Practicing the Pledge of Allegiance


Recently, students in Lower Elementary spent time learning and practicing the Pledge of Allegiance. Many students were already familiar with the pledge, but it also forms an important part of our study on the history of the United States of America. Students learned about the history of the pledge, the ways that it has changed over time, and the most common occasions during which the pledge is recited.

Then, students spent the rest of the week memorizing the words on their own, and by the end of the week, each student was able and excited to recite the pledge from memory to one of their teachers.

Currently, Lower Elementary’s continuing study of the United States has taken them to revisit the variety of flags that our nation has used over the course of its existence, including some of the flags that were adopted by the original colonies before the Declaration of Independence was signed. Students have enjoyed choosing one of these early flags and making a replica of their own.

Posted in Lower Elementary, social studies

Learning How to Play Lacrosse

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Thanks to parent George Ironstack, students in Lower Elementary and the Upper Unit learned how to play lacrosse last week. George shared some of the sport’s cultural history with our students, and brought in several varieties of lacrosse sticks to help tell the story of how the sport has evolved. Then, he demonstrated several key skills, including scooping, catching, and throwing, and students had the opportunity to practice these skills in small groups before coming together to play a game.

Nearly every day since George’s visit, lacrosse has been one of the most popular ways for students to spend their recess time. Thank you, George!

Posted in outside, parents, physical education

Creating a Clay Model of the Lithosphere

IMG_5070s IMG_5074s IMG_5075s IMG_5078s IMG_5087s IMG_5089sLower Elementary studied the earth’s lithosphere. Models of the earth’s layers were created out of salt dough then labeled accordingly. Using concrete materials helps children understand more abstract concepts.

Posted in Lower Elementary, science

Game of Dictation

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As we wrap up our studies of “The Star Spangled Banner,” students in Grade 4 reviewed rhythmic dictation, with a twist. The class divided into two teams. One team read then clapped the rhythm; the other team listened then wrote it out. The class moved on to the next rhythm only after all agreed the dictated rhythm was correct.

In the past, the music teacher played the rhythm and students took dictation. This time, the reading/clapping team was responsible for making sure their beat was steady and everyone on the team understood and could play the rhythm. Starting with simpler rhythms, the challenges got progressively harder until one student proclaimed, “This is hard! And fun!” which is music to any teacher’s ears.

Posted in music, Upper Elementary

Self Portraits in Lower Elementary

IMG_4959s IMG_4963s IMG_4972s IMG_4974s IMG_4978sThroughout the school year, Lower Elementary students have been creating monthly self portraits. These are a way for students to see how far they have come and how much they have grown. At the end of the year each child will bring home a compilation of their portraits to share with their family.


Posted in art, Lower Elementary

Georgia O’Keeffe Inspired Spring Flowers

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Grades 1-8 studied Georgia O’Keeffe’s flower paintings. The students made an impressive list of observations, noting the colors used, the overall feel of the paintings and her use of space. Our recreations focused on trying to fill the page with the flower(s) and creating muted backgrounds as shown in the paintings. Lower Elementary used construction paper crayons on their choice of paper; Upper Unit created their flowers using glue outlines and pastel chalks on mat board.

Posted in art

Car Line Music and Dancing

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Lower Elementary kids sure know how to start the weekend!

Posted in McGuffey

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony

050715_01On this day in 1824, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony was premiered. To celebrate, the first and second graders spent some time in music class watching an on-demand webcast of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra playing the work, conducted by Riccardo Muti. As you can see, they were quite a captivated audience and were thrilled by the powerful sounds of the enormous orchestra.
The piece, filled with joy, is a wonderful one to introduce children to classical orchestral music. If you wish to play it this evening at home, here’s the link to the webcast!
Posted in Lower Elementary, music

Postcard from Washington, DC


dcpostcardDCfountainceilinglookingupmetroNine of our middle school students, Nancy and Susan, and Karen Staley as a parent chaperone are on a four-day trip to Washington, DC. This has been a dream for several staff and parents for a long time and we are thrilled to see it finally happen.

Visiting DC is the first of an optional three-year trip rotation for middle school students. For our other trips we hope to go to Chicago for an arts and literature based trip and a Science based trip.

In preparation for the trip, the students worked with us to plan the details of what we will do. This included researching the different museums and attractions and identifying priorities. We are renting a house in the District, about 2.5 miles from the White House. Since we have a kitchen we get to make our own breakfasts and we planned ahead for a team for each morning to cook and clean.

Day #1
We flew from Cincinnati to Dulles and from there the students became familiar with the Metro system, got settled into our rental house in Columbia Heights, and had pizza in the big city. 10,000 steps.

Day#2 (first full day)
We started the day with a tour of the Capitol and checking out the Library of Congress. Lunch at Union Station and then spent the afternoon at the Natural History Museum and the American History Museum. 18,000 steps

Day #3
The day began at the Holocaust Museum for a perspective and empathy building experience. The afternoon was spent on a trolley that took us to the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials and gave us an overview of the downtown area.

Our bodies are tired from lots of walking but we saved some really fun things for today, our final day. We are headed to the International Spy Museum, the National Archives and the Air and Space Museum.

Tomorrow morning we fly home!

Posted in field trip, McGuffey, Middle School

Scholastic Book Orders Due Friday, May 8

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 8.05.16 PMOrders for Scholastic Books are due this Friday, May 8 at 3 pm. Orders can be placed using the paper order form and returned to school or placed online. If you need an extra order form, please call or email the office and we will send one home with your child. Many thanks to Lisa Kettler for all her work coordinating Scholastic Book orders for the whole school year!

Posted in announcements