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

Happy 100th Day of School

Mrs. Nelson’s kindergarten class had SO much fun celebrating the 100th day of school! We have been learning and growing for 100 days and that called for a celebration. Our class has been working hard learning how to count to 100, write our numbers to 100, and challenging ourselves figuring out different ways to break 100 apart into equal groups. On the 100th Day we were able to use our skills to complete many fun 100 themed activities.

We made fun hats with 10 colorful strips and put 10 stickers on each strip. 100 stickers to wear all day.

Picture108

We used number recognition and counting to stamp our way to 100 gumballs.

Each student brought a different food item to class. We made predictions about what type of food would be the heaviest, lightest, highest volume, and least volume.  Each student counted out 100 pieces of their food by making 10 groups of 10. We weighed each item and them compared and contrasted. When we were finished we dumped the leftover (untouched) food into a giant bowl and created a delicious 100th day trail mix. Yum-yum…we enjoyed it for an afternoon snack.

Picture105

As part of our weekly homework each student brought in 100 pieces of an item of their choice. We had a show and share and then displayed our eclectic groups of 100 on a collection board.

100 Sprinkles Smarter! We made fun cupcakes with 100 sprinkles on each. We counted out 10 sprinkles of 10 different colors.

Each student wrote a sentence and illustrated a picture about one thing they have learned in the first 100 days of kindergarten. We have learned so much and have grown academically, socially, and spiritually.

Thank you, Jesus, for a successful first 100 days of school!

By: Mrs. Laura Nelson, Kindergarten

 

 

Natural Selection and Adaptations Explored Using STEAM

Have you ever wondered what might happen to a bird species over 20,000 years?  The 8th graders explored this idea in science while studying natural selection .  First, students learned the concepts of existence, diversity, extinction, anatomy, genetic variations, mutations, survival, reproduction, traits, predominance, suppression, adaptations, and natural selection.  Once they were confident in their understanding, they chose a bird specie and researched it. From this foundation, creativity was unleashed, synthesis took place, and depth of understanding was showcased.

Students had to envision realistic changes and adaptations that could take place with their bird over 20,000 years to enable it to survive and thrive.   Students drew 2 dimensional drawings of the way their bird would look in the future along with the habitat it would live in. They also used the 3D CAD design tool Tinkercad to design a functional  beak. Once the beaks were printed, students video recorded the testing process of their beak trying to pick up the intended food source. Students created the background production of their project using a green screen app by Do Ink.  They used their two 2D drawings along with the video of their beak test to create the three layer background.  

When students were satisfied with the three layers of their background production, they pulled the footage into iMovie.  Here they synthesized the story of their bird specie from the present to the year 22,020 using realistic and deep explanations rich in factual scientific vocabulary.  This science project gave the 8th graders the opportunity to explore an interest (each chose their own bird specie) to gain knowledge, understanding, application, analysis, evaluation and creativity of the science behind natural selection and adaptations.

MS 8th Grade Science Teacher  Laura Kruse

Dancing Days!

Dancing Days were here again

For the St. John’s Middle School girls.

Crazy ways were evident

With the hip hop moves and swirls.

I said it’s alright

You know it’s alright …


But before we get in trouble with Led Zepplin for stealing their lyrics, we should get back to the blog information.  6th, 7th and 8th grade girls PE finished our dance unit. We had all kinds of fun – we stayed active, and we even learned some things along the way.  

This 3-week “mini unit” is always welcomed with great anticipation by the girls.  8th graders choose their own (appropriate) music for their dance routine, and they also have the privilege of choosing the music that the 6th and 7th grade groups will use in their routines.

Each group (ranging from 3 to 7 girls) was required to include four specific dance moves in their routine.  They all did this well – check out the videos.

Mrs. VB, PE & ELA8

Real World Math

“When are we ever going to use this math?”, “Where do you actually see this math in the world?”. As a math teacher these are the sayings you get from many middle school students. To take math from the pages of our textbook into their daily lives and give it application to careers the 7th grade students completed two projects. 

What better object to tie into math than an Apple iPhone. 7th grade honors math looked at the cost of an iPhone versus the cost of manufacturing to see how percent markup works and affects our lives. The results were quite shocking for some of them! They were fascinated to see how the percent markup has changed with different models of the iPhone. Conversations of supply and demand arose as many talked about waiting to buy newer models or the advancement of technology causing phones to last longer.

Meanwhile the 7th grade math classes looked at what goes into creating an enlarged image. Many of the students who have taken our art class elective have used grids to enlarge images but we looked at the math behind it all. Students got to choose a candy they wanted to enlarge. Using ratios of the candy wrapper to the size paper they would enlarge on they came up with their scale factor. From there they drew their grid and began the process of recreating proportional. They got to see how important it is to be precise and use rulers accurately. Students saw how computation mistakes would throw off their scale factor and the importance of having a strong number sense. It was one tastiest math project!

Ms. Forrest, Middle School Math

Reflecting on Dr. King’s Life and Legacy

The past few weeks fourth grade focused our attention and readings on the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is always an emotional few weeks as we approach tough conversations about race, culture, segregation, and discrimination. Subjects and pains that are not cured, as Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech still stands relevant to this day. Although the days of Jim Crow Laws and segregated buses are long gone, discrimination based on race, gender, culture, religion, disability, etc. are unfortunately in our communities.

This year, Dr. King could have turned 90 years old, possibly able to address my students and this country himself. Instead, we are left as a community of parents and educators with the responsibility of pursuing his dream and reminded of the “urgency of now.”  Each day we have a responsibility to lift our nation from injustice and to stand solid on the rock of brotherhood. 

Making a connection to Dr. King’s speech can be difficult for some students, as the pains of our nation’s history seems to be that of a terrible fairy tale or dark legend. Bringing Dr. King to life, reading through his speech, making connections to our world today, and letting it sink in that these atrocities were happening with our parents/grandparents as witness help students identify these truths. Parents and students were encouraged to have conversations at home. Through these conversations a student in our class learned that his grandmother’s principal took part in one of the many civil rights marches during the 60’s and has since been recognized with the state’s “Diversity Award” in 1998! Stories and testimonies like this allow students to be present within the narratives of our country. 

We spent the week working through and analyzing one of Dr. King’s most well known speeches, I Have a Dream. Students took notes on a graphic organizer, highlighting portions of the text that embodied Dr. King’s vision for our nation. Check out our work samples below!  We thank our Lord for the impact of civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King. He remains another great example of how powerful His love truly is. I pray that He continue to bless our children with courage and strength to stand against inequality like Dr. King, as they are the leaders of our future!

Ms. Emily Goins, Fourth Grade Teacher 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Winter!

First Grade has been learning about winter and enjoying our colder days at school.

We read many books about the season including, SNEEZY the SNOWMAN, THE MITTEN, and THE SNOWY DAY.

Did you know that THE SNOWY DAY by Ezra Jack Keats was the most checked out book EVER at the New York Public Library system?

It continues to be one of our favorites.

We made our own winter book about making a snowman and took it home to read to our families. Our book is titled, “The Snowy Day” by us!

In our pictures we are reading our book to our classmates. We will finish our winter unit next month and enjoy some hot cocoa with friends!

Stay warm!

Mrs. G and her Class

This slideshow requires JavaScript.