Day two of the Middle School trip started with breakfast which we had shopped for the previous night. After fueling up, we hit the train and headed for Chicago’s Chinatown. It was a terrific opportunity to look at the positive ways that the immigrant community has impacted this country.
After Chinatown, we let the kids explore Water Tower Place in smaller groups and grabbed lunch. Next, we were off to the Willis Tower and “The Ledge.” What a great way to face a fear of heights! Several of our students challenged themselves to step out onto the glass floor high above the city. It was great to see our students face their fears while being fully supported by their classmates.
Everyone was tired after a full day but but looking forward to “choice museum day” on day three!
On Monday, McGuffey revived the Middle School trip. Students arrived in Chicago by Greyhound bus and got a taste of the Windy City right away. After settling in at our hostel, we headed back into the city for some Chicago style pizza at Giordano’s. Afterwards, we visited Calder’s Flamingo and then took the train back to Greek Town.
Day two will include lots of sightseeing, including Chinatown and the Willis Tower.
Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day was a huge success! We estimate McGuffey had 65–70% participation, especially impressive for a slightly drizzly day. A lot of our staff walked or biked, too, including our head of school, Nancy! Students arrived to flags, music, bracelets, and a chance to add their name to the driveway list of participants.
We’re already looking forward to the next Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day. Thanks to everyone who helped and took part!
In American Government, High School students discussed Congress and Interest Groups. They learned the differences between influencing, manipulating, lobbying, and bribing. By playing the roles of Senators and Interest Groups, they could manipulate language and ideas to see how money and gifts change hands.
Our high school students had the good fortune of a beautiful fall day to canoe and hike at Hueston Woods. We were guided by naturalist Shawn Conner who gave expert advice on how to to paddle, how to stay upright in a canoe (!) and about the birds that were active near the water.
We also enjoyed a stroll through one of the few remnants of Ohio’s original forest. We gazed upon enormous Tulip Poplars and learned about the understory trees, like the Pawpaw and Redbuds which are hosts to specific species of butterflies. We felt fortunate to have a state park near our school to enjoy.
This fall, our Upper Unit students had the opportunity to visit the SunWatch Archaeological Park to learn more about the prehistory of our region. In Social Studies this year, they will be studying the common needs of people and this was a great place to start examining what we need as individuals and as a community to survive and thrive in our environment.
Our students were able to see how the community was set up and explore recreations of some of the original structures found there. We also looked at the agriculture of the early residents of the Ohio Valley and discussed how archaeologists learn about ancient cultures.
The Upper Unit enjoyed a warm summer night taking in Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night. Upper Elementary students read and discussed an adaptation of the play before going. Middle School students did a dramatic reading of the play in class, using a manga-illustrated version of the play with Shakespeare’s exact dialogue.
The high school students have been talking about the relationship between food and memory. “Food memories involve very basic, nonverbal, areas of the brain that can bypass your conscious awareness,” writes Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Professor Emerita of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in an article for the BBC. “This is why you can have strong emotional reactions when you eat a food that arouses those deep unconscious memories. You can’t put those memories into words, but you know there is ‘something’ that the food triggers deep within your past. The memory goes beyond the food itself to the associations you have to that long-ago memory, whether with a place or a person.”
With this concept in mind, we challenged our students to think of a person in their lives that they want to remember, to identify a “signature dish” that that person liked to make or eat, and to prepare the dish in that person’s honor. In this way, the students were able to excavate their memories of a special person through the sensory experience of cooking.
These dishes were presented at the Back-to-school Picnic to the delight of all.
Every year, the Primary classroom makes a healthy trail mix as a treat for the entire school. Older kids love to see them coming, remembering how delicious it is and many remember when they themselves used to make and bring trail mix around the school.
During morning meetings, Primary students talk about what they’re making and how to be careful to consider what other students can’t eat. Each student comes to the mixing bowl to add a healthy pour of an ingredient. By serving the trail mix in every classroom and the office, Primary students learn where everyone is during the day and that every space is a friendly place. Learning to serve others first before ourselves requires patience and self-regulation. Of course, the chefs get to eat some of their snack when they return to their classroom.