2018 Shop Local Cards Available Now

2018 Shop Local cards are here! Get them at Juniper,MOON Co-Op, the Oxford Farmers Market Uptown, and McGuffey Montessori School for only $15. This year’s card features benefits including…

—5% off every day at MOON Co-op
—10% off your purchase at Kofenya
—15% off one item at Juniper
—$5 day passes at Miami Rec Sports… and much more! For a complete list of the discounts available, go to oxfordshoplocal.com.

Although fundraising is a critical piece of McGuffey’s budget, it is also part of our school philosophy to act responsibly as a part of our community, and to pay it forward.

For this reason, McGuffey shares a portion of the proceeds with some of our favorite non-profit organizations—the Oxford Community Choice Pantry, the Oxford Farmers Market Uptown Sprouts Program, and the Friends of the Oxford Lane Library. These are organizations our students, families, and staff consider a valuable part of this community.

We also believe it is important to support our local economy, and, for that reason, have chosen a “Shop Local” theme for our card, and have sought businesses from Oxford and the neighboring communities to participate in this program.

McGuffey students, parents, and staff donate their time and talents to facilitate the production, sale, and distribution of the Shop Local card, so there will be no cost to participating businesses or our non-profit beneficiaries.

Thank you for supporting McGuffey, the other non-profits, and our locally owned businesses !

Posted in announcements, community, fundraising

Muscles and Bones

We have a visitor to our classroom this week! He has lived at McGuffey for quite some time, and has been affectionately named “Brainless Bob.” He is a life-size plastic skeleton, which allows our class to see exactly what is going on underneath their skin. (We somehow forgot to take photo of him while he was visiting!)

As we have been talking about our skeleton, we learned that we have 206 bones in our bodies. Some are big and some are small. Our largest bone is our upper leg and the smallest is in our ear. We discovered that we could feel many bones in our bodies—our knuckles, hips, ribs, and shoulder blades. Bones give us shape and protect important organs like the brain.

One of the works in the classroom this week is a full set of human x-rays. Children can take time to browse each x-ray, comparing them to their own bodies. They can even build a complete skeleton out of x-rays!

We also talked about our muscles. We used a partially inflated ballon, stretching and releasing it to explain how muscles expand and contract. We learned that muscles are in our face and help us smile and make silly faces. We also learned that muscles are part of our digestive system starting with the tongue.

In the past six weeks we have discussed nutrition, digestion, respiration, circulation, muscles, and bones. Although it’s pretty complicated, we have a much better sense of how our bodies work!


Posted in Uncategorized

Being thankful with Partners

When we met with our Partners today, we explored the idea of being thankful. The little ones used finger paints to add leaves to a fall tree, and the bigger ones helped write things they were thankful for. Our Partners were so inspired that they decided to decorate their own thankful trees, too. It’s hard to resist dipping your fingers into paint!

As usual, we are always thankful for the time we spend with our Partners!

Posted in Primary

Leaf piles to keep and share

Last week Lower Elementary gathered rakes and wheelbarrows so they could build leaf piles for jumping. Our big tree out front has finally dropped most of its leaves, so it’s the perfect place for raking.

Half the class worked to gather leaves for the Lower Elementary outdoor classroom, while the other half gathered leaves for the Primary outdoor classroom. While Primary has a spectacular old conifer, it doesn’t have many mature deciduous trees. By the end of the hour, they had built substantial leaf piles in both areas.

Lower Elementary students gathered at the fence line, and watched with delight as the Primary children discovered their new leaf pile. These moments where they discover the giving is just as wonderful as the getting are invaluable.

Posted in Lower Elementary, McGuffey, peace, practical life, Primary

Taking care of our teeth

Primary continues to study the human body this week. This morning, Primary students  were treated to a visit by McGuffey mom, Jaimie Ross. Jaimie is a hygienist and told us she cleans and takes x-rays of other people’s teeth. She talked to us about how important it is to take care of our teeth. We were reminded to brush our teeth twice a day for 2 minutes. She showed us how to brush in circles on both the outside and inside of our teeth and told us it is just as important to brush our tongue.

We learned that sugary foods can cause cavities and that lots of drinks contain a surprising amount of sugar. Using a model on our science shelf, we got to see the roots and nerves inside the tooth.

Jaimie modeled the gear that hygienists wear and then let us try on our own gloves and mask while checking the teeth of a dinosaur. Most students decided dinosaur needs to work on her brushing skills. Thank you for visiting, Jaimie!

Posted in guest speakers, primary unit, science

Prepared for High School?

Congratulations to our five most recent graduates who all made the Honor Roll for their first quarter of high school!

Many people ask how our students transition to high school. While we value the development of the whole child, this one piece of data shows they typically do quite well.

Research shows that children who stay with Montessori through at least age eleven do better academically, are more likely to see their peers as friends, and are more creative in their writing and problem solving when compared to their public school counterparts.

We think it only gets better when students stay through Grade 8 with the giant bonus of avoiding all the social drama that can accompany those years. Students who stay get three more years of individualized academic work that is both challenging and interesting!

Posted in Uncategorized

Don’t You Forget About Breakfast Club

On Wednesday the Upper Unit brought back a fun experience from last year: Breakfast Club! A group of students planned “breakfast for lunch”, went to the grocery store and did the shopping, and prepared and cooked a meal for their classmates.

We had pancakes with maple syrup, bacon (and veggie bacon), scrambled eggs, milk, and orange juice. It is a great Practical Life opportunity for the students as they learned about food costs and the time it takes to prepare a meal.

Everyone enjoyed this special lunch, and the Breakfast Club was able to experience the sense of satisfaction that comes from serving others and bringing them joy.

Posted in cooking, McGuffey, practical life, upper unit

Election Day

We know you have been on pins and needles all day, so we will end your suspense! Since last Tuesday our students have been campaigning, creating and hanging signs, and meeting with the candidates. Today, Primary and Lower Elementary cast their ballots, and monitored the votes as they rolled in. This year, Blue, the color of the ocean, won over more hearts than the color of, well, hearts.

With only a two vote spread, there’s hope for next year, Red!

Posted in Lower Elementary, McGuffey, social studies

Practical Life

The purpose of Practical Life in a Montessori classroom is to help the child gain control of her movements and build independence. These works appeal to Primary-aged children who can often be heard saying, “I can do it!” Practical Life exercises can be categorized into four different groups: preliminary applications, applied applications, grace and courtesy, and control of movement.

Over the past several weeks, we have been introduced to several engaging and exciting works in applied applications which are activities that can be found in every day life. Painting the house in our outdoor classroom with water is a popular work. Bags of carrots have been peeled in front of one of our beautiful windows. Our students have loved practicing using a real hammer (after donning real safety goggles first!) to pound golf tees into an enormous pumpkin that they planted in our garden last Spring. Finger muscles are then strengthened by pulling tees back out. These pictures show concentration and pride as our students practice and master what they see adults doing every day.

Posted in practical life, Primary

Wheel of Life: Food Chain of the Temperate Forest

As Lower Elementary continues their study of Biomes, they’re taking a closer look at the each of the six components that make up a biome. They’re currently exploring energy, which means understanding its importance and observing how it is exchanged within the biome.

They investigated the food chain within a temperate forest, a cycle that continuously repeats itself. After they discussed the life cycle, students had an opportunity to illustrate it on their own. More or less text was included, depending on grade level and personal preference.

The lesson within the lesson was determining how to share one work amongst an entire class. Students facilitated this entirely on their own over the course of several days. They negotiated who needed each piece at what time, and choosing to work in close proximity so resources could be shared.

We love interdisciplinary projects like this. They build skills in many areas—science, art, and language—but also include social learning.

Posted in art, language arts, Lower Elementary, McGuffey, peace, science, social studies