Pumpkin Science!

Did you know that learning the Scientific Method can be as easy as carving pumpkins and counting seeds?

2nd graders have been learning the vocabulary words and steps for the scientific method this past week using pumpkins.  After researching a little bit about pumpkins and how they are classified by scientists, each 2nd grader shared their hypothesis about how the size of a pumpkin might determine the number of seeds inside it.  Do larger pumpkins have more seeds or do smaller pumpkins have more seeds?

Next, it was time to begin our investigation and gather data.  Pumpkins were weighed, and seeds were counted.  It was a fun and mushy experience at times, plus a counting challenge, as the number of seeds we counted ranged from 305 to 583 per pumpkin.  Although our class reached their own conclusion, we did also agree that true scientists would count the seeds in hundreds of pumpkins before reaching or publishing their conclusions.

So which one is it?   Do larger pumpkins have more seeds?  Or, do smaller pumpkins have more seeds?   Grab a few pumpkins and let us know what you find out.  We’ll add your results to our collection of data.

Mrs. Katie Todd, 2nd grade

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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

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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

 

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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.

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

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Math Activities included:

  • Counting
  • Graphing
  • Number recognition and sequencing

Roll, Count, and Stamp!

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Pick and graph it

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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

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Paint stamping and descriptive booklet

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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?!?

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

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COUNSELOR’S CORNER – September 2019 Edition: A Message From Miss Doyle

Teaching organizational skills from a young age

Have you ever thought about your own organizational style in comparison to your student’s? Are you more of a list person, while your child tends to have a photographic memory (at least they think they do)? Or maybe you’re more of a go-with-the-flow type of personality, while your child is more concrete with their routines? Whatever your style may be, organizational skills play a large role in our everyday lives, so starting to develop those abilities at a young age is important. 

Below you will find some helpful tips on how to foster your student’s organizational dexterities:

  1. Routines are key – Morning routines, nighttime routines, after school routines, and the list goes on. Children thrive off of routines because it allows them to feel safe and unwavering. Even though at times they may push back and want to adjust their routine, they more than likely will resort back to what they’ve been originally taught. 
  2. Sorting/Categorizing – Something so simple, but incredibly beneficial. Sorting can include anything from their toys or clothes at home, to their school papers and supplies. Sorting gives students the chance to arrange the things they use most often and take ownership of those items. A lot of the time this skill comes in the form of completing chores or organizing their school binder or locker. 
  3. Checklists – Introduce checklists early on. Keep it basic and start with a checklist that focuses on things like their nightly routine before bed or what to pack for a family vacation. And eventually when students get older, checklists can be used to help them prioritize their time with school, sports, social outings, etc. Checklists may even start to take the shape of a planner. 
  4. Letting them clean-up after themselves – This may be easier said than done sometimes, especially if you are like my mom who liked her household in a specific order.  However, something as simple as putting their clothes in a hamper, their shoes by the front door, washing their plate after dinner, or putting their toys away in their room is teaching them how to be responsible. That responsibility leads to independence and eventually the drive to complete tasks on their own without being asked.  
  5. Cook together! 🙂 Adventures in the kitchen are memories children never forget. Learning techniques like measuring ingredients, kitchen safety, making a grocery list, and healthy eating habits are essential. Organizational skills are needed in the kitchen, and what better way to teach those techniques than to have a little fun baking or meal prepping with your student 🙂

Of course, there are many more tips than just those listed above. Each household is different from the next, so find the strategies that work for you and your family. In fact, comment below about some of the organizational techniques that work for your family or even those that you have tried and didn’t work. 

The 29th Annual St. John’s Student Leadership Retreat

Every summer, two weeks before the upcoming school year begins,  twenty-four 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students from the St. John’s Lutheran School Student Leadership Team attend an on-campus “retreat.”  The morning sessions of August 5th, 2019 provided this year’s team the opportunity to plan, prepare and strategize for the major events it will host for the upcoming school year, including:

      • Spring Spirit Week planning
      • Packaging 75 Open House “Survival Kits” for the incoming 6th graders
      • Habit of Mind presentation training with Mr. Mercier

 

  • Habitudes (Images that Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes) training with Mr. Mercier

 

    • Peer Counseling training with Miss Doyle
    • Life Group Leader training with Mrs. VB
    • Shepherding instructions with Mr. Stuewe

After eating lunch with Dr. Hollatz,  Mrs. VB was gracious enough to host a team building pool party at her house.  This gave our Student Leaders an opportunity to get to know each other in a fun, safe, encouraging environment.

The St. John’s Student Leadership Team is excited to serve our schools student body, our congregation and community.  What a blessing it is to have such a dedicated group of students and teachers who want to make a positive difference in the lives of so many people during the 2019-2020 school year.

By: Mr. Nathan Mercier, 6th grade, Student Leadership

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Rainy Days and PE…What to do?

This year was quite the year for rain.  With so many rainy days, it can be very easy to lose the interest of students during a Physical Education period.  This situation entices a teacher to be creative, spontaneous, and most importantly find an activity that the kids have never tried before.

This year, the middle schoolers were introduced to a few amazing and creative ways to get exercise, even when locked inside for days at a time.  Two favorites stood out, Tic-Tac-Toe relay and Opposites Race.

Tic-Tac-Toe Relay is taking a classic and putting a big twist on it.  First you tape the traditional grid on the floor, the you set students in teams, and hand out colored bean bags.  Let the fun begin, the students get to sprint, dive, and slide to put their bean bag where they want it to go. The students have a ton of fun and really enjoy the exercise through friendly competition.

Next is Opposite Race:  It sets up to be so simple… yet so confusing.  Fun for 25-80 students, this game incorporates quick muscle reflexes (type 2 muscles) and the ability to listen and process directions before doing the opposite. What a blast to watch the students sprint the wrong way, laugh and have fun with each other, with no hard feelings.  The best part was watching all the kids cheer for their peers who made the finals. What a great game for a rainy day.

Success…for sure!!!

Mr. Harrison, 8th grade