This year at McGuffey, our students have had the opportunity to study Tai Chi and Taekwondo. Both are martial arts; Tai Chi (a Chinese martial art) emphasizes softness, balance, and yielding, while Taekwondo (a Korean martial art) emphasizes hard strikes, cardiovascular endurance, and strong kicks.
This fall, we practiced Tai Chi for four weeks. The students learned about the concept of “stillness in motion,” controlled breathing, and keeping a balanced body position. The students learned the initial six moves in the simplified Yang-style Tai Chi form, from “parting the wild horse’s mane” to “repulsing the monkey.”
We are currently practicing Taekwondo with the help of Oxford Martial Arts. The older students are learning some basic self-defense, while the younger students are learning about strikes and kicks while getting some great exercise.
We are pleased to share that Matt completed the Lower Elementary Montessori certification in December. We are grateful for all the time he put into this important training over nine months, especially the time he put in alongside his first year of teaching at McGuffey.
Here is what Matt has to say about Montessori and McGuffey:
“Finding McGuffey and learning about the Montessori method, first by observing and then by completing my certification, has completely rekindled my love for teaching. One of the aspects of a Montessori education that I value the most as a teacher, now that I more fully understand the way it works in a Montessori classroom, is the emphasis on empowering students to “do it themselves” as much as possible. This can be found in the way that the classrooms are organized, the freedom of the two-hour work period, and the self-checking features built into so many of our materials. These pieces let us stand back and observe so that we have an even better idea of what to teach and present to each student next, in order to make the most of their abilities and interests, and it helps students learn how to take responsibility for their own success.“
The Sensorial area is one that often confuses those who have not been immersed in the Montessori Method. Sensorial exercises were designed by Maria Montessori to help young children explore every quality that can be perceived by the senses—size, shape, composition, texture, loudness or softness, matching, weight, temperature, diameter, etc. The purpose and aim of Sensorial work is for the child to acquire the knowledge and language to allow her to describe her environment.
In the photos above, children can be seen sorting knobbed and knobbless cylinders by height and diameter. They are sorting tablets that range from rough to smooth. The broad stair, which has a consistent length, but varies in height and width. The trinomial cube is another, more advanced sensorial work that in addition to being categorized a sensorial work, it serves as an introduction for algebra and a preparation for the proof of the formula (a+b+c)3 at Elementary Level.
Yesterday, while the students from Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Middle School had fun playing in the snow, they were also developing important executive function skills. These are the mental processes that help us focus, plan, and achieve goals.
The teachers observed as groups of students of all ages communicated and worked cooperatively. While doing the important work of play, the students built giant snowballs, snow forts, snow families, and an enormous snow-person. This type of creative play reinforces the social connections throughout the school and helps teach the students how to direct their own actions and cope with stress without the need for adult intervention.
Sadly, it warmed up later in the day and the snow creations had to go away, but the winter isn’t over yet…
Several students in the Upper Unit participated in Oxford’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Creative Arts Exposition. They were challenged to create a visual or written piece of art based on either the inspiration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or the theme of “Whose Lives Matter?”
Our fourth, fifth and sixth graders provided some very thoughtful pieces of art which will be on display at the Oxford Community Arts Center. Join us this Monday, January 18 at 11 am to see how these students reflected on the Civil Rights Movement.
All of McGuffey’s programs will begin at their normal times tomorrow—Early Care, 7/8 Grade Math and Car line. (Talawanda is on a 90-minute delay tomorrow.)
If you feel that you need to arrive later to be safe, please do so. As always, if you arrive after 9am, bring your child to the office.
This impacts students who planned to ride the bus tomorrow. When Talawanda has a delay on a Wednesday, they cancel their early dismissal. This means our students who ride the bus home have two options: 1) stay in Extended Day until the bus comes at 3:30pm or 2) be picked up at our normal Wednesday dismissal time of 2:45pm. If your child will not need the bus tomorrow, please update the office. This way if no one is riding the bus we can notify Peterman to that effect.
In Physical Education this year, we have been working on exercising our smile muscles while we get active. The teamwork runs we recently did are a great example.
The classes all participated in a multi-stage relay event. Groups of 2 to 4 students had to stay together to accomplish a task and ‘pass the baton’ to the next group of students. Some of the tasks were: running as a group while everyone held onto a jumprope, having to carry a large exercise ball over their heads and pass it to the next group, and the very challenging “Teamwork Trekkers” (ask your child about these).
Each class did a wonderful job of working together to complete the run, and a fun time was had by all.