Second graders have been busy learning the pentatonic scale, both aural and written, and have been learning to sight-sing different patterns. A pentatonic scale is a scale with only 5 tones. The word “pentatonic” comes from the Greek “pente” meaning 5 and the Latin “tonicus” meaning tone. Pentatonic scales are very useful in learning music theory as well as composing music. Most Western folk music is composed using a pentatonic scale.

Today, students were given cards on which were printed various patterns of solfege in the pentatonic scale: do, re, me, sol, la. Each student chose favorite patterns and arranged them in a way that sounded pleasing to them the only “rule” being that the song had to end on do. After some practice, composers became performers as they played their songs for the class.

Posted in Lower Elementary, music

Simple Machines

This week we began our science unit on simple machines. We discussed how simple machines were some of the very first pieces of technology that humans invented, in order to do more work than they could with their muscle power alone. We built a marble ramp to show how and inlined plane can move objects. Using Lego Duplo pieces, we built a seesaw that acts as a lever, allowing one Lego person to balance two Lego people on the other side of the seesaw if she is sitting further away from the center than they are. We also built a Lego car to show how wheels and axles allow us to move heavy weights along a flat surface. Gears, wheels with teeth, can be connected to cause a complex chain of events.

Posted in Primary, science

90-Minute Delay, 1/16

McGuffey will be on a 90-minute delay on Tuesday, January 16 to allow crews to clear snow and ice on the roads. Talawanda is also on a 90-minute delay.

No Early Care
9:35-9:45am         Grades 7/8 Drop-off
10:15-10:30am     Preschool through Grade 6 Drop-off

Posted in Uncategorized

Click for McGuffey When You Shop on


As you do your holiday shopping, please remember to use the McGuffey link. Simply start your session by clicking the Amazon logo in the upper right-hand corner of any page on the McGuffey website. This will take you straight to Amazon, but your transaction will be tagged with McGuffey’s ID. We typically receive 6% of your final purchase price, which can add up to quite a bit over time.

Please share this link with family and friends and encourage them to use it. It’s an easy way that friends, family, and alumni can help support McGuffey.

Please note, McGuffey will not receive a percentage of items saved in your cart if they were placed more than 24 hours after you started at our website. To fix this, please take a moment to take the items out of your cart and replace them.

Orders made on the Amazon phone app contribute to this program but at a lower rate.

Using the Amazon link raises several thousand dollars each year by simply taking the time to make one extra click. Please support us with this simple fundraising effort!

Posted in announcements, fundraising, McGuffey

2018 Shop Local Cards Available Now

2018 Shop Local cards are here! Get them at Juniper,MOON Co-Op, the Oxford Farmers Market Uptown, and McGuffey Montessori School for only $15. This year’s card features benefits including…

—5% off every day at MOON Co-op
—10% off your purchase at Kofenya
—15% off one item at Juniper
—$5 day passes at Miami Rec Sports… and much more! For a complete list of the discounts available, go to

Although fundraising is a critical piece of McGuffey’s budget, it is also part of our school philosophy to act responsibly as a part of our community, and to pay it forward.

For this reason, McGuffey shares a portion of the proceeds with some of our favorite non-profit organizations—the Oxford Community Choice Pantry, the Oxford Farmers Market Uptown Sprouts Program, and the Friends of the Oxford Lane Library. These are organizations our students, families, and staff consider a valuable part of this community.

We also believe it is important to support our local economy, and, for that reason, have chosen a “Shop Local” theme for our card, and have sought businesses from Oxford and the neighboring communities to participate in this program.

McGuffey students, parents, and staff donate their time and talents to facilitate the production, sale, and distribution of the Shop Local card, so there will be no cost to participating businesses or our non-profit beneficiaries.

Thank you for supporting McGuffey, the other non-profits, and our locally owned businesses !

Posted in announcements, community, fundraising

Muscles and Bones

We have a visitor to our classroom this week! He has lived at McGuffey for quite some time, and has been affectionately named “Brainless Bob.” He is a life-size plastic skeleton, which allows our class to see exactly what is going on underneath their skin. (We somehow forgot to take photo of him while he was visiting!)

As we have been talking about our skeleton, we learned that we have 206 bones in our bodies. Some are big and some are small. Our largest bone is our upper leg and the smallest is in our ear. We discovered that we could feel many bones in our bodies—our knuckles, hips, ribs, and shoulder blades. Bones give us shape and protect important organs like the brain.

One of the works in the classroom this week is a full set of human x-rays. Children can take time to browse each x-ray, comparing them to their own bodies. They can even build a complete skeleton out of x-rays!

We also talked about our muscles. We used a partially inflated ballon, stretching and releasing it to explain how muscles expand and contract. We learned that muscles are in our face and help us smile and make silly faces. We also learned that muscles are part of our digestive system starting with the tongue.

In the past six weeks we have discussed nutrition, digestion, respiration, circulation, muscles, and bones. Although it’s pretty complicated, we have a much better sense of how our bodies work!


Posted in Uncategorized

Being thankful with Partners

When we met with our Partners today, we explored the idea of being thankful. The little ones used finger paints to add leaves to a fall tree, and the bigger ones helped write things they were thankful for. Our Partners were so inspired that they decided to decorate their own thankful trees, too. It’s hard to resist dipping your fingers into paint!

As usual, we are always thankful for the time we spend with our Partners!

Posted in Primary

Leaf piles to keep and share

Last week Lower Elementary gathered rakes and wheelbarrows so they could build leaf piles for jumping. Our big tree out front has finally dropped most of its leaves, so it’s the perfect place for raking.

Half the class worked to gather leaves for the Lower Elementary outdoor classroom, while the other half gathered leaves for the Primary outdoor classroom. While Primary has a spectacular old conifer, it doesn’t have many mature deciduous trees. By the end of the hour, they had built substantial leaf piles in both areas.

Lower Elementary students gathered at the fence line, and watched with delight as the Primary children discovered their new leaf pile. These moments where they discover the giving is just as wonderful as the getting are invaluable.

Posted in Lower Elementary, McGuffey, peace, practical life, Primary

Taking care of our teeth

Primary continues to study the human body this week. This morning, Primary students  were treated to a visit by McGuffey mom, Jaimie Ross. Jaimie is a hygienist and told us she cleans and takes x-rays of other people’s teeth. She talked to us about how important it is to take care of our teeth. We were reminded to brush our teeth twice a day for 2 minutes. She showed us how to brush in circles on both the outside and inside of our teeth and told us it is just as important to brush our tongue.

We learned that sugary foods can cause cavities and that lots of drinks contain a surprising amount of sugar. Using a model on our science shelf, we got to see the roots and nerves inside the tooth.

Jaimie modeled the gear that hygienists wear and then let us try on our own gloves and mask while checking the teeth of a dinosaur. Most students decided dinosaur needs to work on her brushing skills. Thank you for visiting, Jaimie!

Posted in guest speakers, primary unit, science

Prepared for High School?

Congratulations to our five most recent graduates who all made the Honor Roll for their first quarter of high school!

Many people ask how our students transition to high school. While we value the development of the whole child, this one piece of data shows they typically do quite well.

Research shows that children who stay with Montessori through at least age eleven do better academically, are more likely to see their peers as friends, and are more creative in their writing and problem solving when compared to their public school counterparts.

We think it only gets better when students stay through Grade 8 with the giant bonus of avoiding all the social drama that can accompany those years. Students who stay get three more years of individualized academic work that is both challenging and interesting!

Posted in Uncategorized