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Bon Air Students WIN

WIN time, or “What I Need” time, is a reading skills-based grouping arrangement that provides remediation or enrichment for Bon Air Elementary School students on the specific skills they need right when they need it.

According to Autumn Turk, Academic Intervention Specialist for Burrell’s elementary schools, the skills that are covered in each grade are determined by reading development appropriateness and fall within the essential five components of reading instruction: phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Students are grouped by similar need and then meet with a teacher for 30 minutes each day for 12 days to work on a specific skill. The seven classroom teachers for each grade, two reading specialists, a learning support teacher, and the academic intervention specialist teach the WIN groups, which makes eleven different groups among seven classrooms.

“This allows for smaller group sizes and a more individualized approach,” Ms. Turk says. “We are also able to provide enrichment daily for the students who have mastered all of the skills on their grade level’s reading continuum chart and have a need to be challenged.” At the end of the 12-day cycle, the teachers re-evaluate the students who are need additional support and brainstorm ideas on how to better help them. “We also use this time to prepare high-quality, multi-sensory lessons for the next skill that we will be teaching beginning on Day 1 of the next cycle,” Ms. Turk says.

The classroom teachers already have noticed the difference WIN time is making in their students.
“I am very pleased with WIN time this year,” says third grade teacher Cathy Shank. “In my class, I have been teaching vowel digraphs. I have noticed that the children are still locating vowel digraphs even when we are not in a WIN setting. As we were reading in Social Studies, one of my girls raised her hand and proudly said, ‘Hey Mrs. Shank, look there is OA. That’s a digraph that says O.’ Things like this make me smile because I can then see that the concept is truly sinking in and they are applying it to their school day, not only the half hour WIN time.”

The most beneficial aspect of WIN time is the smaller class sizes, says kindergarten teacher Kara Farineau. “Also, since there are several days of practice on a particular skill, many of the days have been spent doing hands-on activities,” she says. Title I Reading Specialist Kristin Gigliotti adds that because the teachers have nine days to teach a skill, they are also able to differentiate the instruction to reach the needs of all types of learners. First grade teacher Nicole Kennedy says her young students enjoying changing groups and going to different teachers. “But more importantly, according to the data, the students are responding well,” she says.

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