Catalina Adventure 2019

Our 7th graders had the opportunity to take their learning beyond the four walls of the classroom and “dive” into God’s beautiful Creation as they explored Toyon Bay on Catalina Island at the Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI)! 

Through observation, inquiry, and hands-on experiences the students learned about fish, sharks, algae, oceanography, plankton, invertebrates, creatures of the deep, island flora, island geography, and they even completed a squid dissection! 

Beyond the labs, the students worked together and strengthened our community while snorkeling and kayaking. The 7th graders encouraged one another while hiking, and rock climbing. We even had a Talent Show- “St. John’s Got Talent!” 

Throughout the week we prayed and completed devotions. The students led a worship service Thursday night to praise God for the wonderful opportunities that we had throughout the week to enjoy, learn about, and appreciate His fascinating Creation!

Here is a link to a video created by one of our 7th graders with pictures and video that he took during the week. Here is a link to all of the Catalina Blog photos from the week!

Some 7th graders shared what they learned during the week and when they felt God’s presence:

I learned how to dissect a squid. I saw God when hiking in the mountains. -Bella

I learned at Catalina how to really work together to accomplish something. Night snorkel. I saw God during the rock wall, because love is always on top. -Evan G

I saw God in His creation of animals. I learned that it is very hard to put on a wetsuit. – Jackson

I learned that bioluminescence glows in the dark. I felt God’s presence in “long division.” – Cooper J.

I saw God give us peace and to work together for a great purpose and us working like a well oiled machine and I learned how to dissect a squid. -Jack

I learned the fundamentals of the ocean. I saw God through the bonfire, it made me feel watched. – Owen

By: Yvette Stuewe, 7th grade science teacher

Tide Pool Fun and Learning!

The 5th grade students and teachers wrapped up their school year by exploring the tide pools at Little Corona Beach.  Before going to explore the 5th graders studied what the tide pools are made of and the different types of animals that can be found in the tide pools.  After visiting the tide pools, the students had to use the information they learned from the field trip to create an animal that they thought would be perfectly adapted to live in the tide pools. The students also wrote a haiku to describe what they experienced on their trip and to summarize their learning.

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8th Grade History Comes Alive!

Highlights of our 8th graders trip to D.C., Gettysburg and New York.

Check out this awesome student-created video!!!

https://animoto.com/play/0kaWpWzmpCMVSWKlbigc9g

Eighth-graders got to expand the classroom walls and visit actual historical significant locations to our our nation’s’ history and government. We began our six-day trip by visiting Mount Vernon, home to George Washington. Then we got learn about the value of freedom touring Arlington National Cemetery and observe four of our own St. John students partake in the wreath laying ceremony. On day two we got to go to the Pentagon to visit the outside memorial and tour inside of the building. Our evening was filled with an awe-inspiring illuminated tour of the National Mall.

The interactive Bible museum was a favorite of our eighth-grade students. We got to walk through the stories of the Hebrew Bible and listen to the the story of how the followers of Jesus became a thriving community. Mid-week we traveled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to learn first-hand on how this three-day battle was the turning point of the Civil War. Next, we traveled to New York to see the Wicked Broadway Musical. Our morning tour boat allowed us to view the Statue of Liberty and experience what immigrants saw when they were arriving at Ellis Island. Meeting our walking tour guides in lower Manhattan allowed us to hear first hand how the Dutch first settled along the Hudson River in 1624. Our walking tour ended at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. On day six we were able to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park and have lunch in Time Square and make it on time to the airport to return home Friday evening.

Angie Bender, Middle School Teacher

5th Grade at Riley’s Farm!

Last Thursday and Friday, our fifth graders were able to take part in a wonderful field trip to Riley’s Farm.  This field trip is an overnight adventure where the students are Revolutionary War soldiers.  The students get to reenact battles between the British and the colonists.  They eat rations like a colonial soldier would eat. (They also get the delicious Riley’s Farm feasts as well.)  They participate in training drills and writing with quill and ink.  They are able to actively see some of the things that the colonists may have encountered regarding the Stamp Act and other intolerable acts that took place under British rule. The fifth graders also enjoyed a rousing speech given by Patrick Henry.  The students were excited to participate in this unique hands-on learning experience.

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6th Grade Outdoor Education – 2018

We live in a society where technology has become a part of our daily routine. Computers, cell phones, IPads, and the like have changed our means of communication in a number of ways; connecting with others both near and far, but also disconnecting us from others at the same time.
During Outdoor Education in the Palomar Mountains, the sixth graders were able to unplug from the daily distractions of technology and focus on communicating not only with each other, but with their Heavenly Father as well. This year we focused on how we connect, or better yet, UNITE with others in worship, while studying God’s Word and while serving those around us.
Classes the students took: Mammology, Aquatics, Initiatives, Ornithology, Low Ropes, Fire Building, and Astronomy.
Take a look at some of the sixth graders favorite memories from the week!
Myleigh Taylor – “The food and bird watching. Bird watching was epic because we got to see birds we usually don’t see in Orange.”
Lilli Barnhouse – “My enjoyment was horseback riding because it was the first time I’ve done it. Also, my favorite learning expereince was the fire class because it required teamwork and communication to build a perfect fire.”
Amanda Matthews – “My favorite part was horseback riding was because I got a really amazing horse who was really fast. Team building was my favorite learning experience because we learned better ways to communicate.”
Evan Magpali, Conner Garrett, Hunter Westrum – “Bird watching was the best! Bird watching was relaxing and something we had never done before. Aquatics was also cool because we got to study the water and got to test the water and its oxygen levels.”
Lucas Sharar – “Ziplining because you are in the air and get to see all of God’s creation. I felt like I was flying like an eagle.”
Zach Schutt – “I enjoyed fire class because I just didn’t know you needed so many things to make a fire and that there were so many ingredients.”
Grace Granger – “Free time was great to get our energy out before dinner time and after classes. I enjoyed the fire class and low ropes because the low ropes we had to work as a team and I enjoy that. The fire we learned a lot and even got to roast marshmallows!”
Robert Goodman – “Archery was a blast because it is a fun sport and requires skill. I learned about the different types of birds in ornithology and that was cool because I got to see all of the different types of birds on Palomar Mountain.”

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Learning on Catalina Island!

Wow! Our 7th graders had an amazing opportunity to venture beyond the four walls of the classroom and dive into God’s Creation as they attended outdoor education at the Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI) at Toyon Bay on Catalina island. Snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, and hands-on labs provided opportunities to explore, ask questions, and discover new information about the ocean, the island, and the plants and animals that live there.

Our very first snorkel on Monday was just the beginning of a fantastic week! The water was warm and extremely clear. Most students got to snorkel with leopard sharks, round rays, shovel-nose guitar fish, and many other fish. Other activities throughout the week included using oceanography equipment, identifying different types of plankton from the bay on digital microscopes, learning about sharks and petting them in a touch tank, observing and touching invertebrates to learn about their structure and behaviors, using inquiry strategies to explore algae in a water table and predict how scientists classify the algae, and even dissecting a squid! We also went on a night snorkel and saw tons of horn sharks, lobsters, and a huge octopus swimming along the sandy bottom of the bay!

In addition to all of the learning that took place, our 7th graders bonded and united together through activities like a whole group kayak and a rock climbing party at night. Each morning the dorm groups completed a devotion together and on the last night, the students led a worship service on the beach to praise God for his Creation and to thank Him for our opportunity to explore, learn, and enjoy time together! It truly was a week of hands-on learning and fun!

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”  Job 12:7-10

Summer Camp: Korean Friends!

For two and a half weeks this summer, St. John’s hosted 37 students from South Korea as part of an English language camp. Students learned about American culture, literature, art and STEM from our own SJLS teachers! They were assisted by students from our middle school. Many wonderful friendships and learning opportunities were made! THANK YOU to Mrs. Demarest, Mrs. G, Mrs. Fink and Mrs. Elliot for all of their hard work and enthusiasm for teach our Korean friends!