When you give a mouse a cookie!

In  Mrs. G’s First Grade they are reading some books by Laura Numeroff about a mouse that likes cookies and goes to school!

The mouse does the same things at school that we do. He eats lunch, plays soccer, and eats cookies! He also reads books and does hard math problems.

He makes such a mess at the science experiment table that he must take a bath in the school bathroom.

We made our own books with sentences and here we are with a picture of the mouse that we drew and colored ourselves.

We hope you like our drawings!

Mrs. G – 1st Grade

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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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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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Rainy Days and PE…What to do?

This year was quite the year for rain.  With so many rainy days, it can be very easy to lose the interest of students during a Physical Education period.  This situation entices a teacher to be creative, spontaneous, and most importantly find an activity that the kids have never tried before.

This year, the middle schoolers were introduced to a few amazing and creative ways to get exercise, even when locked inside for days at a time.  Two favorites stood out, Tic-Tac-Toe relay and Opposites Race.

Tic-Tac-Toe Relay is taking a classic and putting a big twist on it.  First you tape the traditional grid on the floor, the you set students in teams, and hand out colored bean bags.  Let the fun begin, the students get to sprint, dive, and slide to put their bean bag where they want it to go. The students have a ton of fun and really enjoy the exercise through friendly competition.

Next is Opposite Race:  It sets up to be so simple… yet so confusing.  Fun for 25-80 students, this game incorporates quick muscle reflexes (type 2 muscles) and the ability to listen and process directions before doing the opposite. What a blast to watch the students sprint the wrong way, laugh and have fun with each other, with no hard feelings.  The best part was watching all the kids cheer for their peers who made the finals. What a great game for a rainy day.

Success…for sure!!!

Mr. Harrison, 8th grade

Photography 101: Online elective powered by CREAN Lutheran

This year, our students have had the opportunity to take a photography class online during the elective period. Hosted by CREAN Lutheran, Mrs. Bloomfield shares her expertise in photography with the students.  Not only do they learn about how to take great pictures, she also empowers them to become experts of their own devices. Whether it is an iPhone, DSLR, or a point and shoot camera, she teaches them how to take their photos to the next level.

Students are allowed to walk around campus during their elective, try new things out with their friends, and have fun while accomplishing her challenging tasks.  Whether they are playing with light settings, foreground focus, shutter speed, or symmetry; these students grow in their ability to recognize both candid and fixed opportunities for photographs.  

Please take a moment to look at the pictures below.  This class is so exciting for the young photographer, I strongly encourage anyone with this interest to take this course.

–Mr. Harrison, 8th Grade

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Math Carnival

Step right up! Come one, come all to the 7th grade Probability Carnival! The seventh grade math students have been busy as we wind down to the end of the school year. We have been in our probability unit discussing the difference between simple and compound probability. To help the concepts sink in more deeply we finished our unit with some project based learning.The students first needed to brainstorm ideas for their own games that were based on probability and not skill. From there they had to calculate and compare the theoretical and experimental probabilities of their games. What better way to test out their probability than to host a carnival for the school! The STEM Lab was filled with dice and spinners, candy and bubbles, and lots of learning. And oh boy was fun had by all!

Ms. Forrest, Middle School Teacher, 7th and 8th grade math

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A Tradition Spanning Over 50 Years

The Eighth Grade Play is a St. John’s Tradition.  That’s right.  Our Eighth Grade Literature teacher, Mrs VB, was in the Eighth Grade Play way back when – back when our kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Cariker’s, father (Mr. Paul Koehnke) was the Eighth Grade teacher and the director.  Since 1991, Mrs. VB has been the director, and she is ready to present her 29th production – “Lost in Space and the Mortgage Due!”

Do you love the battle between Good and Evil.  This year we have it all.  A dastardly villain trying to take advantage of a poor “humble” couple – Grandpa and Grandma Humble.  A Hero – Space Cadet Bob of the 25th Century – who will save a damsel in distress.  Evillina Craven (the creature no man can resist) attempts to assist our villain, Commander Snidely Backlash, but their evil plot is thwarted when Bob’s rocket takes off.  That’s all we can share.  Come see the show on Thursday night, May 23, at 7PM in the Auditorium.  Admission is free!

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