are not only having fun, but making progress with fact fluency and the concepts being taught in the curriculum.

WIN Wednesdays have allowed teachers and students to stretch and try new things this school year. When it comes to math in second grade at Gregory this year, everybody wins!

head with headphones

Annette Sword-Peterson

Annette Sword-Peterson is the instructional coach at Gregory Elementary School.

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