Renaissance Learning tests
Students in Kindergarten through 8th grade are tested 3 times per year using the program from Renaissance Learning called Star Reading, Star Early Literacy and Star Math. Results are used in conjunction with other tools to determine math placement, to plan classroom activities and to provide intervention. Results are also shared with parents at Parent/Teacher Conferences.
Middle school students at St. Mary are given a restricted e-mail account through G-mail so they can e-mail within the St. Mary domain. We use their e-mail account to teach them about sending and receiving e-mail, using attachments, archiving e-mail and understanding the use of CC and BCC. Google Classroom allows teachers to assign projects to their class and provide an organized way to submit and review these projects. Please click here to view a video about Google Classroom
Students will also be introduced to Microsoft's cloud based software - Office 365.
Projects for core classes
Students will use their Chromebooks to create projects assigned from classroom teachers. Two huge projects for the year are Science Fair and History Fair. They conduct research, create websites, write research papers and create graphs. They also work on their projects for a World War II Wax Museum for Social Studies and Literature classes. The classroom teachers and technology teacher work together to research and create projects integrated with their classroom curriculum.
Students participate in a nationwide project called The Hour of Code. This is a program created by big names in the computer industry to get young children interested in computer programming. The Hour of Code occurs the 2nd week in December. There are several different grade level appropriate tutorials that the students complete during a one hour technology class. Following The Hour of Code, students continue to focus on computer programming in tech class using the website Code.org and Scratch.mit.org. Please click on the links to learn more about these wonderful programs.
Illinois State history fair
St. Mary 8th grade students use Weebly for Education websites to create their website for the Illinois State History Fair under the direction of Social Studies teacher Samantha LeBouef. They present their final projects at NIU in February. State competition occurs in May.
History fair websites -
Each year, the 8th graders submit a project for the Illinois State History Fair. Below are links to 2015-2016 student websites. Please click on their name to see their website. Please check back in February/March to see websites created by student in the 2016-17 graduating class.