Technology is at the forefront of many of our lives these days and at the center of it all is the computer. Today computers can be used for just about anything. That is why here at St. Mary’s Parish School our aim is to help the students become more familiar with all the computer has to offer. From your first look at the computer when you are in Pre-Kindergarten to the last day of your St. Mary’s School career, you will be taught how to use the computer to perform many different tasks.
Our school uses computers with the Windows Operating System. In the Library Technology Media Center we use the Microsoft Office package (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel) in creation of our documents and/or presentations. Every computer that a student uses to access the Internet in the LTMC is equipped with a filter. This filter only allows the students to access websites that have been pre-approved by the administration and/or the teacher.
The Library Technology Media Center was designed to help the teachers strengthen their curriculum, while at the same time fostering a love for reading while implementing technology to enhance students learning experiences in a multitude of ways. We strive to instill that our students will garner a better understanding of how computers are used as a research tool, as well as, a way to promote individuality through the avenues of creative writing, book reports, and slideshow creation. With the use of the Library in conjunction with the Media Center, students will better understand where to find and the proper usage of reference materials for research. This will allow them to realize that the Internet is not the only form of research available to them. We hope that through our efforts the students will become more confident and competent readers, learners, and individuals.
In Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten the students will explore literature as a means of fun and learning. They will listen to a story every week and participate in a related activity. Through the listening of stories, doing a related activity that reinforces the story, searching for books, signing out materials, and/or silently reading they will demonstrate proper library behavior. The students will also exhibit the proper care of books and the responsibility of borrowing books and returning them on time. Preschool does not come to the Media Center yet, but once they reach Pre-Kindergarten they will use a variety of age appropriate software that will help them strengthen and enhance the learning concepts that will help them be successful in Pre-Kindergarten. Using this software will help them before more familiar with how to use the mouse and point and click things on their screen.
Kindergarten through Second Grade will develop and enthusiasm for literature and learning. They will become familiar with a variety of authors and illustrators throughout the world through oral story telling. This skill will be reinforced in the Media Center as student are often asked to read their sentences and/or stories aloud to their classmates. Students will understand and use the terms associated with books and libraries such as cover, title pages, spine, author, illustrator, alphabetical order, fiction and nonfiction, and Caldecott awards. In the Media Center they will be able to properly use and understand the keys on the keyboard such as BACKSPACE, SPACE BAR, ARROW KEYS, ENTER, SHIFT, and CAPS LOCK in the creation of their own sentences, stories, and friendly letters. In the Library they will have a better understanding for the shelving of fiction and non fiction books. The students will be able to use the computers in the Media Center more independently. Proper library behavior and proper care of books will be demonstrated as well. A list of Summer Reading is given to encourage reading during their vacation. A yearly trip to the library is also in store. Whenever possible the LTMC will collaborate with teachers to design projects that will enhance and reinforce what the students are currently studying.
Students in Grades 3-5 will maintain an enthusiasm for literature and learning. One of the Summer Reading novels will be discussed and evaluated. They will use the Media Center to create a book report for their Summer Reading. Skills will continue to be developed through previous teachings and they will use these skills to be able to work more independently in the LTMC. Students will identify types of fictional writings such as historical fiction, fantasy, realistic fiction, science fiction, and folklore. Having this knowledge of the different types of fictional writings will come in handy when they are in the Media Center as they will be creating many stories of their own. Aside from a basic review of concepts from previous years, in Library students will use and understand terms related to research skills such as index, copyright date, publisher, guide word, and call numbers. In the LTMC the students will learn about plagiarism in regards to Internet sources and copyright laws. Thus they will garner the skills and knowledge from the LTMC while demonstrating the proper usage of references materials including encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, periodicals, and Internet sources to find, understand and compile needed information in an organized manner. As a result the students will be able to discern valid Internet sources. Collecting, analyzing, organizing, and presenting material in a research project to the class, will be a means for the students to apply their knowledge and research skills they have acquired thus far. In the Library the students will encourage a love for reading through the participation in a reading program by volunteering to read to the primary grades on regular basis. A yearly trip to the library will take place too.
Middle School (Grades 6-8) students have their own laptops, therefore much of the work completed in the LTMC will be done on aforementioned computers, as a whole class unit. As a result the students will be able to work independently during class time on a given assignment while fostering good study habits. Two of their Summer Reading novels will be discussed and evaluated. A book report summarizing the book that was read will be written. Exploring both fiction and non fiction for enjoyment is strongly advised and encouraged. The students will use the reference section and electronic library catalog independently to find needed materials. Several projects will require the students to demonstrate the proper use of the reference materials available in the library, such as, encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, and periodicals. Plagiarism will be discussed in the LTMC in respect to copyright laws and Internet sources. As a result the students will be assigned projects and research papers that adequately reflect the skills needed to collect, analyze, organize, and present material in an organized manner. Small group work may be required on some assignments in the LTMC, thus the ability to work with classmates will be reflected. During the year Middle School students will meet with the librarians from the Westfield Athenaeum to become proficient using the regional interlibrary loan system, electronic resources, and keeping up to date with teen events.
We aspire to work collaboratively with classroom teachers to enhance their curriculum and together the Library and Media Center will strive to work fluidly towards cross-curriculum research and learning goals.
Mrs. Browne and Mrs. Schweitzer