Math Carnival

Step right up! Come one, come all to the 7th grade Probability Carnival! The seventh grade math students have been busy as we wind down to the end of the school year. We have been in our probability unit discussing the difference between simple and compound probability. To help the concepts sink in more deeply we finished our unit with some project based learning.The students first needed to brainstorm ideas for their own games that were based on probability and not skill. From there they had to calculate and compare the theoretical and experimental probabilities of their games. What better way to test out their probability than to host a carnival for the school! The STEM Lab was filled with dice and spinners, candy and bubbles, and lots of learning. And oh boy was fun had by all!

Ms. Forrest, Middle School Teacher, 7th and 8th grade math

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Got Energy?

Our 7th graders do! This past week they have been conducting labs to see the impact of height and mass on the amount of potential energy stored in an object. Understanding that to calculate the potential energy of an object you multiply the mass times the gravitational acceleration (9.8m/s) times the height, they first isolated the height of the drop of a ball as an independent variable. They dropped a tennis ball from 50cm, 75cm, and 100cm then recorded the height of the bounce. After the collection of their data, they used their information to calculate the potential energy and analyzed their data to draw a conclusion on the impact of the height of the drop on the amount of potential energy.

Next, the 7th graders decided to isolate the mass of the object as the independent variable and designed another experiment. This time they dropped a tennis ball, ping-pong ball, and golf ball from 100 cm and measured the height of the bounce. Again, they analyzed the data, calculated the potential energy, and drew conclusions.  Their 21st Century Skills were put to the task as they thought critically, created an experiment, collaborated with their lab partners, and communicated their results! Way to go, 7th Grade!!

By: Yvette Stuewe, MS Science

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A Tradition Spanning Over 50 Years

The Eighth Grade Play is a St. John’s Tradition.  That’s right.  Our Eighth Grade Literature teacher, Mrs VB, was in the Eighth Grade Play way back when – back when our kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Cariker’s, father (Mr. Paul Koehnke) was the Eighth Grade teacher and the director.  Since 1991, Mrs. VB has been the director, and she is ready to present her 29th production – “Lost in Space and the Mortgage Due!”

Do you love the battle between Good and Evil.  This year we have it all.  A dastardly villain trying to take advantage of a poor “humble” couple – Grandpa and Grandma Humble.  A Hero – Space Cadet Bob of the 25th Century – who will save a damsel in distress.  Evillina Craven (the creature no man can resist) attempts to assist our villain, Commander Snidely Backlash, but their evil plot is thwarted when Bob’s rocket takes off.  That’s all we can share.  Come see the show on Thursday night, May 23, at 7PM in the Auditorium.  Admission is free!

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St. John’s Wins First Place in the 53rd Annual California Student Media Festival!

View award winning video by student Paul Schulteis https://youtu.be/Bm-d-onb1g8

After completing our social studies unit on Medieval Europe, students in the seventh-grade were tasked with demonstrating their understanding of the role of a medieval manor by constructing a feudal manor using Minecraft. Minecraft allows students an opportunity to work on mathematics, visual arts, storytelling and digital learning in an engaging environment. Some students gain their first experience learning how to code while others continue to hone and advance their coding ability.

Class time was given to students to design their manor. Some students used iPads and others used their laptops. Once the Minecraft design was created students then had to record a four-minute video explaining what life on a manor was like. Many students added a final touch by incorporating medieval music to their video.

The projects the students turned in this year were amazing and needed to be viewed by others.I choose to submit several student projects into the 53rd California Student Media Festival (CSMF) competition. Student Paul Schulteis ended up winning in the middle school division of Curricular Humanities. His storytelling, creativity, and technical expertise designated him as the winner of this category. Paul and his project won St. John’s $250.00 to put toward future technology school projects. Technology is evolving everyday and having a state-of-the-art STEM lab allows our students to explore, build and create so that they have an opportunity to develop a passion for science, technology, engineering and math.

By Angie Bender, Middle School Teacher

 

8th Grade History Comes Alive!

Highlights of our 8th graders trip to D.C., Gettysburg and New York.

Check out this awesome student-created video!!!

https://animoto.com/play/0kaWpWzmpCMVSWKlbigc9g

Eighth-graders got to expand the classroom walls and visit actual historical significant locations to our our nation’s’ history and government. We began our six-day trip by visiting Mount Vernon, home to George Washington. Then we got learn about the value of freedom touring Arlington National Cemetery and observe four of our own St. John students partake in the wreath laying ceremony. On day two we got to go to the Pentagon to visit the outside memorial and tour inside of the building. Our evening was filled with an awe-inspiring illuminated tour of the National Mall.

The interactive Bible museum was a favorite of our eighth-grade students. We got to walk through the stories of the Hebrew Bible and listen to the the story of how the followers of Jesus became a thriving community. Mid-week we traveled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to learn first-hand on how this three-day battle was the turning point of the Civil War. Next, we traveled to New York to see the Wicked Broadway Musical. Our morning tour boat allowed us to view the Statue of Liberty and experience what immigrants saw when they were arriving at Ellis Island. Meeting our walking tour guides in lower Manhattan allowed us to hear first hand how the Dutch first settled along the Hudson River in 1624. Our walking tour ended at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. On day six we were able to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park and have lunch in Time Square and make it on time to the airport to return home Friday evening.

Angie Bender, Middle School Teacher

Partnering with Specialists

A huge benefit that we have at St. John’s is the ability to partner with our specialist teachers to tailor lessons across curricular areas. This year, Mrs. Barber our librarian, had students create poems using the spines of books in the library. Students were given no limit on the books they were allowed to utilize. Not only did students enjoy wandering the library with their arms full of literature, but many students ended up reading the books that they had chosen for their poetry.
In technology, Mrs. Grack taught students how to program using 3D printing technology. The fourth graders were able to print a 3D map of California with the location of their Ca Project gold site, mission, presidio, rancho, or Native American tribe. Students not only learned a new technology, but reinforced what they have been learning in the classroom.
We are blessed at St. John’s with awesome specialists that make it a priority to partner with classroom teachers and allow students to reinforce standards with creative projects and play!
Miss Goins, 4th Grade

A Reason to Celebrate!

Last week at St. John’s was one of the highlights of each school year – Expression Explosion and V.I. P. Day.  It was a week to celebrate our students’ talents and hard work throughout the year.  Our 2nd graders have been working hard on their writing skills the past few months and got a chance to share them with our Expression Explosion guests and V.I.P.’s.  They had persuasive letters to their parents with very convincing arguments.  They created their presidential profile with campaign promises if they become president someday.  Their sincere hopes and concerns for our country and its citizens is very inspiring.  They’ll have my vote someday!  April is poetry month so they wrote Haikus and Couplets to work on their descriptive skills.  Jack described a leopard as a “slinky animal” and “hunting predator” and Slater described a viper as a “ terrifying slitherer” in their Haikus.  Working with rhyming in couplets was a challenge, but Autumn wrote that “Monkeys swing to trees on bendable knees” and Emily wrote, “Listen as the donkey brays.  If it’s hungry, it will graze.”  It’s so fun to read all of the wonderful poetry the 2nd graders wrote!

The week ended with classrooms packed with V.I.P.’s.  Our 2nd graders practiced their public speaking skills by presenting one of their writing projects to our guests, working on reading with expression.  They were very polished and definitely impressed their audience. What a blessing to have so much loving support through these special V.I.P.’s, including grandparents, parents, older siblings, and family friends.

The greatest reason we all have to celebrate as a family of God is coming up – Easter.  As we journey to the cross throughout Holy Week, we focus on the loving sacrifice our Lord made for all so that we can have new life in Him.  We have so many blessings at St. John’s to celebrate, but that is the greatest one of all!

By: Mrs. Cathy Meier, 2nd Grade

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