The ​United States and Indigenous Peoples

Last week we began our exploration of the continents. This journey will take us well into Spring as we discuss each continent and several countries within it.

We began our discussion by talking about the seven continents, and identifying the one we live in—North America! Within North America there are many countries, including our own, the United States. The United States is comprised of 50 states. We identified Ohio, the place that we call home.

We discuss indigenous peoples of each culture we visit throughout our Social Studies curriculum. We were so grateful to have one of our Primary parents, Emily, who is a member of the Cherokee Nation, visit our classroom to discuss her heritage.

Emily began with a lovely book, “We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga” by Traci Sorrell and illustrated by Frane Lessac, that tells the story of how grateful the Cherokee community is for the gifts and challenges that each season brings. The children got to enjoy baskets that were woven by Emily, one filled with Cedar, as well as a wood rattle carved into an Owl. Owls are believed to be good luck!

The children also learned some of the Cherokee language. Traditionally when we take attendance at morning meeting we use the language of the country we are discussing to say “here”. We now include a choice of here, present or “ahani” (pronounced  “ah-hah-nee), Cherokee for “here”, when taking attendance this week. Emily also taught the children how to count to five in Cherokee:

1 = saquu (pronounced “saw-gwoo”) ᏐᏬ

2 = ta’li (pronounced “tah-lee”) ᏔᎵ

3 = tso’i (pronounced “joh-ee) ᏦᎢ

4 = nvgi (pronounced “nuh-gee) ᏅᎩ

5 = hisgi (pronounced “hee-skee”) ᎯᏍᎩ

We ended our morning meeting with a traditional Cherokee lullaby “Usdi Yona,” which means Little Bear. “Wado,” thank you, to Emily for visiting our classroom!

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The Structure of the Earth

Last week in Primary, we started a study of the Earth. It’s hard to imagine we live on an enormous planet, and even harder to imagine what we can see is such a tiny part of it We began by exploring the layers of the earth using a model. We tried to imagine how hot the core is while the crust is so cool. Next came the surface of the Earth, including Tectonic Plates. We talked about pressure and how that can lead to volcanoes and so of course, we set off a replica volcano at morning meeting which was met with excitement and cheers! We also used candy to help explore the three main types of rock; sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous.

With many works on the shelves, our student scientist are hard at work examining, exploring, and sorting elements of our planet.

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Adult Prom: 80’s Edition

McGuffey Montessori Presents Adult Prom: 80’s Edition! Join us for a night of dancing, big hair, and big fun!

Cash bar, balloon arch, and your favorite 80’s music. Ticket price includes one drink. Age 21 and older. Singles, couples, triples, quadruples, groups….everyone is welcome! Raffle and prize give-aways.

Any and all 80’s attire encouraged.

Buy Tickets Here

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2019 Egg Drop

Egg Drop 2015

At the Last Day of School Picnic, Wednesday, May 22, we will hold our annual Egg Drop. This is a tradition at McGuffey that goes back decades!

Prior to the last day of school, students will spend time at home designing a package that will hold a fresh egg. This “vehicle” will keep it from breaking when it has been thrown off the roof over the kitchen onto cold, hard cement.

This year we have a more challenging drop to offer. The Oxford Fire Department will be bringing one of their ladder trucks to provide a higher drop for those who want it. Many thanks to OFD and to seventh grader Zach  for arranging this!

For novices, the use of bubble wrap is appropriate, however, as the years creep by, many students begin to consider packaging that is more creative and “engineered.”

Although no dangerous materials are permitted, creativity is much revered. There is much respect for innovative schemes, even when they don’t succeed.

– Raw eggs only! No eggs may be hard-boiled.
– No dangerous materials may be used.
– Students may not go on the roof at any time for any reason.
– Egg packages should be delivered to the collection point when they arrive at school.
– Only the designated adult may drop eggs from the roof.
– Students must stay behind the designated “drop zone” boundary.

Good luck and get busy creating!

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

Food Composting

McGuffey celebrated Earth Day by beginning to participate in Oxford’s new food scrap recycling program. We now have a bucket for each building where we collect food scraps from snack and lunch throughout the week. On Saturday, a parent volunteer will deliver the scraps to the City of Oxford’s Streets and Maintenance Division garage facility. We’re all very excited to do our part to help take care of the Earth!

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

Walk and Bike to School Day

Because our school musical is on May 8th, we celebrated National Walk and Bike to School Day a week early. We had a huge number of students participate this year! Thank you to Jaimie for organizing this event and all the volunteers, staff, parents, and students who participated.

Posted in community, Lower Elementary, McGuffey, Middle School, physical education, Primary, Upper Elementary

Ending the Read-a-thon with Partners

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Walk and Bike to School Day

On Wednesday, May 1, McGuffey will be participating in Walk and Bike to School Day. Join us in celebrating the benefits of bicycling and walking as you come to school that day.

If you live too far from school to walk or bike from home, you are welcome to meet at the Oxford Lane Library. Students and parents will walk from the library to school. If your child is in Primary, we ask that you accompany your child on the walk. Lower Elementary and Upper Unit students may be dropped off by 8:15am. Parents are welcome to join us for the walk. The will only be supervision for walkers from the library. Bike riders can follow the biking chaperone, but are not under supervision.

Grades 7/8 (and siblings who attend early care) will meet at the library at 7:45am and depart for school at 7:50am.

Preschool through Grade 6 will meet at the library at 8:15am and depart at 8:30am.

Posted in announcements, community, Lower Elementary, McGuffey, Middle School, physical education, Primary, Upper Elementary

Third Graders Visit Glen Helen

Lower Elementary students who will be bridging to the Upper Unit visited Glen Helen for the day recently and had a great time. The weather was beautifully warm and sunny; we saw the Glen at its spring best.

We were met by the director of the Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center, Michael Blackwell, and Cindy, one of the naturalists. Cindy showed us the lodge and the cafeteria and then took us on a wonderful hike. The students visited the waterfall, the Helen tree, solved puzzles on the trail, visited the famous Yellow Spring, found a secret cave behind a waterfall, and then hiked back to the lodge for lunch.

Lunch was entertaining and tasty as always, with vegetarian and gluten free options. Several students even got to participate by helping out with serving, cleanup and lunchtime activities. After lunch, we toured Sycamore dorm, where McGuffey students stay each year. 

This day trip is very helpful in introducing students to Glen Helen and preparing them for our four-day Outdoor School experience next year. Special thanks to Neal Sullivan, our wonderful driver and chaperone. 

Posted in field trip, Lower Elementary, McGuffey, outside, science

Upper Elementary’s Week as the Senior Students at McGuffey

During the Middle School trip to Chicago, Upper Elementary students enjoyed a special week of their own with the Upper Unit to themselves. This week, their big project was to help to develop the McGuffey Games Curriculum, a collection of educational games that support different curricular goals for each grade band.

UE students playtested several games and filled out reports on what they were like to play and how they could be useful to each subject area. Then they created card games of their own, writing the rules, playtesting their games and asking for feedback, revising the rules, creating a final rules sheet, and designing the cards and the box. After finishing their games they filled out a Game Developer Report about their experience. They are looking forward to sharing their games with the Middle School students.
Grade 5 went upstairs each morning for a special math class with Kadriye, exploring new challenges such as the coordinate plane and had a wonderful time. Grade 4 continued to work hard on math downstairs. Many of them designed card games based on math!

On Wednesday, we began our new science unit, Weather and Climate. We took advantage of some available cardboard and the beautiful weather to build forts in the outdoor classroom to work in, measured temperatures in different locations, and set up a mini weather station. The forts were a wonderful place for reading as well as doing science and working on games.

Thursday, we walked to Patterson’s and had brunch together. We practiced table manners and how to represent McGuffey while out in the community, just as the middle school students do on their week-long trip. Students ordered for themselves and were respectful and curious. Michelle and the staff of Patterson’s were delightful hosts, and our students thanked them for a delicious meal as they left. Thanks to Chip Murray for accompanying us!

On Friday, Upper Elementary hosted the third graders for our first Step-Up day, where they get to know the Upper Unit. The third graders joined us for a work period; UE students shared their science lab activity with them and the third graders shared their biome work. Afterward, they had recess and lunch together. 

It was a special week for UE in Art and Music as well. Musical rehearsals have been in full swing and generated a lot of buzz. Many exciting art projects headed home as well.

Posted in McGuffey, outside, Upper Elementary