The Gift of Words –

Last week for the Valentine’s Day celebration, the 4th Grade students focused on the gift of encouraging words! Each student had the opportunity to write a word or a phrase that described each of their classmates on a poster. Posters were filled with: “A GOOD FRIEND, CREATIVE, FUNNY, KIND, COOL, and AWESOME.” We discussed that taking time to share positive words with others – help make people feel special, seen, valued, and LOVED. 

Additionally, Mrs. Fink’s Class had the opportunity to continue to share words of love and encouragement to those outside of the St. John’s Community. The students decorated Valentine’s Cards that were taken to a ministry in Tustin that connects with those in nursing homes. The 4th Grade students put so much love and effort into these cards – knowing just how big of a smile it would bring to someone’s face.

Celebrations, parties, and holidays have looked a bit different in the classroom this year – but we are certainly finding ways to creatively celebrate together and making wonderful memories! 

A Trip Through the Human Body by 4th Grade

In 4th grade, one of the science standards students learn about is the human body and body parts.  In order to extend their knowledge about the human body, the 4th graders created a Keynote presentation and animation that would tell about the chosen body system.  The body system story was told from the perspective of an object that travels through that system.  A few examples are a musical note traveling through the ear or a pizza moving through the digestive system. 

To complete this project, the students first chose a body system and had to write a script using key anatomical words that relate to the body system chosen. Next, students had to find pictures related to their script and create their Keynote presentation.  Third, the 4th graders added in the animation of the key character or object as it moves through the body system on Keynote.  Last, students added transitions and audio to the presentation.  Through this science project, the 4th graders had fun learning about script writing, digital media presentation, animation and video creation.  The video below shows an example of three completed projects.  Enjoy!!  

By Sarah Grack, Technology Specialist

Operation Gratitude

Recently, Lutheran Schools united in celebration across the country.  National Lutheran Schools Week was celebrated with fun dress-up themes, virtual assemblies, games, video devotionals, and more!  This year’s theme was “Sent to Serve.”  After being reminded of so many who serve around us, here at St. John’s and in our families each day, the students had a chance to serve a special group of people… our military.  

Operation Gratitude sends thousands of care packages each year to deployed troops, veterans, new recruits and first responders, and a personal letter is often the most cherished part of that care package.  Each student had the opportunity to write a personal note of thanks and encouragement to a soldier hero.   Students in grades K-8 participated in this service project, but here are a few pics of some 2nd graders and their letters. 

5th Grade Problem Solvers

The 5th graders were presented with a real-world problem and challenged with the task of finding a solution to the problem by using the engineering design process.  The problem? Work in small groups to redesign the front of school to improve the areas where students are dropped off and picked up before and after school. They were given almost unlimited options. The only limit was that they could not move buildings.

The students created a detailed map that outlined their plans which they presented to their classmates at the end of the project. There were many great solutions, including adding turn lanes on Almond and Shaffer streets, creating a pedestrian walkway over Shaffer street, using Moreland Drive as a pick-up area, and adding a stoplight at the intersection of Almond and Shaffer to help with traffic flow. It is always fascinating to see these young minds create awesome solutions to the challenges they are given, especially one that we experience on a daily basis.

By: Mr. Duport, 5th Grade

Road to the American Revolution

Our fifth graders had the opportunity to experience life as a colonist in the 1700s through some exciting interactive activities.  Through a role-playing activity our students were emersed in a colonial simulation. The students had a unique hand experience to better understand how the colonists felt about the taxes bestowed upon them by the King and British Parliament; “No taxation without Representation”.

The second activity the students engaged in was an interactive app. The game immerses the students in a colonial setting and empowers them to make choices that show how colonists experienced the time leading up to the Revolution. It puts students in the shoes of a young printer’s apprentice in 1770 Boston. As the students navigate the city and complete the tasks, they encounter loyalists and patriots living and working there and receive a better idea of how each side felt about the British in Boston. These interactions were helpful to show how tensions were mounting which ultimately led to the Boston Massacre.

The students were anxious to participate in these unique early colonial experiences. Learning about history can be informative and FUN!

By: Mrs. Schirrmacher, 5th grade