Bubbles, Bubbles, Everywhere!

This week, in our edition of Science Spin, we learned all about bubbles. We read that there’s a secret to making great bubbles! Our newspaper said it was a secret, and that we shouldn’t tell. We all agreed, however, that such good news needs to be shared. So hear it is!

When you make your bubble solution, add some corn syrup to your dish soap and water mixture. We found out that it helps make the skin of the bubble stronger, so they last longer. We watched two videos that also helped us learn more about bubbles. Then, you guessed it, we got to go out and make some super bubbly bubbles. Everyone had a great time. If you watch our videos, you can see each of our four table groups in action, and find out some of what we learned.

By: Mrs. Cook, 1st grade

Electives can plan plant seeds for future careers!

St. John’s serves kindergarten through eighth grade students. Once students leave their fifth grade year they enter middle school and are asked to make choices in the types of electives they would like to explore. Most electives are one semester. The array of choices gives students exposure to what they are able to take in high school.

The elective choices at St. John’s range from different strands of art, technology and exploration of robotic classes. Currently, St. John’s is exploring online electives in partnership with Orange Lutheran and Crean High schools. This semester we have an online YouTube 101 course. Some of the other elective choices include band, digital citizenship, choir, video yearbook, computer science, VEX robotics, journalism, photography, public speaking student leadership, health and safety science Olympics, art and there is a teacher aide elective.

For students to be chosen to be a teacher aide they must get two recommendations from teachers. Once chosen the student can decide if they would like to be an aide for one of the three classes in the first through fifth grades, a library aide, athletic aide or an aide in the technology lab.

As a middle school teacher of ten years it was my desire to offer a teacher aide elective to our students. When I was in middle school I had the opportunity to be a teacher aide for the physical education teacher and this is what planted the idea that being a teacher is a career I would like to pursue. Student Sarah Hertfelder stated that “being a teacher aide in the first grade was really fun because I can  help individual students.” This semester Sarah is aiding for a fourth grade teacher and is now considering a teaching career. Student Andrea Basadre asserted that being a teacher aide allowed her to understand the “behind the scenes of teaching.” Eighth grade student Embry Fleischman was already considering a teacher career but wanted to experience first hand what it would be like.

By Mrs. Bender, Middle School Teacher

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5th Grade Riley’s Farm Field Trip

Our fifth graders were able to take part in a wonderful field trip to Riley’s Farm.  It is an overnight adventure where the students are Revolutionary War soldiers.  They get to reenact battles and eat food that a colonial soldier would eat.  They participated in training drills and writing with quill and ink.  They were 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 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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Peer Editing with High School Students

The 5th graders have been working hard on their state reports. They are currently working on writing a research report on the history of their chosen state. This is a big project! The students spent many hours conducting their research and writing about what they had learned.  

To improve their writing each 5th grader was virtually paired with a student from Orange Lutheran High School. The fifth graders sent their rough drafts to the high school students using Google Docs, which allowed the high school seniors to read and comment on the 5th grader’s work.  The high school students went above and beyond to help the 5th graders improve their writing. They offered helpful tips and some even wrote notes to their 5th grader partner to encourage them in continuing to grow as a writer.

The high school students also emphasized the importance of being able to express yourself through writing. The 5th graders were so excited to read the feedback they received from their high school partner! I have never seen students so excited about revising and editing a research report! The 5th graders worked hard to improve their writing by taking the advice offered to them by their partner. This was a memorable experience for our 5th graders and a great opportunity to learn from an older student.

By: Mrs. Keelie Knego, 5th grade

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Classroom Eruptions

If you had wandered into any of the second grade rooms last Friday afternoon, you may have witnessed some messy fingers, some spilled glitter, and the overwhelming stench of vinegar.  In the midst of the mess and chaos were many smiles and bright eyes as the students created and erupted their own volcanoes!

For the last week, we have spent some time studying these massive land forms and learning about how they are created and what it takes for one to erupt.  They were even able to experiment with different levels of gas pressure and lava thickness to predict how each of these factors would affect an eruption.  The creation of their own “working” volcano was the icing on the cake to a great week of explosions!

By: Mrs. Morner, 2nd grade

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Middle School has New Friends From Korea -Reflections from 6th Grade

What a great day to begin a visit with our guests from Korea! Over the next couple of weeks, thirty students from Korea will be shadowing our Middle School students. Fifteen are shadowing our 6th graders and we had fun meeting them for the first time today!

Each guest from Korea traveled from class to class, with a St. John’s partner, to see what American schools are like and to immerse themselves in the English language.

In 6th grade science, the guests got to see active learning with the laptops as we reviewed for an upcoming test in a FUN way. Our students came to class with digital flashcards that they created on Quizlet to help them prepare for the upcoming test. We used some of the student sets to play games with the whole class. The students were shuffled into random teams and then challenged to collaborate and identify the answers to the questions the quickest.

We also got to know each other better in Christian Faith and Life as our St. John’s students shared their New Year’s resolutions and how God can support them throughout the upcoming year in accomplishing their resolutions.

In language arts they played Kahoot games together using the laptops. They learned about ancient Greece in history, and translated a story about a secret agent in Spanish. In math, they worked on solving pre-algebra problems and got to explore the universal language of numbers together!

We all ended the day watching our school’s Geographic Bee in the Auditorium.

In talking with our St. John’s 6th graders at the end of the day, some of their additional highlighted moments occurred during lunch when they really got to know each other better.

Some of these highlighted moments were:

  • Learning how to say words in Korean including greetings and the names of different types of sports balls
  • Teaching our guests how to play volleyball
  • Teaching our friends how to play Duck, Duck, Goose and enjoying fun laughs together
  • Introducing American foods to our guests such as Cheezits and Takis

Overall, we had a fantastic day and are very honored to have guests all the way from Korea!  It was very exciting to see our students take the Korean students “under their wing,” guide them around in such a kind way, and truly show interest in learning about them and their culture as well as introducing them to our school and culture.

As we continue the visit over the next couple of weeks, our prayer is that our guests from Korea see Jesus in us, learn about our culture, and develop strong friendships with our St. John’s students! What a blessing for us all!

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