Coding and Language Arts?

The fifth graders just finished up an exciting novel study on There’s an Owl in the Shower. This novel guides students to take an in-depth look at the importance of caring for our environment.

As a culminating activity, the students coded Ozobot robots in order to retell the story while also discussing the story’s theme and setting. The students wrote out five major plot points from the story and coded their robot to travel through the story. They were also tasked with using code that would symbolically relate to different parts of the story. For example, one group coded their robot to spin in circles when it reached the part of their story that described a fight scene between environmentalists and loggers. Another group coded their robot to move backwards to symbolize the part of the novel when a young owl tries to fly but ends up falling instead.

This project helped the students practice important language arts standards, like studying theme, summarizing, and symbolism, while also helping them experience coding and robotics.

Mrs. Knego, 5th grade

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Dia de los Muertos

As part of the Spanish curriculum, K-6th grade had the opportunity to be part of one of the most important traditions in Mexico and South America. They learned that Dia de los Muertos is a happy day, a day to remember those who left us, a day to remember their lives.
We had an ofrenda in which we put flowers and candles, similar to the actual ones, so the students could get a proper idea of what the holiday represents and how does it looks. We also had a traditional treat for this day: Pan de muerto, a sweet bread. The students made their own papel picado (paper cut) to decorate their classes.
Sra. Pallete

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Communication Binds Us Together

St. John’s students actively participate in learning the skills of critical thinking, collaborating, creating and communicating throughout all classes.  However, in the elective class public speaking, middle school students engage in a semester of learning and fine tuning their communication skills.  The class begins with learning that communication is all about sending and receiving information and that it is an art to making sure what a sender wants communicated is received the way it is intended.  Then, students proceed to focus on basic communication skills such as, listening, nonverbal communication and paralanguages (how we verbally relay information).  After the basic skills have been learned and practiced, students choose which types of formal public speaking they would like to master.

The pictures and video show students practicing their paralanguages by presenting a story to the class.  Communication is a significant life skill for all students to learn, practice and master.  Middle school students participating in public speaking class refine this basic skill that connects creativity, critical thinking and collaboration together.  Next up–debate!

Laura Kruse, Middle School Teacher

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