Honoring our Veterans

In Mrs. G’s First Grade we have been learning about our country and special fall holidays. We are learning about Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving. We did a chapel about men and women who helped protect our country by being in the military. We thanked all the branches of the service for their dedication to God and our country.

We are thankful for the military service members give our country. We continue to pray and think about them and their sacrifices that keep the USA safe. In addition to the Veteran’s Day Holiday we are learning about Thanksgiving and how our country was started by brave men and women who came to our east coast to start a life that included worshipping God. We also made Native American hats to think about how they helped the Pilgrims through their first winters in America. Thanks you God for our Country and all the people who protect it and us. 

We read many books about the beginning of America. Happy Fall!

By: Mrs. Glaeser, 1st grade

Higher Order Thinking in Social Studies Using Minecraft?

By Angie Bender, Middle School Teacher

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.

Technology is evolving everyday and at St. John’s our students to explore, build and create so that they have an opportunity to develop a passion for science, technology, engineering and math. Here is an example of the final Medieval Manor Minecraft Video Project from Avery and Olivia:

Minecraft Village

California Landmarks: Learning and collaborating

As part of the history-social science standards in third grade, students are to learn about landmarks, both on local and national levels. Our students just enjoyed a fun learning experience that allowed them to learn about a variety of our famous landmarks here in California. 

The California Landmarks project is one of the first collaborative projects done in third grade each year. Students were assigned a partner and specific landmark for this activity. Throughout the project, pupils utilize and develop a variety of academic and social skills. The research was done online, so students practiced digital learning and citizenship. Once they finished their research, students communicated the information they learned by designing a poster that sharing interesting facts, marked its location on a map, and included an illustration of their landmark. The final step incorporated Mrs. Grack’s STEM class and saw students design a ‘Clips’ presentation of their landmark. Throughout this learning process, students collaborated with a partner, which increased learning and more importantly, developed teamwork.

The collaboration between students was not just occurring in the classroom. Currently there are students participating in the Mustangs Online program and learning from home, and in this particular project, in-person students in the classroom were able to connect with Mustangs Online students via Zoom. These partners worked together over the course of multiple days and brought students in our ‘classroom’ together.

By: Mr. C – 3rd Grade

Ask…Imagine… Plan…Create…Improve! 6th Grade Engineers!

Recently, our 6th graders dove into the Engineering Design Process. Each student individually took on the challenge of designing and building an insulating device that can hold 200mL of hot water and trap the most heat for 20 minutes. To prepare for this challenge, the students studied the transfer of heat, differentiated between insulators and conductors, and researched good household materials to use as insulators.

Once the research and designs were created, it was time to build their devices! Each student built their own unique design and tested it. Once they tested their device the 6th graders had the opportunity to analyze their trial one data, reflect on the effectiveness of their design, and modify their thermos for a second trial! 

To reflect on the whole Engineering Design Process from start to finish, the students wrote a personal narrative to add to their middle school writing portfolio. They published their narrative on Flipgrid and had the opportunity to encourage one another by commenting on each other’s videos. 

Whew! Our 6th graders worked hard to sharpen their 21st Century skills as they thought critically, used creativity to design and build their thermos, collaborated with others, and communicated their experiences with the engineering design process!

By: Yvette Stuewe, Middle School Science

2nd Grade Writing and STEM Integrations

Our 2nd graders have been busy integrating writing, science, and technology for their animal reports.  They’ve grown so much in their writing skills while having fun learning about an animal and creating a virtual habitat.  Getting to visit their classmates’ habitats with the STEM Lab’s special goggles was a great way to end the project! See below to check out our project.

By: Cathy Meier, 2nd Grade