Preparing for the Musical in Art Class

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As our annual musical is coming together and everybody has been practicing their lines and their dance moves, there has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes! And we all know that the musical wouldn’t be complete without art.

Costumes, props, and sets are all in progress and have been a major part of our Art classes lately. From Grade 1 through Grade 8, everybody took part of the great adventure of prop-making. Grades 1-4 have been working on party desserts props, using papier mache and creating very light and yummy looking chocolate truffles. Upper Unit students colored them and decorated them to make them look even more delicious. Some students used sewing to create chocolate-dipped strawberries, and for a while, the first word that everybody said when they walked into the art room was: Yummy!

Today, Grades 1-8 tried on their costumes, and excitement was in the air! Hats, vests, skirts and fancy scarves were everywhere. Characters are starting to feel more real and are getting ready for show-time! It is so much fun to put on some bright colors to go along with the wonderful music.

Posted in art, music

The Breakfast Club

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The Upper Unit was treated to breakfast for lunch this week thanks to the work of our Grade 4 class. During our Democratic Meeting, this group of students created a proposal to have breakfast for lunch once a month which would be planned, shopped for, and prepared by the students. The proposal passed when it was voted on by the entire Upper Unit and a new tradition was started.

The members of the Breakfast Club created their menu and shopping list, and then met this past Sunday at Kroger to do the shopping. They gave up their recess to stay in and cook the meal which consisted of pancakes (regular and gluten-free), bacon (regular and vegetarian), and scrambled eggs. With maple syrup and chocolate chips for the pancakes plus orange juice and milk to drink, it was quite a meal!

It is always exciting to watch our students take the lead in these activities and see where it takes them next.

Posted in community, cooking, McGuffey, Upper Elementary, upper unit

Planting the Garden in Lower Elementary

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A handful of students in Lower Elementary planted their classroom’s gardens yesterday. This was part of a combined Science and Practical Life unit that has been ongoing for the past month, and has seen students selecting which seeds they would like to grow in the garden, designing their own seed packets in order to familiarize themselves with the kind of information that seed packets often display, using that information to make choices about the layout of the garden, and then finally, planting the seeds.

Our students planted red and orange poppies in the flower-box by their playhouse, birdhouse gourds in the flower-box by their patio, and kohlrabi, melon, beans, and edamame in the garden bed near the sunroom.

Posted in Lower Elementary, outside, practical life, science

Woodworking Kindergarteners

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The art curriculum in Kindergarten Studio is one that builds throughout the year. Starting with two dimensional drawing, children then explore a variety of three-dimensional art, fiber arts, and then end the year with woodworking. The woodworking unit is placed last intentionally, as children are proving their ability to respectfully manage real tools throughout the year. By spring, they are excited to take this big challenge!

Kindergarteners have spent the last few weeks learning how to use hammers, saws, and hand drills, and recently tackled their first project—a simple sailboat.

Posted in art, Primary

Pokémon Club Meets Tomorrow at Oxford 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. Matt’s final meeting with the Pokémon Club will be on Sunday, May 7. If you are interested in leading Pokémon Club in the future, please contact Matt or talk to him at this week’s meeting.

Posted in announcements

Sets and Costumes for “Singin’ in the Rain”

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As the pictures above show, sets and costumes for “Singin’ in the Rain” are coming along well. Last week, there was an open work session at the Duvalls’ house where students and parents could get creative and paint sets. We made time for some choreography work, too.

Can you find the music room? It now looks like the backstage at a theater because it’s become a sea of costumes and props. It’s fun to imagine how this will all come together to create a magical experience for both audience and performer. Please plan to see the shows May 4 and 5 at the Oxford Community Arts Center.

Posted in drama, McGuffey, music

Our Amazing Interns

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We have been fortunate to have the help of two wonderful interns over the course of this semester at McGuffey. Alyssa Cook has been working in our Primary classroom, and Sarah Burke has been working in our Lower Elementary classroom. Their time with us is almost up, and we wanted to make sure to recognize them for all of their work and the gifts that they have shared with our students. While we will certainly miss them, we know that their futures are bright and filled with fun.

Thanks, Alyssa and Sarah!

Posted in community, Lower Elementary, McGuffey, Primary

Learning About Balance in MindUP

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Students in Lower Elementary have a lesson in their MindUP curriculum every Wednesday in place of Specials (Art, Music, and PE). The MindUP curriculum teaches the latest scientific information about the brain to offer strategies for helping students to focus their attention, improve their executive function skills, build resilience, and develop optimism and a positive mindset.

Last Wednesday, these students practiced their balance with two exercises. For the first exercise, all students stood apart from each other in their outdoor classroom and tried to balance on one leg for 30 seconds; then, they tried it a second time, this time concentrating on a focal point somewhere within their range of vision. It was amazing to see the dramatic difference between these two attempts. With a focal point to concentrate on while balancing, students wobbled much less. For the second exercise, students practiced walking heel-to-toe on a straight line of tape on the ground, with a pyramid beanbag balanced on their heads (students just finished sewing these beanbags with Ayelet for their Practical Life curriculum).

After both exercises, we discussed a few questions, such as: how did it feel to balance on one leg? (“My other leg hurt!” was a common response). What did you choose for your focal point? (Fence posts, stumps, trees, and other people were mentioned often.) How did the beanbag change your balance? (“I couldn’t look down!”) We discussed how we can focus and think clearly when our bodies and brains work together, and how our brain’s ability to focus improves when we pay attention to the signals our bodies send us.

Posted in Lower Elementary, science

The Read-a-Thon Rolls On!

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The Read-a-Thon enters its second week today! Our students have been focusing on reading at school and home. Several of our students are challenging themselves to read 24 hours on their own! This is our academic fundraiser so we’d like to encourage the students to make sure to ask family members and friends to contribute to help us raise money for our school libraries and our summer reading program.

It has been an exciting Read-a-Thon so far this year with the addition of our Monday Read-Ins with partners, visits from Reade (the reading gnome), and exciting Mystery Readers.

Read-a-Thon wraps up this Friday with our second Mystery Reader. Last week Mayor Kate Rousmaniere visited to read to the students and talk a bit about her role as the Mayor of Oxford. Who will show up this Friday? It’s a mystery…

Posted in fundraising, guest speakers, language arts, Lower Elementary, McGuffey, Middle School, partners, Primary, Upper Elementary

International Kids’ Yoga Day

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Oxford-area yoga instructor Jill Levendaris joined our Physical Education classes on Friday, April 7 so we could be among the more than 40,000 children to participate in the second International Kids’ Yoga Day. Jill guided the students through the poses that children around the world practiced for the occasion.

Afterwards, students were asked to name their favorite poses from our yoga instruction during fall semester and we did them as a group. It was a very nice way to end the week.

Posted in Lower Elementary, physical education, Primary, Upper Elementary