St. Mary's News
By: St. Mary of the Assumption School
St. Mary of the Assumption School students had the opportunity to explore the Mazza Museum in the Virginia B. Gardner Fine Arts Pavilion on the University of Findlay campus. Having the distinction of being the first and largest teaching gallery dealing with original artwork of children’s books illustrators, the museum offers art camps, readings for children, “Funday Sundays”, and children’s tours.
The museum began when Dr. August Mazza and his wife, Aleda Pfost Mazza donated the first four works of art. Now the museum’s holdings have grown to more than 8,000 original illustrations. The earliest piece in the museum dates from 1884 and the collection continues to grow with modern artwork. The museum is the inspiration of Dr. Jerry Mallett, who wanted to have a gallery where the art of children’s picture books would be taken seriously.
Project Based Learning (PBL) utilizes in-depth projects that facilitate learning and assess student competencies. It is a method that presents students with complex tasks based on questions or problems that involve students in problem-solving, creative thinking, decision making, design, research and reflection that include teacher facilitation without teacher direction. PBL focuses on problems or questions that drive students to central concepts and principles of a subject using hands-on methods. This type of learning is then applicable to the students outside of the classroom in real world situations while stressing that there are many ways to solve a problem.
First grade teacher Mary Yackey utilized this approach in answering the question: “How can a python live in Van Wert with a Komodo Dragon?” Working in groups, the project began in the Fall, with the students’ visit to the Ft. Wayne Children’s Zoo and choosing of an animal to research. The following quarter, students began to research their chosen animals to discover their
animal’s requirements for survival and to establish through their research whether their animal could survive in the environment that Van Wert has to offer them. Utilizing newly acquired I-Pads and the educational app “Explain Everything”, the students created individual reports. Concurrently, the students began in groups, to develop habitats to support their chosen animals. The final part of their project consisted of a presentation to their parents to answer their initial question.
Videos were made and are available for viewing at: www.facebook.com/StMarysVanWert. As a closing remark, Yackey added that the students developed collaboration skills and it was a very successful project.
Sixth grade students of St. Mary of the Assumption School are planning and working hard to support their planned trip to Chicago, scheduled for April 3-5. Students will work at the K of C fish fry on Fridays and a pancake and sausage breakfast Sunday, February 24.
The students and chaperones will be travelling on AmTrak from Waterloo, Indiana, to Union Station in Chicago. Their itinerary includes tours of the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Chicago Art Institute and visits to the Navy Pier, the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, and St. Mary’s Church in “Old Town”. The group will navigate between sites via public buses and trains. There will be an opportunity to do some shopping along Michigan Avenue and to taste the local cuisine at area restaurants.
Alisha Terhark, spokesperson for the class, said the 14 students in her class are looking forward to this annual trip and that they are happy for the support of the parish through their participation in the breakfast.
The 2013 version of the Quiz Bowl held as part of Catholic Schools Week at St. Mary of the Assumption School is in the record book. Eight teams of four or five members from different grade levels began the competition with two matches taking place on Monday and Tuesday, semi-finals on Wednesday, and the champions crowned Thursday.
The Quiz Bowl is conducted in ten-minute sessions. Two moderators ask the questions. As the question is asked, each team of students has three seconds to buzz-in and answer the question, if the first team buzzing in does not answer correctly, the opposing team is offered the opportunity to correctly answer the question for the point. The competition is single-elimination with the winning team going on in the competition.
The sixth grade class taught by Dustin Hessling had a busy and exciting stay at YMCA Storer Outdoor School in Napoleon, Mich.
The students spent five days immersed in outdoor learning. Hessling selected the curriculum his students used while attending Storer and chose from over 50 different classes that focus on Natural Sciences, Cultural History, adventure learning and alternative energies. This type of hands on learning can improve test scores by 27 percent according to studies.
“Each group’s experience is unique as they set their own agenda. The students experience learning in a whole new way,” said Glen King, Vice President of Camping Services. “We were very happy to welcome St. Mary of the Assumption School students to The Storer Outdoor School and thank Principal Dave Mathew, the school council, teachers, and parents for supporting their students, and making this possible.”
“Our goal is to engage students in a meaningful educational experience, build confidence in the children, and foster greater relationships with their classmates,” said Nancy Burger, Director of Environmental Education at the Storer Outdoor School.
6th grade student Erika Younts wrote “Camp Storer was awesome. I really liked “GaGa Ball” and the “Underground Railroad.” I also liked the food.”
Her classmate Caroline Kopack wrote, “Camp Storer is well organized and the activities were awesome. The staff did an amazing job of managing the camp.”
This type of experience is typical of the opportunities available to students at the St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School.
YMCA Storer Camps serves 16,000 participants each year in its three core programs; The Storer Outdoor School, Specialty Programs and Group Retreats, and traditional summer camping programs. The camp is located on 1200 acres surrounding Stony Lake in Napoleon Township, Mich., and was founded in 1918.
Third grade students of St. Mary of the Assumption School learned about acceptance of people different from themselves. The Kids on the Block Puppet Presenters, Brenda Engle and Kay Barbour, from Holland, Ohio, brought to life for the children life- sized puppets featuring some form of physical disability. These ranged from “Down syndrome” to “hearing impaired”.
The third grade class of St. Mary of the Assumption School accompanied by their teacher Pat Johnson and Amy Kopack became rock hounds last week when they travelled to the Mercer County District Library in Celina. There, they were able to view the Ron and Ruth Langsdon Gem and Mineral Collection. The collection includes some 900 specimens from around the world. Professor Ken Strickland is curator of the display which includes: apophylite, stibnite, pyrite, galena, and purple amethyst. Assistant curator Marilyn Thobe first showed the class minerals found in Ohio and then had the children go on a scavenger hunt through the 21 display cases that hold the exhibit.
By Doug Heckler
The students and PTO of St. Mary of the Assumption School pitched in Friday to provide service for the Bread and Bowl Outreach Program at First United Methodist Church. This assistance helps to instill a sense of community and service to others for the students. Approximately 85 individuals were served chicken pot pie, fruit cocktail, and a myriad of desserts. The evening was begun with a song led by the students and then prayer before meal lead by Father Stan Szybka. The students seemed to enjoy this opportunity for character building.
By Doug Heckler
As part of the monthly exploration of children’s literature at St Mary of the Assumption School, Mrs. Tate’s kindergarten class celebrated H.A. Rey’s birthday on Monday, Sept. 17. He is the author of the Curious George series of books loved by many generations of children.
The children began their day by coloring a picture of Curious George and making a mask. On the playground, they played monkeys and in art class drew Curious George. During their math session the children counted curious Georges placed about the room and practiced adding and subtracting Georges. After reading a few Curious George stories, the children helped themselves to “Monkey Bread in honor of Curious George and his creator H.A. Rey.