Holy Week - Historical Context

Middle School Social Studies classes have taken time to look at the political context surrounding the events in Gospel Readings we have heard during Mass. It is so difficult to imagine the world as it was at that time in history - a violent & brutal place with little freedom. Understanding this context helps us realize what Jesus actually did for all of us. Thank You, Jesus!


6th Grade - 1st Place in Banner Competition

We had a great time at the Vocations Fair, March 7th, at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Hutchinson put on by the Serra Club of Reno County.  You can check out their FACEBOOK page for more pictures, including the individual pictures students took.  They were so proud to take 1st Place in the "Banner" contest .... the second year in a row for St. Joe, Ost!!  NICE JOB!



6th Grade "Air Band" - EXCELLENT!!

6th Graders worked hard to put together "Fr. Dan and the Crusaders" for our Catholic Schools Week Talent Show.   As a Careers Project, they collaborated, planned, practiced and learned the art of presenting and performing. They can now put Talent Show Best Group on their resumes! Watch their performance to "Dance to the Music" and check out the details and how they matched their actions with the music! A terrific job by all the performers who were brave enough to go on stage and let their "inner talents" or "inner humor" shine to entertain us. St. Joe Crusaders are AWESOME!!







6th, 7th & 8th Cross Curricular Movie Study

Hidden Figures Movie Trailer

Using the movie "Hidden Figures" we covered many cross-curricular concepts between Social Studies, Technology, Math, Science and Careers. We integrated things from the 60's era and the "space race" with Russia to current events in America, today; from the history of computers (including "human computers" before machines) to current technology we use, today.  Some of the concepts we covered:

  1. 50th anniversary, this July, of the moon landing and what an accomplishment it was!
  2. Math, Science and problem-solving it took to put a man on the moon at that time in history. We even worked some high school math problems!
  3. Apollo 13's life and death situation from a career perspective and how they were able to bring the astronauts home safely.
  4. Current events like the landing on the dark side of the moon by China and the formation of the new "Space Force". 
  5. The concepts of racism and sexism that were so evident in the 60's compared with how much better the USA is today. Understanding what Martin Luther King, Jr. accomplished.
  6. The history of computers and technology from the "human computers" before there were machines to computers that filled a room (and didn't do a fraction of what our phones do, today) to servers and networks and devices we use, today.
  7. Career concepts like collaboration, problem-solving, and work ethic, and a great example of our 3rd Quarter virtue of Unity. :- )
  8. Video editing and movie-making by watching real-life, primary source news clips of the historical events covered in the movie, then comparing and analyzing techniques to tell the story in a movie.

We even had a real-life NASA  Astrophysicists visit St. Joe !!  Ben Bogner (Mrs. Meng's nephew) came and gave a GREAT talk about his internship at NASA Langley (the same place that "Hidden Figures" is based on) and his current job working for NASA.  Check out this video clip as he explains to students all the career opportunities at NASA for everyone, including artists, writers, animators, video-editors, nutritionists, historians, medics, as well as, the normal math and science jobs.


1st Grade "visits" 7th Grade for some MATH !

Our 7th Graders were great teachers Friday as they helped the 1st Graders work on their combinations of 10's when adding. We played a card game that promotes their fluency (accuracy and speed). Watch VIDEO of "Math Game", then check out the happy faces in the pictures.  EXCELLENT JOB 7th Graders!!! And, 1st Graders, you were AWESOME!





Making Donuts :- )

"WORK HARD, PLAY HARD" - 6th, 7th, & 8th Grades

 We reached the first level of our "Cake Race" in 6th, 7th, and 8th Grades and earned a "Work Hard, Play Hard" activity. So, we made donuts in class, today, AND did our regular work for the day. It took some SELF-CONTROL on everyone's part, and we had a pretty successful day!  

      Self-control, prudence (thinking before speaking or acting) and temperance (keeping balanced with created goods) are the emphases for Careers & Technology classes this 2nd quarter, as well as, the school focus on gratitude.  Please, ask your students to share some of the virtues and characteristics we have discussed and are implementing.  Also, let them know how important they are in your jobs and as a family unit.   

       We will use our donut-making as an example in 8th Grade Social Studies. We are learning about Economics and in particular the role of businesses in a market economy like the United States. Over the next few class periods, students will be looking at the idea of entrepreneurship and what goes into starting a business like making donuts!  We will support their next math concepts like slope, y=mx+b, and graphing of lines as a business tool. Should be fun!! :- )  Any information you can give them about starting or owning a business would be great.

Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty - Middle School Field Trip

THE PARADE downtown Medicine Lodge 

We saw the  US Calvary

Wagon trains with settlers and merchants from the Santa Fe Trail

Native American warriors

Cowboys fresh off the cattle trail

And, even a hanging of a cattle rustler!  YIKES !!!


Carry Nation's House: The kids enjoyed seeing her hatchet!


THE STOCKADE: We saw a Calvary Campsite. This is the Officer's Tent.

They said that 50 men would have slept in the round, cone-shaped tent below. The bottom is off because this would be what a camp was like in the summer.  In the winter they put on the bottom part.  


The Commanding Officer had a much better sleeping arrangement!


Log house from the 1800's.  


The Peace Treaty Pageant  There is so much reenacted in the pageant, from early Spanish explorers to stage coaches, to President Lincoln and the role of "Bleeding Kansas" in the events leading to the Civil War.

Wagon Train stopping for the night


We saw the Calvary save the Wagon Train from an attack!




President Lincoln giving the "Gettysburg Address"

8th Graders :- )

Middle School Technology - Google Accounts / Google Classroom

We love our new Chromebooks!  THANK YOU, THANK YOU for providing them for us. 

I also want to thank my 7th and 8th graders for helping to problem solve and figure out the best ways to use and set up our Google Accounts and our new Chromebooks.  We tested a "hypothesis" or two so they could be more informed, get organized and save time.  They are truly awesome at working together and helping each other and me :- ) I learn a lot from them. There are so many little details to know, and they are all patient, persistent, problem-solvers. A great way to learn valuable skills that are part of our Careers unit.

  Because of their hard work, all Middle School students got logged-in and on the new Chromebooks, today.  Google Accounts were updated, wallpaper changed, short-cuts put in place ..... WOW! ..... and it is only the 2nd day of school!  Students were asked to show their parents how their accounts work, and urged o share their passwords only with their parents. It is extremely important to teach them NOT to share passwords with anyone else.  We want to keep our kids safe. We even had time to discuss the current events going on in the real-world with popular companies and social media apps using and selling our data.  Please visit with your students about what is going on.

Because of the work our 7th and 8th graders did, I was  able to get my 6th Graders logged into their Google Accounts AND, we even did a class discussion on Google Classroom.  Have them show you how it works!