12th Annual Junior Martin Luther Competition

October 31st, 2019 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 that has attended St. John’s since 2008 has spent the month of October participating in a variety of classroom learning activities that have 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.

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This year’s finalists included Jack Schirrmacher, Lexi Krumes, Amanda McArthur, Trinity Laurenson – Aumua, Joshua Grack, Calista Somerville, Faith Novak, Miah Lovett and Kylie Snyder.  The Alternates for the competition consisted of Emily Paul, Ella Clapper and Olivia O’Day.  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.

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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, Trinity Laurenson–Aumua,   from Mrs. Van Blarcom’s homeroom, won the competition!  After winning the competition, Trinity proceeded to nail the 95 theses on the Castle Church door.  Last year’s winner, Chanel Kruse, 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 2019 -2020 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 Trinity!

Nathan Mercier, 6th grade

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HEROs in Training!

Last week our 2nd graders participated in our school’s annual H.E.R.O. training program where they learn about survival, empowerment, and safe-thinking strategies.  While the subject is certainly sobering, this program does a wonderful job of focusing on empowering our students in an emergency to use their brains and have strategies in mind when dangerous situations arise.  All of our students eagerly embrace the Hide, Escape, Run, and Overcome challenges as they learn that Superheroes are those who know how to save themselves and help others.

This week we are celebrating Red Ribbon Week and learning how to make healthy choices in all aspects of our lives as we give thanks to God for the strong healthy bodies with which He’s blessed us.  If you are on campus this week, be sure to check out all of the fun classroom doors decorated for the competition!

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Catalina Adventure 2019

Our 7th graders had the opportunity to take their learning beyond the four walls of the classroom and “dive” into God’s beautiful Creation as they explored Toyon Bay on Catalina Island at the Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI)! 

Through observation, inquiry, and hands-on experiences the students learned about fish, sharks, algae, oceanography, plankton, invertebrates, creatures of the deep, island flora, island geography, and they even completed a squid dissection! 

Beyond the labs, the students worked together and strengthened our community while snorkeling and kayaking. The 7th graders encouraged one another while hiking, and rock climbing. We even had a Talent Show- “St. John’s Got Talent!” 

Throughout the week we prayed and completed devotions. The students led a worship service Thursday night to praise God for the wonderful opportunities that we had throughout the week to enjoy, learn about, and appreciate His fascinating Creation!

Here is a link to a video created by one of our 7th graders with pictures and video that he took during the week. Here is a link to all of the Catalina Blog photos from the week!

Some 7th graders shared what they learned during the week and when they felt God’s presence:

I learned how to dissect a squid. I saw God when hiking in the mountains. -Bella

I learned at Catalina how to really work together to accomplish something. Night snorkel. I saw God during the rock wall, because love is always on top. -Evan G

I saw God in His creation of animals. I learned that it is very hard to put on a wetsuit. – Jackson

I learned that bioluminescence glows in the dark. I felt God’s presence in “long division.” – Cooper J.

I saw God give us peace and to work together for a great purpose and us working like a well oiled machine and I learned how to dissect a squid. -Jack

I learned the fundamentals of the ocean. I saw God through the bonfire, it made me feel watched. – Owen

By: Yvette Stuewe, 7th grade science teacher

Singing Praise Songs with Pastor Hayes

It’s such a blessing to have such amazing pastors right here on campus!  Getting the opportunity to be with them outside of church or chapel is just so exciting to these little kindergarteners.

We were thrilled to have our very own Pastor Hayes come to our classroom last week.  He brought his guitar and lead us in some fun praise songs.  The students loved being able to help lead the songs with their voices and actions.

Praising the Lord with our voices is one of our favorite things to do.

We are looking forward to having him back in our classroom soon!

Molly Harrison, Kindergarten

Raising Awareness One Student at a Time

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

The topic of mental health has become very prominent in today’s society. People of all ages, races, and backgrounds are becoming more and more vocal about their mental health conditions and the everyday battles they are facing. The question is, how can we help those struggling around us continue to find their voice and feel comfortable to do so? How can we foster suicide prevention starting at a young age? 

A stigma has developed over the years towards mental health, causing people to feel shame towards their conditions and in return not wanting to share their challenges with others. When those challenges are not or cannot be communicated, that’s when suicidal thoughts start to creep their way in to someone’s life.

At St. John’s we believe in supporting the whole child, and that includes their social and emotional well-being. We understand that suicide prevention comes in all different forms, especially when working with such a broad age range of students. Educating students on how to express, understand, and control their own feelings is one of the main ways we do this. Instilling problem-solving skills, communication strategies, and fostering resiliency are also crucial life skills that we understand play major roles in student success. And finally, having a Christ-centered environment where unconditional love is practiced, and where students feel safe and confident to turn to the trusted adults around them. 

St. John’s families, we love our students and only want the best for them. We are taking the appropriate steps for each grade level to make sure their social-emotional well-being continues to flourish. If at any time you need a referral for outside resources or additional support, please feel free to email me at sdoyle@stjohnsorange.orgor call the school office and ask for Sara Doyle. 

Blessings, 

Miss Sara Doyle

School Counselor 

Question of the Day

2nd grade is now deep into the curriculum and the “honeymoon stage” of the first couple of weeks has worn off.  Things are starting to get busy and the pressures mount to get everything done and pack learning into the day.  While this stress may have good intentions behind it, it is important for teachers and parents alike to remember to slow down and take time for what is actually important, not just what we think is important.  For Mrs. Morner’s class, this includes spending positive moments together as a class.

Mrs. Morner has created “Question of the Day.”  It is a simple presentation filled with simple questions, but the result has been wonderful.

In addition to beginning our morning with the pledges, a devotion, and prayer, we now also open with the “Question of the Day,” which ranges from questions as common as “What is your favorite food?” and as creative as “If you were given 1,000 acres of land, what would you do with it?”  None of the questions are academic (on purpose) and it has so far allowed everyone to start the day in a relaxed way that also allows knowing each other better as a class.  It’s a period of five minutes where students can talk about their interests and use their imagination a bit.  It opens us up on a positive note and reminds us that, while the day may get busy and our work is incredibly important, spending some time together as a class is just as important and we can still make some time for the fun stuff too!

Mrs. Morner, 2nd grade

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COUNSELOR’S CORNER – September 2019 Edition: A Message From Miss Doyle

Teaching organizational skills from a young age

Have you ever thought about your own organizational style in comparison to your student’s? Are you more of a list person, while your child tends to have a photographic memory (at least they think they do)? Or maybe you’re more of a go-with-the-flow type of personality, while your child is more concrete with their routines? Whatever your style may be, organizational skills play a large role in our everyday lives, so starting to develop those abilities at a young age is important. 

Below you will find some helpful tips on how to foster your student’s organizational dexterities:

  1. Routines are key – Morning routines, nighttime routines, after school routines, and the list goes on. Children thrive off of routines because it allows them to feel safe and unwavering. Even though at times they may push back and want to adjust their routine, they more than likely will resort back to what they’ve been originally taught. 
  2. Sorting/Categorizing – Something so simple, but incredibly beneficial. Sorting can include anything from their toys or clothes at home, to their school papers and supplies. Sorting gives students the chance to arrange the things they use most often and take ownership of those items. A lot of the time this skill comes in the form of completing chores or organizing their school binder or locker. 
  3. Checklists – Introduce checklists early on. Keep it basic and start with a checklist that focuses on things like their nightly routine before bed or what to pack for a family vacation. And eventually when students get older, checklists can be used to help them prioritize their time with school, sports, social outings, etc. Checklists may even start to take the shape of a planner. 
  4. Letting them clean-up after themselves – This may be easier said than done sometimes, especially if you are like my mom who liked her household in a specific order.  However, something as simple as putting their clothes in a hamper, their shoes by the front door, washing their plate after dinner, or putting their toys away in their room is teaching them how to be responsible. That responsibility leads to independence and eventually the drive to complete tasks on their own without being asked.  
  5. Cook together! 🙂 Adventures in the kitchen are memories children never forget. Learning techniques like measuring ingredients, kitchen safety, making a grocery list, and healthy eating habits are essential. Organizational skills are needed in the kitchen, and what better way to teach those techniques than to have a little fun baking or meal prepping with your student 🙂

Of course, there are many more tips than just those listed above. Each household is different from the next, so find the strategies that work for you and your family. In fact, comment below about some of the organizational techniques that work for your family or even those that you have tried and didn’t work.