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Westhills Elementary School

BESSEMER, AL- At the Westhills Elementary School, the mission is to produce responsible, self-motivated students with the skills and attitudes necessary for success as life-long learners.  Gifted Specialist and AP Coordinator Jo Dale is utilizing The Art of Learning through a four-step process.

1. Professional staff (classroom and resource/specialist teachers, counselor, and principal) are reading the book and participating in a bi-monthly book study/professional development session in order to better understand the learning process and to more effectively reach and teach all learners in the school.

2. Parents are attending a series of Parent Involvement workshops that will be conducted by the gifted specialist, counselor and Building Based Student Support Team (BBSST) chair to inform and involve parents in understanding the learning process and how to assist their children.

3. Sixth grade students are reading the book during reading block time and participating in comprehension activities that promote an understanding of the reading material and subject matter. The students are exploring how their own learning takes place in an effort to ultimately improve their learning process.

4. Fifth- and sixth-grade gifted students are reading the book, discussing it in Socratic circles, and assisting the Gifted Specialist in creating classroom learning activities for other sixth graders to promote an understanding of the learning process. This activity helps the gifted students perform community service as peer helpers.

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