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
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 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
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.
- 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.
Will a big apple float? Will a small apple float?
Math Activities included:
- Number recognition and sequencing
Roll, Count, and Stamp!
Pick and graph it
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
Paint stamping and descriptive booklet
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?!?
We concluded our apple week with a fun cooking project! We baked and ate delicious apple pies. YUM! These kindergartners sure can cook!
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:
- The Bristle Bot was balanced and could stand up.
- The battery and the motor were properly connected so the motor would run properly, and the robot would move.
- 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