Join us on Saturday for Building and Grounds Work!

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 5.13.45 PMTomorrow (Saturday, August 1), McGuffey will be having a spontaneous and informal Building and Grounds Day from 11 am – 2 pm. If you are interested in logging some Family Work Hours, stop by for all or part of this super exciting event!

We will have the following jobs available:

Weeding the big playground
Scraping windows to prep for painting
Touch-up exterior painting and possibly some indoors as well
Power washing
Possibly some indoor cleaning
General outdoor clean up

We have lots of tools and materials but feel free to bring your own gardening gloves, scrapers, or paintbrushes.

Please read the following important message:

We are not providing childcare. Children will be allowed to help you or play on the playground but you will be responsible for supervising your own children if you choose to bring them along. We can put some easy activities in the picnic shelter and open the sandbox but there will not be indoor activities for children. If you work inside and your child is content to read, draw or play on their own device, that is ok.

Posted in announcements, building and grounds, parents

Summer Reading: Five Minute Montessori DIY Mystery Box


This week, we’re sharing a post from one of our favorite Montessori blogs, How We Montessori. This post, like many of the posts on How We Montessori, provides an educational activity that can be easily prepared at home and can be presented by a parent or family member, and includes quotes from Maria Montessori that help to explain how this activity helps children learn about the world around them.

Five Minute Montessori: DIY Mystery Box
The idea is to isolate the child’s sense of touch. They can identify objects by touch only. We like to play this in lots of different ways. By the child feeling a box with lots of items. As they touch or discover with their hands each object they try to identify it. Or you can say to them “can you find me the pinecone” and they need to search for that one item.

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 parents

School Supply Lists Now Available

Supply Lists are ready for the 2015-16 school year. Each student will have a combination of community and personal items that need to be purchased. Please note that these items differ depending on your child’s classroom, so each classroom has its own list. We have scaled the supply lists back a bit this year, knowing that many items can be purchased more cheaply and efficiently in bulk.

Thank you in advance for helping set up our school and classrooms for a successful year!

Click here to view or download the 2015-16 School Supply Lists.

Posted in announcements, parents

Summer Reading: Why Free Play Is the Best Summer School


This week, we’re sharing a story from The Atlantic that suggests that children can develop better executive function (the ability to self-regulate, organize, and plan) when they are given regular opportunities to engage in unstructured free play.

Why Free Play Is the Best Summer School
Unscheduled, unsupervised, playtime is one of the most valuable educational opportunities we give our children. It is fertile ground; the place where children strengthen social bonds, build emotional maturity, develop cognitive skills, and shore up their physical health.

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 parents

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