Windows to Our World (WOW!)

2-Day Global Literacy Drop-off Program 

Days and Times

WOW! classes are offered 5 days a week.  Classes are offered from 9-3 M-Th and 9-1 on Friday

Parents select a 2-day/week (or 8-day month) schedule that works for their child.  

Students enrolled in the 2-day program may attend other WOW! Days and events free of charge (some restrictions apply - see staff)

Approach & Classes

The WOW! 2-day enrichment program is open to homeschool students from Kinder through 8th grades.  It is focuses on helping students build independent learning skills, and providing learning experiences that build knowledge and skills to help students succeed in school.

The educational approach used in WOW! is modeled after the personalized, mastery-based approach developed at the Khan Lab School and their use of multi-age (K-3rd and 4th-8th) classrooms.

Personalized WOW! Learning Plan

When a student begins in WOW!, students and parents meet with their Lab advisor to design a personalized learning plan that aligns with each student's interests, learning needs and strengths. When appropriate, students complete the MAP NWEA and an independence skills assessment that are used to guide development of the plan. The plan includes a focus on developing each child's independence skills such as goal setting, time management, problem-solving that support self-agency in learning,, and the opportunity to do a deep-dive into skills and content areas of personal interest to the student.  

ENGAGE! Community Meeting  & Goal Setting Advisory


Engage! introduces students to the idea that young people are powerful agents of change around the world and that you are never too young to change your world.  Students start each day in a 30-minute seminar designed to help them develop skills in thinking about and talking about the world and their place in it as a global citizen. 


During the seminar, students learn skills in goal setting, time management, conflict resolution, collaborative dialogue, and public speaking.  Students learn about inspiring youth leaders such as human rights advocate Malala Yousafzai, environmental activist Greta Thunberg and others through TED-Ed videos and live stream discussion sessions as well. 


As part of each session, session students set personalized goals for the day and then review their progress towards the goals they set at the end of the day.


Section 1: K-3rd 

Section 2: 4th-8th


Word Salad


Word salad is a fun approach to building skills in English Language Arts.  Drawn from student's writing during the Writer's Club, students explore the "rules of the writer's road" including spelling patterns, punctuation, and rules of grammar.


Section 1: Early writers 

Section 2: Developing writers

The Great Books and Writers Club


Inspired by the Great Books program at St. John’s College, the Great Books Book Club introduces students to literature from around the globe - Africa, the Middle East, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia.  Students select 2 books to explore during each 12-week series and discuss these during a book circle at the end of each session. 


Section 1: Pre and emergent readers

Section 2: Early, emergent and fluent readers 


Self-Guided Study Jams


Students develop skills in self-managing their learning during self-guided study jams as well as explore topics of personal interest.  Topics covered include "math adventures,"  geography, social studies and history.  Teachers and TAs serve as "guides by the side" coaching students on independence skills and progress in content areas on their personalized platforms.  They also offer pull-out groups for special focus on specific skills and content areas as well as "learning centers" (for K-3rd).  Sessions are structured to be appropriate for the developmental stage and independence level of each child.


Section 1:  K-3rd or Independence levels 1, 2 

Section 2: 4th-8th or Independence levels 3,4  

Outer Wellness 


During outer wellness, students participate in positive sports and physical activity on the Lab’s black top.   Example of supervised free-play activities include Basketball, Tag, Community Gardening, Chalk Painting, and Free Play.


Section 1:  K-3rd or Independence levels 1, 2   

Section 2: 4th-8th or Independence levels 3, 4 

Interactive Read aloud 


Many cultures around the world utilize aural storytelling to transmit traditions, culture, and history, rather than written language.  Our 30-minute “Stories” class provides an opportunity for our students to participate in the magic of storytelling as a community activity. 


During this time, Lab instructors, volunteer students, parents, and even invited guests* from the local community select and read a book aloud.  Loosely modeled after Interactive Read-Alouds, this is followed by a facilitated group discussion.  In addition to introducing students to the power of the spoken word, “Stories” also provides students with the opportunity to engage with literature that may be slightly above reading level as another “Window to our World.”


Students end the read-aloud session with 5-minutes of mindfulness meditation.


Section 1:  K-3rd or Independence levels 1, 2 

Section 2: 4th-8th or Independence levels 3, 4

*Note: When there is a special speaker, time period may be extended for that day

Curiosity Studios 1 and 2

Curiosity Studios are designed to engage young people in learning about the world around them, to introduce them to different cultures and people, and to expand their knowledge of different ways of thinking about the world.

During Curiosity Studios, students are given an opportunity to work independently or together with a group to explore a particular country, culture or topic from around the world. 


Students identify a topic of interest (people, culture, history, geography, art, literature, politics, environment), then formulate a “beacon” question, to conduct research related to the question, and then to prepare a presentation about what they find for the other students as well as family members and outside guests with expertise in the area (for example, a family member from the country of interest, or an individual who has experience in the particular area being explored). 

During the Studios, students also develop independence skills in time management, project planning, research, critical thinking, collaborative problem solving and persuading and inspiring others, in addition to increasing their knowledge in the topic or area they choose to study.  


Students also take part in “virtual visits” to other parts of the world as part of the Curiosity Studio process and have the opportunity to visit real-time with young people from around the world via our live-stream technology installation at the Lab aka the World Window.

During Curiosity Studios 2, students focus on the practical application of the research they are conducting during Studio 1.  Students work together or independently to plan and carry out a “hope-energy” project based on the research they are conducting in Studio 1.


Hope-energy projects are activities that are inspiring and empowering for both the student and those around him or her and are projects that have a measurable and meaningful impact on themselves and those around them.


Examples of Hope-Energy Projects include planning and implementing a sidewalk garden, presenting on the benefits of electric cars to their parents to influence their decision making on their next car purchase, developing a video blog on bullying, creating a business plan for homemade beauty products, organizing a beach clean-up, etc. 


Our teachers work with each student to design and implement their individual or group project over either a 3, 6 or 12 week time period depending on the scope of the project and the age and independence level of the student.


Section 1:  K-3rd or Independence levels 1, 2 

Section 2: 4th-8th or Independence levels 3, 4 

End of day wrap-up

At the end of each day, students review the goals they set for the day and answer the following questions:  1. What did I rock at?  2. What challenges did I encounter?  3. What resources do I need to overcome these challenges next time?  Teachers and TAs coach students in developing skills in self-reflection and evaluation, and working towards personal and learning goals.

Once a Month: Global Food (1x month)(in place of lunch and outer wellness)


Offered 1 x a month.  Students participate in a "global cooking class" where they learn about the cuisine of a particular country. Students help prepare lunch for the staff and their families, observe a master chef who guides their work and learn about healthy nutrition and the joy of cooking.


Section 1:  K-3rd or Independence levels 1, 2

Section 2: 4th-8th or Independence levels 3, 4


Once a Month: Global Art (1x month) (in place of Curiosity Studio)


Offered 1 x a month., students learn about great art and music from around the world, and experience creating art in the same tradition.  Each session involves an engaging, interactive introduction to the art and music traditions of the country of focus, and then a “workshop” period for each student has an opportunity to develop their own artistic works in the same tradition to take home, display in our youth art gallery at the Lab, or perform at our quarterly Long Beach Youth Perform events. 


Section 1:  K-3rd or Independence levels 1, 2 

Section 2: 4th-8th or Independence levels 3, 4


The Lab’s “Magic” Window


The Lab’s interactive Window to Our World installation is inspired by Crown Fountain in Chicago and the It’s Right Next Door art installation and campaign in Paris


Using a large LED panel in our foyer and live-streaming technology, students can experience “virtual field trips” to the jungles of Africa, the pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, the Louvre and a million other places here and in space. 


Discovery Channel, Nat Geo, and even NASA provide access to live streaming locations and a catalog of virtual field trips. Interactive video streaming allows our students to interact through our Magic Window, with students from around the globe as well.  Students interact with the Wall each morning when they arrive, as they leave, as well as during their Curiosity Studios.

Summit Learning Personalized Learning Platform


The Lab offers families of 4th-8th graders who are interested access to a free, cutting-edge learning platform, Summit Learning's innovative Personalized Learning Platform (PLP). The PLP is a free, student-driven learning platform that allows educators - both parents and teachers - to personalize content for each child based on each child's personal interests and learning needs. At the same time, it allows each child to self-guide their progress through the curriculum, deciding what they will study, when they will study it, and decide on their own when they are ready to complete tests assessing their mastery of each learning module while allowing teachers and parents to monitor and support their progress.


Developed through a collaboration between Summit Learning and the Zuckerberg Foundation, the PLP is revolutionary in its ability to support personalized mastery-based learning for both homeschooled and traditionally educated students.


The PLP facilitates dynamic peer-to-peer learning and exchange, dynamic teacher-student interactions, and child-led learning.  Content can be developed de novo by the parent, the student or teacher, or crowdsourced from 100's of educators across the country.