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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Third Grade “Bracketology” with Dr. Seuss

In honor of Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’s birthday, the third graders had a little battle of the books.  The first lesson was learning how to fill out a bracket.  (They are now ready for March Madness – at least when it reaches the Sweet 16).  After each student completed their prediction bracket, 4 books were read each day, discussed and votes were counted.  It was fun to hear the excitement, if their book moved on in the bracket and it was even a good lesson to learn, about an upset, when their book was defeated in the voting process.  We really enjoyed reading all 16 books and it sparked great conversations about similarities and differences between the books and why some have a “different author,” Theo. LeSieg, and illustrator.

And the winners are: Mrs. Clark’s class The Lorax, Mrs. Elliott’s class The Lorax, and Miss Neben’s class Fox in Socks.

By: Miss Amy Neben, 3rd grade

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Publishing Party!

During the month of February, third graders had a special opportunity to hear from Mrs. Madden, author of The Magic Maple Tree. Mrs. Madden has been a part of the St. John’s family for many years and we were so excited to visit with her!


After hearing all about Mrs. Madden’s publishing journey and the writing process, we decided to follow in her footsteps and celebrate the finishing of our personal narrative writing by having a publishing party just like she did when she published her book!


The students were so excited! We wanted to make a class book of all our writings so that each student had the ability to read one anothers as well as read  theirs to other students. We even had Mrs. Todd’s class join us so we could read to them. Our class had a  book cover contest which really helped the students feel engaged and a part of the experience!




Some of the things we focused on in our personal narrative writing was writing grabbers or “hooks” to get the reader’s attention, as well as conclusions that focused on what lesson was learned from the narrative piece. The students also included transition words, descriptive writing, and varied sentence structures.


We are so thankful for authors like Mrs. Madden who inspire students like mine to continue to write and celebrate their writing accomplishments with a publishing party!

-Mrs. Clark, 3rd 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

Jesus in our Classrooms!

Teaching St. John’s Kindergartners about Jesus is one of my favorite things to do.  It was such an exciting time as we prepared for Advent services and awaited our Savior’s birth.  Getting ready for Christmas was a lot of fun in our Kindergarten class.

One of our favorite parts was when each student choose a part to play when we acted out the story of the First Christmas.  Each child got a part and created his/her own costume to wear.  It was fun to see the students collaborate and show their creativity while creating these costumes.  When the costumes were finished, it was time to put on a little show in our classroom.  The students did a great job sharing some of the special bible verse they had learned and telling the story of Jesus.

By: Mrs. Harrison, Kindergarten

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