Geography Bee Calling all geography rock stars….

5/12/2015 GeographyBee

As part of GlobalFest this year, we will host our 3rd Annual Geography Bee. This is an extracurricular event in which all students and their families are welcome to participate. The 2013 and 2014 SMS Geography Bees were great successes, with our finalists cheered on with great enthusiasm. Make sure your geography rock star has a chance to shine this year!

Description of Qualifying Tests, Registration, and Access Grade 4-8 Bee questions are from the 2015 National Geographic Geography Bee for school-level competition.

Grade PK-3 Bee questions will pair countries with the continent on which they are located. The qualifying test will be administered online April 16-29 to avoid taking class time. Test preparation will also be conducted at home using online resources. For homes without computers, internet access is provided at local libraries.

The qualifying test is a two-step process: 1) register with St. Matthias School, and 2) register with the host website, then search for and take the online tests.

Step 1: Register with St. Matthias School

Each student interested in taking the online qualifying test must register at this site. The following information must be provided for each test-taker: student name, grade, teacher, and parent email address.

Additionally, test takers must agree to the following academic honesty pledge:

“I agree to have fun with the Geography Bee to be best of my ability. I understand that the online qualifying test may be used as a learning tool for my whole family, but I promise to only record answers that reflect my individual knowledge. I understand that this is a closed-book, closed-note test, and I am on my honor not to consult the internet or any reference material while taking the test. I promise not to discuss specific answers on this test with other students that may take the test as this may provide an unfair advantage for later test-takers.”

Step 2: Register with Host Website and Take Test

Once registration is complete, participants can access the online qualifying test. The on-line qualifying tests will be available on April 15 and close Saturday, April 29 at 10pm. To take the qualifying test.  Register as a student by providing the students name and creating a username and password.

To take the qualifying test(s), follow the instructions below:

  • Class search by class title “2015 Geobee” exact match
  • Click “my classes” to take the test, which is a time limited.
  • Select the appropriate test(s) for the grade level of the test-taker.
  • Once you start a quiz, you cannot take a break.  If the quiz is inactive for a extended period of time, a score of zero will be logged and that quiz will no longer be accessible.

Grade 4-8

There are seven on-line qualifying tests for Grades 4-8, each covering one of the seven rounds of the 2015 National Geographic School Level Preliminary Bee. The sections are numbered in the order that the rounds would be presented in Bee format (presumably in order of increasing difficulty). The seven tests and topics for Grades 4-8 include:

  • 2015 Grade 4-8 R1_US
  • 2015 Grade 4-8 R2_US sports
  • 2015 Grade 4-8 R3_US odd one out
  • 2015 Grade 4-8 R4_world weird but true
  • 2015 Grade 4-8 R5_world comparisons
  • 2015 Grade 4-8 R6_Nat Geo wild animal atlas
  • 2015 Grade 4-8 R7_pop artists on tour

Tests can be taken separately over a number of days, but each individual test is limited to 45 minutes and students cannot take a break midway through a quiz.  Grade 4-8 students may take one or all of the tests. However, finalists will be selected by total number of questions answered correctly with no penalty for incorrect answers, so taking more tests may provide an advantage.  Finalists will be selected from the top test scores and announced via email the week after the on-line qualifying tests close.  These finalists are invited to compete in the Grade 4-8 School Bee held during the school day at a date to be announced.  The Grade 4-8 School Bee questions will be sourced from the 2015 National Geographic Geography Bee for school-level final competition.  The School Bee winner will then be invited to take the State Bee Qualifying test.  Check the Important Dates section of the home page for dates the on-line qualifying test will be accessible deadlines.

Grades K-3

There is one qualifying test for K-Grade 3 entitled “2015 PK-Grade 3 Geobee” that pairs countries and continents on which they are located.

These finalists are invited to compete in the school Geography Bee held during the school day on May 12, during the week of GlobalFest.

Prizes will be awarded to winners as follows.

Grade 4-8: First prize = $25 Target card + out of uniform day

Second = $15 Target card and out of uniform day

Third = out of uniform day Grade

PK-3: First prize = $15 Target card + out of uniform day

Second = $10 Target card and out of uniform day

Third = out of uniform day

Study Materials The following study materials are suggested, but feel free to explore the many other apps and websites that can make studying fun.  (grades 4-8)  – list of sites (grades 4-8)  – app recommended for 3-7 year olds (PK- grade 3) – Leapfrog

Tag Reader interactive world map recommended for ages 4-8 (PK- grade 3)

Sample questions:  (grades 4-8)  (grades 4-8)


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Summer Camp

Summer is just around the corner and St. Matthias School is offering camp options for PreK through First grade students, as well as an Early Start of School Camp for incoming PreK students in August.

Click on the links below to access camp forms and registration information.

For PreK through First Grade Camp 2015 Summer Camp Prek-1st_v2

For the Early Start of School Camp Let’s Go to School 2015

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Dodgeball Tournament

SAVE THE DATE!!!!! St. Matthias is hosting its first Dodgeball Tournament and we need you to put a team together and come join the fun! SATURDAY, APRIL 25th! Team check-in is at 5:30 P.M. and the games begin at 6:00! This is a great way to get your friends and family together for a super fun evening of friendly competition and support our wonderful school! Each member of your 10 person team will receive their first drink free!

Dodgeball Team Registration and Waiver Form

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Global Fest Planning….

Global Fest 2015!
There’s time to get involved.  We have space on the following Global Fest Subcommittees (and some really wonderful parents who have already volunteered) but could always use more help ….

1. Permit/ Logistics

2. sponsorship

3. teacher bucket drop raffle / parent party raffles

4. marketing/signage/Church bulletin notifications and Social Media-

5. tickets

6. bar/drinks

7. food (in whatever form that takes)

8. kids crafts/activities

9. volunteer coordinator

10. Finance

This is a great chance to get involved, meet new people, and help St. Matthias School!

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St. Matthias School in the news…

St. Matthias School is one of four schools described in a Chicago Tribune article.  Click on the link below and read more about our mission, philosophy and direction.

Cupich to lead Catholic school system diverse in needs, benefits – Chicago Tribune

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Check out the CBS News coverage of St. Matthias and the IB Opening Ceremony.

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We Are a Big Deal!!!!!!

St Matthias School has been mentioned on the Archdiocesan News and Events page!  Being the first IB School in the Archdiocese is definitely worth attention…

Follow this link to the page and enjoy:


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It’s official! St. Matthias is an IB World School!

On May 14th we learned that St. Matthias School has been accredited as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School and is authorized to offer the Middle Years Programme in our junior high (6th, 7th, & 8th grades).  This makes St. Matthias the first Catholic elementary school in the state of Illinois to offer an IB Programme and the seventh in the nation!  We surprised our students after Mass today with this great news and a celebration in the garden.

The authorization letter from the IB’s director general in Geneva, Switzerland came four months earlier than we had hoped.  This was the final step in a three year long process of extensive preparation, teacher training and implementation of the IB Middle Years Programme.

The Middle Years Programme has transformed our Junior High.  Our teachers are planning collaboratively across disciplines and challenging our students to think deeply and critically about real issues.  Our students have become more self-aware, understanding themselves as learners, and have developed strong leadership and communication skills.  IB authorization is a monumental accomplishment which will ensure that our educational program continues to strengthen and fully prepares our students for personal, academic, and professional success.

So, now that we are authorized, what’s next?  The IB teachers will continue to collaborate to develop and improve IB instruction in grades six through eight.  We also have the goal of becoming authorized to offer the Primary Years Programme (PYP) in grades preschool through five within the next three years.  Teachers in the lower grades will begin to attend IB trainings as early as this summer to prepare for this (1)


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A Day at our School

Take a look at the amazing things happening at St. Matthias School. This video shows all of the happenings in just one typical St. Matthias day. Enjoy and then click here to learn how to become a part of our school.

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IB Candidate School

Our students have a lot to say about our candidacy for the IB program!  Please enjoy this video that debuted at our Friends of the Grape event.

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