The Lutheran Church has a long standing tradition of musical excellence. Some of the world’s most famous composers–such as J.S. Bach and G.F. Handel–have musical roots in the Lutheran Church. These composers have made magnificent contributions to the world’s collection of sacred music and their gifts are still enjoyed and shared today. These composers captured the essence of music, a gift from God that touches the souls of those who play, perform, and listen.
St. John’s School is pleased to be continuing this rich musical tradition of the Lutheran Church which teaches students to enjoy this God-given gift, challenge themselves, and share their faith through music. Our students receive regular instruction in church music, vocal music, and instrumental music.
We have just begun the fifth year of the St. John’s Instrumental Music Program. It is exciting to look back just a few years and see the growth in the program: at the end of the 2013-2014 school year we had 7 students in our band program; currently, we have over 50 students involved in band! Over the years we have added weekly instrumental music instruction for all students in grades K-5, started a 2nd-3rd grade handchime choir, restarted the school handbell program, and formed a middle school praise band. We have grown from one concert per year to now participating in chapel multiple times throughout the school year, performing for pep rallies and other school events, participating in area Lutheran School music events, and performing multiple concerts per year. This year we have about 80 students involved our band, handbell, handchime, and praise band ensembles. Praise be to God!
Mrs. Megan Guebert, Instrumental Music
Elementary PE is off to a great start. We are working on keeping our heart fit and our bodies strong. Grades 1-5 are learning how to do a plank (an isometric core strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up ). Most students can now hold their plank for up to 30 seconds! In addition, we are focusing on teamwork for the month of September. Students in grades 2-5 have had so much fun collaborating together over multi-level games. Some examples of multi-level games in PE are “Cross the River,” “Pass the Chicken,” and “Hula Hut Relays.” In “Cross the River” students must cross the “toxic river” with only a set amount of supplies. Once they accomplish this, they move up a level and must work together on solving the next obstacle together. The higher the level, the more challenging the obstacle becomes.
In 5th grade PE, students have not only been working on teamwork and collaboration, they have also been learning about their heart. Thus far, students have learned how to find their resting heart rate, facts about their heart, the importance of keeping a “fit heart,” and how to find their target heart rate. Students were able to see their heart in 4-D using a virtual reality app called “Anatomy 4D”. Many students were amazed to see that their heart did not look like a “heart” shape.
Way to go students on working to keep your heart fit and bodies strong!
Mrs. Miller, PE
Recently the 4th graders learned about the Tower of Babel. They also got to participate in a fun activity of building the tallest tower they could out of plastic cups. The challenge was that at first they could not vocally communicate with each other. Just like when God made the people speak in many different languages so that they would have trouble completing their tower to heaven. After a few minutes, the class then could talk and their towers were nothing short of amazing. The lesson learned is that when we give God the glory and work well together, all things are possible!
Miss Clark’s 4th Grade Class
All fourth grade students at St. John’s have the wonderful opportunity to learn the ukulele as part of the fourth grade music curriculum. Over the past few weeks, the students have been learning about the parts of the ukulele and practicing how to care for these special instruments. Last week the students had their very first (and very exciting!) day playing the ukuleles. They learned how to fingerpick and play each string. We are excited for a wonderful year of musical learning as we continue to delve into reading and playing musical notes and rhythms, learning about musical scales, composing, creating, playing the ukulele, and enjoying God’s wonderful gift of music.
Mrs. Megan Guebert, Instrumental Music
What better way to get to know your new school surroundings than to follow a freshly baked Gingerbread Man! Luckily, he left helpful clues along the way.
We also took the opportunity to compare and contrast several versions of “Gingy” stories with a variety of characters and settings. We had to learn to spell f-o-x so Gingy would feel safe enough to return to our room for good. Of course, we had to promise not to eat him (even though he looks delicious). Friends don’t eat friends.
Later in the year, a little Gingy will have a sleepover at each friend’s house and write up a sleepover report for our Gingy Journal. While enjoying the excitement of the hunt, we had the chance to work on building our class community, solving problems and riddles, communicating through writing as we read and then composed notes to him, and even turning right and left as we went from place to place.
Mrs. Linda Warneke, Kindergarten
STEM! (Science Technology Engineering & Math)
Does it sink or float? My kindergarten class had a fun time exploring and working together to see which objects would sink or float. They were also able to explore with a toy boat and a toy raft to see which one would hold more animals before it sunk to the bottom. With trial and error, they were able to see that the raft held more animals because of its flat surface. Science is fun!
Mrs. Molly Harrison, Kindergarten
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
God loved us so much that he sent His Son Jesus to be the final sacrifice for our sins. By doing so, Jesus made us right with God and gave us the gift of eternal salvation through faith. Our faith in Christ comes from the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The whole process of eternal life is simple–God’s gift of grace to us.
Mrs. Kruse’s seventh grade class has spent time digging deeper into this scripture passage through Bible study, memory work and creating their own faith seal. First, the students wrote the scripture verse. Then, in groups, they created a song and/or actions to go with the verse. Finally, they shared the verse from memory. In addition, the students dove deeper into scripture to determine the context of Ephesians 2:8-9 and find related scripture passages to help in understanding the key concepts in the passage such as “saved”, “grace”, “faith”, “gift” and “works”. The students also studied how Martin Luther used this passage in his ministry to point out inaccuracies in the doctrine and traditions of the church during his life. Students continued by reviewing Luther’s seal and explanation and then created their own faith seal and explanation. Throughout the school year, the students will continue to study God’s Word and Luther’s Small Catechism and through the work of the Holy Spirit grow in their faith so that they too can be a witness of God’s saving grace through faith in Christ to all.
By: Mrs. Laura Kruse, NBCT