Media Minute

February, 2014

Book Fair Fiesta!

The book fair Fiesta, held during Catholic Schools Week, was a big success! Thanks to the support of our students, families, and friends, we earned over $600 in Scholastic dollars. Over 60 books were purchased for our library! The additional funds will be put toward our end of the year book purchases.

Math and Reading Assessments for grades 1 – 8

All students in grades 1 – 8 have been taking STAR Reading and STAR Math tests. These assessments provide a tool to track progress and identify weak areas in reading and math. The teachers will be sharing this information during conferences.

8th Grade Technology Proficiency Exam

All Dowling Catholic students are required to earn 0.5 credits in a technology course to meet graduation requirements. If a student meets the required level of proficiency, and wishes to pursue other technology courses, he/she will be allowed to bypass the entry-level technology class, “Introduction to Technology”. All students must take at least one technology class to graduate.

Current 8th graders who feel they are proficient in basic technology skills may take the exam at Dowling Catholic School in the Media Center.

Dates for the exam are as follows:

Session 1 - Monday, 2/17/14, 5-6 PM

Session 2 – Thursday, 2/20/14, 12-1 PM

Session 3 – Thursday, 2/20/14, 5-6 PM

The cost is $5.00 per student (payable on the day of the test)

Interested students must register by Wednesday, February 12. To do so, email the following information to Denise Rourke at or call 222-1045: STUDENT NAME, CURRENT SCHOOL, SESSION CHOICE

If you have questions, contact Erica Arnold, DCHS Assistant Principal, at

Mini iPads Have Arrived!

There is a new cart of Mini iPads located on the 4th and 5th grade floor. Students now have greater access to mobile learning opportunities. The teachers and students are learning new ways to use these tools in school.

2014 Academic Showcase

This year’s Academic Showcase will be held on March 3, 2014 from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM. Once again, the event will feature exciting student projects. Registration is open to all students. The event is open to SPX families and friends. Stop in to see examples of robotics, programming, 3D printing and more.

Thank You Home and School!

St. Pius X School is proud to welcome a new Afinia 3D printer to the ITC. Thanks to funds from the Home and School we were able to purchase the printer and a variety of colors of plastic filament. The printer will be on display during the Academic Showcase. Mrs. Houseman is working with a small group of students to create our first images.


We have been busy brushing up on our “logging in/logging out” skills. Most students are now able to get onto their network accounts without help. We have continued our coding practice with SCRATCH. Students have created winter backgrounds, given warm costumes to their cat sprites, and scripted coding that makes their sprite move across the screen and back. Many students demonstrated their programs during the Catholic Schools Week Open House. If you missed the Open House you are welcome to stop by and see their work during Conference time.

First Grade

First grade students completed a beginning research project on animals. Using Kid Pix, they created mini riddle books to share these facts. These were based on the writing style of picture book, “Animals Black and White” by Phyllis Limbacher Thildes.

Second Grade

What does winter and geometry have in common? Second grade students can tell you that using geometric shapes to create winter pictures using Microsoft WORD can be a lot of fun. Not only did students practice using the shapes section of the drawing tool bar but they learned how to format the shapes (change the color, texture, pattern) and to copy and paste to get multiple images. Students will now focus on non-fiction reading and grade 2 research skills.

3rd grade Media skills with Mrs. Halligan

January has been about jumping into Accelerated Reader. Students have been learning about how to find the reading level of books we want to check out and how to find the reading level of the books not marked with the reading level. They learned how to navigate AR book finder on the student website link from the St. Pius X School website.

Students also used Kidspiration to dissect a word problem and take it one step at a time while explaining each step. Along with the problem, there were manipulatives to make a great visual to help with problem solving.

3rd graders have also been busy using AR Math to brush up on and assess certain skills learned in their Math class, as well as, Mathfacts in a Flash to help with retaining all of those multiplication facts they have learned!

Fourth Grade

Fourth graders used Kid Pix to draw a picture of their ecosystem. They learned to save these pictures as jpegs and to insert them into their word-processed reports. They had additional practice with inserting pictures while they created their hobby show cover pages and posters. Soon they will be typing their tininkling patterns and sharing them with Mr. Breitbach in Edmodo.

Fifth Grade

Fifth graders are learning to use the application, Numbers. This spreadsheet application is available on the iPad and the computer. They will enter data, explore the function area for mean, mode and median and create graphs.

Middle School

Sixth Grade

Sixth graders have created electronic portfolios using Google Sites. They will use these portfolios throughout Middle School to store digital projects, curate useful links and to communicate and reflect on the learning process. They will soon begin a quick keyboarding review using the program “Keyboarding Online”. Keyboarding Online improves typing speed and accuracy using the “no hunt and peck” method.

Seventh Grade

Seventh graders have recently completed a collaborative activity with Social Studies and Technology. Using the application, “Print Shop”, they created beautiful brochures featuring locations around the world. These will be available for viewing at conferences. The next project for seventh grade is to create a Common Craft style iMovie using Myths written in Reading Class.

Eighth Grade

Eighth graders are participating in a Technology Simulation. They have researched different ways to use technology in a school environment. They were grouped according to their choice of technology type (One to One, Bring Your Own Device, Managed Devices) These small groups created letters to the School Board and proposals. These documents will be given to a “mock School Board” for consideration. Groups will present their proposals to the mock board in March.

Currently, eighth graders are working on a collaborative research project between Music and Technology. They are studying composers. After gathering their information they will create a Prezi to share what they have learned.

SPX: Information Technology Center (ITC)

Our mission is to provide an environment that teaches students to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information.