California Landmarks: Learning and collaborating

As part of the history-social science standards in third grade, students are to learn about landmarks, both on local and national levels. Our students just enjoyed a fun learning experience that allowed them to learn about a variety of our famous landmarks here in California. 

The California Landmarks project is one of the first collaborative projects done in third grade each year. Students were assigned a partner and specific landmark for this activity. Throughout the project, pupils utilize and develop a variety of academic and social skills. The research was done online, so students practiced digital learning and citizenship. Once they finished their research, students communicated the information they learned by designing a poster that sharing interesting facts, marked its location on a map, and included an illustration of their landmark. The final step incorporated Mrs. Grack’s STEM class and saw students design a ‘Clips’ presentation of their landmark. Throughout this learning process, students collaborated with a partner, which increased learning and more importantly, developed teamwork.

The collaboration between students was not just occurring in the classroom. Currently there are students participating in the Mustangs Online program and learning from home, and in this particular project, in-person students in the classroom were able to connect with Mustangs Online students via Zoom. These partners worked together over the course of multiple days and brought students in our ‘classroom’ together.

By: Mr. C – 3rd Grade

13th Annual Junior Martin Luther Competition

October 29th, 2020 at 8:30AM in the St. John’s Historic Sanctuary

As a Lutheran church and school, we are proud of our Christian heritage and the Junior Martin Luther Competition was designed as a way for us to celebrate the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther.  It was his courage that laid the foundations of our faith today.  Every 6th grade student that has attended St. John’s since 2008 has spent the month of October participating in a variety of classroom learning activities that have exposed them to a deeper understanding of Martin Luther’s life, his relationship with God, the condition of the early church during his lifetime, and the good news of our Salvation that is found in the New Testament.

Three finalists and an alternate were selected from each 6th grade homeroom.  Their participation in class, quality responses to weekly reflection questions, results from the Reformation in Disguise scavenger hunt, knowledge and understanding of Luther’s Table Talk memoirs, memory test scores, and Luther’s Dates quiz results were just a portion of the criteria that earned them a spot in this year’s competition.  This competition consisted of several rounds of questions that pertain to the important dates in Martin Luther’s life, his favorite passages from Scripture, his Table Talks memoirs, his small catechism, and much more.

This was a single elimination event.  One incorrect answer removed a finalist from the competition.  All correct answers were confirmed with the statement, “this is most certainly true.”  After 35 minutes of intense competition, Matthew, from Mrs. Matthew’s homeroom, won the competition!  After winning the competition, Matthew proceeded to nail the 95 theses on the Castle Church door.  The 2018 winner presented him with a Martin Luther bobble head doll along with the Luther Cup Trophy that will be displayed in his homeroom for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.  His picture from this event will also be displayed in the Middle School hallway on the Junior Martin Luther Legends wall of fame.  Congratulations Matthew!

A Mighty Fortress is Our God!

A Mighty Fortress is Our God!

This week in third grade we have been discussing how our God is a mighty fortress. Students enjoyed creating a 3-D fortress and background. This activity allowed students to be creative and artistic in designing and setting up their fortresses! 

By: Natalie Ramsay, 3rd Grade

Reformation 2020

Reformation 2020!

This is a special week for Lutheran churches and schools all around the world as we celebrate Martin Luther and the reformation of the Christian church over 500 years ago.  We want our students to know our rich Lutheran heritage founded on the ideals of “Grace Alone”, “Faith Alone”, “Christ Alone”, “Scripture Alone”, “To the Glory of God Alone”. 

Throughout the month of October, we sing Luther’s most well-known hymn in Chapel, “A Mighty Fortress”, based on Psalm 46.  Our 6th graders have their annual Martin Luther competition, culminating in the winner “nailing” Luther’s 95 Theses to a church door, as Luther did on Oct. 31, 1517.  Dr. Heide shares his travel photos from his many trips to Germany and the important sites from Luther’s life. 

It’s a month-long celebration for the blessings of having God’s Word to learn more about His amazing Grace and the man who started a revolution of teaching everyone how much they are loved by God the Father and freely forgiven through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.

By: Cathy Meier, 2nd Grade