STEM Lab Excitement!

The NEW St. John’s School STEM Lab has some exciting updates in construction!

  • Nana Wall (folding glass wall) is up!
  • Tech storage cabinets are up!
  • Ceiling tiles are nearly ready to go in!

Technology still to come:

  • THREE 85″ Flat-screen panels for instruction display
  • Apple TVs for all display panels
  • 3D printing lab (FOUR 3D printers already purchased!)
  • Integrated audio system for presentations
  • Steelcase Makerspace furnishing by Tangram Designs

Thank you to our school Auxiliary, church and outside donors who made this all possible!

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Tangram1

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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Giving Thanks!

I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus.  Philemon 1:4

It’s a great week at St. John’s to give thanks!  We started the week with excitement and thankfulness for the successful Gala and Auction on Saturday.  So many dedicated people worked tirelessly to plan this annual event that has brought many blessings to our school over the years.  The outpouring of love and support through the generous donations is overwhelming and it’s exciting to look forward to our new STEM lab and other ways our school will benefit in the next year.

Our Track & Field Days are another reason to give thanks this week.  St. John’s students ran, jumped, kicked, threw, and cheered each other on as they demonstrated power, strength, and an abundance of energy in their bodies.  What a celebration of the strong healthy bodies with which they are blessed!

Teacher Appreciation Week brought fun surprises each day.  It’s a blessing to be a teacher at St. John’s!  So many parents and students to thank for their treats, gifts, cards and loving notes!  It’s also a good time, as one of these blessed teachers, to thank God for the support and friendship of a faculty and staff that is so committed to serving the Lord and His people each day and building one another up.

What a week!

But what about the weeks that aren’t so exciting and fun-filled?  Can we still give thanks then too?  Aren’t there days and weeks when the funds are tight and budgets are a concern?  What about the people we know who don’t have strong healthy bodies to celebrate?  Or the races lost and getting the 8th place ribbon instead of 1st place? The school project hours were spent on, only to earn a mediocre grade?  The pain of fractured relationships and discord?  Can we still give thanks then too?  Yes!  God promises to supply every need of ours according to His riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).  He uses adversity to exhibit just how wonderfully perfect His love is for us through our Savior.  If we leave ourselves open to seeing God’s blessings through the difficult times, we will see His love manifested in our lives and know the true peace and joy that are His gift to us.  That’s a reason to give thanks!

By: Mrs. Cathy Meier, 2nd grade!

Kindergarten Movie Making 101

Is it really possible to make a movie with Kindergarteners?  Some may doubt us, but the answer is YES!! The movie making process with Kindergarteners takes time and a lot of patience, but it is a very rewarding experience when you see the finished project.  The first step we took was to pick an educational topic to focus on. At St. John’s, the theme Mrs. Grack chose was prepositions. Next, we read a book on prepositions called Bears in the Night by the Berenstains.  After reading the book, each student in our class was assigned a preposition to illustrate.

In the following class, we practiced our picture taking skills and learned about a variety of film shots from the American Film Institute.  We also learned about storyboards and their relationship to film shots by watching a deleted clip from the movie Frozen that was filmed using the original storyboards.  The third class was when we wrote our script. Each kindergarten class had to develop a storyline that included a problem and solution.  Each student in our class had a line and a preposition that they had include in the script. The themes for this year’s movies were: “Lost in the Forest on a Stormy Night,” “Where in the World are the Letterbooks?” and “How do we get to Disneyland?”

During the fourth week, we applied our knowledge about film shots and storyboards by making a storyboard that matched each of our written parts in the movie. One thing we focused on was making the storyboards as accurate as possible by including a picture of ourselves using the correct body positions and facial expressions. Next, it was time to take our camera shots.  We partnered up and worked together to get the exact photo that matched our storyboards. Some of us used the Green Screen and had to find a background that represented our storyboard picture. For example, one student wanted to be on a roller coaster with cotton candy and with the Green Screen technology, we made it happen!!

Last, Mrs. Grack applied her editing magic using Google Slides and Imovie.  As a class we chose the background music for the movie. Then, we added our audio after discussing how we needed to make our voices and words, clear, slow and expressive.  On the night of Expression Explosion, our movies debuted to our family and friends.

The movie took six weeks to produce, but we learned so much and are so proud of our accomplishment.  

By: Mrs. Grack, Educational Technology Teacher

Step Back in Time!

The third grade class invites you to take a step back in time!  Third graders experienced life in the Victorian age as they toured the Kellogg House at the Orange County Heritage Museum.  They learned about Victorian architecture, tried their hand at chores like the laundry and butter churning, tried on clothes, played with old-fashioned toys, learned about some big differences in schooling, discovered how a blacksmith made nails and brands, and explored many rooms of the house.  

However, their learning didn’t stop there!  In the weeks after our trip, students acted as tour guides through the house.  They used the app Puppet Edu to create a movie with a partner.  They utilized pictures of the museum and gave detailed information about what they learned.  At the end of the movie, they invited their audience to visit the museum for themselves.  You, too, can take a step back in time by watching their videos!  What a fun way to end a field trip, and what wonderful planning and teamwork skills the students showed as they created their videos!

By: Mrs. Elliott, 3rd grade

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2nd Grade Learning Outside the Classroom!

2nd grade field trips can sometimes take you right around the corner, and sometimes they let you travel back in time or even to space.   2nd graders have been extra busy this month, not only preparing for big events like Expression Explosion and VIP Day, but they’ve also gone on two field trips.

On Wednesday, April 18th, our 2nd graders took a walking tour to Dr. Miller’s Orthodontist office, which is literally right down the street and around the corner from our school.  Dr. Miller’s staff provided six hands-on stations where the kids learned about proper dental hygiene, completed science experiments, made their own personal molds of rubber stamps using alginate and plaster, met with Dr. Miller himself, and learned about the history and usefulness of x-rays.   The kids had an exciting time learning, exploring, and getting to interact with Dr. Miller’s staff.

On Friday, April 27th, our 2nd graders travelled by bus to the California Science Center in Los Angeles.  There, at the museum, our kids started their day travelling back in time 3,000 years to see over 150 authentic artifacts from King Tut’s tomb.  Did you know that he was only 9 years old when he became Pharaoh?  That’s quite shocking to an 8-year old 2nd grader!  This special exhibit celebrates the 100th anniversary of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in Egypt and was packed full of things to see, read, watch, and ask questions about.  Second graders then got to explore the many different exhibits at the Science Center, such as Tess, the 50-foot body simulator, touch tanks, air and space exhibits, and even a special exhibit called Goose Bumps!  The Science of Fear.  Our field trip concluded with a visit to see the Endeavour space shuttle and even included a special presentation for our St. John’s kids.

Special thanks to Dr. Miller’s office, our chaperoning parents and the Ramirez family for their help and support with these great field trips!

By: Mrs. Katie Todd, 2nd grade

Orthodontist!

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Science Center!

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Math Comes Alive!

Our middle school math students have been busy these last couple of months. We have been in our geometry unit studying solids, surface area, and volume. What better way to make geometry more meaningful than to make it jump off the pages of our textbooks.

Our first project was to create a robot/tin man. Students brought in all sorts of boxes, balls, cones, and tubes. They had to calculate the surface area of the parts they chose for their robots/tin man. Then, using the exact amount of tinfoil they ordered, they had to wrap their robot/tin man to see if they accurately calculated the surface area. It was fun to see the look on their faces when they came to order their tinfoil and a rectangle was handed to them. Many of them walked away determined to make it work because they were confident in their calculations while others were a little unsure. In the end they were all pleasantly surprised to see that they were able to make it all work by strategically cutting their foil.

Next, the students explored volume. We had focused on the outside of a solid but now it was time to see what the inside of a solid could hold. What better way to motivate than bringing in popcorn and pretzels? They were challenged to create a container with the largest volume possible so it would hold the most popcorn or pretzels that it could. They could only use one sheet of paper, they had to make a rectangular prism, and they were not allowed to add any extra paper. With popcorn and pretzels on the line the students had some interesting conversations about how to achieve the greatest volume possible and enjoyed discussing their findings over a container of snacks!

We wrapped up our study of surface area and volume with a fun design project to tie it all together. The students got to construct their own pyramids! From start to finish: design- dimensions – calculations- decoration, it was open to them to be as creative as they wanted.  They even got to brush up on the Pythagorean Theorem to find the drop height of their pyramids! In the design process students had to calculate the surface area and volume of their pyramids while staying in the size guidelines. Boy did they turn out cute!

By: Mrs. Forrest, Middle School Math

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