A fundamental assumption at Westover is that children learn basic skills better from direct teacher instruction rather than independent assignments. Therefore, instruction in Reading and Math occurs in teacher-led groups of children with similar instructional needs.
Each child's skills needs are determined through teacher observation and pre-testing. Once this is accomplished children are placed in appropriate learning situations where progress is continually monitored and reassessment is an ongoing process.
Learning in the areas of Writing, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies is achieved within heterogeneous groups of children with a combination of direct teacher instruction plus independent and cooperative team assignments.
Key Elements of Mastery Learning:
- Regrouping for instruction in Reading & Math. Students with similar learning needs and skill levels are grouped together.
- Flexible grouping. Students changed their group in reading or math as their learning needs change.
- Adjustable class size. Class sizes can be adjusted through the addition of teacher-specialists in reading classes.
- Better teacher: student ratio. Students who need more individualized instruction and support are in smaller classes for reading and/or math.
- Looping. (Same teacher, same students for 2 years) in grades 1 & 2 and then again in grades 3 & 4).