Read Across America Day 

Last Monday, March 2nd, we celebrated Read Across America Day. Our day was filled with lots of fun STEM type activities to help us connect with some of our favorite Dr. Seuss books. Dr. Hollatz started us off by reading The Foot Booksince we were all wearing crazy socks. We practiced skip counting to find out the number of girls’, boys’, and adults’ feet we have in our class. We talked about taking care of our earth after we read The Loraxthen balanced pom poms on top of Truffula trees we’d made. Fair treatment for all was our topic after hearing Yertle the Turtlethen stacked as many turtles as we could. Everyone had a chance to work together to stack 100 read cups to represent a giant hat after we read The Cat in the Hat. We ended our special day with two cool gifts to take home. Everyone got to choose a Dr. Seuss eraser and pencil! Oh the thinks you can think!! 

By: Mrs. Cook, 1st Grade

From sea to shining sea, American schools celebrated “Read Across America”  this week.  St. John’s Lutheran School was no exception.  In every classroom, teachers discussed their own favorite, age-appropriate books during informal book talks.  Students, therefore, were exposed to unfamiliar books, prompting many to jot down titles and authors on cards provided by their teachers. Teachers also provided a “free reading” period of time in their teaching schedules, further emphasizing the enjoyment and creative stimulation that reading for pleasure can provide.  Students gratefully took advantage of their teachers’ gift of reading time.

By far, the favorite part of our SJLS “Read Across America” activities was the costume choice that many students (and some brave teachers!) made to honor a favorite literary character.  The halls were filled with min-Harry Potters, junior-Where’s Waldos, and faux-Dr. Seuss characters.  Discussions and laughter overflowed on campus, as students attempted to guess their peers’ literary characters.

Students focused on reading.  People wore costumes.  Laughter erupted.  All told, the day was a complete success. Oh, the places we went!

By: Mr. Smith, 7th grade

Ask…Imagine… Plan…Create…Improve! 6th Grade Engineers!

Recently, our 6th graders dove into the Engineering Design Process. Each student individually took on the challenge of designing and building an insulating device that can hold 200mL of hot water and trap the most heat for 20 minutes. To prepare for this challenge, the students studied the transfer of heat, differentiated between insulators and conductors, and researched good household materials to use as insulators.

Once the research and designs were created, it was time to build their devices! Each student built their own unique design and tested it. Once they tested their device the 6th graders had the opportunity to analyze their trial one data, reflect on the effectiveness of their design, and modify their thermos for a second trial! 

To reflect on the whole Engineering Design Process from start to finish, the students wrote a personal narrative to add to their middle school writing portfolio. They published their narrative on Flipgrid and had the opportunity to encourage one another by commenting on each other’s videos. 

Whew! Our 6th graders worked hard to sharpen their 21st Century skills as they thought critically, used creativity to design and build their thermos, collaborated with others, and communicated their experiences with the engineering design process!

By: Yvette Stuewe, Middle School Science

2nd Grade Writing and STEM Integrations

Our 2nd graders have been busy integrating writing, science, and technology for their animal reports.  They’ve grown so much in their writing skills while having fun learning about an animal and creating a virtual habitat.  Getting to visit their classmates’ habitats with the STEM Lab’s special goggles was a great way to end the project! See below to check out our project.

By: Cathy Meier, 2nd Grade

Happy 100th Day of School

Mrs. Nelson’s kindergarten class had SO much fun celebrating the 100th day of school! We have been learning and growing for 100 days and that called for a celebration. Our class has been working hard learning how to count to 100, write our numbers to 100, and challenging ourselves figuring out different ways to break 100 apart into equal groups. On the 100th Day we were able to use our skills to complete many fun 100 themed activities.

We made fun hats with 10 colorful strips and put 10 stickers on each strip. 100 stickers to wear all day.

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We used number recognition and counting to stamp our way to 100 gumballs.

Each student brought a different food item to class. We made predictions about what type of food would be the heaviest, lightest, highest volume, and least volume.  Each student counted out 100 pieces of their food by making 10 groups of 10. We weighed each item and them compared and contrasted. When we were finished we dumped the leftover (untouched) food into a giant bowl and created a delicious 100th day trail mix. Yum-yum…we enjoyed it for an afternoon snack.

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As part of our weekly homework each student brought in 100 pieces of an item of their choice. We had a show and share and then displayed our eclectic groups of 100 on a collection board.

100 Sprinkles Smarter! We made fun cupcakes with 100 sprinkles on each. We counted out 10 sprinkles of 10 different colors.

Each student wrote a sentence and illustrated a picture about one thing they have learned in the first 100 days of kindergarten. We have learned so much and have grown academically, socially, and spiritually.

Thank you, Jesus, for a successful first 100 days of school!

By: Mrs. Laura Nelson, Kindergarten

 

 

Natural Selection and Adaptations Explored Using STEAM

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.

MS 8th Grade Science Teacher  Laura Kruse