PE = Fun-filled Learning!

I have the privilege of teaching Health and Physical Education to elementary aged students at St. John’s.  St. John’s elementary students started the year off by learning how to effectively work together as a team and show empathy towards one another. Here is a look at what we’ve been learning so far this year:

Physical Education  

Kindergarten – Grade 1–Large Locomotor Skills and Following Directions

This is accomplished by incorporating fun games where the students usually have no idea that they are working on a goal; they are just having fun!  For example, students learned how to “drive” and learned the rules of the road playing “Hula Hoop Road Show.”  This game allows students to “drive” their cars (hula hoops) throughout the gym safely while learning how to listen for cues such as Red Light (stop), Green Light (go), bumpy road (skip), or slippery mud (side-slide).

Grades 2-5–Teamwork

Students play games where teamwork is essential.  For example, a favorite game of the students is called “Cross the River.”  Each game they play is “gamified” in that there are levels, like in video games.  As the teams finish a level, they get to level up to the next, more challenging level.  In “Cross the River” students must work together and strategize on how to safely get their team across a “toxic river” using only a limited amount of supplies.  It is so fun to see how creative and unique each student is during this time of strategizing.

In addition, grade 5 has been learning the importance of setting goals and how to stay fit. They learned how to find their resting heart rate, the FITT principle, and all about the heart.  Students were even able to see the heart using an augmented reality app during PE.

Health

Grades 2-4

Students have been learning empathy, what it is and how to show it. They are also learning about their bodies and the importance of taking care of them.

Looking forward to the rest of the school year with these amazing students!

By: Mrs. Miller, Physical Education Teacher

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Creativity and Faith

On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses to the church door.  His action started the Reformation.  Miss Clark’s class is learning about Martin Luther’s life and his dedication to teaching the Gospel (good news) to those around him.  The students have been creating Reformation Pumpkins to celebrate October and The Reformation. The students drew pumpkins and used line design art to display symbols of their faith. They used contrast of light and dark space and thick and thin line designs, remembering that we are both sinner and saint.  Happy Upcoming Reformation from 4th grade!

By: Miss Clark, 4th grade

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Life Groups

This month, the 4th and 5th graders joined together in their Life Groups for the very first time. These groups were modeled after the middle school life groups, as the 4th and 5th grade teachers felt that this would also be a great opportunity for their students. Life Groups are a place to form new friendships, grow in God’s word, and positively impact the world. Each group consists of one student from each homeroom in 4th and 5th grade and is led by a 5th grade student. For the month of October, the groups studied and discussed what it means to be compassionate towards one another. The groups read the bible and a devotion, discussed God’s word, and prayed together. The groups will continue to meet each month and will focus on various character traits including self-control, empathy, forgiveness, truthfulness, and many others. These devotions were written in small groups by our 5th graders. We look forward to watching the 4th and 5th graders grow together in God’s word!

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Learning on Catalina Island!

Wow! Our 7th graders had an amazing opportunity to venture beyond the four walls of the classroom and dive into God’s Creation as they attended outdoor education at the Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI) at Toyon Bay on Catalina island. Snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, and hands-on labs provided opportunities to explore, ask questions, and discover new information about the ocean, the island, and the plants and animals that live there.

Our very first snorkel on Monday was just the beginning of a fantastic week! The water was warm and extremely clear. Most students got to snorkel with leopard sharks, round rays, shovel-nose guitar fish, and many other fish. Other activities throughout the week included using oceanography equipment, identifying different types of plankton from the bay on digital microscopes, learning about sharks and petting them in a touch tank, observing and touching invertebrates to learn about their structure and behaviors, using inquiry strategies to explore algae in a water table and predict how scientists classify the algae, and even dissecting a squid! We also went on a night snorkel and saw tons of horn sharks, lobsters, and a huge octopus swimming along the sandy bottom of the bay!

In addition to all of the learning that took place, our 7th graders bonded and united together through activities like a whole group kayak and a rock climbing party at night. Each morning the dorm groups completed a devotion together and on the last night, the students led a worship service on the beach to praise God for his Creation and to thank Him for our opportunity to explore, learn, and enjoy time together! It truly was a week of hands-on learning and fun!

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”  Job 12:7-10

5th Grade One-to-One iPads

This year our fifth graders are utilizing one-to-one iPads as aids to improve their education.  They can access their homework and textbooks anywhere through Google classroom.  So far this year, students have been able to collaborate on projects using the google suite, including slide presentations, and this week, paper slide videos.  They are having fun with many Math, Grammar, and States and Capitals review games. They are adding to their writing portfolios this year using SeeSaw.

Students will use iPads this year to write and research their state reports. They will also be learning more about Digital citizenship.  They are excited to grow and learn in new ways.

By: Mrs. Mary Schirrmacher, 5th grade

Real Learning with Virtual Reality

During one of the scenes of the Disney movie “Big Hero 6,” there is a part where the main character Hiro, is controlling his computer and programming Baymax, by just clicking images that are hanging in the air in front of his face.  In today’s world, we are beginning to see this same type of technology being developed, which we call virtual reality. Virtual reality is a simulation created by a computer of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a real or physical way by a person using equipment such as ipads.  Here at St. John’s, our 2nd graders have been using virtual learning to complete research on the Solar System.

In 2nd grade, we began our Solar System research by utilizing a Merge Cube and a Solar System app.  The students would hold up the Merge Cube in front of the Ipads’ cameras and the cubes would transform into the Solar System.  The students were given the task of going on a scavenger hunt to discover cool facts about the Solar System. With the cubes, the 2nd graders moved the Solar System around, and clicked on the planets displayed on the Ipad, to find out a variety of answers to the questions asked during the hunt.  After exploring all the planets, each student was assigned one planet to study. They again used a virtual reality app that allowed them to see the solar system appear in the classroom. Students found their planet by moving the ipad around in a circle, touching the planet on the ipad, and then finding out facts about it.  At the end of the project, the 2nd graders will take a picture of themselves holding their planets in their hands, using the virtual reality app.

All in all, virtual reality is no longer just found in the movies, but not can be an important tool to help students learn and explore the world and universe around them.

By: Mrs. Sarah Grack, Technology Teacher

SJLS Band at Angels Stadium!

“Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light…”. (Click to listen!)

St. John’s Advanced Band had the honor and opportunity to perform our National Anthem at the Angels’ game on Saturday, September 15th.  Our small but mighty band of 8 joined with about 600 middle and high school students from around Orange County to play our nation’s song.

Before the game, they rehearsed with conductor John Carnahan from Cal State-Long Beach.  They quickly found out that it could be challenging staying together with 600 students stretched out the length of a football field.  They couldn’t rely on their ears to tell them if they were playing together.  Rather, they had to watch the conductor very closely.

After rehearsal, they walked onto the warning track at the stadium and performed in right field.  What an honor!  Later they watched the game with all the St. Johns families who came to support them!  It was a fun evening to sit in the St. Johns section of the ball park, where we knew many of the people nearby.  The band students continued to have fun by dancing together to see if they could get on the Jumbotron.  Their efforts were rewarded when they were showcased on the Jumbotron for all to see!  The evening ended with a fireworks show and a Nick Jonas concert.

Music is said to bring people together.  This is certainly true for St. John’s band.  They were brought together to honor our nation with the 600 students performing, a university band conductor, the 42,000 people at the game who heard them play, and the St. Johns families who came to support them!

By: Mrs. Krista Elliott, Music Teacher

 

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