All Around the School

On a quiet cloudy Wednesday, our Frassati Falcons, from youngest to oldest, settled into moments of focus, loud and wild fun, and small group games.

While some preschoolers worked on animal masks, others were busy with imaginative play.

Another group of preschool students played a game of chase on the playground, while others stayed busy digging sand.

In kindergarten, Mrs. Blood’s class was caught in a blur of excitement, running in the gym.

While Miss Munns’ students took a break from their vocabulary work to enjoy free choice play.

In first grades, Mr. Blustein’s class prepared to trim their growing grass.

And Ms. Lynch’s students worked hard to master their Believe & Read lesson!

In second grade, Beren’s students were quietly engaged in their lessons.


While the other second-grade class enjoyed games in small groups!

Mrs. McKeever’s students were found in the technology lab, preparing for their computer lessons of the day.

And Mr. Blomgren’s class was just wrapping up snack time, preparing themselves for their next lesson of the day.

While Benedetto’s fourth-grade students wrapped up a lesson on the settlers of the West Coast, the students got to experience life on the Oregon Trail.

And in Cibuzar’s room, these quiet students carefully worked on their studies of the day.

While everything about this day felt ordinary and followed along with the routine, we recognize the many blessings that live within these simple days.

Creating New Ways

As we approach the one-year anniversary of last year’s virtual-learning experience, it is hard to not feel in awe of all that this school year has held! From a virtual 5K to a handful of clubs that have been able to meet in-person, to our annual Christmas Concert being recorded and shared via YouTube, to the creative ways our students celebrated Catholic Schools Week while still following COVID guidelines, it has been remarkable to see how our Falcon family has created new ways to “gather”.

One significant way in which families and students came together for a common good took place during Catholic Schools Week when the Student Ambassadors hosted a food drive for the White Bear Lake Area Emergency Food Shelf.

The Student Ambassadors coordinated all aspects of Catholic Schools Week and added in the food drive as a community service project. Students were encouraged to bring items during the week and to select one of four bins to place their donations in. Each of the bins had pictures taped to them of teachers and Ambassadors. Where students placed their donations, was a vote for the people pictured on that trash bin to be pied in the face.

Families sent an astounding number of items to school with their students that week! Mrs. Heinz, the Student Ambassadors advisor, had to deliver the donations in two separate truckloads, as it totaled 1,046 pounds!

The initiative was such a smashing success, that the Student Ambassadors decided to go all-in on the pie-throwing celebration.

Since assemblies are not an option this year, the Student Ambassadors got creative and developed a schedule for some classes to attend the pie-throwing in person, while other classes could watch via Google live. Classes shifted in and out of Kohler Hall, taking turns participating in the fun.

As students took their seats, and Ambassadors set up their live-stream, students’ names were drawn at random, and those individuals got to throw the pies.

What began as families gathering at home to collect donations for those in need, translated into a virtual assembly where Falcons were gathering from their individual classrooms, celebrating the success of our community initiative.

We would like to say a very special thank you to all who supported this project and share a very special thank you to the 2020-2021 Student Ambassadors for creating new ways for us to have fun, come together, and live out our Frassati mission!

Please enjoy this roundup of photos from the excitement:

 

2020 Reindeer Games

Since the school year began in September, it has been an amazing gift to reconnect the students with their community, rebuild routines, and revisit old traditions.

In a year where so much has changed, to reach back and connect with familiar celebrations is a blessing!

As students prepared for their last day of school before Christmas break, the middle school students kicked off the 2020 Reindeer Games, an annual tradition that only the older students get to participate in!

The celebration began with a light breakfast so that everyone was properly fueled for the activities ahead.

From there, students rotated through various challenges, competing against their peers.

Some were wild…

Some involved accuracy and skill…

And some involved a strong memory and teamwork…

Another activity required safety goggles and a trip outside for a special science experiment.

The activity that seemed to cause the most excitement (i.e. whoops, shouts, and hollers!), was the ‘Minute to Win It’ challenges that were held in Kohler Hall.

Participant’s names were drawn at random, and the various grades hyped their representatives as loudly as they could!

The 2020 Reindeer Games were an absolute blast and filled the school with lots of excitement and joy.

It was the perfect ending to a memorable year!

Scratch & Arduino Coding Clubs

While many sports and clubs were put on hold this school year, we were able to bring both our coding clubs, Scratch and Arduino, back for their second year at Frassati.

Scratch is a block-based coding club open to students from third to eighth grade. It offers an introduction to coding principles.

Led by parent volunteer, Dean Rooney, and supported by our technology teacher, Ms. Geppert, the students run a series of lessons to build a basic understanding of the coding process. The group programs 2-D video games and animations in a program called Scratch.

By the end of their club season, the students know to create variables, loops, and conditional statements.

Arduino, open to fifth through eighth-grade students, teaches on the principles of text-based coding, where students are using an Arduino electronics platform to complete their projects.

Mr. Rooney and Ms. Geppert helped students design and build electronic circuits and write C++ coding.

By the end of their club season, Arduino students know how to manually add wires to a breadboard, allowing them to make connections without soldering, which then plugs into the computer to feed the code into the device.

As their club season came to a close, the students were very excited to show off their projects and their newly acquired skills!

Candy Cane Science Experiments

Miss Munns’ kindergarten class has been learning about the scientific method using candy canes as their testing group. The students make their hypothesis and then get to work conducting their experiments.

Most recently, the group was added candy canes to a bowl of baking soda and then poured vinegar on top to see what would happen.

Would the mixture fizz? Would it erupt? 

The students were excited to see the fizzy results from the experiment, and had a lot to say about the smell of the vinegar!

The class will be conducting more experiments on candy canes in the weeks ahead and will continue to learn about how to form a hypothesis and set up an experiment.

Thanksgiving Care Packages

Before Thanksgiving break, the fourth-grade classes put their kind hearts and creative skills to use and made homemade cards for frontline health care workers.

The cards were then added to care packages, that were assembled by two students, at the start of the holiday break.

On Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving), the bags were delivered to Health Partners White Bear Lake and were greatly appreciated by these hardworking members of our community!

Classroom Happenings

While the week was a short one, our amazing teachers packed the schedule with a robust lineup of lessons and fun!

Here is a peek into some of the classroom happenings:

Spanish

If you are familiar with a famous dog named Doug, you may recall that distracting moment when you are trying to focus, but SQUIRREL.

Ms. Geppert, k-4 Spanish and technology teacher, put a little fun into MEA week by providing each of her classes with the chance to let their squirrel minds wander. On squirrel day, each student was called on to ask a random question of their choosing.

The kindergartners started simple with, “How was the building made?”, then progressed to a trickier question, asking Ms. Geppert how she was made. Ms. Geppert’s scientific, yet age appropriate response, should be published to help all caregivers navigate that whopper of a question!

The first graders, while perhaps the squirreliest of the bunch, did ask more straightforward questions.

 

Preschool

In the preschool classrooms, students have been learning all about fire safety this week.

Activity stations in the preschool rooms rotate weekly, and this week featured firefighter jackets and hats, and fire hoses made from blue sparkling ribbons and paper towel tubes.

Students also read fire safety themed books and completed various art projects centered around this week’s theme as well.

First Grade

Pumpkins have important uses in our culture, from jack-o-lanterns at Halloween to pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. They are fun and seasonal, which is why Ms. Lynch and Mr. Blustein chose to feature them in this week’s lesson plan.

Despite the fact that these giant fruits are fragile, they must be transported long distances. This real-world challenge inspired the teachers to give our first graders a STEM challenge to design and construct packages that would keep pumpkins safe during their travels.

Their packages were put to the ultimate test by being dropped, pumpkin inside, from the school roof by Mr. Gallivan. Students then collected their packages and brought them back into the school to inspect the results.

Second Grade

At the start of the school year, Mrs. Urness reached out to her friends and family to see if anyone would be interested in participating in a book sponsor program. With this newly launched program, each student will receive a free book every month that is theirs to keep.

This week, students received their first book, learned who their sponsor is, and each student is preparing to write a personal thank you note. Students will write to their sponsors monthly, and will have the same sponsor for the entire school year.

Fourth Grade

In Mrs. Benedetto’s class, students presented their social studies shoebox dioramas, featuring various US landscapes.

Last week, students were assigned a region and were given free rein to use materials of their choosing to create their designs.

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Thank you Falcons for another amazing week! It is hard to believe that we have already been in session for six weeks. We look forward to seeing more of your accomplishments in the weeks ahead.

Enjoy your MEA weekend!