Learning about the Great Pyramids of Egypt in the Upper Unit

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The Upper Unit students are examining who built the pyramids in Egypt and putting all the skills they have learned this year to the test. They are looking through several documents, learning from primary sources, evaluating the evidence, corroborating the information, and coming to a conclusion supported by the facts they find.

As this is a Humanities project, the students will first be working in Social Studies to make sure the content and factual information are correct. Then they will be working on their paragraphs in Language Arts to correct the style and punctuation.

These critical thinking and writing skills will help the students decipher information from various sources and convey what they have learned in clear, accurate language.

Posted in language arts, social studies, upper unit

Making Personal Timelines in Lower Elementary


Students in Lower Elementary recently completed work on their Personal Timeline projects. This project is part of our History curriculum and aims to help students learn more about how time unfolds and how they can begin to view their own life in the context of the time that has passed since they were born. Prior to this project, they learned about different ways to measure time, including days (and the origins of the names of our days), weeks, months (and the origins of their names, too), years, decades, centuries, and millennia.

For the Personal Timeline project, students brought in one photo for each year of their life so far. They glued these photos to a poster, made note of which photo represented which year of their life, and then wrote a sentence for each year, either describing what the photo depicted or one thing they did during that year.

After everybody finished their timelines, we displayed them all in our classroom and allowed students to walk around and see these small glimpses into each other’s lives. We will be keeping these timelines in the classroom until our Celebration of Learning next week when you can come see them for yourself.

Posted in Lower Elementary, social studies

Making Gelato in Primary

Last week, Primary made gelato. They poured the ingredients for Italy’s tasty take on ice cream into the machine at morning meeting. By the time afternoon enrichment rolled around, their gelato was ready.

While they enjoyed their taste of gelato, they invented different floors of gelato—some pretty traditional and others quite original. Everyone thought this exploration of Italy was quite delicious!

Posted in cooking, Primary, social studies

Studying Human Anatomy in the Upper Unit


Ligaments and tendons and bones, oh my! The Upper Unit is studying Anatomy and Physiology in science. They are currently working on the Musculoskeletal System, examining how their own muscles exert force in specific directions, using atlases to look up the names of particular muscles, identifying the three types of muscle cell under a microscope, and puzzling out the difference between tendons and ligaments. They will be studying bones next week.

Posted in science, upper unit

Lower Elementary Gets Back to Work


Now that we’ve started the first full week back in our normal routines after Winter Break, our students in Lower Elementary have hit a stride in their daily work periods. With the reliable time slot of two hours every morning, students know that they can begin works and activities that might take a while and still manage to complete them by the end of the work period, even with a snack break and some chatting mixed in.

Some of the works that you see students doing in the photos above include the Montessori grammar boxes, the Albanesi Mathematics curriculum, the Kumon Telling Time workbook, the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum, the Montessori puzzle maps, independent silent reading, a jigsaw puzzle, and a monthly Lego calendar.


Posted in Lower Elementary, Montessori method

Primary Studies the United Kingdom

Primary recently moved their exploration of the continents to Europe!

Their first country in Europe was the United Kingdom. This can be a confusing region because it is actually made up of four countries—England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The children have been busy paging through a London pop-up book, working with a replica of the London Underground, sharing a cup of tea, and checking out the iconic red phone booth.

Listen closely, and you might hear someone singing a song about fish and chips as they work!

Posted in Primary, social studies

Pokémon Club at Oxford Lane Library Tomorrow


Pokémon Trading Card Game Club meets tomorrow (Sunday) at the Oxford Lane Library from 1-3pm. Tomorrow’s meeting is scheduled to be held in the Havighurst Meeting Room (upstairs). Should we be moved to a different space, we will post a notice on the front door of the library.

You can always check this page on our website for Pokémon Club dates and times. Our upcoming meetings after tomorrow are on January 22, February 5, and February 19.

Posted in announcements, community

McGuffey on Ice

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January brings the cold wind and snow, but it also brings ice skating. McGuffey students are always excited for January because it means PE at the ice rink. The students get to have the rink to themselves to learn to skate, hone their skills, or just have fun skating with their friends. The Goggin Ice Center’s staff is always helpful for our youngest, giving beginning instruction to our Primary students in a marked-off space while the Lower Elementary and Upper Unit students enjoy the rest of the rink.

We will be skating for the next two Fridays in January (the 13th & 20th) at 11:00 am. Parents are always invited to join us and watch or skate with their children. We’d love to see you at the Goggin!

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

Reflecting on Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy

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Many Upper Unit students are participating in the Oxford NAACP’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Art Exposition this year. This annual event celebrates the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. through the visual and literary arts.

The students’ work will be on display Monday, January 16 at Shriver Center on the campus of Miami University. There will be a short program which begins at 11:00 am. We hope to see you there!

Posted in art, community, McGuffey, Middle School, Uncategorized, Upper Elementary, upper unit

Lower Elementary Learns About Hanukkah


Before leaving for winter break last month, students in Lower Elementary were given a presentation about Hanukkah from Ayelet Yariv, a frequent substitute teacher in our classrooms and an Extended Day staff member here at McGuffey. Ayelet, who is from Israel, showed our students a variety of menorahs (or Hanukkiahs) and explained their significance as well as how they are used during the celebration of the holiday. She also showed us her collection of dreidels and explained how one symbol on the dreidel differs based on where the dreidel was made, with dreidels sold in Israel depicting a letter that means “here,” while dreidels sold elsewhere in the world generally depict a letter that means “there.”

Ayelet left a few of her dreidels in our classroom so that students could take turns using them for the rest of the day. Thanks, Ayelet!

Posted in guest speakers, Lower Elementary, social studies