A Visit From Adam Gidwitz


Adam Gidwitz, children’s book author, visited McGuffey’s Upper Unit last week. Gidwitz’s book, The Inquisitor’s Tale, is one of three Newbery Honor Books for 2017.

McGuffey Middle School students read and studied the book with Quentin ahead of Gidwitz’s visit and prepared questions to ask him. (Many students in Grades 4 and 5 chose to read the book as well.) Gidwitz gave a funny and insightful presentation that kept the Upper Unit students listening with rapt attention from beginning to end. Students really enjoyed the question and answer session that followed.

Gidwitz also signed students’ books and stayed in the classroom for a while to chat with them individually. He was a Montessori student for some of his youth and said our classroom looked very familiar and comfortable.

Many thanks to the Lane Library for arranging for each of our students to receive a copy of his book and sharing this special experience with us.

Posted in community, guest speakers, language arts, McGuffey, upper unit

Wrapping Up Singin’ in the Rain

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These final days of school see our Singin’ in the Rain musical being put to bed. Sets are put away, props have been cataloged, and costumes are being washed for storage until the next time this musical is performed. McGuffey students gave two tremendous performances of this complicated show. They have since taken time to share memories and feelings about the shows with classmates. They are adding photographs to their scores to take home and will watch the show together via the video Ron Hautau takes for us ever year. We thought you might enjoy a link to the pictures and video as well. Thank you to Shawn Burt and Ayelet Yariv for taking such fantastic pictures!


https://sburtphotography.pixieset.com/mcguffeymontessorischoolsingingintherain2017/ (the pin is 7845)




Posted in drama, Lower Elementary, McGuffey, Middle School, music

Lower Elementary Prepares Birdhouse Gourds


Students in Lower Elementary have been busy preparing birdhouse gourds for next year’s incoming Grade 1 students. This is a tradition that began last year in our classroom. All students participate in the process: planting birdhouse gourd seeds in the spring, harvesting them in the fall, and then during the following spring, students clean the gourds, drill holes in them, sand the openings, remove the seeds, and decorate the gourds (while also planting more seeds to start the process from the beginning).

On Friday, during our annual Moving Up Ceremony, our Grade 3 students will give the finished gourds as gifts to the incoming Grade 1 students. Any extras will be placed across school grounds for our neighborhood birds to enjoy.

Posted in art, community, Lower Elementary, McGuffey, practical life

Building a 3D Puzzle in Lower Elementary

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Students in Lower Elementary almost always have a jigsaw puzzle available to be worked on in the “quiet zone” of their classroom. A time-timer on the table helps them ensure that they don’t spend more than 10 minutes working on the puzzle at a time, and also helps ensure that many students get a chance to participate.

Most recently, our students completed a 3D puzzle of multicolored clownfish. Numbers and arrows printed on the bottom of the curved pieces helped to direct students on how they all connected to form the sphere of the finished puzzle. This was the first non-flat puzzle that our students have tackled, and although it took nearly a month from start to finish, it was greatly admired by all for several days before being taken apart and put away.

Puzzles help our students build logic and reasoning skills, as well as improving their ability to work collaboratively, especially when the work takes place in the “quiet zone” and students must collaborate and work together without talking.

Posted in Lower Elementary

Primary Skypes with Lithuania

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Students in Primary (and some from Lower Elementary) recently had a chance to Skype with a classmate that has spent the last year in Lithuania. They got to hear about his school, playing soccer, different kinds of food, and see his apartment. Mostly, they were excited to see his face again, even if it’s on another continent!

Our proximity to Miami University gives our students such incredible exposure to other countries and cultures. We are so fortunate to be able to share this with our students.

Posted in community, Primary, social studies

Pokémon Club Meets Tomorrow at Oxford Lane Library


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.

Tomorrow will be Matt’s final time leading Pokémon Club. We hope to share details soon about the program’s future!

Posted in announcements

Student-Led Physical Education


McGuffey Grade 7 student Lauren is sharing her talents in volleyball with our students. Lauren plays for Edgewood Middle School’s team and approached the PE teacher about teaching volleyball to our students. She was asked to prepare some drills and activities to help our students gain the fundamentals of volleyball.

Our students worked with Lauren on the skills of passing, setting, and serving. They enjoyed the variety of drills and are looking forward to another session with Lauren to learn more about the basics of the game. Thanks, “Coach” Lauren!

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

Read-a-Thon Wrap Up

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Read-a-Thon has ended and the minutes have been tallied. The McGuffey Montessori School students met and shattered their goal of 1440 minutes (24 hours).

The final number of minutes read was a staggering 16,371! That is over 11 days of reading! Thanks to all the students who raised money for McGuffey’s literacy programs such as classroom libraries and summer reading.

We appreciate all the time and effort our students put into the Read-a-Thon, and we hope that passion for reading stays with them through the summer. Reade and the reading gnomes are gone for now but they’ll be back next year!

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

Foot Painting


The nicer weather allows Primary students the opportunity to take enrichment outside. Today we painted—with our feet! We don’t have many photos to share, as the teachers were busy putting paint of the feet of some very eager artists. They worked together to stomp out a fantastic piece of art.

Posted in art, McGuffey, peace, Primary

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