Happy Birthday Maria Montessori!

Maria-Montessori-Google-DoodleToday is Maria Montessori’s 144th birthday. At McGuffey we always try to think and talk about Maria Montessori on her birthday each year, since she developed the teaching method we use in our classrooms. However, Montessori herself explains it this way:

“It is not true that I invented what is called the Montessori Method. I have studied the child, I have taken what the child has given me and expressed it, and that is what is called the Montessori Method.”

- Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method

If you’re curious about the Google Doodle above, here (http://www.google.com/doodles/maria-montessoris-142nd-birthday) is a little note about the Google Doodle from the doodler herself, who was a Montessori preschool, elementary, and middle school student.



Posted in McGuffey

Navigating Food Allergies and Birthdays

uublog082914-1 uublog082914-2 uublog082914-3On Wednesday we celebrated a classmate’s 12th birthday. To celebrate, she brought some wonderful gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free blueberry muffin tops to share with her classmates. The students were excited about having something different as part of their snack. While not everyone eats a snack each day, most of the students were happy to share a few moments around the kitchen table eating blueberry muffins. Students really liked the muffins and commented that they were really tasty.

It can be tricky accommodating allergies in our classroom if you aren’t used to it. If you would like to do something similar, the muffins were made using the recipe on the package of Pamela’s Artisan Flour (available at Kroger). They used coconut milk instead of regular milk and coconut oil instead of butter.

Posted in cooking, McGuffey, Middle School

Upper Unit settles into their new classroom

uublog082514_1 uublog082514_2 uublog082514_3 uublog082514_4 uublog082514_5 uublog082514_7 uublog082514_8 uublog082514_10 uublog082514_11 uublog082514_12 uublog082514_13 uublog082514_14 uublog082514_15The Upper Unit had a busy week exploring their new classroom. Older students welcomed the new ones, and everyone tried out a variety of activities. During the first week of school, we focus on Practical Life, so students worked in outdoor classroom, helped assemble new items, set their places, had snack together and washed their dishes, and did acts of kindness for one another. They also played games that train math and language arts skills while getting to know each other.

Algebra and Pre-Algebra students have been working hard for a week, and have already accomplished a great deal. All students are keeping a planner and learning to manage their assignments and their time. We have also started our weekly consensus meetings, where students work together on suggesting and implementing policies for the classroom. We’re also looking forward to more new challenges next week!

Posted in McGuffey, Middle School, Upper Elementary

The First Grade Music Class!

082214When McGuffey students move from kindergarten to first grade, they graduate from Kindermusik class to an Orff Method music class. Carl Orff is the composer of Carmina Burana  who developed a method of teaching music that goes hand in hand with the Montessori philosophy. This week the brand new first graders learned how working as a group creatively can be more interesting and fun than working solo, how to move to the beat of different rhythms played on a drum, and that the voice can tell a story without using words.

Posted in Lower Elementary, music

Miami Gymnastics Program

Miami’s nationally recognized Gymnastics Team, a club sport that travels around the country competing against other colleges and universities, offers a youth gymnastics program for children ages 2+ at Withrow Court.

Each class has an experienced lead instructor that has been background- checked and maintains certifications in gymnastics safety and CPR/First Aid. Activities are designed for instruction, recreation and fitness in the format of group lessons, private and semi-private lessons, birthday parties and a competitive team that competes in meets throughout the tri-state.

The program for this fall has been released and can be found HERE. More details are also available on the Miami Rec Center’s website.

Posted in Uncategorized

Preschool Playground canceled for 7/14

While our gardens will be happy to see the rain, it’s made our playground too wet to play. Unfortunately, Preschool Playground will be canceled today.

Please join us on July 21st for our next session!

Posted in announcements, community, preschool

Parent Hour Opportunities Available

weedsWe have a few volunteer needs in the next week. Playground mulch will be arriving on Wednesday, July 16. Prior to its arrival we need to do two things:

  1. Trim branches to allow the truck to enter the back of the playground (will require a chain saw or tree trimming saw)
  2. Eliminate some of the bigger weeds growing through the current mulch. We would like to pull the big ones, then spray with a salt/vinegar/soap solution to discourage any growth through the new mulch.

After its arrival we will need some volunteers to spread the new mulch around! Please email Ingrid if you would like to help by trimming and/or weeding (needed ASAP) or for mulching next week.

In addition, we have regular garden bed weeding and mulching opportunities all summer. This can be done anytime. All you need to do is contact Ingrid to find out where the tools are (or bring your own!).

You may sign up for these jobs on our online Sign Up Genius, but you do not have to be signed up to help! If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Posted in building and grounds, outside, parents

Acts Of Service

061114_01 061114_02 061114_03 061114_04At McGuffey Montessori, we strive to serve others. For example, we raise money for charities like the Oxford Choice Food Pantry, students deliver flowers to businesses and neighbors around us to say ‘hello,’ and we spend Earth Day cleaning up trash around our neighborhood. This past spring, two of our students donated their hair to Locks of Love, an organization that provides wigs to people who have no hair due to disease or medication. What a wonderful gift!
Many McGuffey parents are asking their children to serve others this summer. Please send us pictures and a brief note of what service your children have provided during the summer. We’ll be posting a blog post at the beginning of the school year showing what all of our kids accomplished in the name of others!

Posted in community, McGuffey

Preschool Playground begins Monday!


Our summer Preschool Playground program begins on Monday, June 9th, at 10am! This program is for children aged six and under. Please check here for more information.

Posted in announcements, community, McGuffey, Primary

Thank You, Thank You, and Thank You again!

As the school year is winding down, the musical is as well. All the props have been itemized and stored. The students’ scores have been decorated and will be sent home. Student self-evaluations are done and DVDs are being ordered – have you ordered yours?

But before we can call The Phantom Tollbooth done, we have a last and very important task: delivering the Thank You List. It’s a long one, so grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine and read on.

No school can put on a musical without a lot, and I mean a lot, of help.

Our first Musical Steering Committee was phenomenal. Tom Duvall spent countless hours devising and creating both the look of our show as well as sets and props. Marcia McIntosh found whatever props were not made and helped Tom make the rest. She also organized the backstage area so that the students knew where everything was for their cues. Maggie Cooper took the lead on hospitality and rocked it, even swinging a supply of pizza for the entire student body. Amy Oberschlake and several others brought snacks and desserts or helped with clean-up tasks. Per Bloland wrote a piece of software making rehearsals so much easier for all. He also manned the sound board each and every performance. Jack Grubb helped advise the first ever student marketing committee and gave us spectacular ideas on how to make the yearly musical sustainable. Nancy Hawthorne was a wonderful committee member and supportive head-of-school, leading the charge into change for the better.

The entire staff lent their time and students, showing great understanding to make the show a success. They were flexible and supportive of both performers and staff. Staff members also worked every performance, helping backstage in a myriad of ways. Wendy Duvall designed our programs again this year. Alex Price came to every performance to run the lights.

Parents were integral this year. Jim McWilliams spent many weekends and evenings helping Tom build. Lori Bridgers sewed 4 beautiful costumes. Rich Bohon and his son Brendan created our moving tollbooth. Amy Lamborg created the enormous trees. Juan Carlos Albarran made the reversible clouds and rocks. Shane Coffman, with his son Thatcher, built Milo’s car. Chris Taylor came to rehearsals and all the performances to help Tom be a stage hand. Many parents helped backstage and with hospitality and came by Tom’s shop to lend a hand.

All that being said, the spouses and children of all of these special people had to work, too. Spouses watched children and took on extra duties so this work could be done and children may have missed their parents while they were working on the show – so thank you to the families, too!

A big shout out and thank you to Chris Glass as well, who came and took incredible photos of our production and made them available to all. The Oxford Community Foundation supplied the grant to buy the music. The Oxford Community Arts Center provided space and grace. LaRosa’s donated enough pizza to feed all of those hungry performers!!

There may be people left out on this list, omitted by lack of brain cells and no other reason. You are all so appreciated.

Now, what shall we put on next year……?

Posted in community, McGuffey, music