Math Mentors

7th grade students have seen what a strong grasp on math facts and mental math strategies can have on their learning. They decided to reach out to their chapel buddies in first grade for a peer teaching opportunity to help demonstrate these skills. They worked with the first graders on adding and subtracting with numbers up to 20 and showed them different strategies of solving these problems. Together they played a number of games that required students to find the missing addend, check if addition problems were equal, use counting on strategies, and fact families.

Peer teaching has been shown to have great benefits for all students involved. Not only is active learning promoted but there is a level of comfort between students that allows for students to let their walls down and try without fear of failure. This experience has helped solidify for the 7th graders that being fluent with math facts will help present these different strategies and by using these strategies they see there are many ways to solve some of the math problems we face each day. Hopefully it has given our first graders something to remember and helps their math facts stick!

By: Ms. Caitlyn Forrest, MS Math Teacher

11th Annual Junior Martin Luther Competition

October 30th, 2018 at 8:30AM in the St. John’s Historic Sanctuary

As a Lutheran church and school, we are proud of our Christian heritage and the Junior Martin Luther Competition was designed as a way for us to celebrate the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther.  It was his courage that laid the foundations of our faith today.  Every 6th grade student since 2008 has spent the month of October participating in a variety of classroom learning activities that exposed them to a deeper understanding of Martin Luther’s life, his relationship with God, the condition of the early church during his lifetime, and the good news of our Salvation that is found in the New Testament.

This year’s finalists included Chanel Kruse, Memphis Peoples, Chanel Soler, Robert Goodman, Lucas Sharar, Mattias Kremer, Chloe Miller, Sam Wright and Zach Schutt.  The Alternates for the competition consisted of Matthew Marks and Grace Granger. Their participation in class, quality responses to weekly reflection questions, results from the Reformation in Disguise scavenger hunt, knowledge and understanding of Luther’s Table Talk memoirs, memory test scores, and Luther’s Dates quiz results were just a portion of the criteria that earned them a spot in this year’s competition.  This competition consisted of several rounds of questions that pertain to the important dates in Martin Luther’s life, his favorite passages from Scripture, his Table Talks memoirs, his small catechism, and much more.

This was a single elimination event.  One incorrect answer removed a finalist from the competition.  All correct answers were confirmed with the statement, “this is most certainly true.”  After 35 minutes of intense competition, Chanel Kruse from Miss. homeroom won the competition!  After winning the competition, Chanel proceeded to nail the 95 theses on the Castle Church door.  Last year’s winner, Alexys Saley, presented her with a Martin Luther bobble head doll along with the Luther Cup Trophy that will be displayed in her homeroom for the remainder of the 2018-19 school year.  Her picture from this event will also be displayed in the Middle School hallway on the Junior Martin Luther Legends wall of fame.  Congratulations to Chanel!

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3rd Graders Vote

How would you vote?  Last week, the story in language arts was Vote! by Eileen Christelow.  The students read about how a town chooses a mayor.  Each class had many discussions and the teachers answered questions related to the process of voting, campaigning with signs and messages sent through the mail and on the television, especially since it coincides with the current midterm elections.

To apply the things we learned, the classes voted on “Proposition 2018 – Should St. John’s have school uniforms?”  After campaigning with signs and a debate, the students signed in, received their ballot and cast their vote. One class even had to do a recount since the counted number of votes did not match the number of students in class that day.

Overall, it was a fun way to have the students experience the process of an election.  Not surprisingly, the students voted no for Proposition 2018.

By: Miss Amy Neben, 3rd grade teacher

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5th Grade Engineers!

Problem solving and team work are foundational skills for 21st Century learners. To strengthen these skills the 5th graders worked through two STEM projects during the first quarter of the school year.

For their first project the 5th graders worked in teams to design and build a bridge out of popsicle sticks. The goal was to build a bridge that could hold 10 pounds while spanning a thirteen-inch gap. The students had to communicate their ideas, listen to other students’ ideas, and work together to build a bridge.  This year’s strongest bridge held 60lbs!

Another STEM project the 5th graders completed was to design the ideal bubble wand for their three-year-old cousin.  After testing store bought bubble wands they brainstormed idea’s and then used the Tinkercad program to create their design.  After completing the design process the bubble wands were 3D printed.  After printing, the wands were tested and compared to store-bought wands.

Students are blessed here at St. Johns to have the resources to develop the skills they need to be successful.

By: Mr. Duport, 5th grade

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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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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

Tide Pool Learning Fun!

The 5th grade students and teachers wrapped up their school year by exploring the tide pools at Little Corona Beach.  Before going to explore the tide pools the 5th graders studied what the tide pools are made of and the different types of animals that can be found in the tide pools.  After visiting the tide pools the students then created an animal that they thought would be perfectly adapted to live in the tide pools.

By: Mr. Kyle Duport, 5th grade

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