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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Real Safety in an Unsafe World

This week, many of St. John’s Lutheran School classrooms are introducing the Safe Kids “H.E.R.O.” initiative, a five-part training program designed to help students (and their teachers) survive an armed intruder attack.  It’s sobering stuff to be teaching children – but, sadly, a necessary one to teach, given the constant danger under which schools around the globe find themselves.

The good news?  In my Homeroom, my Seventh Graders identified that, on the “Feel Safe” continuum, they feel safer at St. John’s than they feel in the greater Orange community.  Clearly, our administrators have been doing their job of lessening the stress and anxiety that students feel while on our historic campus.  The surprising impression (for me, at least) is how much tactical understanding the students already have regarding active shooter psychology, intent, and method.  Everyone, it seems, has a story to tell about something they have heard about the subject.

In such anxious times, it is good to reflect upon Someone outside ourselves Who has our back – the Lord Jesus Himself.  I find the words of Psalm 34: 7 particularly helpful when I consider the potential for danger that faces our children (and us!) every time we step out of our doors:

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and he delivers them.”

In this incredible passage of assurance, King David offers the two promises we need to rely upon the most –  security (“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him”) and physical protection (“. . .and He delivers them.”)  King David’s words are exactly the sort of reminder we all need during these times of anxiety and fear.

St. Jhn’s Lutheran School needs the H.E.R.O. infinitive right now.  Our students need to know how to protect themselves in the event that. . .well, you know.  Even more so, though, St. John’s Lutheran School needs the confidence in Our Lord’s Hand of protection that King David declares in Psalm 34.  I rely upon it daily.  So should you.

May God continue to bless our school and all who call it home!

Together, with you, in Christ’s service,

Kevin G. Smith, Seventh Grade Language Arts

 

Physical Education and Health

In the world of Elementary Physical Education at St. John’s, students just completed Track and Field Day.  Grades K – 4 spent several weeks learning and practicing the various events that take place on Track and Field Day.  Students get to test their running ability, jumping skills, and practice teamwork in relay races. It is such a joy to watch the students on the actual day; they are having fun while exercising and learning how to compete in a friendly and safe environment.

5th graders have had an exciting year preparing themselves as they make their way on to middle school.  In 5th grade PE, students are tested on units of study from the past three years (e.g. disc golf, basketball, and volleyball).  Additionally, they are tested on new units as well (e.g. hockey, the F.I.T.T. principle, and finding target heart rate).

Making healthy choices and exhibiting good sportsmanship play a big role in physical education.  In addition to PE, students in grades 2-4 had had Health Class for 8 weeks over the course of the school year this year. The overall focus of the class was how to be good stewards of the body that God gave us tied into the National Standards for Health.  This year we really focused on the importance of good nutrition for your body.  Recently, students had the opportunity to try new fruits and vegetables and then rated the foods on a scale of 1-5.  Most of the students were excited to try vegetables such as raw mushrooms, sweet potato, micro greens, kiwi, red peppers, and mini cucumbers.

It has been an exciting year with each grade level.  The students are such blessing to me.  It is so exciting to work with individual students in each class and to watch them grow physically and emotionally throughout the school year.  I pray God’s continued blessings on you and your family and hope you have a safe, healthy and active summer.

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National Junior Honor Society

This year the St. John’s chapter of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) was busy.  For those who are not familiar with the National Junior Honor Society, it is a prestigious organization created to recognize and encourage academic achievement, as well as cultivate the characteristics of character, service, leadership and citizenship, among middle level students.  Membership in the National Junior Honor Society is a privilege.

At St John’s Lutheran School (SJLS), the National Junior Honor Society is established for grades 6 (after first semester), 7 and 8 to recognize outstanding Christian role models in five areas: Scholarship, Leadership, Citizenship, Character and Service.

Our members are active throughout the school and community.  Aside from maintaining good grades, high standards for behavior and personal commitments outside of school, our members also participated in three service projects this year and numerous meetings.  Two of the service projects were done as a group, and the third is an independent community project of their own design.

For the first project students collected money for victims of hurricane Maria and was very successful.  For several weeks they visited classrooms they were assigned to and spoke in front of the entire school at chapel services to encourage students to bring donations.  The school was divided into three sections, two in lower grades and one group in middle school.  Within the group they competed to see which grade level would bring in the most money.  In return, the grade level which brought in the most money received a free-dress day.  In the end, the chapter raised over $1500.00.

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The second project took place in February and March and consisted in members volunteering a Saturday afternoon to the 4th Saturday Food project.  Members participated on their chosen day and reported enjoying this afternoon of service very much.

The third project had members using their creativity and contacts to create, propose and serve in the community at large.  They did such varied things as helping blind children, distributing clothing to unemployed people, serving food at Little League events, helping children at Caterinas Club, cleaning up at the beach, helping the preschoolers in Peru, and many more.

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In April we had our yearly induction ceremony in which 21 new members were inducted.  It is a great turnout and we are looking forward to working with these new members over the next years.  Each Friday all our members can be recognized around the campus as they wear their NJHS t-shirts.  If you happen to run into one, congratulate them on achieving and maintaining such high standards!

By: Sr. Stone, Spanish Teacher, NJHS Coordinator

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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