Catching a Leprechaun

Our second-graders have all the makings of becoming clever engineers in the future! Each of our students designed and built a leprechaun trap to (hopefully) catch one of those squirrelly little green imps. Most involve an elaborate system of trap doors and pulleys, while others have a psychological component to them. If anyone can outsmart a leprechaun, it’ll be one of our second-graders! Click on thumbnails below to enlarge.


Book Picks for a Snowy Day

Snow Stories

There’s not much better than curling up in a comfy chair with a good book and a cup of cocoa on a snowy day! With winter finally making its appearance, we polled various students, staff, and faculty to ask what their picks were for a good read on a snowy day. You can see links to most of their choices on our Pinterest board, Recommended Reads. (Suggestions marked with ” * ” indicate adult recommendations.)

  • Geronimo Stilton — Bridget, Gr 2
  • Ollie — Camila, Gr 2
  • Harry Potter — Elizabeth, Gr 1
  • World War II books — Logan, Gr 8 & Kedrin, Gr 3
  • Princess stories — Eva, K
  • DIary of a Wimpy Kid — Justin, Gr 6
  • The Three Musketeers — Clytie, Gr 4 & Emmanuel, Gr 7
  • Indian in the Cupboard — Mr. Wivell
  • The Hunger Games — Sean, Gr 6 (seconded by Emma)
  • Any by Karen Kingsbury* — Mrs. Hahn
  • The Messenger — Lea, Gr 8
  • The Grimm Brothers — Lucy, Gr 6
  • The Poisonwood Bible* and anything by Sue Monk Kidd* — Sister Brenda
  • Double Fudge — Gianna, Gr 2
  • Hendry and Mudge — Sean, Gr 3
  • The Making of a Navy SEAL — Aiden, Gr 7
  • Star Wars — Logan, Gr 1
  • Chronicles of Narnia — EJ, Gr 5
  • Monster High — Makena, Gr 1
  • The Alphabet Series* — Senora Wahlgren
  • The Dork Diaries — Deanna, Gr 6
  • The Bronze Pen — Helen, Gr 5
  • Any book about planets, especially Neptune — Frances, K
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — Everett, K
  • The Bright Side* — Mrs. Metts
  • The Girl of Fire and Thorns — Neoline, Gr 3
  • Big Nate — Finn, Gr 2
  • Sweetgrass* — Mrs. Myles
  • Tales of the Odyssey — Keegan, Gr 5
  • Cats, Cats, Cats — Annaliese, Gr 3
  • The Maze Runner — Quinn, Gr 8
  • Shoot-Out — Ella, Gr 4
  • Theodore Boone — Luke, Gr 6
  • Alex Rider — Joseph, Gr 5
  • Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas* or Winter Garden* — Mrs. Gebhart
  • Minecraft — Luke, Gr 4
  • Moby Dick — Isaac, Gr 3
  • Sons of Angels, Spirit Rider — Kailee Crouch, Gr 6
  • A Night Divided — Violet, Gr 5

And of course, our book guru Mrs.Monacelli had plenty of recommendations for all ages:

The Berenstain Bears, Choose Your Own Adventure, The Land of Stories, Fixer-Upper*, Janet Evanovich*, Robyn Carr*, Defending Jacob*

12548864_10206659503218867_398942326056307926_nEnjoy your snow day!

Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest 2015 – Cast Your Vote!

The students get to vote on their favorite Ugly Christmas Sweater and boy, do they have a lot of choices! Which one do you think is the ugliest? Cast your vote on our Facebook page and we’ll surprise the online winner with a treat at the end of the day!

Where in the World is Mother Seton? A look back on her adventures

Last year during Catholic Schools Week, we launched an initiative to send Mother Seton (a flat version, like Flat Stanley) around the world. We sent her to families, friends, alumni–we even sent her to the Pope! She made it to some amazing places and met many wonderful folks. Thanks to Archbishop Lori and the staff at the Baltimore Archdiocese, she was even present at the canonization of the two Popes!

We have been surprised and touched by how many people eagerly participated. It shows us that the legacy of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton truly is far-reaching. Our thanks go out to all of you for the support you’ve given this project–and our school–this past year. Please enjoy this look back on her many adventures!

Please also enjoy our thoughts on being a Community of Faith, Knowledge, and Service, a three-part series in honor of Catholic Schools Week 2015.

Preparing for a 5K: How and What to Eat Before the Race

Last week, we shared some tips on how to begin preparing for a 5K. Today, we offer advice on the best foods to eat as you prepare for a 5K. Remember–the Mother Seton School Fall 5K Run/Walk is just around the corner!

Fall 5K RunBW

Join us for the MSS Fall 5K Run/Walk on Nov 8th. Visit for more information & to register!

Conventional wisdom has it that “carb-loading” is the best method for athletes-in-training to prepare for a race or other competition. While it’s true that runners need a full tank of energy, carb-loading is actually not the way to go about it. Too many carbs can have the unintended effect of slowing you down, especially if you pack them all in the day before a race.

Runners should instead aim to eat whole-grain and complex carbohydrate-rich foods in the weeks leading up to the race. A steady diet of moderate carb intake will provide the energy you need the day of the race, particularly if you are running a 5K, which does not require the energy and endurance that a marathon would. recommends adults eat 3-5 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body fat each day, which would equal 480 grams of carbohydrates  for a 160-lb person. And make those carbs count–avoid starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn, which eat into your carb allowance but don’t provide the same nutritional boost that oats or whole-grain pasta do.

As the race nears, you can increase your carb intake to store more energy away, but again, be mindful of the types of carbs you ingest. Food with a moderate to high glycemic index help your body release energy slowly and steadily.

A healthy yogury parfait with organic granola, blueberries and raspberriesOn the day of the race, eat a light, healthy breakfast at least three to four hours prior to start time. Yes, that may mean getting up extra early; but, this will allow your body enough time to break down the nutrients and start releasing those energy stores for endurance. Small amounts of caffeine may help improve your overall performance, but the small benefit should be weighed against the risk of dehydration or stomach issues. Do not consume energy drinks like Monster or Red Bull before a race. These drinks can increase your heart rate dangerously and dehydrate you. Your best bet is to stick with cold cereals, fruits, and whole-grain toast. Add a small amount of protein, like yogurt, cottage cheese, or a scrambled egg. And avoid high-fat foods, which will hamper digestion.

Of course, remember to stay hydrated, but don’t overdo it! For a 5K, it should be enough to stick to the recommended 6-8 glasses of water a day.

Once the race is over, your body will need some recovery time. You can help yourself by eating within the first 30 minutes to help your muscles rebuild their energy stores that were depleted during the race. Protein bars, a whole-grain bagel smeared with peanut butter, or fruits can help give your body that post-race boost it needs. A few hours after the race, you’ll probably want a more substantial meal. But take it easy–don’t fill up on high-fat and simple sugars.

Happy Running!

For a sample menu of what to eat before a 5K, check out this 5K Meal Plan from Women’s Running.

It’s not too late! Register for the MSS Fall 5K Run/Walk by October 31st to receive your tee-shirt!

Helpful Tips to Prepare for a 5K

Have you wanted to run a 5K, but didn’t know where to begin? Or has it been a while since you last donned your Asics for a jog, and you want to get back into it? Bridget McCarthy, an MSS parent and organizer of the annual MSS Fall 5K Run/Walk, offers this advice for beginners and those out of practice. Just in time for the 5K on November 8th!

5K-tips.1The best way to begin preparing for a 5K is to start with run/walk intervals. It is tempting to just go out and start running when you’ve decided on a 5K. You’re excited and it’s a beautiful fall day, and you may even feel good the first time out. But you’ll soon realize that running doesn’t feel so good.

The best plan to feel stronger, run longer, and stay injury-free is to add short bouts of slow running to your regular walks and gradually increase the amount of time you spend running. Start with 1 minute of running to 4 minutes of walking. (i.e. run for one full minute, walk for four, then run again for one minute, followed by four minutes of walking, and so on.) Slowly increase the time spent running over the next couple weeks until you are running/walking about 50/50. If you continue to be injury-free (sore muscles are to be expected, but there should be no real pain anywhere) continue to do more running than walking. Don’t be discouraged if, after a while, you are still including walking intervals in your runs. Walking is always a good way to take a break during a running workout, even during a race. The important thing to remember is that you’re out there doing it. That’s half the race right there!

Have fun!

To register online for the MSS Fall 5K Run/Walk, which includes a 100m Kid Dash, visit A small processing fee applies. For more information or to register via mail, visit our website.