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Students Discover More Wit and Wisdom

Giving students a deeper understanding of content and developing their skills to become successful readers, critical thinkers, and effective communicators are the outcomes that teachers are identifying with in the Wit and Wisdom curriculum being introduced in elementary and middle schools across the district.

“I support Wit and Wisdom not from the standpoint of promoting a specific "product" but from the standpoint of appreciating the instructional strategies that it employs,” said Superintendent Dr. Don Phipps. “I have been impressed by the high-level thinking, reasoning, problem solving, vocabulary, discourse, writing, and knowledge acquisitions that I have seen by our students. There is no perfect solution that meets every need that we have, but Wit and Wisdom offers many valuable resources in the design and delivery of instruction.”

 In 2019, two elementary schools - West Lenoir Elementary and Happy Valley School - implemented the English language arts (ELA) instruction of Wit and Wisdom to build a literacy-rich classroom environment. These first trials began yielding immediate, effective results and now all elementary schools have at least one classroom in the first phase of implementation. The interest has also expanded into middle school classrooms.

 “Wit and Wisdom is a different way of looking at the instruction,” said Dr. Lesa Widener, Title I/Elementary Director, “and our dedicated and committed teachers are fostering a deeper level of engagement and learning through its concepts. Essentially, the whole premise of the program is building knowledge.”

 With Wit & Wisdom, students practice reading, writing, communicating, and academic vocabulary to build on ELA skill sets. Every learning module is designed around these foundational blocks, which strategically reoccur to empower students with a deeper understanding of core knowledge. In turn, more students participate in engaging dialogue on increasingly complex ideas.

 “I appreciate the way it incorporates various curricular areas into lessons. For example, students may be learning about a theme and it will touch on language arts, science, social studies, and other subjects throughout the theme. It promotes integration at its fullest,” Phipps said.