STEAM Fridays!

Third grade has been enjoying a new addition to our learning this year-S.T.E.A.M. Fridays!  S.T.E.A.M., short for science, technology, engineering, art, and math, is a fun way for students to learn all sorts of things.  So far this year we’ve created slingshots and measured how far different-sized pom poms would fly, played subtraction Farkle, created spider web bridges, created school buses out of tissue boxes and measured how far they would roll, and created apple rafts.  

Not only do the students get to do some fun, out-of-the-ordinary activities, they also get practice problem-solving, working together, taking turns being the leader and the follower, and expressing their ideas.  It is especially fun to watch their interactions with each other and observe them using the growth mindset.  They are starting to realize that they may not be successful at first, but they can learn from their mistakes and from their classmates.  What a great way to practice skills that will get them far in the years ahead!

Mrs. Krista Elliot, Third Grade

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St. John’s Instrumental Music

The Lutheran Church has a long standing tradition of musical excellence. Some of the world’s most famous composers–such as J.S. Bach and G.F. Handel–have musical roots in the Lutheran Church. These composers have made magnificent contributions to the world’s collection of sacred music and their gifts are still enjoyed and shared today. These composers captured the essence of music, a gift from God that touches the souls of those who play, perform, and listen.

St. John’s School is pleased to be continuing this rich musical tradition of the Lutheran Church which teaches students to enjoy this God-given gift, challenge themselves, and share their faith through music. Our students receive regular instruction in church music, vocal music, and instrumental music.

We have just begun the fifth year of the St. John’s Instrumental Music Program. It is exciting to look back just a few years and see the growth in the program: at the end of the 2013-2014 school year we had 7 students in our band program; currently, we have over 50 students involved in band! Over the years we have added weekly instrumental music instruction for all students in grades K-5, started a 2nd-3rd grade handchime choir, restarted the school handbell program, and formed a middle school praise band. We have grown from one concert per year to now participating in chapel multiple times throughout the school year, performing for pep rallies and other school events, participating in area Lutheran School music events, and performing multiple concerts per year. This year we have about 80 students involved our band, handbell, handchime, and praise band ensembles. Praise be to God!

Mrs. Megan Guebert, Instrumental Music

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Elementary Physical Education

Elementary PE is off to a great start.  We are working on keeping our heart fit and our bodies strong.  Grades 1-5 are learning how to do a plank (an isometric core strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up ). Most students can now hold their plank for up to 30 seconds!  In addition, we are focusing on teamwork for the month of September.  Students in grades 2-5 have had so much fun collaborating together over multi-level games.  Some examples of multi-level games in PE are “Cross the River,” “Pass the Chicken,” and “Hula Hut Relays.”  In “Cross the River” students must cross the “toxic river” with only a set amount of supplies.  Once they accomplish this, they move up a level and must work together on solving the next obstacle together. The higher the level, the more challenging the obstacle becomes.

In 5th grade PE, students have not only been working on teamwork and collaboration, they have also been learning about their heart.  Thus far, students have learned how to find their resting heart rate, facts about their heart, the importance of keeping a “fit heart,” and how to find their target heart rate.  Students were able to see their heart in 4-D using a virtual reality app called “Anatomy 4D”.  Many students were amazed to see that their heart did not look like a “heart” shape.

Way to go students on working to keep your heart fit and bodies strong!

Mrs. Miller, PE

Towers!

Recently the 4th graders learned about the Tower of Babel.  They also got to participate in a fun activity of building the tallest tower they could out of plastic cups.  The challenge was that at first they could not vocally communicate with each other.  Just like when God made the people speak in many different languages so that they would have trouble completing their tower to heaven.  After a few minutes, the class then could talk and their towers were nothing short of amazing.  The lesson learned is that when we give God the glory and work well together, all things are possible!

 

Miss Clark’s 4th Grade Class

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The Ukulele as a Tool for Musical Learning

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

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Sink of Float?

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

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