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!!
After completing our social studies unit on Medieval Europe, students in the seventh-grade were tasked with demonstrating their understanding of the role of a medieval manor by constructing a feudal manor using Minecraft. Minecraft allows students an opportunity to work on mathematics, visual arts, storytelling and digital learning in an engaging environment. Some students gain their first experience learning how to code while others continue to hone and advance their coding ability.
Class time was given to students to design their manor. Some students used iPads and others used their laptops. Once the Minecraft design was created students then had to record a four-minute video explaining what life on a manor was like. Many students added a final touch by incorporating medieval music to their video.
Technology is evolving everyday and at St. John’s our students to explore, build and create so that they have an opportunity to develop a passion for science, technology, engineering and math. Here is an example of the final Medieval Manor Minecraft Video Project from Avery and Olivia:
Have you ever wondered what might happen to a bird species over 20,000 years? The 8th graders explored this idea in science while studying natural selection . First, students learned the concepts of existence, diversity, extinction, anatomy, genetic variations, mutations, survival, reproduction, traits, predominance, suppression, adaptations, and natural selection. Once they were confident in their understanding, they chose a bird specie and researched it. From this foundation, creativity was unleashed, synthesis took place, and depth of understanding was showcased.
Students had to envision realistic changes and adaptations that could take place with their bird over 20,000 years to enable it to survive and thrive. Students drew 2 dimensional drawings of the way their bird would look in the future along with the habitat it would live in. They also used the 3D CAD design tool Tinkercad to design a functional beak. Once the beaks were printed, students video recorded the testing process of their beak trying to pick up the intended food source. Students created the background production of their project using a green screen app by Do Ink. They used their two 2D drawings along with the video of their beak test to create the three layer background.
When students were satisfied with the three layers of their background production, they pulled the footage into iMovie. Here they synthesized the story of their bird specie from the present to the year 22,020 using realistic and deep explanations rich in factual scientific vocabulary. This science project gave the 8th graders the opportunity to explore an interest (each chose their own bird specie) to gain knowledge, understanding, application, analysis, evaluation and creativity of the science behind natural selection and adaptations.
In Mrs. Fink’s 4th Grade class, we wrapped up our last history chapter on California Exploration and Settlement with a choice-board activity. Students were able to decide how they wanted to share their knowledge of the material. They were given a variety of options, including a board game, a newscast video with a green screen, making posters, or trading cards.
The students were excited to be able to share their knowledge of the chapter in their own creative and unique ways! Our classroom has also been transformed into a harbor. As a class, we decorated our desks to look like boats. The students loved creating parts of the boat with simple materials like paper and popsicle sticks!
The 4th graders have been studying the early tribes of California. They are learning about their environments, tools, and shelters. They were tasked to create an example of a house or a tool in our STEAM lab. They used their imagination and creativity to collaborate and to work independently. They applied their past knowledge to create something new and exciting. They found fun ways to display their learning.