High School Sewing Projects

McGuffey High School students have loved visiting our next door neighbor, Thread Up Oxford, which has an abundant supply of fabrics and sewing notions. Students are inventing new projects every week with their inspiring finds while learning how to use a sewing machine and hand sewing techniques.

Posted in art, High School, practical life

Glen Helen, Day Two

We are very, very hungry and waiting is hard!
Talking about rocks.
The Geology hike begins!
One trail group under the rocks, one trail group above the rocks.
Thinking about aquifers.
The Yellow Spring.
Photographing water running under the rocks.
What made the “potholes” along the river’s banks?
Friendship bracelets.
Shelter building.
Football behind the dorm.
When you bring the same book to read, you are book twins. :)
Can you catch a tennis ball with your feet? The answer is yes.
Campfire stories.
Posted in field trip, Middle School, Upper Elementary, upper unit

Glen Helen Activities

Primary and Lower gave us a grand send off!

Glen Helen food is talked about all year, and was just as delicious as we remembered.
Settling into the dorm.
This is a game called Sticks. Everyone here is stuck inside the hula hoop waiting to be set free.
There were many heroic rescues and spirited defenses.
This is what a very successful round of the “Camo” game at Glen Helen looks like.
Now everyone has been found – except for the student who wore camo to play Camo. 
The naturalists led students in a hilarious improv comedy session. (If you look at the window reflections in the photos you can see everyone laughing.) The evening skit program also featured lots of other student participation.
Posted in field trip, Middle School, Upper Elementary, upper unit

A Visit to TOPSS

This fall, High School students have been focusing on the United Nations Global Goals, a to-do list for the world. In 2017, world leaders agreed on 17 goals (also known as the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs) to help heal the climate, ensure food security, combat human rights abuses and much more. These Global Goals aim to be the solution for tackling our biggest problems.

In order to see first-hand how we can help locally with food security and compassion, High School students visited TOPSS, a food pantry and social services center in Oxford. The students learned about the work that happens to meet their mission “to alleviate hunger and support nutrition-related well-being of those in need in the Talawanda School District.” Our own Angela Trubceac, who is a part time staff member at TOPSS, was able to give guidance and involve our students in the work.

Posted in field trip, High School, peace

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


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


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