Preschool Playground Canceled, 6/29

Due to the rain, Preschool Playground is canceled for today, June 29th. Please join us next week, July 6th—fingers crossed that it will sunny and warm!

Posted in Uncategorized

Summer Reading: To Ease Pain, Reach For Your Playlist


This week, we’re sharing a story from NPR about studies showing that music can relieve physical pain following major surgeries, with specific data on children and teenagers.

To Ease Pain, Reach For Your Playlist
After a 30-minute session, the children who listened to music or a book reduced their pain burden by 1 point on a 10-point scale compared to the children who listened to silence. That might not sound like much, but Sunitha Suresh says it’s the equivalent of taking an over-the-counter pain medication like Advil or Tylenol.

PLEASE NOTE: MMS Summer Reading does not necessarily reflect McGuffey’s opinions, but simply offers thought-provoking insight into how children learn and grow.
Posted in community, music, technology

Summer Reading: Out of the Classroom and Into the Woods


Rather than let the blog gather dust over the summer, we thought we’d present some stories that got us thinking. These stories don’t necessarily reflect McGuffey’s opinions, but they offer thought-provoking insights into how children learn and grow.

This week we’re sharing a story from NPR that discusses the many benefits of spending class-time outdoors, as exemplified in one school’s program that brings its students into the woods to learn for one day each week.

Out of the Classroom and Into the Woods
Kids in the U.S. are spending less time outside. Even in kindergarten, recess is being cut back. But in the small town of Quechee, Vt., a teacher is bucking that trend: One day a week, she takes her students outside — for the entire school day. It’s called Forest Monday.

Posted in community, outside

Scenes from Our Picnic and Carnival

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Thank you to everybody who attended and helped facilitate our end of the year picnic and carnival! It was a wonderful way to conclude the 2014-2015 school year, and we hope you’re well on your way to having a great summer vacation.

Posted in McGuffey, outside, parents

Preschool Playground begins Monday!


Our summer Preschool Playground program begins on Monday, June 1st, at 10am! This program is for children aged six and under. Please check here for more information.

Posted in announcements, community, McGuffey, Primary

Early Fiber Works

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Lower Elementary and Kindergarten came together to learn how to finger knit! This is a skill children learn in kindergarten and revisit and build on throughout their years at McGuffey.

Finger knitting is a simple, one-loop technique that allows children to produce a long, woven string. Lower Elementary students already familiar with the technique helped teachers coach the kindergarteners until everyone was furiously knitting!

In later years children could expand their knowledge to knitting with four fingers, crocheting, and knitting with needles.

Posted in Lower Elementary, partners, Primary

Hueston Woods Field Trip

huestonwoods1 huestonwoods huestonwoods3 huestonwoods4critterscreekfoundagiantcrayfishmillipedeLower Elementary shared a trip to Hueston Woods with the Upper Unit. We saw Great Egrets, Blue Herron, baby geese, Cardinals, Robins, and even a Baltimore Oriole. After our bird hike, we joined the Uppers for a romp in the stream where we hunted tadpoles and crawdads. We ended the day with a picnic and a great game of freeze tag.

The Upper Unit was invited to formally test a new exhibit at the Hueston Woods Nature Center. The exhibit, designed by alumni parent Dr. Michael Vanni and his students at Miami University, focuses on teaching people about the local Watershed. Our students took a pre-test before seeing the exhibit, a post-test afterwards and some students were interviewed on video. Dr. Vanni discussed watersheds, the development of the exhibit and the kinds of educational experiences one would want to have before going into Science in college. Lower Elementary students went through the exhibit too.

Be sure to ask your child what a watershed is and stop in to see the exhibit the next time you are at Hueston Woods. Thanks to alumni parent Dr. Chris Wolfe and to Dr. Vanni for coordinating this opportunity for our students!

Posted in field trip, Lower Elementary, McGuffey, Middle School, outside, Upper Elementary

2015 Egg Drop!

Egg Drop 2015At the Last Day of School Potluck, Thursday, May 28, 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.

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, McGuffey

Practicing the Pledge of Allegiance


Recently, students in Lower Elementary spent time learning and practicing the Pledge of Allegiance. Many students were already familiar with the pledge, but it also forms an important part of our study on the history of the United States of America. Students learned about the history of the pledge, the ways that it has changed over time, and the most common occasions during which the pledge is recited.

Then, students spent the rest of the week memorizing the words on their own, and by the end of the week, each student was able and excited to recite the pledge from memory to one of their teachers.

Currently, Lower Elementary’s continuing study of the United States has taken them to revisit the variety of flags that our nation has used over the course of its existence, including some of the flags that were adopted by the original colonies before the Declaration of Independence was signed. Students have enjoyed choosing one of these early flags and making a replica of their own.

Posted in Lower Elementary, social studies

Learning How to Play Lacrosse

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Thanks to parent George Ironstack, students in Lower Elementary and the Upper Unit learned how to play lacrosse last week. George shared some of the sport’s cultural history with our students, and brought in several varieties of lacrosse sticks to help tell the story of how the sport has evolved. Then, he demonstrated several key skills, including scooping, catching, and throwing, and students had the opportunity to practice these skills in small groups before coming together to play a game.

Nearly every day since George’s visit, lacrosse has been one of the most popular ways for students to spend their recess time. Thank you, George!

Posted in outside, parents, physical education