Fall is coming


Last week in Primary we celebrated the first official day of fall! We noticed that many of us brought a sweater or light jacket to school and that the temperature is getting colder.

Over the next stretch of time we will be observing that changes that we see around us. The leaves will begin to change color, many birds will start to fly south, and we will see squirrels and other animals gathering food for the winter.

In the meantime, we are reading books about fall and the seasons. We are exploring all kinds of leaf activities—sorting, matching, punching, and making crayon rubbings. We’re assembling puzzles about the seasons.

We can’t wait until the leaves begin to fall, as leaf piles offer all kinds of fun in our outdoor classroom!

Posted in McGuffey, Primary, social studies

Hike-a-Thon Plus on Saturday


Posted in announcements, community, outside

The Music Of Freedom Summer


The 4-8th graders have been discussing Freedom Summer this semester, reading about it, watching videos of speeches and in many other ways. In music class, we took the time to talk about the music of freedom summer, particularly with the Children’s March. The children of the march sang together as they were arrested to show solidarity, spread their message and to feel joyful. Since there were so many children being arrested at different times, they needed a practical way of teaching the songs as the march went along. The way they managed this was ingenious: pick a song everyone knew and change the lyrics. There was no new melody or new rhythm to learn and they kept the words simple and easy to remember. For example, using the song “The Old Grey Mare” with the words, “I ain’t afraid of your jail, I want my freedom!” Here’s a link to a recording of Pete Seeger describing the event and singing the song:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdPUHk2lu0I

The students were tasked to come up with a subject that felt important to them and that impacted their community. This idea needed to have gravitas to reflect the message of Freedom Summer but of course could be joyful as well. The next step was to pick a song everyone in the class knew. Finally, they were to rewrite the words of the song to fit the idea. Each music class worked together to write their song.

Posted in McGuffey, Middle School, music, social studies, Upper Elementary

Wine, Cheese, Parents and Great Conversations!


Thank you to all the parents that came to the Board of Trustees Wine and Cheese Committee Open House – and to all the parents that had child-care duty so that your partner could be at this event.

We had great conversations about our hopes to involve more parents in the meaningful work of the school by using committees. The three committees are Buildings and Grounds, Outreach & Parent Education, and Development & Marketing. Please email the Board to let them know what committee you would like to be involved in. There is room for a wide range of skills in each committee. For example, no need to be a power tool expert to help us envision the school playground of our dreams on the Buildings and Grounds Committee.

Many thanks to Cru Wine & Bar for the wine, cheese and crudités!

Posted in community, McGuffey

Chinese Festival this Friday!


Miami University’s Confucius Institute invites the community to its first Chinese Festival Friday, Sept. 26. Enjoy a host of activities and experience Asian food tasting 2-8:30 p.m. on Miami’s campus and uptown Oxford. The Chinese Festival coincides with a global event celebrating the 10th anniversary of establishing more than 1,000 Confucius institutes across the world.

Activities begin at Cook Field (2-4 p.m.) and end at Oxford’s Uptown Park (5:30-8:30 p.m.). At Cook Field, learn tai chi and the art of kite flying. At the Uptown Park, festival-themed activities include games, raffles, food tasting and language lessons.

More than 200 high school students from several districts join local community members and Miami students to perform and share their knowledge about Chinese culture.

Kung fu master Fusheng Miao is scheduled to perform and teach during the evening festivities.

In the event of rain, activities will be moved to Miami’s Shriver Center.

Posted in announcements, community, social studies

Treasure Trove of Conservation


McGuffey students in Kindergarten through Grade 2 were treated to a performance about energy conservation by the National Theatre for Children. Performers Jenna and Grant used a pirate (with a door knob for a hand), a star fish, a mermaid, and a Pie-rat to demonstrate how we can conserve natural resources.

The show is sponsored by Duke Energy. Each McGuffey family is eligible to receive a Treasure Box with samples of items that conserve energy – like a CFL bulb and an aerator. Duke Energy customers will need their account numbers. Non-Duke Energy customers are eligible for a partial kit. There are three ways to order a kit for your household:

  1. Go to www.XMarksTheKit.org
  2. Call 1-855-386-9548 or,
  3. Complete and mail the form included in the student workbook that will come home with your child this week.

You will see “McGuffey Foundation School” on the list of school choices.

Many thanks to Duke Energy, the National Theater for Children and Jenna and Grant for this learning opportunity! We look forward to hosting an NTC traveling troupe again in November for Grades 4-8.

P.S. Your child might bug you to request the kit as the performers told us that an awesome LED ring is included.

Posted in community, drama, Lower Elementary, McGuffey, Middle School, Primary, Upper Elementary

McGuffey alum one of two Talawanda National Merit Scholars


Congratulations to McGuffey alumnus Devra Katz Levy who is one of two Talawanda High School students who placed among 16,000 students nationwide as Semifinalists in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Devra will have the opportunity to continue along with academically talented high school seniors across the United States in the National Merit Scholarship Competition for 7,600 scholarships worth approximately $33 million that will be offered in the spring.

Congratulations on all your hard work Devra!

Posted in alumni, announcements, community

Guitar Lessons Afterschool

Kirk Redman, a local music instructor, will be offering group guitar lessons after school this fall at McGuffey. Kirk teaches privately in Oxford and will be offering a six-session set of classes. The classes for students ages 8 and up will be held on Wednesdays after school. Class will run until 4:30pm. Classes will begin Wednesday, October 8th and go through Wednesday, November 12th.

Registration will be $105 plus $25 for an instruction booklet/DVD/CD set. Kirk says the instruction book set would be useful for many sets of lessons. For students who are signed up for Extended Day on Wednesdays, registration is $90.

McGuffey students will be able to use one of the school’s youth-sized guitars for just $10 for two months. If space is available, registration will open to non-McGuffey students beginning September 24th.

To register your child send an email to the office. The registration fee plus the cost of the book (and the guitar charge if you want to rent a guitar) will be added to your TADS account on October 1st due on October 20th.

Kirk is also available for private or semi-private guitar lessons. For more information contact him directly.

Posted in Uncategorized

Put on a happy ???

091114_01 091114_02 091114_03To celebrate the milestone of learning to read the absolute pitches in treble cleff, the 4th and 5th graders were given a small gift that could only be appreciated by someone who knows what the notes spell. Congratulations everyone!!!

Posted in music

Lower Elementary learning outdoors

091514 091514-1 091514-2 091514-3 091514-4One of the central tenants of Montessori is the connection with the natural world. In Lower Elementary, we strive to give the children daily opportunities to experience the outdoors with structure and purpose. These pictures share some of us reading in the shade, harvesting from our garden, measuring liquids, weighing objects and journaling!  We hope to continue using our outdoor classroom to extend classroom lessons and student interests to the outdoors.

Posted in Lower Elementary, outside