Preschool Playground Is Back!

We are happy to share that our Preschool Playground returns this summer. This is a free program that is open to the community and offers an opportunity for children to come together for socialization, play, and informal learning. It is held every Monday on McGuffey Montessori School’s main playground from 10:00am-Noon, June 7–August 9.

Children ages six and under will explore opportunities including a large sandbox, sports field, climbing and play structures, riding vehicles, athletic equipment, and a basketball court. Art activities will be provided in the spacious shaded picnic shelter. Parents are encouraged to bring drinks and snacks. Siblings ages nine and under are also welcome.

There is no fee, but a parent or guardian must be present with their child during their stay. For COVID safety, everyone 3 years and older is required to wear a mask.

Any weather-related cancellations will be posted here, so check in if it looks like it might rain. For more information, call (513) 523-7742 or reach us via our contact form. Hope to see you!

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LE Changemakers

We are changing the world! We’re really doing it! We’re making a real impact!” were just a few of the comments enthusiastically sung by our Lower Elementary students, reading about the impact that their Changemakers project has already made. 

Students in Grades 1/2/3 have been working tirelessly on their Changemakers project, identifying problems that matter to them and using their voices to advocate for change. Students crafted speeches, made advocacy posters, and even produced their own videos of the speeches. Yet, one student said after the videos were done, “we have to get the word out! This isn’t done yet!” He was right.

Miami University got wind of the incredible work students were doing, and wanted to know more! After much planning, students spent a whole morning at a local park presenting their posters, gallery-walk style, and giving speeches about their chosen causes. Turnout was incredible, and students were able to share their work with multiple Early Childhood education classes, department faculty, and various Miami staff. In addition to their in-person presentations, Miami communications did a video and written news article on the work they’ve been doing that went out to over eight thousand Ohio school principals, superintendents, and Deans of other colleges. This is in addition to the video and article being showcased in six different web locations, as well as three different newsletters. Talk about a real world impact.

Students recognized that, though they were passionate about their chosen causes, they also hope viewers see the inherent passion and potential that lies within each child and to give them the space to do the incredible things they are so clearly capable of. To sum it up best, one student said “We’re standing up for what we believe in, but even more than that, we’re standing up for kid’s rights. More adults should see what we’ve done, and treat kids better, and let other kids do this too, because we can make a difference.” Hear their voices, heed their causes. 

To catch a look at the newsletter and video, check out this link: https://www.miamioh.edu/ehs/news/2021/04/changemakers.html 

To hear their speeches, visit: https://www.miamioh.edu/ehs/news/2021/04/changemakers.html 

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HS Graphic Design

Our high school students have been learning about graphic design and digital drawing this semester.  They have had a great time learning the features and tools of the programs Procreate and Adobe Illustrator while drawing on iPads.  Students have learned how to work in multiple layers, how to apply drawing aids like perspective grids and blurring filters, how to resize, rotate, duplicate, and stretch objects. They have used this knowledge to create personal graphic memoirs, to create animated GIFs, to draw portraits of themselves and others, and as a final project, to develop a personal logo that can be printed on a product at our local Oxford Copy Shop. We took a walk there to hear from the in house graphic designer, and to see some work in progress in the shop.  

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Ready, Set, BID

Our online auction is officially open! It will be open until 10pm on Wednesday, May 26. That’s two weeks of bidding. The auction will close the same day as our Annual Egg Drop.

This is our most accessible auction ever. Bid during the day and night, bid in your pajamas, bid while you are watching Netflix. Just bid! 

For the first time, family and friends can bid from afar so share the link. Grandparents could bid on the pony experience for your child or the face painting. We have some amazing items that range from a Florida vacation home to a quarter cow of beef from Reserve Run, awesome experiences and memberships, handmade items, and yummy baked goods from our own school community. 

Note who offered the item for auction and who you are bidding against (clik on “bids”) so we can get to know one another a little better. Items are still being added so check back after your first round of bidding.

AUCTION LINK

If you bid in the Moon Coop’s auction earlier this year, you already have an account for the auction site. Big thanks to the Moon Coop for blazing the trail with an online auction earlier this year.

In addition to our generous donors of auction items, we are grateful to the following sponsors for our event:

Super Duper Sponsors
Fey Bruder Insurance
Nicole and Joel Malin

Awesome School Sponsor
Downing Fruit Farm
Independence Orthopedics
JYC Customs

Happy Kid Sponsor
Luna Blu Salon Spa Galleria

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High School World History

Together with my students, we have been examining the rise of different types of fascism around the world in the interwar era.  We have studied the social and political events and contexts, as well as the personal background of some of the authoritarian leaders that rose to power in those times in different countries. The new unit that we are just beginning is The Second World War. Students will try to understand what circumstances led some countries to support or oppose participation in the war, as well as how the civilians were as much a part of a war effort as soldiers/combatants. 

I always strive to help my students think like historians. It means learning to ask questions, critiquing or having a critical look at sources of information, considering multiple perspectives and narratives, judging the quality of evidence, and finally, forming reasoned opinions. In our classes, we use investigations and questions to frame our own inquiry.  We scaffold and develop new knowledge based on previous learning.  We incorporate historical sources that are used to back up students’ own claims.  We practice interpreting and bringing arguments of diverse historical narratives.  This is my emphasis on helping students to communicate about concepts, historical events, and processes, as well as on big ideas.

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Reptiles

Primary students have continued the year of animal study with a unit on reptiles. We learned that reptiles can live in water or on land. They can have short legs or no legs at all. Most reptiles lay eggs and the young reptiles can take care of themselves after hatching.

Our shelves are filled with reptile models and puzzles as well as a snake skeleton and snake skin. Students have been fascinated and creating their own reptile works, for example, drawing in the stripes on a snake after completing a rubbing of the outline. In Kindergarten Studio, Kindergarteners made booklets highlighting and naming the parts of a turtle.

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Upper Unit Photography

This year the Upper Unit is working on art in a different way. Using a simple, self-guided photography booklet, our students are learning how to take better pictures. It’s a fun life skill that will only improve as they take more pictures. Photography affords us a way to admire the beauty in the everyday world and a way for us to preserve precious memories. 

For this first section of the booklet, we worked on basic photography skills such as: Rule of Thirds, Depth of Field, Close-up, Motion, Pattern, Color, and Get Centered. We invited our students to begin this project during our remote learning period and we’d like to share their work with you.

Centered

Close Up

Color

Depth of Field

Motion

Pattern

Rule of Thirds

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Lower Elementary Peace

An important (and dearly loved) part of our Peace curriculum is dedicated to learning about people who, historically and presently, have changed our world for the better. We call these people, folks like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Jane Goodall, Gandhi, Jack Greenburg, along with many others, the “Changemakers.” Our curriculum includes early childhood in the biographies of the leaders we cover, highlighting how leaders are developed in childhood, not just as adults, and how children can do amazing things too. As we talk about and dissect the lives and impact of our Changemaker of study, the awe, brilliance, compassion, and depth of conversation and understanding shown by the Lower Elementary students could stop anyone in their tracks. We believe that kids can, and do, handle and tackle hefty matters. Our current project, thought up and endeavored upon by the Lower Elementary students, is proof of that. 

After learning about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his birthday, the things he fought against and what he stood for, and how he began his campaign for justice as just a young boy, students felt empowered to make their own voices heard in the fight for what they believe in. Integrated with our creative writing unit, students are naming problems they see in our world (pollution/littering, deforestation, animal rights, homelessness, gender equity, and discrimination to name a few) and have been tirelessly crafting speeches to get the word out for their cause. Students are standing up for what they believe, and are passionate about becoming Changemakers themselves, confident that they, too, can make a difference in this world. Keep an eye out for the next phase of this incredible project- spreading awareness!

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High School ELA

“Always keep your dignity and be true to yourself,” writes Marjane Satrapi in her graphic memoir Persepolis, which is our Unit Four text in ELA. She comments that, “In life you’ll meet a lot of jerks. If they hurt you, tell yourself that it’s because they’re stupid. That will help keep you from reacting to their cruelty. Because there is nothing worse than bitterness and vengeance…”

Through the lens of this text, we are exploring the ways in which identity is shaped by events that happen around us, that are usually out of our control, and on a scale both large and small–local, regional, national, global. And we’re examining the ways in which changes outside of the main character result in changes within the main character, which has led us into some very interesting and enlightening conversations about ourselves.

Reading Persepolis has also allowed us to investigate a wide variety of new concepts–most notably, we are looking at the graphic novel as its own literary form, discussing its benefits, and learning about visual literacy. Persepolis is also our first memoir, as well as our first exposure to world literature. And since the story is set in Iran during the Iranian Revolution of 1979, our conversations have branched out in all kinds of directions and encompassed an array of topics: we’ve watched historical newsreel footage of the revolution and the storming of the US Embassy, we’ve taken a video tour of the ruins of Persepolis itself, we’ve listened to Persian pop music, and we’ve considered the challenge of coming of age as a person in the midst of total societal chaos and instability. It has been, in all, quite an engrossing and engaging study of form and history and what it means to be human and fallible amid the sometimes painful process of discovering who you are.

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