As an AVID school, WMS teachers design and lead lessons full of WICOR (writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading) strategies. Teachers use the WICOR learning model to guide students in comprehending concepts and articulating ideas at increasingly complex levels. Through WICOR, students build mental toolboxes of strategies they can apply to learning situations both in and out of the classroom.
Last week, while preparing students for the upcoming FSA writing assessment, sixth grade ELA teacher Mrs. Alex Parker led a two-day lesson full of writing, reading, and organization strategies. First, she taught students how to “PAT” the explanatory prompt they were given to write about, teaching them to text-mark and look for the purpose, audience, and task the prompt required. Reading the directions carefully to understand these key elements helps student writers better organize their thinking. Mrs. Parker also gave students a reading purpose based on the prompt, instructing them to text-mark two non-fiction texts, looking for evidence about why and how art can be created from trash. Teaching students to read for a purpose and mark key details along the way helps aid student reading comprehension in general. Before turning students loose to write their essays, the teacher showed students various organizational styles for constructing their thoughts, encouraging them to “do the way that works for you.” She even went a step further and provided students with sentence starters to help them organize their thoughts within paragraphs.
Teachers like Mrs. Parker use WICOR strategies to help students build mental frameworks they can apply to not only the tasks at hand but also to other learning situations. Across campus, WMS, as an AVID school, strives to develop well-equipped lifelong learners.