Today we welcomed Rohan, a Miami student from the Indian Student Association. He came to talk to us about the holiday of Diwali and the annual celebration that is put on by his organization.

Diwali, “the festival of lights,” is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in the fall. The festival celebrates “the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.” Students asked lots of questions about Diwali, and the got to see several short clips of last year’s production.

If you would like to extend your child’s understanding of Diwali and Indian culture, you can take them to see the production put on by the Indian Student Association this Saturday, November 1, from 2–4pm. The production is suitable for all ages and the ticket price includes a selection of Indian food, served after the performance. Tickets can be purchased online through Miami University. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

Special thanks to Rohan for sharing his knowledge with us today!

Posted in announcements, community, drama, guest speakers, Lower Elementary, McGuffey, Middle School, music, Primary, social studies, Upper Elementary

The Carnival of the Animals

101314_01101314_02101314_03101314_04101314_05 The entire school is currently studying Camille Saint-Saëns beloved work, “The Carnival of the Animals.” We have discussed how Saint-Saëns wrote “The Carnival of the Animals” as a joke for his music students and only allowed it to be published posthumously.

Each grade band is listening and learning at their own level of development. Kindergartners practiced creative gross motor movement, dancing as each animal. Lower Elementary students colored pictures of the animals as they listened then answered questions about what they heard. 4th and 5th graders spent time deciding which instruments and tempi they would choose for the animals then listened to hear what Saint-Saëns picked — they got in some awesome lion moves as well. Middle School students are learning about the role of the conductor and interpretation, listening to several recordings of the same movement looking for nuances and differences between them.

In January, the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra will be performing “The Carnival of the Animals.” Look in your email for a link to sign up for tickets and go with the whole school! The sign up deadline is November 5th.

Posted in Lower Elementary, McGuffey, Middle School, music, primary unit, Upper Elementary

Chinese Opera


Last week students in Kindergarten through 8th grade had an opportunity to watch performers from the Chinese Opera which was visiting Miami University. The first pair of actors performed a piece about a shepherd and young girl. Next, a young woman played a beautiful piece of Chinese music on a wooden flute.  The third part of the performance was a young girl singing and dancing the story of a messenger sent by the gods to distribute flowers to the earth. Finally, a young man demonstrated how some the props are used.

Posted in drama, field trip

Geothermal energy plant

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Last week the kindergartners and Lower Elementary took a tour of the new Miami University geothermal energy plant. The plant supplies all the heating and cooling for all the new buildings on Western Campus using geothermal technology.

The building has been designed with an eye toward education, with huge glass windows and color-coded pipes. Students had a great time guessing what each color represented, and asked questions about how many miles of pipe there were and how many units the power plant serves. They also got to see the green roof on top of the building.

Special thanks to Larry Davidson and his team for taking the time to give our students a tour of their facility. We’re so lucky to have this opportunity right here in our community!

Posted in community, field trip, Lower Elementary, McGuffey, Primary

Step Up To A Healthier Community

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Posted in community

Fall Leaf Project


We were excited to collect colorful leaves last week. We enhanced them a bit using metallic permanent markers then decoupaged them. The result is festive and fun! We can’t wait to collect more leaves as more of them turn color.

Posted in art, Lower Elementary, McGuffey, outside

Visitors in Music

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Last week, two Miami University students came to first grade music class. The first graders have been learning about percussion instruments. Jake and Lovell came to show us their drums and to teach us even more about percussion. It was very, very exciting to have them visit! We learned that the snare drum has metal springs on the bottom which make the distinctive sound and that you can remove that sound any time you like. We also learned that the djembe drum can make different sounds depending on where the drum is hit.

Thank you Jake and Lovell and come back soon!

Posted in guest speakers, Lower Elementary, McGuffey, music

Fantastic Fall Trees

photo 1photo 2photo 3It’s becoming a tradition in the McGuffey art room to celebrate the colorful fall leaves. One of our projects this year was to create a fall tree with an extended color palette. We have a few more activities in process… just waiting on the trees outside to finish up their transformation. You can’t rush nature.


Posted in art

SOAR Weekend Family Hike


On Sunday, October 12, at 1:00pm, we will be taking SOAR (Students Outside Active and Running) to the Miami Natural Trails for a McGuffey Community Hike. We will begin by hiking a three mile loop. Immediately following the completion of the walking hike, Amy Lamborg will lead a three mile run through the same course.

Both hikes are optional, but children will be allowed to count these miles toward their SOAR total. McGuffey families and friends are welcome to join us!

Even though staff will be on the trail, we ask that a guardian participate with your child.

Hope to see you there!

Posted in community, field trip, Lower Elementary, McGuffey, Middle School, physical education, Primary, Upper Elementary

Upper Unit Studies Civil Rights During Year of Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary

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The Upper and Middle School grades started the school year looking at the Civil Rights Movement. We wanted to share and connect with Miami University’s commemoration of Freedom Summer.

Matt Metzler, who has been working for McGuffey part-time, was a Freedom Summer guide. He spoke to the Upper Unit about Oxford’s connection with Freedom Summer, and will be leading a tour of the historical sites on Miami’s Western campus where volunteers were trained.

We discovered that men and women and even children taught the world the meaning of bravery and that who you are doesn’t matter, it’s what you do that makes all the difference. We have discovered being a hero is really just part of being human and every day each person has the opportunity to do something heroic.

Posted in history, language arts, Middle School, Upper Elementary, upper unit