Middle School Drama Club Elective

For the 2018-2019 school year, a brand new middle school elective was introduced, “Drama Club“. Drama Club students have the opportunity to practice acting and improv skills, work with partners and in teams, and learn the craft of stage acting. Students also have the opportunity to write and perform original scripts!

During elective class, we have an amazing time together laughing, rehearsing, and coming up with unique ways to tell stories.

All of this practice helps the Drama Club students with their most important work: sharing God’s word. The Drama Club has performed throughout the school year in chapel and at the fall pep rally. Their skits emphasize the truth of God’s love and His calling in our lives through humor and drama.

As their teacher, I am thankful for all the Drama Club students’ hard work and their willingness to get up in front of the school to share the Good News!

We are looking forward to a great spring semester-the Drama Club will be performing in chapel throughout it, and lead the school through our Holy Week chapel series before Easter.

Stephanie Ann Van Blarcom

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The Story of Christmas – Presented by K & 1st Grades

One of the most precious traditions here at St. John’s is our annual Kindergarten and First Grade Advent program. Over the years, thousands of people have had to pleasure of witnessing the story of Christmas as told by our wonderful students.

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The angels, Mary and Joseph, and the Star of Bethlehem are played by our kindergartners. The first graders play the part of the shepherds, the wise men, and Herod. Each class recites pieces of the story of Christmas and sings traditional hymns in their sweet voices. Every child is costumed and enthusiastically plays his or her part.

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The children begin practicing well before Thanksgiving. Mrs. Audrey Mink, our chorale director, teaches and guides the children in how to use their musical gifts to share the story of God’s great gift, Jesus.

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The students present the story of Christmas twice, once for our school and again in the evening for the congregation. The event is always well attended and is truly one of the most heart-warming Advent treasures to experience here at St. John’s.

By: Mrs. Demarest, 1st grade

The Algebraic Calendar Project

6th grade has been working a lot with algebraic equations as it is their first big step into the world of algebra. They have mastered how to identify equivalent equations with variables by using the associative property, commutative property and for the first time the distributive property.

This calendar project then allowed the students to enrich their understanding even more by having them create their own algebraic equations with the solution in mind. Each student generated a calendar for their birthday month in the year 2020. But not just any ordinary calendar… an Algebraic Equation Calendar! Instead of writing the date in the calendar boxes, the students created an algebraic equation whose solution matches that specific date.

Mrs. Barillier – MS Math

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Newton – Force – Magnets!

This week third grade learned about Isaac Newton, force, and magnets. The students enjoyed experimenting with magnets seeing them first hand attract and repel. The classes also enjoyed predicting what the magnets would stick to around the classroom and learned how very useful they are in everyday life!

Miss Lincoln, 3rd grade

Celebrating Jesus with Word, Song, and Psalter

Members of the St. John’s Lutheran Middle School community – students, parents, and teachers – gathered in the Sanctuary on Saturday, 7 December 2019.  Their purpose: coming together to praise Jesus by participating in the annual student-led Advent worship service.  Under the direction of Mrs. V.B. and Mr. Mejia, students celebrated the birth of Jesus through the words, songs, and musical  instruments.

As you can imagine, the logistics of putting together, rehearsing, and performing a worship service with almost 300 students do not come together quickly.  As is always the case, St. John’s Lutheran Middle School students have been working toward creating this annual tradition since before the Thanksgiving holiday, utilizing their elective course and daily advisory periods in rehearsals. The results of the students’ work have been spectacular, as St. John’s Lutheran Middle School students took the reins of the worship experience and the Middle School mass choir filled the Sanctuary with songs of praise in honor of the Christ Child.

Why do we invest so much time and effort in this endeavor?  Following the injunction of Jesus Christ Himself, our mission as Christians is to “go and tell” of our life-changing, soul-saving faith in Our Lord (Matthew 27).  Can you imagine a better way to undertake such a mission than through St. John’s Lutheran Middle School students sharing the uplifting message of Christ’s birth, as delivered through inspiring words and music?

We praise our Triune God for the birth of Our Savior, Jesus Christ – who came to Earth in physical form to live among us, to teach us God’s Word, and to suffer and die in our place, for our sins.  His resurrection confirms that we, too, will rise from death and join Him in Heaven.

Kevin G. Smith, 7th grade

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Fall Band Concert!

Thursday, November 21st was an evening of collaboration and celebration by the middle school music students!  These students played a concert in the church sanctuary, offering their praise to God and demonstrating the results of their hard work.  The middle school praise band and praise chorus “Musicking for Jesus” kicked things off by singing a variety of Advent, Christmas, and general praise songs.

This band included student singers, percussionists, bassists, and guitarists.  Next up was the intermediate band, composed of 5th-7th graders in their second year of band.  This group especially enjoyed playing “Creatures in the Attic,” which included a variety of unusual instrument techniques such as a trombone glissando, key-clicking, and playing whatever notes they wanted!  Then came the handbell choir, which played a couple of pieces based on classical music themes.

The advanced band played next, playing a variety of songs including the hymn “Psalm 42,” a medley of Sousa marches, and a fanfare and processional.  The concert ended with an audience favorite by both the intermediate and advanced bands—Raiders March from the Indiana Jones movies!

By: Krista Elliott, Band/General Music Teacher

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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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