Chess in Lower Elementary

Lower Elementary students recently wrapped up their study of India in History. It is widely believed that the game of chess originated in India. Students learned about the two main theories about how chess came to be. After introducing chess pieces, they spent time playing. Chess is available as a free choice work, so students can continue to play throughout the year.

Posted in Lower Elementary, social studies

Catapulting in High School

High School students had a great time creating catapult experiments to study quadratic equations. The catapults were built with popsicle sticks, bottle caps, clothes pin, and a hot glue gun. Students used properties of parabolas to graph quadratic functions and identified characteristics of quadratic functions and their graphs by using a teaching tool for math called Desmos.

Students will recap the catapult project by connecting with science and engineering, finding that Catapult-like devices are sometimes used to launch planes and jets from aircraft carriers with limited runway space.

Posted in High School, math, Uncategorized

Studying Italy

As part of their exploration of Europe, Primary has been studying Italy. To celebrate, they made gelato. Ingredients were poured for Italy’s tasty ice cream into the machine at morning meeting. By the time afternoon enrichment rolled around, their gelato was ready.

While they enjoyed their taste of gelato, they invented different floors of gelato—some pretty traditional and others quite original. Everyone thought this exploration of Italy was quite delicious!

Posted in cooking, Primary, social studies

Microscopes

High School students recently used microscopes as an introduction to cell biology. They looked at different types of cells, including their own cheek cells, to observe the similarities and differences among them.

Other students had a “Chemistry in Biology” lab, in which they tested for the presence of different types of carbohydrates in various food items: green and yellow bananas, crackers, milk, table sugar, and glucose powder.

Next on the schedule is a remote lab session with scientist Dr. Qian Chen at University of Toledo who is studying the mechanisms of cell division. Students will be remotely controlling an advanced type of microscope, such as an electron microscope. All students will be involved in this experience, as they explore various microscopy techniques in their classes.

Posted in chemistry, High School, science

Chief Diplomat

Our High School students recently had a hands on experience learning more about the executive branch of the US government, namely that one of the roles of the president is Chief Diplomat.

Students learned that a US government official delegation participated in the 1997 negotiations in Helsinki for START III (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty). The treaty proposed a bilateral arms control between the United States and the Russian Federation to drastically reduce the deployed nuclear weapons arsenals of both countries and to continue weapons reduction efforts. Students learned about The United States’ relations with Russia after the Cold War and how then President Clinton was the Chief Diplomat.

Through role-play, high school students re-enacted assigned parts in that event, ending with the United States and the Russian Federation delegations and Chiefs of State having negotiated and signed the Agreement.

Posted in High School, social studies

Gardening+Cooking=Pizza

Practical life in a Montessori school is designed to develop independence, concentration, and a sense of responsibility. Practical life activities are different by age range and include self care, cooking, cleaning, and gardening. At McGuffey, each classroom has their own garden in their own outdoor classroom.

In Practical Life, Lower Elementary students harvested their garden and made pizza. First graders made dough, second graders made sauce, and third graders made mozzarella. The next day, everyone assembled their pizza in time for lunch. It was a delicious undertaking!

Posted in cooking, Lower Elementary, practical life

McGuffey House Museum

Our HS students visited the McGuffey House Museum on Miami’s campus where we learned about the origins of the name Miami and the origin of the name of our school. Many thanks to local experts Steve Gordon of the McGuffey House, and Andrew Sawyer of the Myaamia Center. We learned SO MUCH!

Posted in community, field trip, High School, McGuffey

Leaves

Thanks to friends in the Lower Elementary classroom, Primary students were gifted more leaves than usual. An entire day (and still going!) was spent in sensory play with the leaves. Sensory play is a crucial educational component promoting curiosity, problem solving, and creativity. It also helps connect neurons to develop language and motor skills.

Posted in outside, preschool, Primary

Spirit Wear

What a delight to see students, staff, parents, and board members sporting McGuffey spirit wear. You can still order through the Gotcha Covered website for pick-up orders. The sweatshirts and sweatpants have received rave reviews for coziness.

Posted in community, McGuffey

That’s a Wrap on Chicago, Days 3 & 4. Welcome Home!

Welcome home, Middle Schoolers and staff! A huge thank you to Mark, Dean, and Teresa for guiding our kids on a fantastic trip. Day three was “choice museum day.” Some folks went to the Field Museum of Natural History and the other group went to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. They ended the day with a delicious dinner at Greek Islands.

Day four started out by visiting the Bean, Millennium Park, and the start of Rte 66. Before loading on the bus, they got in a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago.

Posted in Middle School, Middle School Trip