PROGRAMS OF OLMA
We offer a variety of special programs at Our Lady of Mercy Academy that are designed to support our curriculum and to develop the whole child, with emphasis on his or her strengths and needs. Our beliefs about how children learn are based on current research and best practices. We have high expectations for all our students to succeed.
Everyday Mathematics is a comprehensive Pre-K through Grade 5 mathematics curriculum developed by the University of Chicago School of Mathematics Program. Underlying the curriculum are six strands of knowledge; Algebra, Data and Chance; Geometry; Measurement; Numeration and Ordering; Patterns, functions and sequences; Operations and Reference Frames. At each grade level, learning targets are identified for each of the six strands. There are a number of features that distinguish the Everyday Mathematics curriculum:
Real Life Problem Solving
Multiple Methods for Basic Skill Practice
Emphasis on Communications
Enhanced Home/School Partnerships
Appropriate Use of Technology
Everyday Mathematics meets and exceeds the requirements of the New Jersey State Core Content Standards in mathematics.
Rutgers Literacy Collaborative
Our Lady of Mercy Academy is the only Catholic School in the state of New Jersey that is a member of the Rutgers Center for Effective School Practice. The CESP works with us in further developing and supporting balanced literacy programs in order that all our students read and write effectively and fluently. Our work has focused on Guided Reading, Shared Reading, read alouds, Literature Circles and independent reading as well as Writer’s Workshop.
During daily reading and writing experiences children are taught language mechanics. Balanced Literacy includes work on oral language, phonological awareness, word study, composition, comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency. In the upper grades, Literature Circles are used as the children become more fluent readers.
Through our work with Rutgers and in the classroom we define and enhance the professional skills and strategies that inform our classroom practice.
Components of a Balanced Literacy Program
Reading Aloud – Provides a model of fluent reading, develops sense of story, develops vocabulary, develops active listening, builds a community of readers.
Shared Reading – Demonstrates awareness of text, develops sense of story or content, promotes reading strategies, develops fluency and phrasing, increases comprehension, encourages politeness and respect.
Guide Reading – Promotes reading strategies, increases comprehension, encourages independent reading, expands belief in own ability.
Independent Reading – Encourage strategic reading, increases comprehension, supports writing development, extends experiences with a variety of written texts, promotes reading for enjoyment and information, develops fluency, fosters self-confidence by reading familiar and new text, provides opportunities to use mistakes as learning opportunities.
Modeled/Shared Writing-Develops concepts of print, develops writing strategies, supports reading development, provides model for a variety of writing, models the connection among and between sounds, letters, and words, produces text that students can read independently, necessitates communicating in a clear and specific manner.
Interactive Writing – Provides opportunities to plan and consult texts, increases spelling knowledge, produces written language resources in the classroom, creates opportunities to apply what has been learned.
Independent Writing – Strengthens text sequence, develops understanding of multiple uses of writing, supports reading development, develops writing strategies, develops active independence.