Preschool Playground Canceled, 6/11

Due to the rain, Preschool Playground is canceled for today, June 11. Please join us next week, June 18—fingers crossed that it will sunny!

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Preschool Playground begins Monday!

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Our summer Preschool Playground program begins on Monday, June 4th, at 10am! This program is for children aged six and under. Please check here for more information.

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Janet Kretschmer: Celebration of Life

As most of you know, Janet Kretschmer was our founding Head of School, Lead Teacher and McGuffey visionary. Janet passed away last August after a long-fought battle with cancer. After Janet’s retirement in 2011, she volunteered every day in the Primary Classroom which two of her daughters—Wendy and Susie—founded.

You are invited to come celebrate her magnificence in person or in spirit on June 2nd, 2018. Please write down the date on a 3×5 card, and tuck it lovingly in your pocket.

1-3pm, McGuffey Open House: Whether you’re a friend of alum, take an opportunity to visit the spectacular legacy Janet leaves behind.

At Tom & Wendy’s house:

5–7pm, Dinner and drinks: Come early if you want more time to visit with friends.
7–8pm, Music/social hour: Papa Joe and other musicians will be playing, also a great time to visit with friends.
8–9pm, Memories: A time where people can reflect and tell stories. Open to all, so feel free to speak!
9pm, Lighting of lanterns/luminaries in Janet’s garden. A time to “send” your message to an amazing lady.

If you are unable to attend, but wish to send a message to Janet, we will write them on a luminary/lantern and light it in your honor. Please email any words from afar to: wendy@wendyandtom.com

To RSVP go to this event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/926811940810691/ or for those of you not on Facebook, email office@mcguffeymontessori.com

 

Donations in Janet’s Memory
Monetary gifts can be made in Janet’s memory using the Paypal link below. You do not need to have a Paypal account to use this.




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Water Day!

A time honored tradition, Water Day happens near the end of the year and is the only day water can be added to the sand box and kitchen. We have whisks, buckets, a sprinkler, water tables, and even PVS pipe to build intricate water tunnels. It is a day of joy and sunshine!

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Plants and the Primary Garden

For the past month, the Primary students have been studying plants. Spring is the perfect time to talk about plants as they begin growing all around us.

We began with roots and stems. Roots are typically the first part to emerge from a seed, drawing in water and nutrients and keeping the plants firmly in place. We had many examples of roots on our shelf—beets, radishes, carrots, and turnips. We also discussed stems, moving water and nutrients from the roots to the leaves. We put celery in a jar of red water which allows us to observe the movement of water from the jar to the top of the celery.

Our study continued with flowers, seeds, and fruit. We dissected a lily to help learn the names of the parts of a flower. We talked about delicious fruit and how it encourages animals to eat and carry the seeds to help more plants grow. We ate some mango to sweeten the conversation!

When we are in our outdoor classroom, we have been observing the plants as they emerge from the ground and the leaves appearing on the trees. Simply being in the outdoors can be one of the greatest learning experiences we can provide!

One of our parents, Ashley, helped us plant seeds to grow vegetables and herbs in our classroom garden. Some, like lettuce, will grow quickly enough for us to harvest and taste a little bit of our crop before the end of school. Others, like melons, will grow all summer and be ready for the Primary class next fall.  Everyone will help take care of our garden and watch the plants grow.

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Kindergarten Community Field Trips

As part of our Social Studies unit on Communities, the kindergarten class took two field trips, one to City Hall and the other to Patterson’s Cafe. The kindergartners are hard at work developing their own “imaginary community” so they were full of questions at both locations. At the city building they got to see how decisions are made about development, roads, utilities, and beyond. They were especially interested when City Manager, Douglas Elliot, shared the plans for the new swimming pool at the Oxford Community Park. We’d like to extend a huge thank you to the City of Oxford for taking the time out of their day to host our group.

Our second community trip was a walking field trip to Patterson’s Cafe. Building on the concepts discussed in the classroom about community, jobs, stores, and money. Now we had the chance to see how a real business runs.

We began by having lunch, which was delicious! And enjoyed a lot of laughs. Then each child had a chance to look at their bill, assess how much they needed to pay, and learn how to leave a tip.

We then got a behind-the-scenes tour with Michelle Patterson who showed us how many tables the restaurant has, the kitchen, stock room, and dishwasher. We even got a chance to see just how big and cold the refrigerator is by walking in!

Special thanks to Mike and Michelle Patterson for cooking a delicious lunch and giving a fantastic tour!

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Families and Communities

Once we’ve met our basic human needs, we begin thinking about how to enrich our lives. One of the most fundamental ways we do this is to create a family.

In this day and age families look very different. Some children have two parents, while other have one. Some children live with grandparents or aunt or uncles. Some children have brother and sisters. Others have step-brothers and sisters or step-parents. Sometimes children are adopted. Pets and close friends can be part of your family!

Regardless of what a family looks like, we agreed that families are filled with the people we love.

When people come together to share a space, interest, or values, they are a community. We are a part of many different communities—our hometown, hobbies, sports teams, or spiritual group. Even our school is a community!

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Baby Animals and Spring

Spring is here! Spring, along with baby animals, is our science topic this week. We have been taking note of the signs of spring around us—warmer weather, rain storms, spots of green peeking out of the ground, and many birds returning to our outdoor classroom. We also discussed that spring is a time of new life for both plants and animals. This is a time when plants emerge from seeds and many animal babies are born. Next on the list, is a walk around our school to look for more signs of spring.

As the weather continues to warm (and the snow finally stops!), we will have the chance to see these signs of life up close. We will begin our discussion of plants as we start our garden. We will even have some baby animals visit our classroom! These last few months are going to be very exciting for our young scientists.

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Oceans in Primary

This week we are studying oceans. We talked about the different kinds of life in the ocean, and about what ocean animals eat. Then we explored the idea that the ocean has different zones. Each zone is inhabited by its own set of plants and animals, which have adapted to that particular  environment. We read the book Down, Down, Down by Steve Jenkins. This book takes you from the surface of the ocean through the sunlight zone, the twilight zone, the dark zone, and all the way down to the bottom of the Challenger Deep, almost seven miles below the surface.

Students have been investigating, sorting, and counting shells. They have been “diving” in the ocean in our outdoor classroom, and exploring the wide variety of animals that inhabit the waters.

Posted in Primary, science

Last week we started talking about an exciting African country—Egypt! The tricky part of talking about Egypt is finding a balance between investigating all the fascinating aspects of the ancient civilization while still emphasizing that the modern Egypt has cities and cars and children who live lives quite similar to their own. We read books about Egypt, and what it’s like to live there. We talked about how Cairo is a huge city, and that most Egyptians are Muslim.

Once we felt everyone had a good handle on modern Egypt, we dove into talking about pharaohs, pyramids, hieroglyphs, and mummies. We emphasized that mummies are not alive, contrary to what we sometimes see in books and movies. We talked about how challenging it was to build a pyramid, and the maze of passages and chambers that lay inside.

Our students have loved exploring Egypt with their hands—building pyramids with our blocks inside and constructing their own pyramids outside. They also created a cartouche necklace by using hieroglyphs to represent their name.

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