Classroom Happenings

We celebrated Spring Festival together at the school gym on Tuesday, February 13th! Middle Division Mandarin class students performed the song "Happy New Year". International students shared more about Spring Festival and Chinese culture through a PowerPoint and by wearing traditional Chinese clothing. We also enjoyed 7th Grade student Jason Tang's wonderful Yangqin performance.

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This month in PE class, we have been focusing on our healthy hearts.We have been learning that the heart is a muscle that grows stronger with physical activity. We now know what cardio respiratory endurance is and can recognize the basic body cues for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. We are continuously learning different ways to keep our heart healthy!

Starting in March, we will be partnering with the Anaheim Ducks S.C.O.R.E. program. First through 4th grade students will participate in a 10-day street hockey program where they will learn the fundamentals of hockey including stick handling, shooting, passing and sportsmanship. The 4th grade students will then have a chance to compete in the 11th annual S.C.O.R.E. Shootout Tournament against other 4th grade students from over 25 local schools at Honda Center on April 28, 2018. We are excited to get this opportunity to partner with the Ducks and share it with the St. John's family!

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Who knew that studying the Solar System could be so fun...and delicious?
Second grade students recently studied our Solar System. While concentrating on Planet Earth, they learned to identify the 8 phases of Earth's Moon: New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter Moon, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Third Quarter Moon, and Waning Crescent. Teams of students used Oreo Cookies to replicate each phase of the moon! It was an engaging way to test their knowledge, relate science and art, cooperate with peers, and enjoy a treat!

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Our fourth grade students spent the month of January researching and learning all about the California missions. We kick started this unit of study by taking a field trip to Mission San Juan Capistrano. The children enjoyed learning and seeing how mission life actually was back in 1776. Life was hard back then!

Once we returned home, the children were divided into mixed groups by mission. Each group had fun planning and creating their 22nd mission. They used their technology skills in computer class to research a good location for their mission using various map tools. In the classroom, the children had to design a mission floor plan that met all the needs of a mission, and the needs of the tribes, padres and soldiers living there.

Each group designed and constructed their mission from the ground up. They used some expert math and engineering skills as they drew their floor plans, and measured buildings and walls. The missions really began to take shape as the children added walls and roofs! It was wonderful to see these teams working together, problem solve and share ideas.

The project culminated on February 2nd as the students put on the final touches to their missions. We enjoyed seeing the arrival of livestock, gardens, roofs and of course, the spackle that held it all together. What a great experience it was to see the missions come to life! The children will always remember their hands-on experience of researching, writing, designing and building their missions.

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Third Grade students recently participated in a service learning trip to O'Neill Regional Park. Under the direction of a park ranger, students assisted with large rock and trash removal in campsites. During the trip, students learned that they had to collaborate and communicate with their classmates in order to work as effective teams. They worked hard to give back to their community, and the park ranger was very pleased with their assistance. The trip was a great success, and students felt a sense of accomplishment in helping to beautify a place in their community.

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