They looked like classrooms, but something was different.
During Notre Dame Catholic School's open house, teachers and students turned their rooms into all kinds of showcases, then welcomed parents and visitors in to see what they had done.
"The Night in the Museum" is our open house to display the students' work from throughout the year," said assistant principal Tonya Peters.
Parents, St. Theresa Catholic Church and supporting churches' parishioners and community members were invited to view the 16 classrooms' displays.
Mary Franklin's third-grade class decided to showcase saints.
"The children did research on their patron saints," she said.
The students dressed in saint costumes and decorated the room with handmade clouds hanging from the ceiling and blue-draped walls.
"They wanted to create the room to look like heaven," Franklin said.
Julia Rice, 8, studied St. Julia Billiart.
"She was born in 1751," Julia said. "She founded the Institute of the Sisters of Notre Dame. She was paralyzed when she was 22."
Karen Grover's first-grade room reflected a grade-level fundamental.
"We did authors because reading is our central focus in first grade," Grover said. "And writing. They wrote books."
The displays featured Dr. Seuss, Mercer Mayer, Don Freeman and Jan Brett. The children had made paper bears wearing corduroys, in honor of Freeman's Corduroy books, and paper plate and construction paper Hortons, for Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!
Second-graders made "The Magic Emporium of Toys," a room full of homemade toys and voting boxes for the favorites.
"We have a reading theme on family," said teacher Kelly Misener.
Part of the program, she said, is a toy-making activity.
There was a soda can, mounted on motorized wheels, with straw arms with claws on the ends. There was a mechanical bug maze, a marshmallow launcher and board games: Smart Safari, Sports Math and Church on Time.
Older students had other ideas. Sixth- through eighth-grade language arts teacher Nicole Williams' students created a rock 'n' roll cafe.
"Hard Rock at Notre Dame, the school with the Rock," said sixth-grader Kyle Lovelock, 12. "Emphasis on the Rock, 'cause the Rock is supposed to be the Lord."
The students used black plastic table covers to make a mysterious entryway into their room. The interior was decorated with black-covered tables and rock 'n' roll memorabilia.
There were language-based activities.
"We have a wheel of fortune here, and you land on a word and give a definition," Kyle said.
"If you lose you, get a Dum-Dum lollipop," added classmate Joseph Turcotte, 13. "If you win, you get a Smarties."
Visitors could also match the band photo to its name, and in "Bounce of Language" players bounced a ping-pong ball into a cup and answered a language question.
The "Water into Wine Lounge" was made by forming desks into an "L," enclosing one corner of the room and posting the menu. It offered fish sticks, snacks, desserts and beverages.
The food was donated by Anthony and Susan Alascia, who own Felony's Restaurant and are the parents of Kaity Alascia. Students brought in the sodas and table covers.
Although the day of the event was an early dismissal day, Williams had a lot of assistance setting up.
"The majority of my students stayed to help," she said.
The other decorations were the Spanish room's "Go, go, go, Action Words Fiesta," the art department's "Above All Keep Your Colors Fresh," the fourth grade's "Invention Convention," the fifth grade's "Development of North America," the seventh grade's "Roanoke," the eighth grade's "Math Carnival," the library's "Hogwarts Meets Notre Dame," early childhood's "Under the Deep Blue Sea," kindergarten's "Blast off to Kindergarten," the music department's "Music at its Best" and physical education's "On Your Mark, Get Set … GO." The technology lab was also open.