Native American History

Lower Elementary had an amazing week prior to Thanksgiving, taking time to explore Native American history and better understand the origins of the Thanksgiving holiday. Having just discussed the indigenous people of Australia allowed students to draw comparisons. Emily Legg, a McGuffey parent and member of the Cherokee Nation, visited our classroom to talk about her experience and to teach us a bit about traditional basket weaving. 

Posted in Lower Elementary, social studies


Third Graders recently composed a song in music. First, they learned an old folk song and determined there were two melodic patterns and wrote them using solfege, a way of identifying notes with the syllables do, re, me, fa, sol, la ,ti, do. They recognized most of the song was written with the notes do, la, sol and ended with mi, re, do.

Their challenge was to compose a new melody with four measures, four beats per measure, and using the patterns they had dictated from the folk song. Once their new melody was written in solfege, they translated the solfege into treble clef and played their song on xylophones. Four verses for lyrics were agreed upon, written (with lots of giggling!), and then sung and played on xylophones.

Finally, the students added an accompaniment to play on castanets. Their accompaniment is an ostinato, a continually repeated rhythm. The song was complete when they sang while half the class played xylophone and the other half played the ostinato on the castanets.

Posted in music

Empty Bowls

McGuffey artists have been creating Papier-mâché bowl centerpieces for Oxford’s Empty Bowls event. Decorated with paint or collaged with Mod Podge, the bowls were a wonderful addition to the event and even helped declutter the tables by holding crackers! 

Posted in art, community

Thanksgiving Partners

Upper Elementary spent time with their Primary partners to get ready for Thanksgiving. By combining old-school hand turkeys with our Peace curriculum, we ended up with a fun exercise in gratitude. Younger students stuck with hand-turkeys and older students drew other versions. Working together with our partners, we were able to enjoy their company while focusing on all that we have to be thankful for this year. 

Posted in Primary, Upper Elementary

Care of the Environment

Care of the environment means students take care of their classroom. Visitors will find students sweeping, watering plants, doing dishes, taking out the trash, and dusting as ways to take care of their environment. Preschoolers and Kindergarteners recently cleaned out the Primary outdoor shed. Students discussed different ways to organize items and came to agreements on how best to keep it clean and ready for the next person. Afterward, they took a well deserved break in the sun.

Posted in Primary

Time Travel to the 1800s

Primary and Lower Elementary classes went back in time, taking a trip to the early 1800s when most of the modern conveniences we enjoy today hadn’t been invented. Throughout the day, students had a chance to experience a different kind of school day. All modern materials were put away, leaving only items they would have in the 1800s. Other than toilets, they did not have access to electricity or running water. Students were given the choice to dress up, wearing the clothes Americans would wear in the 1800s or the clothes their ancestors would have worn in their native country at that time.

It was a busy day, filled with lessons, school work, gathering firewood, meal preparation, singing, sewing, laundry, and play. By the end of the day, we had many discussions about the similarities and differences of school now and in the past.

Posted in Lower Elementary, Primary

W.O.W Art Show, Part Three

A FOREST OF SPRAY PAINT: I made a spray paint picture with a waterfall. The canvas is made of a big piece of cardboard painted white. The actual painting is made of spray paint. I made it to get on the painting side of myself.

PINCH POTS BY GRADE TWO: Air-dry clay pinch pots constructed by coil. Painted with acrylic paint and sealed with Mod Podge.

AMERICAN FLAG: I made an American flag out of fabric and lots of types of red, white, and blue string. I made it because I am proud of my country.

THE LIGHT: My collage of a person is made out of paper and pen. I thought it would be fun to make.

CRAZ’S PRIDE PARADE: This project is about inclusion and pride! It is made with paper, markers, and pencils. I made this because recently I discovered something about myself that others may relate to. Ask me if you’re curious!

SUB TANK: Cardboard backpack with an underwater side. It represents the world underwater that we don’t know about.

JOKER’S MASK: I made a mask out of papier mâché and some paint. The mask is of the character of the Joker.

THE PARK HAT: I made a hat. It looks really cool because it has little people and little trees on it and it looks like a park. The people are colored with Sharpie pens and the hat is made out of an old hose. There are apples on the little trees.

PROJECT SKY: My project is finger-knit yarn that I used on my ombre painting to make clouds and a frame. It was inspired by my relaxation knitting and because I love ombre.

JAUNDELDINGER’S CABIN: I made this project because I have been trying to make a weatherproof building. My project is made of dowel rods for the frame and popsicle sticks for the walls.

STITCHES THE SCRAP DOLL: I made this crown so I could slowly work on it over several days when I felt like I had nothing to do. It’s made out of wire and found items.

Posted in art

W.O.W. Art Show, Part Two

SUNSET: Painting of a sunset and hand made with paint and canvas.

CAT FOOD: I made this painting with acrylic paint on a regular canvas. It is inspired by the internet memes “Can I has this hamborgor?”, Grumpy Cat, and more. I was going for a cartoony style by outlining everything with black acrylic paint.

SEASONS: I painted a hidden barn in the woods and a barn in the middle of nowhere. I used paint on canvas.

THE BLUES: This piece was made entirely by paint plus lots of love. It’s meant to convey, “No matter your skin color, YOU matter.”

CHARACTER: My W.O.W. is a character and how his many themes and art styles change until I have his perfect version. I made it to show how many changes an artist makes before a character is fully finished.

SNAKES BY GRADE ONE: Constructed with newspaper, foil, and masking tape. Covered with papier mâché and painted with acrylic paint. Snake accessories include collaged collars and leashes.

MULAN PICTURE AND BALANCE SCALE: My painting is a picture of Mulan with glued feathers on her dress. It is also made of paint and glue. The balance scale is made out of toilet paper rolls, some fake people, an old slinky, gemstones, and paint. I made it because I am interested in science

JEWEL: My jewelry box is made of cardboard, mini-hinges, paint, stuffing, felt, and popsicle sticks cut into pieces. My project is a little jewelry box for mini things and jewelry. I made this project because I love mini things and I love jewelry. The main reason I made this is because I love being creative and I love crafts.

SCIENCE LAB: My project is a science lab. it is made out of bottles, cardboard, straws, slinkies, rocks, rubber, Jenga Blocks, lids, plastic and hot glue. I love science!

My project is a jewelry box. I made it out of cardboard, hot glue, metal, felt, and stuffing. I made it because I LOVE jewelry and making it.

Posted in art

W.O.W. Art Show, Part One

SILO: My project is a silo. My silo is made out of clay and popsicle sticks. I made a silo because I like being on the farm and it reminds me of the farm.

CLAY CAT: My project is clay cats and a little bed for them. It is made out of clay, paint, felt, string, and stuffing. I made it because I love making stuff with clay and I love cats.

THE GIANT EAGLE: My project is a giant eagle made out of cardboard that I plastered and then painted. I made it because it seems cool. My favorite part is the wings.

MECHANICAL FOX: My creation is made of many materials like cardboard, plastic, and fake fur. I like doing stuff like this because it’s fun.

TREE HOUSE: My project is a tree house. It is made of cardboard, plastic, and wood. I was thinking about the forest at the time.

FASHION SHOW: My project is a fashion show. My project is made out of wood, cardboard, and fabric. I made it because I wanted to make something my friend would like.

BEE ON A STICK: My bumble bee on a stick mimics a bumblebee. The bumble bee is made of a stick and a wooden statue. It is a non-stinging bumble bee.

FISH NECKLACE: This is a beaded necklace that looks like a little fish. It looks bouncy on your neck. It is made out of beads, thread, metal.

BIG HOUSE IN THE ART ROOM: A house made out of craft sticks, hot glue, and metal hinges.i___________________________________________________________

During the Harvest Supper on October, artists in Grades 3-8 presented their Wonderful Original Works (W.O.W.) projects in an art show. The artists developed a plan for their project and worked on their pieces over the course of 6 weeks. From sculptures of animals, self portraits, and wire crowns, artists presented projects that they were passionate about and dedicated towards. Artists in Grades 1-2 presented group projects which included air dry pinch pots and papier mâché snakes. All W.O.W. projects were paired with an artists statement which were carefully crafted for display. 

Posted in art


SOAR has begun! SOAR, Students Outside Active and Running, is a Physical Education activity that promotes walking, running and goal setting. Students set a goal for their own mileage and then run or walk during recess for two weeks. They collect a “foot” charm for each mile to add to their SOAR necklace. Sometimes siblings and parents run, too. Thank you to all of the McGuffey families who help punch cards and cheer on McGuffey students.

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