Students in Nicole Hannon’s Pre-Kindergarten 4 class at St. Thomas the Apostle School in West Hartford have two new ways of learning through play this school year. The classroom's summer renovation included the installation of a SMART Board and a SMART Table, two new tools of technology that offer interactive learning and lots of fun.
The full day pre-kindergarten program has always provided a hands-on learning environment with finger paint, blocks, sensory table and manipulatives to help students discover subjects like language arts, science and math through play. The addition of these tools of technology, which are normally reserved for the school’s upper grades, expands curriculum options while meeting the needs of learners of all abilities and stages.
The SMART Board, a large interactive computer installed at a height appropriate for young learners, allows for greater participation from all students during the class’ daily meeting. “The children love it and they are so comfortable with it,” exclaimed Mrs. Hannon. “The large size enables us to do so much more as a group. Last week, as we studied the four seasons, I was able to upload picture graphs for students to explore. I could never do that with our old white board,” she added.
Students find the new SMART Table irresistible. Equipped with a large touch-screen, it is big enough for five students to access simultaneously. During a recent center time activity, students used the SMART Table to play a matching game with pictures of objects beginning and ending with the “o” sound. The children played as a team, sliding the objects with the correct “o” sound into the center of the board, then celebrated together as the SMART Table played a victory song.
“While nothing takes the place of a good teacher, these new tools have put the world at the fingertips of our youngest learners…literally!” said school principal Colleen Whitty DiSanto.
St. Thomas the Apostles School, which serves students in pre-kindergarten 3 through grade 5, is located at 25 Dover Road, just east of West Hartford Center. The school is celebrating 75 years of spirituality, scholarship and service during the 2012- 2013 school year. To find out more about the school’s mission and curriculum go to: www.stthomasapostlewh.org .