Fall Band Concert!

Thursday, November 21st was an evening of collaboration and celebration by the middle school music students!  These students played a concert in the church sanctuary, offering their praise to God and demonstrating the results of their hard work.  The middle school praise band and praise chorus “Musicking for Jesus” kicked things off by singing a variety of Advent, Christmas, and general praise songs.

This band included student singers, percussionists, bassists, and guitarists.  Next up was the intermediate band, composed of 5th-7th graders in their second year of band.  This group especially enjoyed playing “Creatures in the Attic,” which included a variety of unusual instrument techniques such as a trombone glissando, key-clicking, and playing whatever notes they wanted!  Then came the handbell choir, which played a couple of pieces based on classical music themes.

The advanced band played next, playing a variety of songs including the hymn “Psalm 42,” a medley of Sousa marches, and a fanfare and processional.  The concert ended with an audience favorite by both the intermediate and advanced bands—Raiders March from the Indiana Jones movies!

By: Krista Elliott, Band/General Music Teacher

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Coding and Language Arts?

The fifth graders just finished up an exciting novel study on There’s an Owl in the Shower. This novel guides students to take an in-depth look at the importance of caring for our environment.

As a culminating activity, the students coded Ozobot robots in order to retell the story while also discussing the story’s theme and setting. The students wrote out five major plot points from the story and coded their robot to travel through the story. They were also tasked with using code that would symbolically relate to different parts of the story. For example, one group coded their robot to spin in circles when it reached the part of their story that described a fight scene between environmentalists and loggers. Another group coded their robot to move backwards to symbolize the part of the novel when a young owl tries to fly but ends up falling instead.

This project helped the students practice important language arts standards, like studying theme, summarizing, and symbolism, while also helping them experience coding and robotics.

Mrs. Knego, 5th grade

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Pumpkin Science!

Did you know that learning the Scientific Method can be as easy as carving pumpkins and counting seeds?

2nd graders have been learning the vocabulary words and steps for the scientific method this past week using pumpkins.  After researching a little bit about pumpkins and how they are classified by scientists, each 2nd grader shared their hypothesis about how the size of a pumpkin might determine the number of seeds inside it.  Do larger pumpkins have more seeds or do smaller pumpkins have more seeds?

Next, it was time to begin our investigation and gather data.  Pumpkins were weighed, and seeds were counted.  It was a fun and mushy experience at times, plus a counting challenge, as the number of seeds we counted ranged from 305 to 583 per pumpkin.  Although our class reached their own conclusion, we did also agree that true scientists would count the seeds in hundreds of pumpkins before reaching or publishing their conclusions.

So which one is it?   Do larger pumpkins have more seeds?  Or, do smaller pumpkins have more seeds?   Grab a few pumpkins and let us know what you find out.  We’ll add your results to our collection of data.

Mrs. Katie Todd, 2nd grade

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California Early Tribes and STEAM!

The 4th graders have been studying the early tribes of California. They are learning about their environments, tools, and shelters.  They were tasked to create an example of a house or a tool in our STEAM lab. They used their imagination and creativity to collaborate and to work independently. They applied their past knowledge to create something new and exciting.  They found fun ways to display their learning.

Beth Clark,4th Grade Teacher

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Finding their voice, 5th grade podcasters

This year, the 5th graders are finding their voices through podcasting.  The 5th graders worked through the creative process to develop a podcast “channel” that included cover art, a creative channel name, and creating their own intro and outro music.

Podcasting allows all students to share their thoughts, knowledge, and opinions on any given topic and can be used across all subjects. Students who may not be good writers or may not feel comfortable sharing in front of their peers have flourished by creating podcasts.

The students recently created their first “All About Me” podcast episode in which they shared information about themselves. This project allowed all students to have a voice in their learning. Throughout this school year the students will continue to use podcasting to demonstrate their learning. They will be conducting debates, interviewing book characters, reviewing books they have read, and much more.

Kyle Duport, 5th Grade Teacher

 

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Anatomy of an Apple!

What a fun week the kindergarteners in Mrs. Nelsons class had exploring, experimenting, and learning all about apples. Our thematic unit was integrated into all subject areas and the students had a blast!

Science: Exploring our seasonal theme using the scientific method.

Activities included:

  • Anatomy of an Apple-Making Observations
  • Life cycle and Seasons of an Apple Tree
  • Five Senses
  • Will an apple sink or float?
  • Apple Tasting Graph
  • Apple facts/Descriptive words

Anatomy of an Apple

Students studied halves of apples and identified each part and learned what its function was.

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Will a big apple float? Will a small apple float?

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Math Activities included:

  • Counting
  • Graphing
  • Number recognition and sequencing

Roll, Count, and Stamp!

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Pick and graph it

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Social Studies and ELA activities included:

  • The story of Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman)
  • Being a good Citizen
  • Story Sequencing
  • Letter and sig

The legend of Johnny Appleseed

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Paint stamping and descriptive booklet

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Christian Faith and Life:

  • Comparing the 3 Main Parts of an Apple to the 3 parts of our triune God

How is an apple like Jesus?!?

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We concluded our apple week with a fun cooking project! We baked and ate delicious apple pies. YUM! These kindergartners sure can cook!

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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