Teaching & Learning Strategies, Concepts, and Terms That Every Teacher Must Know: Letters W-Z

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To be considered a competent educator, there are almost 2000 strategies, concepts, and terms that you must know. However, since teachers wear so many hats, who has the time to learn them all? Don’t worry; we have you covered. In this series, we will discuss all the teaching and learning strategies, concepts, and terms that you need to know to be considered an effective educator. There are over 70 articles in this series, so pace yourself. We recommend reading one piece per weekday, which will allow you to complete the series in three to four months. We hope you enjoy it.

Click here to read all the articles in this series.

Wait Time The duration in which a teacher waits for a student to respond to a question.

Waldorf Preschool Programs Are a blend of creative learning and structure. Children learn in mixed-age classrooms through play-based learning with regular routines (such as music class, art class, and so on). There is a substantial emphasis on creativity and the outdoors in Waldorf schools rather than traditional academics. In fact, there is no homework, tests, or grading of any kind in Waldorf schools.

Wearable Technology Technology that can be worn on your person and used for a variety of purposes. Most common are fitness trackers, which have taken over the tech world. Fitness trackers, like the popular FitBit, are more than just fancy pedometers. While they do track the number of steps you take, many are stepping up their game and keeping track of heart rate, calories burned, and even sleep patterns. These advanced features have made fitness trackers a trend on college campuses and elsewhere.

Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) Is the most frequently administered IQ assessment for students 6–16 years of age, developed by David Wechsler in the late 1940s. The scale ranges from 10–140. Measures a variety of skills and aptitudes, and is most frequently used as a predictive indicator of academic success.

Weighted Grades Are letter or numerical scores that are given an advantage when calculating a GPA. Usually, these scores were attained in higher level, honors, advanced placement, or international baccalaureate courses. Thus the advantage is received because of the challenging nature of those courses. Think of it as a reward for tackling courses with increased rigor.

Whole Group A flexible grouping strategy to teach new information or ideas that all students need to learn. The entire class will be involved in this group.

Will The motivation and strength of motivation to undertake specific actions.

Withdrawal Responses A student’s avoidance of participation in activities. An avoidance response.

Within-class Grouping A teaching strategy that groups student in a class for small-group instruction, usually based on reading or mathematics capabilities.

Withitness The extent to which the teacher is aware of and responsive to student behavior, classroom dynamics, and the events in the room.

Wonder A sense of amazement caused by an experience or sensation that is new, different, or unexpected. Wonder is essential to an individual’s sense of autonomy.

Word Attack Skills The strategies that readers utilize to decipher a new word that they read.

Word Clouds Images created by an online tool, which visually highlight words that frequently occur in the source material.

Word Consciousness The awareness of and interest in using new words to become more precise with language.

Word Families Words that have rimes that are spelled in a similar fashion and rhyme. They do not possess the same onsets (beginning letters) but have the same rime (word portions). For instance, the words dog, frog, log, and clog form a word family.

Word Learning Strategies Various methods that use context and word parts to ascertain the meanings of words.

Word Roots The central part of a word. Many words are usually derived from the same root.

Word Study The research of the patterns of words in the English language. In place in teaching kids phonics as a collection of isolated rules, phonics is learned by looking at and examining words that are spelled similarly and coming up with generalities that apply to that group of similar words. For example, why don’t give, love and have possessed long vowels These words aren’t rule breakers! When kids study these words as a group, they realize that they all follow a similar pattern.

Word Walk A technique that focuses on learning specific vocabulary words before, during, and after young children read a collection of storybooks that contain those same words.

Word Wall A large surface on which learners can post the words they are studying or frequently encountering in their reading and writing.

Wordmap A graphic representation used to organize an idea about its essential qualities as well as to examples and non-examples of the concept.

Work Sample Any example of a student’s work or activity that can be used to assess their development or mastery of a topic or skill.

Worked Examples A teaching strategy in which a teacher provides an example of how to solve a problem and model the students’ thought processes.

Working Memory The capacity to organize information in your mind for a short duration of time.

Working Portfolio Storage of a sample of a student’s work on for later assessment.

Work-Study A financial aid initiative that is administered by the U.S. federal government that gives students the chance to work part-time on-campus or with approved off-campus employers.

Wraparound Services/Programs A fluid collection of social services provided to severely at-risk children in the criminal justice system. Theoretically, it is tailored towards building confidence, promoting safety and success in the home, school, and the community.

Writer’s Workshop A writing activity and composition strategy in which students are given time and space to prewrite, draft, revise, and edit their written work for publication or sharing with others.

Writing Process A progression within the act of writing that is comprised of several stages, including drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.

Writing Process Writing strategy that asks students to interact with writing just like bestselling authors do. It includes brainstorming ideas, writing rough drafts, revising, editing, publishing, and sharing work.

Writing Prompts When a teacher gives students to subject or topic to write on.

Writing Strategy A plan for the writing process to help students structure, organize, and manage their writing.

Written Conversations An informal writing activity in which students communicate their reflections with their peers. A student selects an “I wonder” section from his or her Investigative Journals and shares it with another student in writing. The latter reacts to what was shared and continues the correspondence by raising any questions.

Year-Round Schooling Is a school scheduling configuration in which students K-12 students in the United States attend school year-round, with intermittent breaks scheduled throughout the year. Year-round schools are usually set up as single-track (ST) with unified attendance or multi-track (MT) with staggered attendance programs. Some schools use a combination of the two. The main difference between the two systems is that single-track allows the entire student and staff population to adhere to the same calendar, and multi-track separates students and teachers and places each in one of several staggered instructional blocks and vacation schedules.

Zero Reject Mean States that no child with disabilities will go without a free public education that is appropriate for them; to disallow them, this education is to violate their constitutional rights.

Zone of Proximal Development A theory of learning developed by Vygotsky which state that children learn when they undertake difficult tasks beyond their capabilities and receive assistance to complete them successfully.

Z-score Converts the results on an assessment to a mean of zero and a standard deviation of 1 for ease of interpretation of results.

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