Electives can plan plant seeds for future careers!

St. John’s serves kindergarten through eighth grade students. Once students leave their fifth grade year they enter middle school and are asked to make choices in the types of electives they would like to explore. Most electives are one semester. The array of choices gives students exposure to what they are able to take in high school.

The elective choices at St. John’s range from different strands of art, technology and exploration of robotic classes. Currently, St. John’s is exploring online electives in partnership with Orange Lutheran and Crean High schools. This semester we have an online YouTube 101 course. Some of the other elective choices include band, digital citizenship, choir, video yearbook, computer science, VEX robotics, journalism, photography, public speaking student leadership, health and safety science Olympics, art and there is a teacher aide elective.

For students to be chosen to be a teacher aide they must get two recommendations from teachers. Once chosen the student can decide if they would like to be an aide for one of the three classes in the first through fifth grades, a library aide, athletic aide or an aide in the technology lab.

As a middle school teacher of ten years it was my desire to offer a teacher aide elective to our students. When I was in middle school I had the opportunity to be a teacher aide for the physical education teacher and this is what planted the idea that being a teacher is a career I would like to pursue. Student Sarah Hertfelder stated that “being a teacher aide in the first grade was really fun because I can  help individual students.” This semester Sarah is aiding for a fourth grade teacher and is now considering a teaching career. Student Andrea Basadre asserted that being a teacher aide allowed her to understand the “behind the scenes of teaching.” Eighth grade student Embry Fleischman was already considering a teacher career but wanted to experience first hand what it would be like.

By Mrs. Bender, Middle School Teacher

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5th Grade Riley’s Farm Field Trip

Our fifth graders were able to take part in a wonderful field trip to Riley’s Farm.  It is an overnight adventure where the students are Revolutionary War soldiers.  They get to reenact battles and eat food that a colonial soldier would eat.  They participated in training drills and writing with quill and ink.  They were able to actively see some of the things that the colonists may have encountered regarding the Stamp Act and other intolerable acts that took place under British rule. The fifth graders enjoyed a rousing speech given by Patrick Henry.  The students were excited to participate in this unique hands-on learning experience.

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Lutheran Schools Unite for Professional Soccer in Orange County

Did you know that South Orange County is home to Championship Stadium? Champion Stadium is a beautiful soccer arena and is set in in the heart of Irvine Great Park.  Home to Orange County Soccer Club, the team competes in the Professional Development League for the MLS, a feeder team for the new MLS expansion team “Los Angeles Football Club.”  It is a tier 2 professional level and is a great way to experience the sport of soccer.

St. John’s, Salem, and St. Paul’s Lutheran Schools teamed up to participate in the first ever Lutheran schools night hosted by the Orange County Soccer Club, on Saturday 3/24.  With just over 100 families participating, kids were able to participate in player introductions, dream team activities, and some were even chosen to go out on the field for the National Anthem or be a sideline ball retriever.  St. John’s own Kelly Early was asked to sing the National Anthem,if you have heard her sing in our praise band, you can only imagine how amazing she sounded. It was a great night for all those involved.

This night was meant to be a new stepping stone in developing a new era of camaraderie and fellowship among our Lutheran School system.  The kids enjoyed fellowship without the label of this school or that school. Families joined in fellowship while eating from the food truck vendors which are a part of the “IN-STADIUM” environment.  The facility is incredible, the environment promotes positive experiences for the game of soccer, and the up close field experience was exciting. Looking forward to more nights of fun and fellowship with other Lutheran Schools united in ministry.  Did I mention, the kids had a blast… just look at the pictures below.

By: Mr. Kenny Harrison, 8th grade

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Pi Day!

Math and pie, what could be better? On March 14th, 3/14, the middle school students spent the day celebrating Pi Day. In 1988 Larry Shaw organized the first ever Pi Day celebration. Our 7th and 8th grade students just so happened to be in our geometry units studying the circumference and area of circles, so we figured what better way to incorporate some hands-on learning. The 6th grade students got a great preview of what geometry will hold for them in the next two years.

We started preparing for our celebration on March 1st, Read Across America Day, by reading, “Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi.” The students enjoyed reading about Sir Cumference, Lady Di of Ameter and their son Radius. Through all the great math puns and illustrations, we talked about what pi is and why it is the same for every circle. We referenced this book throughout our unit to help us remember the names of the measurements and what they mean.

The morning of March 14th greeted us with 60+ pies being graciously donated by our students and their families! The greeting of “Happy Pi Day!” could be heard throughout the halls. The students got to work their way through 17 different stations that were set up to help them explore and discover the relationship between circumference, diameter and pi. We made pi link chains, colored circular art work, measured and calculated, found out which pizza was the best buy, played math board games, stopped off in the photo booth and of course ate some pie! It was great to hear the collaboration between students across all the grade levels.

By: Mrs. Forrest, Middle School Math

Peer Editing with High School Students

The 5th graders have been working hard on their state reports. They are currently working on writing a research report on the history of their chosen state. This is a big project! The students spent many hours conducting their research and writing about what they had learned.  

To improve their writing each 5th grader was virtually paired with a student from Orange Lutheran High School. The fifth graders sent their rough drafts to the high school students using Google Docs, which allowed the high school seniors to read and comment on the 5th grader’s work.  The high school students went above and beyond to help the 5th graders improve their writing. They offered helpful tips and some even wrote notes to their 5th grader partner to encourage them in continuing to grow as a writer.

The high school students also emphasized the importance of being able to express yourself through writing. The 5th graders were so excited to read the feedback they received from their high school partner! I have never seen students so excited about revising and editing a research report! The 5th graders worked hard to improve their writing by taking the advice offered to them by their partner. This was a memorable experience for our 5th graders and a great opportunity to learn from an older student.

By: Mrs. Keelie Knego, 5th grade

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Classroom Eruptions

If you had wandered into any of the second grade rooms last Friday afternoon, you may have witnessed some messy fingers, some spilled glitter, and the overwhelming stench of vinegar.  In the midst of the mess and chaos were many smiles and bright eyes as the students created and erupted their own volcanoes!

For the last week, we have spent some time studying these massive land forms and learning about how they are created and what it takes for one to erupt.  They were even able to experiment with different levels of gas pressure and lava thickness to predict how each of these factors would affect an eruption.  The creation of their own “working” volcano was the icing on the cake to a great week of explosions!

By: Mrs. Morner, 2nd grade

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God’s Creation and Writing!

One of the joys of teaching and learning at St. John’s is our opportunity to connect our faith with academic knowledge. This past week our language arts curriculum focused on ways animals survive in nature. This theme provided many opportunities to highlight God’s creative and magnificent design in the ways He has given animals to adapt to changes in weather, food supplies and habitats. We loved reading and talking about the ways animals use the instincts God gave them.

At our writing center the children were asked to use two books of expository fiction designed to entertain and inform, in order to find out about ways that animals cope with the drastic changes that accompany winter in many places. They wrote a sentence for two animals they read about. In order to practice a grammatical writing skill, they included a different “not contraction” word in each sentence. They finished by illustrating one of their sentences. Their work will be displayed on our First Grade Writers’ Workshop bulletin board.

By: Mrs. Cook, 1st grade

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