The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

 

St. Mary's News

By: St. Mary of the Assumption School

 

By Douglas J. Heckler 

Hank Kopack, a second grade student at St Mary’s, got a chance to     hold a ball python at the Ft. Wayne Children’s Zoo. (Photo submitted.)

Hank Kopack, a second grade student at St Mary’s, got a chance to hold a ball python at the Ft. Wayne Children’s Zoo. (Photo submitted.)

On Thursday, Oct. 9, St. Mary of the Assumption’s Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students took a field trip to the Fort Wayne Children’s zoo.  The students are starting their science units on animals and their habitats and used this opportunity to see some animals up close and in their own environments.  The classes had assignments to visit each of the 3 different areas of the zoo; Australian Adventure, Indonesian Rain Forest, and African Safari.  At each of these locations the students had to find 3 animals and identify them and their habitats.  Students brought this information back to school and are working on some different project based learning activities in the classroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POSTED: 10/22/14 at 1:56 pm. FILED UNDER: St. Mary's News

By Douglas Heckler

Students enjoyed a canal boat ride on the Miami-Erie Canal during their visit to Johnston Farm in Piqua. (Photo submitted.)

Students enjoyed a canal boat ride on the Miami-Erie Canal during their visit to Johnston Farm in Piqua. (Photo submitted.)

On Wednesday, Oct. 8, St. Mary of the Assumption’s fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students visited Johnston Farm and Indian Agency in Piqua.

The students began their day learning about the historical way of life for Native Americans in Ohio and their interactions with Europeans. They also examined artifacts from this time period and viewed models of shelter the Native Americans used. Students were then taught about the canal system in Ohio.

They enjoyed a canal boat ride on the Miami-Erie Canal, while learning the advantages and disadvantages of the canal system. Lastly, the students toured the homestead of John Johnston, an Indian Agent during the 1800s. The students were informed on what life was like without all of today’s necessities and the amount of work it took to make a home in the 1800s operate smoothly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POSTED: 10/15/14 at 2:01 pm. FILED UNDER: St. Mary's News

 

 St. Mary of the Assumption fifth and sixth grade students at Camp Storer. (Photo submitted.)

St. Mary of the Assumption fifth and sixth grade students at Camp Storer. (Photo submitted.)

Recently St. Mary’s of the Assumption fifth and sixth grade classes embarked on a 5-day field trip at YMCA Camp Storer located in Jackson, Mich. Students participated in several classes dealing with natural sciences, environmental issues, cultural history, and team building through active participation. Students spent significant time learning how past history effected how society is shaped today by going through an Underground Railroad experience as a slave.

The Storer Outdoor School has 1,200 acres around Stony Lake with 15 unique ecosystems to build a custom outdoor classroom program around a school’s needs. The Storer Outdoor School is a hands-on total immersion learning center serving more than 15,000 students from over 130 elementary and middle schools each year.

“The Great Outdoors” makes science and related curriculum come alive, and significantly more relevant, for each student. The importance of outdoor experiences reported in independent studies that show OEE programs raise science scores by as much as 27% and that OEE programs have a positive effect on student achievement in general.

In addition, studies show that outdoor educational experiences positively impact student behavior and interaction with peers as shown through improved conflict resolution skills.

 

 

 

 

POSTED: 10/08/14 at 2:28 pm. FILED UNDER: St. Mary's News

The St Mary of the Assumption School Fifth and Sixth grade classes invite the public to a pancake and sausage breakfast on Sunday Sept. 21 between 9:30 A.M. and noon. Tickets are $6 and provide a serving each of sausage and hash browns, with all the pancakes you can eat. The tickets may be purchased at the door in the gymnasium, or in advance from any Fifth or Sixth grade student of the school. Proceeds are to help support student attendance at the Storer Outdoor School.

The Storer Outdoor School is a hands-on learning camp, serving thousands of elementary and middle schools students each year. Students and teachers spend 3-5 days and nights on-site at the Outdoor School learning facility. Storer’s staff of educators offer courses that include natural sciences, environmental issues, cultural history, and team building through immersive participation.

POSTED: 09/24/14 at 1:57 pm. FILED UNDER: St. Mary's News

By Douglas Heckler

The first place Science Fair Project; “May the Magnetic Force be with You” (one group member unavailable for photo) (Photo submitted.)

The first place Science Fair Project; “May the Magnetic Force be with You” (one group member unavailable for photo) (Photo submitted.)

The Second Annual Science Fair was recently held at St. Mary’s of the Assumption School. The students were placed into six groups that consisted of students from grades 4 through 6, with a 6th grade student as the group leader.

Students were challenged to find a project that has affected society in a positive or negative way and to develop the scientific method that demonstrates the impact of their project on society. Students worked on their projects for six weeks at school and among group member’s homes. As the event drew near, students’ anticipation grew for the presentation of their project and poster boards.

Three judges scored the projects: Taylor Loomis, Denny Hesseling, and Dan Finch. After the scores were tallied by Dustin Hesseling (6th grade teacher), two groups’ projects emerged as winners. In first place was “May The Magnetic Force Be With You (Homopolar Motor)”   and in second place, “The Heat Beneath Your Feet (Geothermal Energy)” project.

 “The Heat Beneath Your Feet” project took second place at the St Mary of the Assumption Science Fair. (Photo submitted.)

“The Heat Beneath Your Feet” project took second place at the St Mary of the Assumption Science Fair. (Photo submitted.)

 

 

POSTED: 04/16/14 at 1:46 pm. FILED UNDER: St. Mary's News

By Douglas J. Heckler

Tyler Spray, second grade student at St. Mary of the Assumption School, shows off his T-shirt award along with his winning entry in the Northwest Ohio Chapter of Imagine Engineering. His entry will now compete in the statewide contest. (Photo submitted.)

Tyler Spray, second grade student at St. Mary of the Assumption School, shows off his T-shirt award along with his winning entry in the Northwest Ohio Chapter of Imagine Engineering. His entry will now compete in the statewide contest. (Photo submitted.)

The Imagine Engineering Coloring Contest is a statewide youth education program for second grade students established in 1999 and sponsored by the Engineers Foundation of Ohio. This education program allows second grade teachers to schedule an in-class visit from a local member of the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE).

Dexter Krueger, a Civil Engineer from Archbold, spoke to the second grade students at St. Mary of the Assumption School. He explained the jobs performed by different engineering disciplines and offered a demonstration for how we get municipal water supplies from water towers.

As part of this initiative, the Second Grade students participated in The “Imagine Engineering coloring contest with like students throughout Northwest Ohio. The winner for Northwest Ohio portion of the contest was Tyler Spray a student at St Marys. His entry will now be entered into the statewide contest.

 

 

 

 

 

POSTED: 03/26/14 at 1:40 pm. FILED UNDER: St. Mary's News

By Doug Heckler

Book characters came to life as students at St. Mary of the Assumption School dressed up as their favorite characters in celebration of National Right to Read Week. (Photo submitted.)

Book characters came to life as students at St. Mary of the Assumption School dressed up as their favorite characters in celebration of National Right to Read Week. (Photo submitted.)

Right to read week is a National event scheduled for late April, but to ease the winter the staff at St. Mary of the Assumption School decided to hold it the week of Feb. 23-28.  This coincided with the Book Fair from Scholastic Books being held on premises.  The Book Fair was available after Mass all weekend to anyone and each day Monday-Thursday before school and immediately after school.  The proceeds made from the book fair will go to purchase new books for the school’s library.

Based on educational values, reading was promoted to the students to demonstrate that reading fiction or nonfiction can be enjoyable and educational.

On Monday, the incentive of being allowed to “pie” a teacher or staff member in the face on Friday was introduced. Grades K-2 were to read and record the books read thru the week while grades 3 through 6 were to record the number of pages read in a log. Additionally, students were asked to create a scene or the cover for their favorite book, which will be displayed in the hallway. Tuesday found the students dressed as their favorite character from books. Wednesday, a DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) day was declared whereby older students paired with younger students for partner reading. On Thursday, each class had an SSR (Self Selected Reading) day period with silent or partner reading for twenty minutes. During these sessions, the principal, Dan Metzger (who was mysteriously absent for the pie-in-the-face festivities) visited the classrooms passing

Right to Read Week concluded at St Mary of the Assumption School with a student from each grade getting the opportunity to spread some love in the form of whipped cream and chocolate syrup in the face of their favored teachers or staff members. (Photo submitted.)

Right to Read Week concluded at St Mary of the Assumption School with a student from each grade getting the opportunity to spread some love in the form of whipped cream and chocolate syrup in the face of their favored teachers or staff members. (Photo submitted.)

out “I LOVE READING” and “Reading stretches your mind” bracelets to each student. On Friday, the pie in the face contest winners, one from each grade, carried out their duties to spread a little whipped cream and chocolate syrup on their chosen teachers or staff members.

 

 

 

 

 

POSTED: 03/05/14 at 3:35 pm. FILED UNDER: St. Mary's News

Kindergarten students at St. Mary of the Assumption School celebrate the 100th day of classes in crowns of their own design. (Photo submitted.)

Kindergarten students at St. Mary of the Assumption School celebrate the 100th day of classes in crowns of their own design. (Photo submitted.)

Finally! The 100th day of school arrived, after this landmark date had been delayed numerous times due to school cancellations for inclement weather.   Mrs. Tate’s kindergarten class of St. Mary’s of the Assumption School and Pat Johnson’s 3rd grade class made the most of the 100th day of school with a number of exciting activities.

Kindergarten students began the day by playing “stump the class,” a game in which each student brought in a brown paper bag that contained 100 undisclosed items.  Students took turns giving their classmates three clues regarding the contents of their bag, and the rest of the class tried to identify what was in the bag. Nine of the children stumped the class.

The children had made hats and placemats for the 100 day celebration.  Their festive, 100 day hats displayed ten groups of ten dots, and were worn throughout the day.  Likewise, each student’s placemats depicted ten different types of stickers in groups of ten.  Later the class counted out ten pieces of ten different types of food (peanuts, fruit loops, marshmallows, etc.) — seeing a pattern here?   Students also measured and colored a 100 inch snake to decorate the wall.

As part of the celebration of the 100th day of classes this year, 3rd grade students of Pat Johnson's class at St. Mary of the Assumption School planted 100 flowers which will later be used to help decorate the school landscape. (Photo submitted.)

As part of the celebration of the 100th day of classes this year, 3rd grade students of Pat Johnson’s class at St. Mary of the Assumption School planted 100 flowers which will later be used to help decorate the school landscape. (Photo submitted.)

Students in Third Grade took part in activities that revolved around the number 100.   They made 100 words from the name of their school (St. Mary of the Assumption School), made a 100 grid design using their name, completed 100 multiplication problems as well as rolled a die 100 times and graphed the results.  They listened to two stories – “100 Days of Cool” and “Happy 100th Day”.  Then they did 100 jumping jacks, wrote 2 cities from every state on a map of the United States, planted 100 flower seeds and enjoyed a 100 day snack.

In other school news, the 6th grade students and parents held a pancake and sausage breakfast Sunday to help defray the costs for the class’ annual trip to Chicago to visit the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum of Natural History, Adler Planetarium, Navy Pier, and other well-known attractions that the city has to offer.

 

Sixth grade students at St. Mary of the Assumption School prepare beverages for the patrons of the pancake and sausage breakfast to help defray expenses for the class’ upcoming trip to Chicago. (Photo submitted.)

Sixth grade students at St. Mary of the Assumption School prepare beverages for the patrons of the pancake and sausage breakfast to help defray expenses for the class’ upcoming trip to Chicago. (Photo submitted.)

 

POSTED: 02/26/14 at 2:14 pm. FILED UNDER: St. Mary's News

This fall, St Mary’s fourth and fifth grade class visited Camp Clay for a day of hands-on learning. The group spent the day doing projects that helped them learn about early pioneer and Native American history. In this picture, students are shown with miniature homesteads they built on the beach; they then discussed what they put on each homestead.  (Photo submitted.)

This fall, St Mary’s fourth and fifth grade class visited Camp Clay for a day of hands-on learning. The group spent the day doing projects that helped them learn about early pioneer and Native American history. In this picture, students are shown with miniature homesteads they built on the beach; they then discussed what they put on each homestead. (Photo submitted.)

POSTED: 10/30/13 at 1:21 pm. FILED UNDER: St. Mary's News

Second grade students at St. Mary of the Assumption School examine a number of the Redworms they are raising to learn about how ecosystems function. (Photo submitted.)

Second grade students at St. Mary of the Assumption School examine a number of the Redworms they are raising to learn about how ecosystems function. (Photo submitted.)

By Douglas J. Heckler

If you know a St. Mary of the Assumption second grade student, ask them about their Eisenia Fetida Farm. Commonly known as Redworms, Red Wigglers, and panfish worms, these worms are adapted to and thrive in decaying vegetation as they go about their work of vermicomposting (the process of turning vegetative waste into deep rich humus).

 The 400 worms they started with when the study began are living in the classroom environment in a terrarium of sorts under a shade to restrict light. The students have already learned that too much moisture is detrimental to the worms, but they have now gotten the living conditions stabilized and the worms are happily going about their business. Students feed the worms once a week with melon, apple and banana peels, and tea leaves. They have also learned that the worms have no teeth, ears, or eyes, that each worm has both male and female reproductive organs, and that worm castings are very good nutrients for soil. They will be putting all their facts together in a booklet documenting their findings. One thing they have yet to discover is that these worms have an anti-predator adaptation that allows them to exude a pungent smelling liquid when they feel threatened.

Daily, the students log the moisture content and any observations that they make toward learning how an ecosystem works through observation of living and non-living parts of the system under the scope of Life Sciences.

Young Artists Compete

St. Mary of the Assumption School  students, from left -- front row; Braelyn, Romy, and Adessa - back row; Anna, Lexi, and Natalie display their award-winning art work. (Photo submitted.)

St. Mary of the Assumption School students, from left — front row; Braelyn, Romy, and Adessa – back row; Anna, Lexi, and Natalie display their award-winning art work. (Photo submitted.)

St. Mary of the Assumption School students competed in the recent Van Wert County Student Art Exhibit at the Van Wert County Apple Festival held Oct. 18-19.

Under the tutelage of art instructor Mary Minnig, grades 1-3 entered projects of Stabiles inspired by Alexander Calder. Stabiles can best be described as static “mobiles” in which the members do not move. The 4-6 grade students entered Dale Chihuly-inspired sculptures, made of plastics instead of the blown glass which Chihuly is noted for. A series of two-dimensional artwork was entered also.

Overall, St Mary students  in grades 1-3 won first place in 2-D and first and third in 3-D categories, in grades 4-6 they took second in 2-D work and first and third again in the 3-dimensional category.

 

POSTED: 10/23/13 at 1:11 pm. FILED UNDER: St. Mary's News