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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

IMG_0233IMG_0231IMG_0228IMG_0227IMG_0226IMG_0225IMG_0223IMG_0221IMG_0220IMG_0216IMG_0213IMG_0212

California Early Tribes and STEAM!

The 4th graders have been studying the early tribes of California. They are learning about their environments, tools, and shelters.  They were tasked to create an example of a house or a tool in our STEAM lab. They used their imagination and creativity to collaborate and to work independently. They applied their past knowledge to create something new and exciting.  They found fun ways to display their learning.

Beth Clark,4th Grade Teacher

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Finding their voice, 5th grade podcasters

This year, the 5th graders are finding their voices through podcasting.  The 5th graders worked through the creative process to develop a podcast “channel” that included cover art, a creative channel name, and creating their own intro and outro music.

Podcasting allows all students to share their thoughts, knowledge, and opinions on any given topic and can be used across all subjects. Students who may not be good writers or may not feel comfortable sharing in front of their peers have flourished by creating podcasts.

The students recently created their first “All About Me” podcast episode in which they shared information about themselves. This project allowed all students to have a voice in their learning. Throughout this school year the students will continue to use podcasting to demonstrate their learning. They will be conducting debates, interviewing book characters, reviewing books they have read, and much more.

Kyle Duport, 5th Grade Teacher

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Anatomy of an Apple!

What a fun week the kindergarteners in Mrs. Nelsons class had exploring, experimenting, and learning all about apples. Our thematic unit was integrated into all subject areas and the students had a blast!

Science: Exploring our seasonal theme using the scientific method.

Activities included:

  • Anatomy of an Apple-Making Observations
  • Life cycle and Seasons of an Apple Tree
  • Five Senses
  • Will an apple sink or float?
  • Apple Tasting Graph
  • Apple facts/Descriptive words

Anatomy of an Apple

Students studied halves of apples and identified each part and learned what its function was.

Picture1Picture2Picture3

Will a big apple float? Will a small apple float?

Picture4Picture5

Math Activities included:

  • Counting
  • Graphing
  • Number recognition and sequencing

Roll, Count, and Stamp!

Picture6Picture7

Pick and graph it

Picture8 

Social Studies and ELA activities included:

  • The story of Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman)
  • Being a good Citizen
  • Story Sequencing
  • Letter and sig

The legend of Johnny Appleseed

Picture9

Paint stamping and descriptive booklet

Picture10

Christian Faith and Life:

  • Comparing the 3 Main Parts of an Apple to the 3 parts of our triune God

How is an apple like Jesus?!?

Picture11Picture12

We concluded our apple week with a fun cooking project! We baked and ate delicious apple pies. YUM! These kindergartners sure can cook!

Picture13Picture14Picture15

Bristle Bots Alive!!

What does a toothbrush head, a cell battery, a tiny motor, double-stick tape, googly eyes, and pipe cleaners all have in common?  These are the materials you need to make your own “Bristle Bot Robot.”  During technology class in 6th grade, students were able to create and design their robot using the materials above.  As the students proceeded through this STEM activity, they had to use their knowledge of design, circuitry and physics to make sure that:

  1. The Bristle Bot was balanced and could stand up.
  2. The battery and the motor were properly connected so the motor would run properly, and the robot would move.
  3. The Bristle Bot was designed well using creativity and precise manufacturing (so pieces were placed correctly and wouldn’t fall off).

So what were the results of the STEM Bristle Bot activity?  A ton of laughter and fun!  Plus, the students gained some basic knowledge about motors, circuitry and creating a basic robot.

By: Mrs. Grack, Technology Teacher

Peru Project Update!

The Perú project is well under way. For those who dont know, the students at St. John’s have been supporting a small preschool in the coastal town of Las Delicias, Peru for the past 9 years. The school provides education to the poorest children in the small town.   The significant impact these donations have had over the years can be viewed here:
http://perunuevaesperanza.weebly.com/donacion-2017.html
This year we arrived at the school on June 14th, 2019 to determine how we could best help the school.  The fund had over $7,000 which was raised over the past several years by SJLS students. We hoped to do something with technology for the students, and as well to replace the awning structure donated by St. John’s 8 years ago. This original structure was only to be temporary and outlasted our expectations considerably.  Being made of metal the ocean breeze has eaten away at the structure and awning. We planned to replace it with a wooden structure. The first picture shows the original awning and it’s poor state of condition.
The present principal is a real go-getter.  Since the beginning of her time at the school she has recognized the importance of St. John’s donations and has done her part to meet expectations.  All of this can be seen in the video link given above.  The principal, Lola Kong, let us know that the best technological support we could give would be large screen televisions with USB ports. They have free access to educational videos. This seemed a very viable way we could help. As seen in the second photo, far left, the television for the 5 year olds is small and ineffective.
As well, Lola expressed the desire to have a series of shelves,  all of the same size and color to replace the makeshift shelves used around the classrooms. (see the third photo) These makeshift shelves have served a purpose but not being made for storing things, they were second best.
And finally Lola gave us a “wish” list of items they could really use:  dolls for the children to play with (see video link mentioned above—at the very end), as well as puzzles, musical instruments, costumes (firefighter, police, nurse/doctor, carpenter), hand puppets, a First Aid box, megaphone (for emergency drills), basketballs, volleyball, soccer balls, cones for PE, curtains for the 5 year old classroom, play kitchen sets, magnifying glasses, rulers, plastic chairs for adults (12 for parent meetings) and PE/emergency whistles to name a few.
Patty, my wife, and I had our work cut out for us. In my next installment I will show the progress being made.
Doug Stone, Spanish Teacher grades 7-8
t/sdcard/DCIM/100GOPRO/GOPR0239t/sdcard/DCIM/100GOPRO/GOPR0205t/sdcard/DCIM/100GOPRO/GOPR0207