We have been busy in the tech lab. All students from Kindergarten to 6th grade participated in an hour of code. Most students continue to code and 3rd grader Christian H completed six code adventures. Thanks to a grant from Michigan International Speedway and a donation from the Quillen family, we purchased a Makerbot Replicator + 3D printer and several large spools of filament. We have been busy making shapes, dinosaur skulls and the solar system. In addition to our OSMO stations, we now have OZOBOTS, they are small dome shaped robots that respond to coding colors that students put down on paper. With the new iPads we plan to order with Race for Education funds, students will also be able to color code in the OZOBOT app.
Both 5th and 6th grade students attended Adrian College yesterday for a hands-on science field trip. Students used their STEM skills to cushion an egg for an egg drop. They also looked at various types of cells under a microscope, ranging from plants cells, to human blood cells, to the cells of a frog's heart. In the other sessions, students worked in pairs as chemists to perform a chemistry experiment. Finally,they enjoyed an animal counter with cockroaches, turtles, snakes, bearded dragon lizard and their favorite, a rat! The Adrian College students did an awesome job working with/teaching our students and we thoroughly enjoyed the day!
The kindergarteners each took a solo turn on the Gospel Acclamation in Dr. Heller's music class.
Our children are busy learning a variety of songs for our Christmas Concert, "Tell the Ancient Story". The preschoolers are having fun adding bells to their song for the first time today!
Students who are learning the mechanics of reading are getting quite familiar with printing the corresponding letter or letters they hear, in the sand tray. They also enjoy printing their Red Words (non-phonetic words) over a bumpy screen and arm-tapping the spelling aloud. Both the reading and the writing processes are coming along, nicely.
Students in the Writing Skills program are learning how to embellish basic sentences. Their writing becomes more interesting to read and they are delighted to see how many ways they are able to vary their writing.
Older students are learning various study skills and test-taking skills that help them with their classroom assignments. As these skills are practiced and become more automatic, they are proven to be valuable tools that can be used throughout the school years. Sixth graders read novels throughout the year and may work in a small group to ensure better comprehension and get familiar with new vocabulary words.
It’s been a joy working with such awesome students! By keeping groups small, students get the one-on-one instruction they need and they get to know one another very well. I’ve enjoyed watching many long-term friendships form and blossom in The Learning Center.
Have a Blessed Advent, Mrs. Terrie Wright
Hello all, let me introduce myself. I am St John’s new art teacher, Cynd Brinker. I was born and raised in Jackson, attending both St. John’s and Lumen Christi. My whole teaching career, spanning 21 years has been in a small community in Nevada. 19 of those years I was an art and technology teacher. I also produced 17 years’ worth of yearbooks. Michigan kept calling my husband and I back home and we finally had the opportunity to, and here we are. I am so happy to be back home to St. Johns.
I have been thoroughly enjoying the students at St. Johns and we have been doing some very fun projects. For my younger students (K-2) we are creating what is called process art. In process art, it isn’t about the final product, but in the joy of the process. We have experimented with many different painting techniques from using salt with our watercolors, wax resist painting, and painting with Q-tips and leaves (and sometimes even paintbrushes).
Currently my third through sixth graders are creating a 3D illusion artwork. When the piece is completed the viewer will be pulled right into the picture. To add more interest to the work, I took pictures of students as they appear to be falling. Students will cut out their picture and paste it right into it to make it look like they themselves are being pulled into their own artwork. How fun!
If parents wish to donate to the art program, there are a few things we use a lot of: Clorox (non-bleach) wipes, tissues, paper towel. In addition, I am always collecting cottage cheese, sour cream, and yogurt containers with lids. We also use empty squirt bottles like ketchup and mustard containers. Empty toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls are also useful. Also on my wish list would be glitter glue and all kinds of “shinies” like sequins, and littles stars, snowflakes, etc.
Many students reach middle school deciding they’re “not good at it.” My goal as an educator is to boost students’ confidence in their creative abilities and help them have the courage to take chances in the art they produce. The arts, as a whole, are very important to a child’s development and it is my one goal that they have a safe environment to create without worrying about whether they are “good at it” or not.
I have thoroughly enjoyed taking over the library this year. My predecessor, Therese Idziak was fabulous and very organized and made this job a very exciting adventure. I have a great appreciation for all she did for St. John’s School and our students!
We have been doing so many wonderful things in the library. I have an enthusiastic group of fourth graders who give up one recess per week to assist with book check-in and shelf organization. They are such a big help, and learning quite a lot about the workings of the library. Please give these students a huge “Great Job” when you see them; Audrey Clark, Lyla Flippo, Joclyn Howell, Libby Reece, Ella Root, Elina Snabes, Mackenzie Whitney, Rylie Willaert, Bella Wrozek, Mallory Arco, Emma Curtiss, Gabby Denton, Kate Foster, Brea Johnstone, Noah Lampman, Bree Okoniewski, Diego Perez, Isabella Perez, and Codi Ruge.
Once a month I am helping Mrs. Kaiser, our cafeteria supervisor with a lesson on foods and nutrition. We have many books and resources about foods and eating healthy in our library. We’ve studied the various food groups and even tried different foods, such as humas. The kindergarten class received a book titled The Two-Bite Club from The U.S. Department of Agriculture that talks about having two bites of the five food groups on our plates. I asked the little ones where potatoes came from and one little girl raised her hand and replied, “From Polly’s.” (I guess I need to talk about growing vegetables!)
Our big event this fall is the Scholastic Book Fair! What a fun event! The fair will run next week, October 30- November 2. The students will be able to shop and purchase next week. The fair will be open during parent-teacher conferences for your browsing and buying. The theme this year is Reading Rodeo, so…. Ya’ll come on down to our little Ponderosa!
God’s Continual Blessings!
In the library currently the students have been investigating the genre of fables. They were very surprised that most fables were written so many years ago. The students were very quick to identify the moral of a fable and why it was such an important lesson for everyone.
Many student have also looked at some of the new books added to our library, thanks to Box Tops money, by the author and illustrator Shel Silverstein. His whimsical words and unique illustrations have delighted them. Box Tops money also allowed us to purchase new headphones for use with iPad digital books.
The Preschool 4 year old's have been listening to longer books at story time and have recalled many details from the books with greater ease.
The library has been a very busy place with library skills being discussed plus some laughter and fun.
Miss Therese Idziak
Miss Idziak is retiring from SJS after 40 years of loving service as a teacher and librarian. We will miss her smiling face and pray for a wonderful retirement.
The 6th graders have been very busy these last months. This week they presented their element projects that we have been studying in science. Each student researched an element and all of its properties and made a diorama displaying different items that contain their element. In social studies, each student researched a country and presented a slide show using google slides highlighting their country's geography, climate, religions, government, natural resources, patron saint, population, flag, etc. And to top off all their hard work, they rocked their NWEA math scores! Congratulations to our 6th graders!! We are so proud of you!!