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

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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4th Grade Chain Reactions!

Mrs. Fink’s 4th Graders have been focusing on energy in science class.  In order to understand the connection between kinetic (movement) energy, potential (stored) energy, and how they each contribute to mechanical energy (the work or action that is done) we decided to make chain reaction machines. In the video attached, you are able to see that we used materials found in our very own classroom like books, rulers, and paper.

By working in teams, each group was able to create a chain reaction machine with various steps. We created a video to show all of our hard work and collaboration. However, what our video doesn’t show is the persistence and commitment the students had to this project. Each group had to set-up their projects numerous times to get the books or blocks to fall just right. As you can see sometimes a little nudge or help was needed even after many tries – but the students did not give up! This was the most impressive part of the project. The students really learned how much effort was needed to create a successful project and even with the difficulties, they continued to persevere.

Additionally, as a class we started to discuss how we can relate chain reactions to our own lives beyond science class. One of our recent classroom goals is to strive to practice kindness towards ourselves and then also to others. By doing this we are hoping that it can influence the behavior of people around us – like a chain reaction.

By: Mrs. Fink, 4th Grade

2nd Grade Post Office… You’ve Got Mail

In addition to the special school-wide events of National Lutheran Schools Week, 2nd graders enjoyed an extra activity:  running their own post office.  Throughout the week, 2nd graders and their 6th grade chapel buddies wrote friendly letters and notes to each other.   The 2nd graders could also write and send letters to any of their fellow 2nd graders, while parents, siblings and family members contributed more mail, as well.    

So, how do you run a post office?  2nd graders can now tell you that it’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a bigger job than they ever expected!!    Each 2nd grader had a specific job of sorting, delivering, organizing, or maybe even filling in missing information while working in the “dead letter” office.  Every job was important, and they found out that they really head to pay attention to details if the mail was going to be delivered to the right person.   The classroom post office was run on both Tuesday and Friday, giving the kids a chance to respond back to each other’s original mail and also to try out different jobs. 

By the end of the week, each of our 2nd graders truly understood and appreciated the excitement of hearing those famous words:  You’ve got mail!!!