An Outdoor Work Period in Lower Elementary

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We had such beautiful weather on our first day back from Spring Break that students in Lower Elementary spent their afternoon work period in their outdoor classroom. They could choose any indoor work and bring it out (the most popular choices yesterday were Writer’s Workshop and silent reading books), or they could choose to build and create either in the sandbox or with the wooden Outlast blocks.

As the weather continues to warm up, Lower Elementary will be opening their outdoor classroom more often during work periods. When this happens, students tend to move some of the work that they would normally do at a table or desk indoors to our cluster of picnic tables outdoors.

Posted in language arts, Lower Elementary, outside, sensorial

Learning About Fish in Primary

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Students in Primary recently continued their exploration of the animal kingdom by discussing fish. They used a fish skeleton to see that fish are vertebrates, with a clearly defined backbone. They saw that fins help a fish balance, steer, and stop. They observed metal discs in a jar and watched what happened when they shook the jar. The swirling discs helped explain why fish school, the large mass of activity confusing and intimidating predators.

Students have had the opportunity to explore fish through models, skeletons, puzzles, and books. A student from Lower Elementary loaned us his fish for the week so we could observe at our leisure. He also came in to tell the class a bit more about his fish and answer questions.

Posted in Primary, science

Pokémon Club Meets Tomorrow at Lane Library

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Pokémon Trading Card Game Club meets tomorrow (Sunday) at the Oxford Lane Library from 1-3pm. Tomorrow’s meeting is scheduled to be held in the Havighurst Meeting Room (upstairs). Should we be moved to a different space, we will post a notice on the front door of the library.

You can always check this page on our website for Pokémon Club dates and times. Our next meeting after tomorrow is on April 2.

Posted in announcements

Staging and Choreography in Music

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For one wonderful week, our students were able to stage scenes of “Singin’ in the Rain” outdoors in glorious, warm March weather. But, as Ohio winter showed up again this week, we retreated inside for rehearsals in the Main Building.

Some cast members were treated to a work session with Allison Brigden. Allison, whom the Upper Unit students know from her Language Arts instruction in the fall, is choreographing two songs for our production. She was met with great excitement and the students gave their total focus for over two hours while they learned some wonderful 1920s jazz dance moves. Thank you so much, Allison!

Posted in drama, McGuffey, music

Lower Elementary Learns About the Movement of Earth

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In Science, our Lower Elementary students have been studying the ways that earth (lowercase e) can be moved by natural phenomena. Recently they talked about how wind can move earth, and they also watched a Bill Nye video on how the earth’s crust can be impacted by things like volcanoes and earthquakes. Last week they talked about how water can change the shape of land, and about the difference between emergent and submergent coastlines.

Students have been challenged to find (in the classroom or at home) a picture of an emergent or submergent coastline, whether in a photo, a book, a magazine, a movie, or anywhere else.

Posted in Lower Elementary, science

March Madness at McGuffey!

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As the annual NCAA basketball tournament draws near, our McGuffey students took to the hardcourt. Over the next few weeks all classes will work on basketball fundamentals such as passing, dribbling, and shooting.

After we have worked on these basic skills we will move on to some timed games of three on three to give the kids an idea of how the game of basketball flows. It is also nice to practice team sports so students can work on their communication skills and interpersonal relationships while getting some good exercise.

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

Working on Mathematics Skills in Upper Elementary

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Our Upper Elementary students have been honing their Mathematics skills in a variety of ways, including challenging word problems that target specific critical thinking skills, iPad apps for memorization of Math facts, and self-guided workbooks. Montessori manipulatives also provide variety and excitement. This week the students were introduced to the 1,000,000 unit cube which allowed them to get a concrete sense of the material’s scale. We also discovered that Grade 4 students fit inside the million-cube very nicely!

Posted in math, Montessori method, Upper Elementary

Games in Lower Elementary

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Students in Lower Elementary are allowed to play one game per day, at any time during their two work periods (morning and afternoon). The games that we put on the shelves for students to choose from are games that encourage strategic thinking and planning ahead, such as chess, checkers, and Yahtzee.

Along with the table in our classroom that always has a jigsaw puzzle on it, these activities offer students the chance to take a break from their academic work while still engaging their minds in productive ways. If possible, we would encourage you to make one or more of these games available at home; not only are they fun activities for the whole family, but you might be surprised by how strategically skilled your child has become by practicing these games at school.

Posted in Lower Elementary

Pokémon Club Meets Tomorrow at Lane Library

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Pokémon Trading Card Game Club meets tomorrow (Sunday) at the Oxford Lane Library from 1-3pm. Tomorrow’s meeting is scheduled to be held in the downstairs meeting room near the children’s section. Should we be moved to a different space, we will post a notice on the front door of the library.

You can always check this page on our website for Pokémon Club dates and times. Our next meeting after tomorrow is on March 19.

Posted in announcements

Scheduling Musical Rehearsals

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This year’s musical will afford many opportunities for student-driven organizational work, from backstage jobs to note-taking during rehearsals. For example, this year’s Upper Unit students are more involved in scheduling. They are leading the charge with deciding which songs need more rehearsal time before we head into staging. They also had the responsibility of crosschecking their scores against a spreadsheet to confirm the scenes in which their characters appear, making edits along the way.

This organizational work will help us as we pull students to rehearse specific scenes, and doing this kind of work has given our Upper Unit students a sense of responsibility for each schedule that is produced. These are the types of executive thinking that make our annual musical so valuable to our students!

“Singin’ in the Rain” will be performed at the Oxford Community Arts Center on May 4 and 5.

Posted in McGuffey, music