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
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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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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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Got Energy?

Our 7th graders do! This past week they have been conducting labs to see the impact of height and mass on the amount of potential energy stored in an object. Understanding that to calculate the potential energy of an object you multiply the mass times the gravitational acceleration (9.8m/s) times the height, they first isolated the height of the drop of a ball as an independent variable. They dropped a tennis ball from 50cm, 75cm, and 100cm then recorded the height of the bounce. After the collection of their data, they used their information to calculate the potential energy and analyzed their data to draw a conclusion on the impact of the height of the drop on the amount of potential energy.

Next, the 7th graders decided to isolate the mass of the object as the independent variable and designed another experiment. This time they dropped a tennis ball, ping-pong ball, and golf ball from 100 cm and measured the height of the bounce. Again, they analyzed the data, calculated the potential energy, and drew conclusions.  Their 21st Century Skills were put to the task as they thought critically, created an experiment, collaborated with their lab partners, and communicated their results! Way to go, 7th Grade!!

By: Yvette Stuewe, MS Science

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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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St. John’s Wins First Place in the 53rd Annual California Student Media Festival!

View award winning video by student Paul Schulteis https://youtu.be/Bm-d-onb1g8

After completing our social studies unit on Medieval Europe, students in the seventh-grade were tasked with demonstrating their understanding of the role of a medieval manor by constructing a feudal manor using Minecraft. Minecraft allows students an opportunity to work on mathematics, visual arts, storytelling and digital learning in an engaging environment. Some students gain their first experience learning how to code while others continue to hone and advance their coding ability.

Class time was given to students to design their manor. Some students used iPads and others used their laptops. Once the Minecraft design was created students then had to record a four-minute video explaining what life on a manor was like. Many students added a final touch by incorporating medieval music to their video.

The projects the students turned in this year were amazing and needed to be viewed by others.I choose to submit several student projects into the 53rd California Student Media Festival (CSMF) competition. Student Paul Schulteis ended up winning in the middle school division of Curricular Humanities. His storytelling, creativity, and technical expertise designated him as the winner of this category. Paul and his project won St. John’s $250.00 to put toward future technology school projects. Technology is evolving everyday and having a state-of-the-art STEM lab allows our students to explore, build and create so that they have an opportunity to develop a passion for science, technology, engineering and math.

By Angie Bender, Middle School Teacher