Villa Maria Elementary School is committed to educating the whole child. This includes preparing them for life in this 21st century, where the skills that are needed often differ greatly from those required in the past. Our technology program attempts to meet the ever-changing needs of today's students.
Students from Kindergarten to Grade 7 have a regularly scheduled 30 to 45 minute computer class once a week. The topics covered are in line with the Diocesean Technology Curriculum. Whenever possible, the skills the students are learning in their computer class are tied to topics they are learning in other curriculum areas.
Below are just some of the topics that are covered at each grade level.
The main goal of the Computer in Kindergarten is to familiarize students with the computer, especially with how to use the mouse. Their computer time is spent on several websites that teach and reinforce skills being worked on in the regular classroom. They also use a drawing program to explore artistic uses of the computer.
In first grade students work on basic keyboard skills. They continue to use a variety of websites to reinforce skills in various subject areas. They begin to write sentences at the computer and to print out some of their work.
In second grade students are introduced to some online tools to aid in studying spelling, and work on websites that facilitate math practice. They work more on typing sentences and formatting fonts. A drawing program is still used to encourage creative expression.
Third grade students are introduced to an actual word processing program. They type sentences and paragraphs and learn to add clip art to their documents. They use a web-based program for more concentrated practice with letter placement on the keyboard, and are directed to specific websites to help guide their beginning online research.
Grades Five and Six
Grades Seven and Eight
At this level students continue to develop their skills in using Microsoft Word and Excel. Technology becomes much more integrated into their daily classwork. They type most of their papers and should be proficient at creating graphs. They do a large part of their PJAS project on the computer (research, typing reports, graphing results, etc.).
Students at all levels are taught age-appropriate vocabulary related to technology and its use. Each year the issue of online safety is addressed, keyboard skills are practiced and reinforced, and projects suggested by homeroom teachers to integrate technology into their curriculum are implemented.
As new tools and technologies become available they are evaluated and integrated into our curriculum in appropriate ways. With the advancement of Web 2.0, we are moving toward using more online, collaborative tools. Digital imaging is being used more frequently, and we are learning to create projects that will be able to be shared with others via the internet.