Innovative Academic Programs, a low student-to-teacher ratio, hands-on exploration and discovery, extensive field trips, and creative contributions from the larger community make the McGuffey learning experience unique, compelling, effective—and fun
At the Last Day of School Picnic, Wednesday, May 22, we will hold our annual Egg Drop. This is a tradition at McGuffey that goes back decades!
Prior to the last day of school, students will spend time at home designing a package that will hold a fresh egg. This “vehicle” will keep it from breaking when it has been thrown off the roof over the kitchen onto cold, hard cement.
This year we have a more challenging drop to offer. The Oxford Fire Department will be bringing one of their ladder trucks to provide a higher drop for those who want it. Many thanks to OFD and to seventh grader Zach for arranging this!
For novices, the use of bubble wrap is appropriate, however, as the years creep by, many students begin to consider packaging that is more creative and “engineered.”
Although no dangerous materials are permitted, creativity is much revered. There is much respect for innovative schemes, even when they don’t succeed.
– Raw eggs only! No eggs may be hard-boiled.
– No dangerous materials may be used.
– Students may not go on the roof at any time for any reason.
– Egg packages should be delivered to the collection point when they arrive at school.
– Only the designated adult may drop eggs from the roof.
– Students must stay behind the designated “drop zone” boundary.
McGuffey celebrated Earth Day by beginning to participate in Oxford’s new food scrap recycling program. We now have a bucket for each building where we collect food scraps from snack and lunch throughout the week. On Saturday, a parent volunteer will deliver the scraps to the City of Oxford’s Streets and Maintenance Division garage facility. We’re all very excited to do our part to help take care of the Earth!
Because our school musical is on May 8th, we celebrated National Walk and Bike to School Day a week early. We had a huge number of students participate this year! Thank you to Jaimie for organizing this event and all the volunteers, staff, parents, and students who participated.
On Wednesday, May 1, McGuffey will be participating in Walk and Bike to School Day. Join us in celebrating the benefits of bicycling and walking as you come to school that day.
If you live too far from school to walk or bike from home, you are welcome to meet at the Oxford Lane Library. Students and parents will walk from the library to school. If your child is in Primary, we ask that you accompany your child on the walk. Lower Elementary and Upper Unit students may be dropped off by 8:15am. Parents are welcome to join us for the walk. The will only be supervision for walkers from the library. Bike riders can follow the biking chaperone, but are not under supervision.
Grades 7/8 (and siblings who attend early care) will meet at the library at 7:45am and depart for school at 7:50am.
Preschool through Grade 6 will meet at the library at 8:15am and depart at 8:30am.
Lower Elementary students who will be bridging to the Upper Unit visited Glen Helen for the day recently and had a great time. The weather was beautifully warm and sunny; we saw the Glen at its spring best.
We were met by the director of the Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center, Michael Blackwell, and Cindy, one of the naturalists. Cindy showed us the lodge and the cafeteria and then took us on a wonderful hike. The students visited the waterfall, the Helen tree, solved puzzles on the trail, visited the famous Yellow Spring, found a secret cave behind a waterfall, and then hiked back to the lodge for lunch.
Lunch was entertaining and tasty as always, with vegetarian and gluten free options. Several students even got to participate by helping out with serving, cleanup and lunchtime activities. After lunch, we toured Sycamore dorm, where McGuffey students stay each year.
This day trip is very helpful in introducing students to Glen Helen and preparing them for our four-day Outdoor School experience next year. Special thanks to Neal Sullivan, our wonderful driver and chaperone.
During the Middle School trip to Chicago, Upper Elementary students enjoyed a special week of their own with the Upper Unit to themselves. This week, their big project was to help to develop the McGuffey Games Curriculum, a collection of educational games that support different curricular goals for each grade band.
UE students playtested several games and filled out reports on what they were like to play and how they could be useful to each subject area. Then they created card games of their own, writing the rules, playtesting their games and asking for feedback, revising the rules, creating a final rules sheet, and designing the cards and the box. After finishing their games they filled out a Game Developer Report about their experience. They are looking forward to sharing their games with the Middle School students. Grade 5 went upstairs each morning for a special math class with Kadriye, exploring new challenges such as the coordinate plane and had a wonderful time. Grade 4 continued to work hard on math downstairs. Many of them designed card games based on math!
On Wednesday, we began our new science unit, Weather and Climate. We took advantage of some available cardboard and the beautiful weather to build forts in the outdoor classroom to work in, measured temperatures in different locations, and set up a mini weather station. The forts were a wonderful place for reading as well as doing science and working on games.
Thursday, we walked to Patterson’s and had brunch together. We practiced table manners and how to represent McGuffey while out in the community, just as the middle school students do on their week-long trip. Students ordered for themselves and were respectful and curious. Michelle and the staff of Patterson’s were delightful hosts, and our students thanked them for a delicious meal as they left. Thanks to Chip Murray for accompanying us!
On Friday, Upper Elementary hosted the third graders for our first Step-Up day, where they get to know the Upper Unit. The third graders joined us for a work period; UE students shared their science lab activity with them and the third graders shared their biome work. Afterward, they had recess and lunch together.
It was a special week for UE in Art and Music as well. Musical rehearsals have been in full swing and generated a lot of buzz. Many exciting art projects headed home as well.
On their final full day in Chicago the students split into two groups and chose the museum they were more interested in. A group went to the Field Museum of Natural History and a group went to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.
Both locations provided plenty of educational stimulation for our students. At the Field Museum the students explored mummies from Egypt and Peru, the ancient Americas, and (of course) we paid a visit to Sue, the T-Rex. At the Museum of Science and Industry we learned about how global warming affects glacial ice, how weather patterns form, and looked at modern farming techniques.
We finished off the day with a visit to “Greek Islands” a restaurant that has been a part of Chicago’s Greektown since 1971. Food is culture and we wanted the students to have a final taste of this ethnic neighborhood before we leave tomorrow morning.
Wednesday was our second full day in Chicago and we continued our explorations. On this day we focused on the center of the city.
Our day began with a guided tour of the Art Institute of Chicago. The docents are amazing and the opportunity to have such an up close look at the masterpieces housed there is something that will stay with them. There was an emphasis on the art of Asia and Africa as we had studied those continents this year in Social Studies.
After the museum the kids needed some time to be kids so we headed across the street to Millennium Park where they had some fun running around, making human pyramids, and just being kids. We also stopped by the “Bean” for a classic Chicago photo op.
Finally we headed to the tallest building in Chicago, the Willis Tower (Formerly known as Sears Tower). We all walked out onto the “Skydeck”, a plexiglass enclosure where you can look straight down to the street, and snapped a few pictures.
It was a fun day. Tomorrow is our last full day in the city. Check in to see what we did to wrap up our trip!
Tuesday was the middle school’s first full day in Chicago and we saw a lot! We started on the South Side and ended in the North. Many miles were walked and they had many new experiences.
We started the day with a train ride to Chinatown located in the South Side of Chicago. The children enjoyed experiencing the sights in Chinatown. Chicago has the second largest Chinatown in the US (outside of San Francisco) and it was fun showing them a vibrant ethnic neighborhood in a major US city. We visited Chinatown Square where the students posed with their Chinese zodiac symbols and ended up our tour in Ping Tom Memorial Park.
From there it was back on the “El” for a train ride back into downtown Chicago where we walked the “Magnificent Mile”. The students saw many of Chicago’s architectural landmarks like the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, and The Old Water Tower. The walk ended at Oak Street Beach where everyone had a chance to skip stones or just sit with their toes in the sand.
Tonight we will be heading up to the world famous Kingston Mines blues club for dinner and the early show. Tomorrow we hit the Art Institute and the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower.