Welcome to the Media Center!
Teacher: Mrs. Michelle Lavoie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For our frequently used web links, please go to www.protopage.com/sbsmedia
Yearbook Deadline Has Been Extended!
It's time to order St. Bernard School yearbooks! The 8th grade class is working hard on this year's book of photo memories. Each grade has its own pages, with every student's school picture. There are also many pages of school activities and events to enjoy. In addition, each student's parents have the option to create 2 free custom pages with just your child's photos and memories. These custom pages will be printed ONLY in your child's book. Parents who do not customize pages will just get the regular yearbook without special pages.
The yearbook deadline has been extended to May 6th! All books need to be ordered online. No orders can be taken at school, so please follow the directions below. The yearbook will be printed once it's ready, and will be shipped in one big delivery to the school by the first week of June.
To order, just click on this link - https://www.treering.com/validate?PassCode=1013187811444407. This should take you directly to the St. Bernard School yearbook (#101318711444407.) Create an account (or log into the account you created last year) and place your order. It's that easy!
If you have any questions, please contact the yearbook advisor, Mrs. Michelle Lavoie, at email@example.com or 860-745-5275.
Spring Into Coding and Robotics!
Spring is here ... well, if not the date then at least the warm temperatures! As classes finish their winter research projects, they are jumping into the fun of coding and robotics. Coding is the process of using a computer language (or code) to create computer programs, software, apps, or websites. While there are many different languages that can be used to code, the process is the same. First, the person doing the coding (often called the programmer) decides what he/she wants the computer to do. A plan is created using logical thinking, listing step-by-step instructions. That plan is then "coded" or written in the computer code or language the programmer chooses to use. Once it is written, the code is tested. If there are glitches, then the programmer must problem-solve to work out the kinks. And voila - a successful program, app, or website is created!
Our students will begin their coding adventures with a hands-on robotics activity. Students must code their robot mouse to reach his cheese in progressively more difficult mazes. This activity emphasizes the creation of a logical plan before proceeding with the code. This is important in any coding/programming activity. Some programmers (like our SBS Robotics teams) use flowcharts to plan their programs. This helps the programmer "see" the program in visual form before writing the code.
The students will then move on to coding on their tablets. We'll begin with simple programs, and will then add features such as loops and imbedding one program into another as students gain mastery of each skill. Our oldest students will also discover a variety of programming languages and what types of applications they are suitable for.
In a related note, our after-school robotics programs are well into their fun season. Our youngest engineers are busy with their FLLjr "Creature Craze" challenge. Our older students are knee-deep in their FLL "Boot Camp" training program. Their season wrapped up in December, but now it's time to train the next group of engineers for August. We look forward to seeing both groups' accomplishments at our Showcase Event in May.
Junior High Research Projects
January is our kick-off month for the Junior High research projects! For details, please refer to the parent letter and research guide given to students after Christmas break (also available through the link at the top of this page.) All assignments will be listed here, so please subscribe to this page (above) or check it weekly to stay on track!
Project Introduction - January 5th (7th grade) and January 9th (8th grade)
Return signed parent form - January 12th (7th grade) and January 17th (8th grade)
Begin looking for books/resources (nothing due in class, discussion - evaluating and documenting sources) - January 19th (7th) and January 23rd (8th)
Bring a printed list of all 8 sources to class (discussion - using a bibliography in the research process) - January 26th (7th) and January 30th (8th)
Share your bibliography with Mrs. Lavoie at firstname.lastname@example.org. For reminders of formatting, use the bibliography handout. Remember, BibMe.org can be a great way to create your citations quickly and correctly! - February 2nd (7th) and February 6th (8th)
Midterm exam break - We will pause our work on this project until the week of February 20th so students can study for midterm exams. If students have free time and want to look over their sources after exams, we would suggest that they read for general information. Our next step after midterms will be to come up with a thesis statement for our research papers. Students should be thinking ... What will the point of my paper be? What was this person's major contribution to history? Please note that no one is expected to be taking notes at this point. We will discuss note-taking techniques after midterms. This gives students plenty of time to physically obtain any books they've put on hold and are waiting for from the public library.
Thesis Statements - During the weeks of February 20th and 27th, Mr. Hughes will assist students in coming up with a thesis statement for their paper. Since he has assigned the students' topics, he can give strong feedback as to how easily "provable" each student's thesis statement will be.
Notetaking - A discussion of notetaking techniques will be followed by several weeks of note check-ins. Students must choose two sources a week and take all of the notes needed from those sources. To keep this manageable, we suggest one long/involved source (a book) and one short source (a web page) each week. ALL notecards should be brought to class so we can assist students and help them stay on track. Please do not skimp on this step of the research process! A lack of notecards will make writing the paper MUCH harder. Notecards should be turned in on the following schedule -
Sources 1 and 2 - March 2nd (7th) and March 6th (8th)
Plus: Sources 3 and 4 - March 9th (7th) and March 13th (8th)
Plus: Sources 5 and 6 - March 16th (7th) and March 20th (8th)
Plus: Sources 7 and 8 - March 23rd (7th) and March 27th (8th)
Organizing Notecards - Up to this point, notecards have remained separated by source. The next step is to organize the notecards into logical sections. For example, in the case of a president it might make sense to organize the notes into the following categories - the early life of the subject, his early political career, his time serving in Congress, major contributions he made while in Congress, his run for Presidency, his years as President, and his major accomplishments as President. Within each category, the notes can then be put into an order that makes sense and gives a logical flow to the information being presented.This step is an important part of the research process and will help student identify any areas where they are lacking in research (and they should add notes to those sections.) This is also a good time to update bibliographies for sources that have been added during the note-taking process. Students should bring their organized notecards to class on - April 3rd (8th grade) and April 6th (7th grade.)
Outline of the Research Paper - The organized notecards will help students easily create an outline of their research paper. The outline should be created in traditional outline format, which Mrs. Lavoie will review with each class in Google Docs. Outlines should be shared electronically with Mr. Hughes by April 17th (8th grade) and April 20th (7th grade.)
*Please note that April 17th is Easter Monday (no school) but 8th graders should still share their outlines with Mr. Hughes by 10pm on that day. Students who are comfortable with their outlines can begin writing their rough drafts at any time, but should check their outline docs for comments from Mr. Hughes as soon as it they are available. Several students have asked about this, as they anticipate having extra time over vacation and would like to get a jump on writing the paper.
* After vacation, we will discuss the proper use of parenthetical references. These can be added to the written paper at any time before the rough draft is turned in. Some students like to add them as they go; others don't like to interrupt the writing flow so they keep their notecards in order and go back to add them in after the draft is finished.
Rough Draft of the Research Paper - The rough draft must be sent electronically to Mr. Hughes by May 1st (8th grade) and May 4th (7th grade.) Mr. Hughes will comment electronically and is also happy to meet with students if they would like to discuss the paper in person. He is also available during the writing process if a student is stuck. Keep in mind that it will take Mr. Hughes some time to read and critique all of the rough drafts. We have therefore allotted two weeks for critiquing and re-writing/polishing the papers.
Final Draft of the Research Paper - The printed, final draft of the paper (including the title page and updated bibliography) must be handed to Mr. Hughes no later than May 15th (8th grade) and May 18th (7th grade.) Papers are happily accepted early. Late papers will incur a grading penalty. Please keep in mind that this is a MAJOR part of the last trimester grade - the Language Arts final exam and a History project grade.