All fourth grade students at St. John’s have the wonderful opportunity to learn the ukulele as part of the fourth grade music curriculum. Over the past few weeks, the students have been learning about the parts of the ukulele and practicing how to care for these special instruments. Last week the students had their very first (and very exciting!) day playing the ukuleles. They learned how to fingerpick and play each string. We are excited for a wonderful year of musical learning as we continue to delve into reading and playing musical notes and rhythms, learning about musical scales, composing, creating, playing the ukulele, and enjoying God’s wonderful gift of music.
Mrs. Megan Guebert, Instrumental Music
What better way to get to know your new school surroundings than to follow a freshly baked Gingerbread Man! Luckily, he left helpful clues along the way.
We also took the opportunity to compare and contrast several versions of “Gingy” stories with a variety of characters and settings. We had to learn to spell f-o-x so Gingy would feel safe enough to return to our room for good. Of course, we had to promise not to eat him (even though he looks delicious). Friends don’t eat friends.
Later in the year, a little Gingy will have a sleepover at each friend’s house and write up a sleepover report for our Gingy Journal. While enjoying the excitement of the hunt, we had the chance to work on building our class community, solving problems and riddles, communicating through writing as we read and then composed notes to him, and even turning right and left as we went from place to place.
Mrs. Linda Warneke, Kindergarten
STEM! (Science Technology Engineering & Math)
Does it sink or float? My kindergarten class had a fun time exploring and working together to see which objects would sink or float. They were also able to explore with a toy boat and a toy raft to see which one would hold more animals before it sunk to the bottom. With trial and error, they were able to see that the raft held more animals because of its flat surface. Science is fun!
Mrs. Molly Harrison, Kindergarten
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
God loved us so much that he sent His Son Jesus to be the final sacrifice for our sins. By doing so, Jesus made us right with God and gave us the gift of eternal salvation through faith. Our faith in Christ comes from the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The whole process of eternal life is simple–God’s gift of grace to us.
Mrs. Kruse’s seventh grade class has spent time digging deeper into this scripture passage through Bible study, memory work and creating their own faith seal. First, the students wrote the scripture verse. Then, in groups, they created a song and/or actions to go with the verse. Finally, they shared the verse from memory. In addition, the students dove deeper into scripture to determine the context of Ephesians 2:8-9 and find related scripture passages to help in understanding the key concepts in the passage such as “saved”, “grace”, “faith”, “gift” and “works”. The students also studied how Martin Luther used this passage in his ministry to point out inaccuracies in the doctrine and traditions of the church during his life. Students continued by reviewing Luther’s seal and explanation and then created their own faith seal and explanation. Throughout the school year, the students will continue to study God’s Word and Luther’s Small Catechism and through the work of the Holy Spirit grow in their faith so that they too can be a witness of God’s saving grace through faith in Christ to all.
By: Mrs. Laura Kruse, NBCT
St. John’s is committed to being a leader in exceptional, faith-filled student learning that is current with today’s curricular standards and infused with technology. St. John’s is partnering with Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) to implement Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) as our school-wide assessment of student learning. MAP is a technology-based, computer-adaptive test that will measure student learning in the areas of English/Language Arts and Math in grades 2-8 this year.
A Parent Guide to MAP Growth, is provided here, as well as, an introductory video about the benefits of the MAP test and how parents can use the information alongside teachers. At St. John’s, we look forward to watching our students grow, as we move from once a year testing to 3 times a year testing, as well as, comprehensive reporting for school and home. Students will appreciate the new testing format as well, since testing time in the past as been 3-5 hours a day for 5 days. This year students will spend just 2 hours, 3 times a year! Be sure to take a look at the MAP Growth introductory video by clicking the image below.
Faith-fillled, 21st Century Learning
Learning has never been easier or more complicated! Seventeen years into the 21st century, we know that technology helps us in almost every way we learn and yet it can also make the learning task overwhelming. St. John’s has embraced this dichotomy 100% and our students are immersed in technology-rich learning that is also fully grounded in research-based educational approaches. This learning blog will highlight the faithfulness of our Christian, Lutheran school tradition and our commitment to a technology-infused 21st century learning environment.
St. John’s has taken the next step in 21st century learning with the installation of Active Learning Environments to enhance technology implementation and student engagement! Our Active Learning Environments are in two classrooms (Mrs. Knego, 5th grade and Mrs. Frydendall, middle school). These learning environments not only help students collaborate and communicate (two of SJLS student learning outcomes [SLOs]), but they also enable students to have choice and voice in their learning.