Apple Distinguished School!

St. John’s has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School 2022-2025! We are so excited to receive this recognition. Read our full program submission here:

Check out more at https://www.sjls.org/about-us/apple-distinguished-school
Find out what it means to be an Apple Distinguished School at https://www.apple.com/education/k12/apple-distinguished-schools/

5th Grade Stop Motion History Videos

5th Grade Stop Motion History Videos

5th graders retold the stories of early European explorers using stop motion video technology. Students worked creatively and collaboratively in groups to share their interpretation of the most important historical events surrounding their explorer. First, they learned how to sift through information and determine the most important facts for their scenes and narration. They made characters, sets, and props and learned how to film and move the pieces oh…so…slowly in order to make their video come together smoothly. Finally, students shared their videos with the class. What a fun way to learn and share information! 

Mrs. Martin, 5th grade

Digital Architects

In an effort to give our students a more exciting and captivating look into ancient history, sixth-grade students embarked on a virtual journey to create their very own Sumerian city-state. Instead of using the typical paper test or assignment, students had the ability to use 3D virtual platforms to bring Ancient Mesopotamia to life. As they designed these city-states, students had to consider the architecture, society, and governance of these civilizations. After designing their civilizations, students included rivers, irrigation systems, a hierarchy, and elements of art and technology. They then had the opportunity to put on virtual reality goggles and explore each other’s creations. This allowed them to learn and see more possibilities of what civilization could have looked like so long ago. The innovative use of modern technology not only sparks creativity but also fosters a deep understanding of the past.

Mr. Jones, 6th Grade Teacher

Learning Math and Science Using Robotics

In 3rd grade, little computer robots called Ozobots helped students learn about life cycles, multiplication, video recording, and coding while making students use their critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills.  First, students drew and labeled two animal or insect life cycles and then were able to add coding to their work to make Ozobot animate as it passed the various stages.  The students then recorded themselves explaining the parts of the life cycles as Ozobot passed each stage.  The finished recordings were then uploaded to Seesaw.  Next, students were given the task to code Ozobot through a maze where the robot was only supposed to pass multiples of five and/or eight.  Students had to give Ozobot directions just like Google or Apple Maps does on our phones, but utilize coding to complete the activity.  Coding instructions such as “straight, left or right at intersection” were used to make Ozobot stay on the correct path.  The Ozobot activities not only covered a wide variety of standards but also helped them to learn real-life applications.

Sarah Grack, Director of Innovation and Technology


The Challenges of Chess

“Critical thinking is the most important factor with chess. As it is in life, you need to think before you make decisions.” – Hikaru Nakamura

         This year middle school students have had the opportunity to join a chess elective. This has been a fun challenge for many students and slowly we have seen their thought processes change. Chess is a game of thinking more than doing and students have been challenged by this in a very positive way. We started the elective by just learning the basics of chess and how the pieces move. Then, we moved to different strategies and the thought processes behind taking and sacrificing pieces. Next, we learned basic checkmate patterns and how to correctly win without creating a stalemate. To end the year, we will be researching Chess Grandmasters and learning about what they have contributed to the game. By the end of the elective, students will have learned the value of thinking before their actions and how there are always opportunities for checkmates, even when it might seem like they are losing.

Mr. Martin, 8th grade

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month!

The students from Kindergarten through 6th grade were happy to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and Dia de los Muertos. 

The Kindergarten students celebrated these dates for the first time. They learned that Dia de los Muertos is not “Mexican Halloween”; it is about honoring our loved ones who are no longer with us. The upper graders built an “Altar” or “Ofrenda” to honor their ancestors. 

The students were also treated with “Pan de Muerto and Horchata,” a classic during these days. In Latin America countries, Dia de los  Muertos is a holiday, and a very important part of our cultural heritage.

Spanish is not only learning  grammar and vocabulary, but also about traditions, culture, and tasting dishes from other countries. 

I am very proud of my students, and thankful to be part of the St. John’s family and values.

Teresa Pallete

K-6 Spanish Teacher