Anatomy of an Apple!

What a fun week the kindergarteners in Mrs. Nelsons class had exploring, experimenting, and learning all about apples. Our thematic unit was integrated into all subject areas and the students had a blast!

Science: Exploring our seasonal theme using the scientific method.

Activities included:

  • Anatomy of an Apple-Making Observations
  • Life cycle and Seasons of an Apple Tree
  • Five Senses
  • Will an apple sink or float?
  • Apple Tasting Graph
  • Apple facts/Descriptive words

Anatomy of an Apple

Students studied halves of apples and identified each part and learned what its function was.

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Will a big apple float? Will a small apple float?

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Math Activities included:

  • Counting
  • Graphing
  • Number recognition and sequencing

Roll, Count, and Stamp!

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Pick and graph it

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Social Studies and ELA activities included:

  • The story of Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman)
  • Being a good Citizen
  • Story Sequencing
  • Letter and sig

The legend of Johnny Appleseed

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Paint stamping and descriptive booklet

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Christian Faith and Life:

  • Comparing the 3 Main Parts of an Apple to the 3 parts of our triune God

How is an apple like Jesus?!?

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We concluded our apple week with a fun cooking project! We baked and ate delicious apple pies. YUM! These kindergartners sure can cook!

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Catalina Adventure 2019

Our 7th graders had the opportunity to take their learning beyond the four walls of the classroom and “dive” into God’s beautiful Creation as they explored Toyon Bay on Catalina Island at the Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI)! 

Through observation, inquiry, and hands-on experiences the students learned about fish, sharks, algae, oceanography, plankton, invertebrates, creatures of the deep, island flora, island geography, and they even completed a squid dissection! 

Beyond the labs, the students worked together and strengthened our community while snorkeling and kayaking. The 7th graders encouraged one another while hiking, and rock climbing. We even had a Talent Show- “St. John’s Got Talent!” 

Throughout the week we prayed and completed devotions. The students led a worship service Thursday night to praise God for the wonderful opportunities that we had throughout the week to enjoy, learn about, and appreciate His fascinating Creation!

Here is a link to a video created by one of our 7th graders with pictures and video that he took during the week. Here is a link to all of the Catalina Blog photos from the week!

Some 7th graders shared what they learned during the week and when they felt God’s presence:

I learned how to dissect a squid. I saw God when hiking in the mountains. -Bella

I learned at Catalina how to really work together to accomplish something. Night snorkel. I saw God during the rock wall, because love is always on top. -Evan G

I saw God in His creation of animals. I learned that it is very hard to put on a wetsuit. – Jackson

I learned that bioluminescence glows in the dark. I felt God’s presence in “long division.” – Cooper J.

I saw God give us peace and to work together for a great purpose and us working like a well oiled machine and I learned how to dissect a squid. -Jack

I learned the fundamentals of the ocean. I saw God through the bonfire, it made me feel watched. – Owen

By: Yvette Stuewe, 7th grade science teacher

Bristle Bots Alive!!

What does a toothbrush head, a cell battery, a tiny motor, double-stick tape, googly eyes, and pipe cleaners all have in common?  These are the materials you need to make your own “Bristle Bot Robot.”  During technology class in 6th grade, students were able to create and design their robot using the materials above.  As the students proceeded through this STEM activity, they had to use their knowledge of design, circuitry and physics to make sure that:

  1. The Bristle Bot was balanced and could stand up.
  2. The battery and the motor were properly connected so the motor would run properly, and the robot would move.
  3. The Bristle Bot was designed well using creativity and precise manufacturing (so pieces were placed correctly and wouldn’t fall off).

So what were the results of the STEM Bristle Bot activity?  A ton of laughter and fun!  Plus, the students gained some basic knowledge about motors, circuitry and creating a basic robot.

By: Mrs. Grack, Technology Teacher

The 29th Annual St. John’s Student Leadership Retreat

Every summer, two weeks before the upcoming school year begins,  twenty-four 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students from the St. John’s Lutheran School Student Leadership Team attend an on-campus “retreat.”  The morning sessions of August 5th, 2019 provided this year’s team the opportunity to plan, prepare and strategize for the major events it will host for the upcoming school year, including:

      • Spring Spirit Week planning
      • Packaging 75 Open House “Survival Kits” for the incoming 6th graders
      • Habit of Mind presentation training with Mr. Mercier

 

  • Habitudes (Images that Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes) training with Mr. Mercier

 

    • Peer Counseling training with Miss Doyle
    • Life Group Leader training with Mrs. VB
    • Shepherding instructions with Mr. Stuewe

After eating lunch with Dr. Hollatz,  Mrs. VB was gracious enough to host a team building pool party at her house.  This gave our Student Leaders an opportunity to get to know each other in a fun, safe, encouraging environment.

The St. John’s Student Leadership Team is excited to serve our schools student body, our congregation and community.  What a blessing it is to have such a dedicated group of students and teachers who want to make a positive difference in the lives of so many people during the 2019-2020 school year.

By: Mr. Nathan Mercier, 6th grade, Student Leadership

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Peru Project – Part II

In part 1 I outlined this project which St. John’s students have been supporting for the past 9 years.
Once my wife, Patty, and I have a list of projects our work begins. One of the major projects we wanted to take on was quickly started:  the awning to cover the space between the two classrooms.
The biggest consideration was where the awning would be of most benefit. The next was timing:  how to get the structure built and the awning made so that both would be done before we leave in July.  Two different people are needed, a carpenter and an awning maker.  The last consideration was that the entire structure needed to be done in such a way that it can be unassembled and moved when the government comes through with the funds to remodel the school. This could be as early as this September or up to several years.
Lola wanted the space between the two largest classrooms covered. (See the first picture.)  This decided we then began to work on how to best coordinate structure with awning.  The carpenter gave us a time frame for completion just before we were to leave Perú. That meant the awning person would have to work from dimensions given by the carpenter rather than taken from the actual structure. This is risky at best. In the end we decided to have the carpenter build a structure the same size as the structure covering the play structure. (See picture #2)  to our amazement these dimensions fit almost perfectly into the desired space. And even better: because the two structures will be identical it will allow  Lola to design the space in the new school around the shade structures, placing  them end-to-end. It will add continuity in the long-run.
This decision also allowed the awning person to take more accurate measurements from the existent awning for the new awning. We took bids from several awning makers and chose the one who offered quality and the best price. It would cost about $850 for a high quality, water/weather proof material made to special order and installed.  About a week later we returned from a short trip to Cajamarca to find the rolled up cover (photo #3) hand delivered and ready to installed when the carpenter finished his work.  It weighs about 300 lbs.
The carpenter was called and came to the school to get the measurements for the awning structure. We agreed on a price (about $1500 equivalent in national money: Soles) and we went to Trujillo to exchange dollars. (Picture 4 shows the structure being put in place.) While there we went to a local store called Sodimac to see if they had prefabricated shelves the size we wanted. Sodimac is a Homedepot-like store which recently has come to Trujillo. While convenient it doesn’t offer a lot in terms of shelving. Nothing we could find fit the dimensions needed.  We wanted to steer clear of donating something which would just be makeshift. The units we did see were expensive and low quality.
So we began looking for plan B.  A family member recommended a young man in the town who had recently built some cabinets for a local restaurant. The young man’s name is Meikel and he works with a material he calls melamine, a kind of particle board covered in formica-like material. He could build sturdy shelves to the dimensions we wanted at less cost than the prefabricated odd-sized units we had looked at.  It did mean more footwork for us, but assured something which will endure the hard use they will receive, while adding uniformity to the classrooms.
The photos 5 and 6 show Meikel, the handy man, constructing the five shelves in our living room. It took he and his wife two days to put them together and they looked great.
Part three:  going shopping for things on the wish list.

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Peru Project Update!

The Perú project is well under way. For those who dont know, the students at St. John’s have been supporting a small preschool in the coastal town of Las Delicias, Peru for the past 9 years. The school provides education to the poorest children in the small town.   The significant impact these donations have had over the years can be viewed here:
http://perunuevaesperanza.weebly.com/donacion-2017.html
This year we arrived at the school on June 14th, 2019 to determine how we could best help the school.  The fund had over $7,000 which was raised over the past several years by SJLS students. We hoped to do something with technology for the students, and as well to replace the awning structure donated by St. John’s 8 years ago. This original structure was only to be temporary and outlasted our expectations considerably.  Being made of metal the ocean breeze has eaten away at the structure and awning. We planned to replace it with a wooden structure. The first picture shows the original awning and it’s poor state of condition.
The present principal is a real go-getter.  Since the beginning of her time at the school she has recognized the importance of St. John’s donations and has done her part to meet expectations.  All of this can be seen in the video link given above.  The principal, Lola Kong, let us know that the best technological support we could give would be large screen televisions with USB ports. They have free access to educational videos. This seemed a very viable way we could help. As seen in the second photo, far left, the television for the 5 year olds is small and ineffective.
As well, Lola expressed the desire to have a series of shelves,  all of the same size and color to replace the makeshift shelves used around the classrooms. (see the third photo) These makeshift shelves have served a purpose but not being made for storing things, they were second best.
And finally Lola gave us a “wish” list of items they could really use:  dolls for the children to play with (see video link mentioned above—at the very end), as well as puzzles, musical instruments, costumes (firefighter, police, nurse/doctor, carpenter), hand puppets, a First Aid box, megaphone (for emergency drills), basketballs, volleyball, soccer balls, cones for PE, curtains for the 5 year old classroom, play kitchen sets, magnifying glasses, rulers, plastic chairs for adults (12 for parent meetings) and PE/emergency whistles to name a few.
Patty, my wife, and I had our work cut out for us. In my next installment I will show the progress being made.
Doug Stone, Spanish Teacher grades 7-8
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Rockin’ Recorders!

Third graders were rockin’ the last week of school at their “Rockin’ Recorder” concert!  This concert culminated their year of recorder lessons in music class.  In class, students learned how to read music, play a wind instrument, work together as a group, and persevere as they play the recorder.  They also take part in the “Recorder Karate” program, as they earn different colored “belts” that wrap around their recorder.  They enjoyed showing off the belts they have earned based on the different songs they have learned and mastered.  Parents, families, 2nd graders, and 1st graders were in the audience to listen to their progress.  The younger students are now looking forward to third grade so they can play the recorder, too!  Third graders now have a great foundation to build upon as they are given the opportunity to join band in fourth grade and also play the ukulele in fourth grade music class.  We love our “Rockin’ Recorders” and the third graders who play them!

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