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

Presidents in the Making

Throughout the month of February, second grade has been spending a lot of time learning about important people in our history.  We began by writing in-class reports on George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, which enhanced both their writing skills and their understanding of our country’s past.  Now, they are working diligently on their own reports on an important American of their choice.  But we still have more important Americans to honor: them!  Over the course of the next week or two, the students of second grade will get to share what they would do as president of the United States, and consider what it be like if they were the ones sitting in the Oval Office.  They will be asked to consider what would be hard about being president, what they would enjoy, what problems they would solve, and more!  They may be young now, but you never know!  These may be questions they may get to answer for themselves one day!

By: Mrs. Lauren Morner, 2nd grade

Presidential Picture[2]

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

Dancing Days!

Dancing Days were here again

For the St. John’s Middle School girls.

Crazy ways were evident

With the hip hop moves and swirls.

I said it’s alright

You know it’s alright …


But before we get in trouble with Led Zepplin for stealing their lyrics, we should get back to the blog information.  6th, 7th and 8th grade girls PE finished our dance unit. We had all kinds of fun – we stayed active, and we even learned some things along the way.  

This 3-week “mini unit” is always welcomed with great anticipation by the girls.  8th graders choose their own (appropriate) music for their dance routine, and they also have the privilege of choosing the music that the 6th and 7th grade groups will use in their routines.

Each group (ranging from 3 to 7 girls) was required to include four specific dance moves in their routine.  They all did this well – check out the videos.

Mrs. VB, PE & ELA8

Real World Math

“When are we ever going to use this math?”, “Where do you actually see this math in the world?”. As a math teacher these are the sayings you get from many middle school students. To take math from the pages of our textbook into their daily lives and give it application to careers the 7th grade students completed two projects. 

What better object to tie into math than an Apple iPhone. 7th grade honors math looked at the cost of an iPhone versus the cost of manufacturing to see how percent markup works and affects our lives. The results were quite shocking for some of them! They were fascinated to see how the percent markup has changed with different models of the iPhone. Conversations of supply and demand arose as many talked about waiting to buy newer models or the advancement of technology causing phones to last longer.

Meanwhile the 7th grade math classes looked at what goes into creating an enlarged image. Many of the students who have taken our art class elective have used grids to enlarge images but we looked at the math behind it all. Students got to choose a candy they wanted to enlarge. Using ratios of the candy wrapper to the size paper they would enlarge on they came up with their scale factor. From there they drew their grid and began the process of recreating proportional. They got to see how important it is to be precise and use rulers accurately. Students saw how computation mistakes would throw off their scale factor and the importance of having a strong number sense. It was one tastiest math project!

Ms. Forrest, Middle School Math