The third graders were given the task of retelling a Bible story using stop motion video. After learning how the process works by watching an example from Toy Story, the students began to plan. They started out writing a short summary of the Bible story they chose. Then, they created a plan that included what was needed for the background, characters, and props. Once the planning was done, it was time to begin creating the characters and props from construction paper.
A background image was used with help of the green screen, or blue screen in some cases. All of the stories required over 100 pictures to be taken and characters moved little by little each time to create the 30 second video. The final step was to do a voice-over reading of their version of the Bible story. Overall, the students had a great time working together as a team to create their own stop motion video from scratch.
Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics Interactive Simulation Activities is a new elective class offered to middle school students. An objective of this class is to spark the interest of students by encouraging them to think broadly, participate and contribute in activities by integrating the five named subject areas. One such opportunity occurred this fall when 7th graders combined the skills of Science (motion), Technology (iPads), Engineering (animation) and Arts (story telling) to produce their own cartoon using the App Toontastic.
Students developed an original story and then self-created their own visually appealing animation and narration to tell their story as a cartoon. This S.T.E.A.M. activity certainly did not disappoint when it came to seeing students using their own initiative, creativity and innovative productivity!
After completing our social studies unit on Medieval Europe, students in the seventh-grade were tasked with demonstrating their understanding of the role of a medieval manor by constructing a feudal manor using Minecraft. Minecraft allows students an opportunity to work on mathematics, visual arts, storytelling and digital learning in an engaging environment. Some students gain their first experience learning how to code while others continue to hone and advance their coding ability.
Class time was given to students to design their manor. Some students used iPads and others used their laptops. Once the Minecraft design was created students then had to record a four-minute video explaining what life on a manor was like. Many students added a final touch by incorporating medieval music to their video.
Technology is evolving everyday and at St. John’s our students to explore, build and create so that they have an opportunity to develop a passion for science, technology, engineering and math. Here is an example of the final Medieval Manor Minecraft Video Project from Avery and Olivia:
As part of the history-social science standards in third grade, students are to learn about landmarks, both on local and national levels. Our students just enjoyed a fun learning experience that allowed them to learn about a variety of our famous landmarks here in California.
The California Landmarks project is one of the first collaborative projects done in third grade each year. Students were assigned a partner and specific landmark for this activity. Throughout the project, pupils utilize and develop a variety of academic and social skills. The research was done online, so students practiced digital learning and citizenship. Once they finished their research, students communicated the information they learned by designing a poster that sharing interesting facts, marked its location on a map, and included an illustration of their landmark. The final step incorporated Mrs. Grack’s STEM class and saw students design a ‘Clips’ presentation of their landmark. Throughout this learning process, students collaborated with a partner, which increased learning and more importantly, developed teamwork.
The collaboration between students was not just occurring in the classroom. Currently there are students participating in the Mustangs Online program and learning from home, and in this particular project, in-person students in the classroom were able to connect with Mustangs Online students via Zoom. These partners worked together over the course of multiple days and brought students in our ‘classroom’ together.
Last Monday, March 2nd, we celebrated Read Across America Day. Our day was filled with lots of fun STEM type activities to help us connect with some of our favorite Dr. Seuss books. Dr. Hollatz started us off by reading The Foot Book, since we were all wearing crazy socks. We practiced skip counting to find out the number of girls’, boys’, and adults’ feet we have in our class. We talked about taking care of our earth after we read The Lorax, then balanced pom poms on top of Truffula trees we’d made. Fair treatment for all was our topic after hearing Yertle the Turtle, then stacked as many turtles as we could. Everyone had a chance to work together to stack 100 read cups to represent a giant hat after we read The Cat in the Hat.We ended our special day with two cool gifts to take home. Everyone got to choose a Dr. Seuss eraser and pencil! Oh the thinks you can think!!
By: Mrs. Cook, 1st Grade
From sea to shining sea, American schools celebrated “Read Across America” this week. St. John’s Lutheran School was no exception. In every classroom, teachers discussed their own favorite, age-appropriate books during informal book talks. Students, therefore, were exposed to unfamiliar books, prompting many to jot down titles and authors on cards provided by their teachers. Teachers also provided a “free reading” period of time in their teaching schedules, further emphasizing the enjoyment and creative stimulation that reading for pleasure can provide. Students gratefully took advantage of their teachers’ gift of reading time.
By far, the favorite part of our SJLS “Read Across America” activities was the costume choice that many students (and some brave teachers!) made to honor a favorite literary character. The halls were filled with min-Harry Potters, junior-Where’s Waldos, and faux-Dr. Seuss characters. Discussions and laughter overflowed on campus, as students attempted to guess their peers’ literary characters.
Students focused on reading. People wore costumes. Laughter erupted. All told, the day was a complete success. Oh, the places we went!