Hurrah for the RED, WHITE, and BLUE!

We celebrated Presidents this month by learning about Abe and George. We made tri-hats to celebrate that George was a great military man and we made penny poems to celebrate Abe and his contributions to our country. We are proud to be Americans!

We learned the difference between a revolutionary war and a civil war. We learned all the presidents on our coins. We read many books celebrating our country. We know that presidents are elected for four years and live in the White House in Washington DC, our country’s capital .

We learned a song about Abe Lincoln, he came out of the wilderness from the prairie. George was from the great state of Virginia. Today our flag has 50 stars for 50 states, for George that was 13 stars and for Abe it was 34 stars and states.

In addition to the pledge we sang “America The Beautiful” every day this week. We prayed for our military and are thankful that God has blessed us and the United States of America!

By Mrs. Glaeser & First Grade

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Happy Chinese New Year!

On Friday February 16, 2018 the “Year of the Dog” began.  4th grade was blessed to have some Chinese students join our class for a while.  They made new friends and learned about our culture as we learned about theirs!  In our California History studies we learn about the Gold Rush and that includes the Chinese immigrants that came to our country in hopes of striking it rich!  We also learn of the hard work by many Chinese who helped to build our Transcontinental Railroad.

In the chapter book we are currently reading, By the Great Horn Spoon, we learned about the Chinese entrepreneurs who started businesses in large cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.  To celebrate the Chinese culture and to bring in the new year, the 4th graders made artwork depicting the Chinese language symbol for “Year of the Dog” as well as a dragon.  The dragon is often used in parades for the dragon dance.  Chinese dragons are a symbol of China and are said to bring good luck.  Happy new year from 4th grade!

By: Beth Clark, 4th Grade Teacher

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Attitude of Gratitude: Stop-Motion, Time lapse videos – 8th Grade Christian Faith and Life

Earlier this year, 8th grade students took the opportunity to learn about what it means to live a life of gratitude.  The students had to step back and learn to recognize the blessings they have in their individual lives.  Of course, it is easy for them to see the fancy things in life, maybe they recognized a recent gift, like an iphone or the next best gaming system.  Some of them even saw the big picture of attending a caring school environment, or having a solid structure they could call home.  But what about the things they take for granted like… a bed, running water, siblings, parents who are involved, teachers who care, and the SAVING GRACE of Jesus Christ.  So the journey had to dig deeper.

We spent a full week working on projects, reading scripture, and gathering all of the knowledge about the blessings we are surrounded with each day.  Our projects culminated with a timelapse, stop motion, or paper slide story expressing what it is the kids are so grateful for in their lives.  The projects were impressive, but the lessons of gratitude prevailed.  Students expressed gratitude for those things they did not actually recognize before.  Like a parent who takes them to and from practices for their favorite extracurricular activity, their siblings that have helped to mold them to be the person they are today, their amazing God who loved them so much that he sent his only Son to die in their place for their salvation.  Capping all of this off with two days of project share was tremendous.

In the near future we revisit this attitude of gratitude, and incorporate God’s Call in their lives.  We assess spiritual gifts, and the students will learn the next step of how to live a gracious life with purpose.  The purpose which God designed them to fulfill.

Mr. Harrison, Middle School Teacher

School Counselor – Coming to SJLS Fall 2018!

The week of February 5th – 9th is National School Counseling Week, a week to “highlight the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career” (ASCA).

For the past three years, I (Sara Doyle) have been pursuing my master’s in school counseling from Concordia University in Irvine. While progressing through this program, I have been provided with opportunities to work with other school counselors from a variety of districts, as well as to work with students from the ages of six to twenty. Academic support, behavioral analysis and guidance, social skills, emotional well-being, family instability, and college and career readiness are the areas in which I’ve been able both to learn and to put into practice.

School counselors are becoming more of an essential element on school campuses each day. Teachers are usually the first line of defense when a student is in need, but finding an adequate amount of time to set aside in support of individual students is very difficult to do. The primary job of a school counselor is, of course, to be an advocate for the student, but a counselor should also support and work alongside the administration and teaching staff, providing them with resources to use with students. A school, after all, is not just one person; rather, it is a machine of people working together with a common goal, providing top of the line education and support to all students on campus.

We are so blessed at St. John’s! In addition to that educational support, mentioned above, we get to share the reassurance of the Gospel with our students. Providing students with a Christ-centered education is a blessing because Christian educators get to connect with students on a personal level. Sadly, however, there will always be students who need more support than what their teacher can solely give. St. John’s acknowledges that students need extra support to help them work through the stressors of their lives. Next year, I am happy to say, St. John’s will have its first-ever school counselor… Me!

Teaching has always been my passion, but I’ve yearned to be able to support my students in a larger way than I can now. To say I am both excited and honored to be St. John’s first school counselor is an understatement. Words cannot express the love I have for the students at St. John’s. I look forward to advocating for them, I look forward to watching them work through their trials with faith as their encourager, and I look forward to seeing how the students with whom I get to work with will impact my life each day for the better.

Happy National School Counseling Week!

By: Miss Sara Doyle, 6th grade ELA

National counseling week

Minecraft in World History Class?

Seventh grade world history students have been learning about the development of feudalism in medieval Europe. Feudalism arose as a way of protecting the kings property and creating stability for the lords, ladies, knights and peasants. Everyone in society lived on a manor in the middle ages. Students were given the task to demonstrate their understanding of the role of the manor by designing a manor on Minecraft. Each student was responsible for creating their own manor, which needed to include a castle, horse stables, peasant cottages, and blacksmith shops, just to name a few.

Technology is big part of education and when we incorporate familiar programs – such as programs like Minecraft – into the classroom, we can bridge the gap between their learning and their everyday encounters with technology. There is no limit to how this assignment can extend beyond the classroom. It has often been explained to be like Legos due to the constructive nature and the style of materials with which one is to build. The building materials are all cube shaped and the vast majority of these materials measure one meter squared. Although Minecraft is considered a game we will not be using this project in game mode. Students will individually design their own manor in Creative Mode. What is appealing about Minecraft is its customization.

By Mrs. Bender, Middle School Teacher

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1st Grade & Folktales!

First Grade has been learning about folktales! Our favorite was “The Mitten”. We read many different versions of this old folktale and then we compared and contrasted the literary details. Each story had different animals that insisted on using the mitten as a warm sleeping bag! In almost every book a small animal who came in last was the one that made the mitten, “POP!” Our favorite version was by beloved children’s author, Jan Brett. In that story a bear sneezes and animals fly in all directions, while the young boy still finds his missing snow white mitten. We also read the folktale “The Gingerbread Man” and “Hansel & Gretel”.

Sometimes a folktale teaches a lesson. We learned that folktales are fiction stories that have been passed down for many years, usually by storytelling. Many cultures have timeless folktales that still hold meaning and are still changing a little as people share them with a new generation. The stories are different than fairy tales, partly because they have common folk instead of kings and queens as the main characters. They often start with, “Once Upon A Time… “ To complete our folktale fun we will complete an AR test on a folktale and write our own missing mitten story. Here are some pictures of us reading!

By: Mrs. Glaeser, 1st grade teacher

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5th Grade One-to-One Laptops

The first week of January our fifth graders embarked on their exciting journey of using their personal laptops as aids to improve their education.  They started by using their laptops daily in the classroom to easily access their textbooks and interactive materials online.  We have livened up math by having the students use their interactive materials to help them with the struggles of adding and subtracting fractions. They are able to watch videos that go along with their Scholastic News to enrich their reading.

The fifth-grade students have begun using their personal laptops to aid in doing their state report projects.  This is a major part of fifth grade and will take them about three months to complete.  They are being challenged to use Google Slides and Google Docs to improve their reports and presentations.   They recently made a state collage using Google Slides.  They will put this collage on the covers of their state report binders with pictures of important state features.

The students are enthusiastic and eager to be able learn and grow in new and exciting ways.

By: Mary Schirrmacher, 5th grade teacher

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