Technology is clicking away at St. Mary's School
The computer mice are clicking, clicking and clicking at St. Mary School this July and August in preparation for the 12/13 school year. These busy and entertaining mice are connected to laptops, desktops and notebooks that are networked and available for students, faculty and staff from preschool to grade 8. Nooks and iPads are also integral learning tools available in each classroom for student and teacher use.
The Early Childhood Program has standalone computers with reading and math software which enables readiness for kindergarten to occur. The primary grades interact with software in spelling, reading and math that chart their individual skill levels. Students in grades 4 and 5 practice keyboarding skills and the middle school students research the Internet, interacting with lessons that reinforce and supplement their core curriculum. Students in kindergarten through eighth grade log into a web-based interactive program called Weather Bug that emphasizes learning skills in the core subjects of geography, science, reading, language arts and math. Another web-based curriculum site is Renaissance Math that students in grades 4-8 log into for individualized instruction that follows their everyday skill progress. All students and their parents have access to Option C, where the teachers provide lesson plans and grade updates on a weekly basis. The specialist teachers are involved, such as the physical education teacher who has logged into various sites for the last three years to provide health and physical education units for his students, and the music teacher, who provides interactive sites which assist students in learning musical notes, scales and the history of composing.
This school year will provide a milestone for the students and their teachers. Every classroom from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade will have its own interactive board. The first interactive board became an essential part of the school's mission three years ago. Three years later, all classrooms will have access to this valuable learning tool. The school community set a goal to have this happen and achieved it through donations and grants.
The mice will continue to click away until the end of summer vacation. The teachers' goals are to continue to incorporate technology into their daily lessons and routines. Technology is a vital part of St. Mary's school day and is a valuable tool for its varied learning experiences.