Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

23 April, 2017
by Lyn
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2017-2018 Enrollment

Enrollment for the 2017-2018 school year are now being accepted.  We are filling up fast!  Please contact [email protected] for an enrollment packet and information.

Please note: The school hours for next year are changing.  The school day will begin at 8 AM, rather than 8:30.  The morning session will now end at 12 noon instead of 11:30.  The afternoon session will still end at 2:30.  Before care will continue to be available starting at 7 AM, and aftercare until 5 PM.

2 October, 2016
by Lyn
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Play Dates

Dot paintingWho:  All children ages 2-4 & their caregivers and siblings

What:  Come play with friends in the Sunnybrook Classroom.  Meet other local families with young children.  Do an art activity.  Explore the classroom.  Have a snack.  Listen to a story.  Meet the Sunnybrook Director/Teacher.

Where: Sunnybrook Montessori School

When: The first Monday of each month, October – May (January is the 2nd Monday) from 10-11 AM.

May 1

23 April, 2017
by Lyn
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H2O

taking a breakWe were grateful the rain clouds held their water so we were able to get outside all week.  The bouncy balls, kick balls, ball toss, stilts, and Frisbees made their way to the playground now that the snow and mud are gone.  The children were moving, planning, constructing, racing, kicking, bouncing, tossing, and chasing all week.
hopping awaybrick and mortar wallgoing for a drivebubbles!practicing stilt walkingcollecting all of the balls in her bucketoff go the truckswant to catch the frisbee?hoppingthe fix-it girlsplaying football with Auntiebulldozerfilling up with sandhiding the worm in the soilthe fire pitbalancingpumping up the hopping ballsa happy truckerMonday students heard the story The Talking Cloth, by Rhonda Mitchell, about a girl who enjoys visiting her aunt, a collector of life.  There she learns about the world through the many things her aunt has collected in her travels around the world, including a long piece of decorated fabric from Africa printed with symbols that tell a story.  This cloth is called an adinkra cloth and is wrapped around one’s body and worn as clothing.  The students each got their own piece of cloth, then carved symbols into a potato, and printed on their fabric with black paint.
printing African adinkra clothGerrie Scott came to read the story Ten Little Ducks, by Eric Carle, about a box of rubber ducks that fall overboard while being shipped across the sea.  The ten rubber ducks then drift this way and that, meeting different animals as they go.
Ten Little Rubber DucksFor art the children were introduced to mini-books. We set out photos of a variety of African animals, and encouraged them to use the African animal figures as well, to create a book of drawings with labels of their favorite African animals.
choosing which animal to draw nextAfrican Wild DogAfrican Animal mini-booksThe new blocks were quickly discovered and put to good use building roads and buildings.  Block play is a valuable learning tool that involves planning, problem solving, creativity, self-expression, communication and negotiation, math and science, etc.  It was great to see the children working together to decide what and how to build.
a well planned out roada very long road and a very curvy roadmaking the fire truck siren sounda complex road systemthe animal roadthe race trackthe police station with a jail on topThe new water table was also very popular, and is another area where social skills, science understanding, creativity, etc. are put into practice.  We are very grateful to the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund for providing these wonderful new materials.
waterwater funswimming fishcleaning their spills from the water tablewater animalsLegos, which have been brought out for some fine motor work, were once again put to good use.
his Lego creationlego constructionLego constructionlegosWe celebrated the most recent fifth birthday on Tuesday. The birthday girl dressed for the occassion and brought some fancy, delicious, meringue mushrooms to share. Some children were a little hesitant to taste them, so we discussed that for those of us who love mushrooms, we might be a bit disappointed, because they were not real mushrooms, but a sweet, crunchy confection covered with chocolate, and for those of us who do not care for mushrooms, we were in for a yummy surprise. Any boy, were they yummy! Before we tasted them we counted five trips around the sun for the birthday girl, saying the seasons as they changed, then sang Happy Birthday before she blew the candle out.
birthday girlmeringue mushroom birthday treatsIn the continuation of our study of Africa, we discussed water – what we use it for, how we access it, and where we get it.  The children listed many things that we use water for daily, including drinking, cooking, washing hands and clothes, and even playing in.  We have clean water that comes out of water taps in bathrooms and kitchens in our homes and school and buildings all over the United States.  We learned that in Africa, there are many places that do not have water taps in their homes, or access to clean water.  We watched some videos of children (Girls fetching water in Uganda) & (Water Walk) collecting water and carrying it back home in large jugs.  We observed that the water they collected was dirty, and they got it from rivers, small water holes, and other bodies of water that are sometimes many miles away.  We took turns trying to carry gallon jugs of water (actually vinegar) on our heads and in our arms.  They were so heavy! We then did an experiment with dirty water.  We created a filter with cloth, charcoal, sand, and pebbles to strain the debris out of the water, and discussed that even though it was cleaner, it still contained harmful bacteria, so the water must be boiled to clean it.
this water is hard to carrycarrying the water on top of headsheavy water!filtering dirty waterfiltered and unfiltered waterAs the market in dramatic play has run its’ course, we did some brainstorming for ideas for a new theme.  There were a lot of suggestions, from a farm, to a vet clinic, a fairy garden, a post office, and a fire station/police station/ambulance.  The children voted and the “Emergency Services” was decided on with 9 votes.  The children then did some brainstorming to decide what we would need to include and came up with a good list.  We started with vehicles.  The children began painting one of three boxes white for a police car.  After vacation they will finish the police car, then paint the ambulance and the fire truck.
counting votes for dramatic play"She's got a warthog on her head"painting our police carwhite police carWe were introduced to Woolbur the sheep and read his story, Woolbur, by Leslie Helakoski.  Woolbur is a unique sheep who lives life his way, “isn’t it great!”  We also read Why Mosquitos Buzz in People’s Ears, by Verna Aardema.  Iguana introduced this story to us, which showed us that sometimes there are misunderstandings and that we all make mistakes.
spray and wipepictures on the chalk boardletters out of clayhandwriting practicefilling up the color bottlesreading with a friendcarefully setting her painting on the drying rackcleaning the plantdoll housematching the bead bars to their numbersgirls drawingpouringclay with friendsall in a rowbutterfly puzzleplay dougha painting for Mommydrummer girlsBLUEcleaning the chalk board/e/UluruUp, up, up, upour storiesFriday students continued to learn about the brain and its’ job of controlling our bodies, thoughts, and emotions.  We played “brain says” again, this time including problem solving questions in addition to physical movement.  We then learned about the upstairs brain where we think, problem solve, create, imagine, and calm ourselves, and the downstairs brain, where our emotions and instincts take over.  We were introduced to Alerting Alex, who sounds an alarm when we face danger, such as a vicious lion, Leader Liz, who gets everyone into action, Fleeing Felix who runs away, Fighting Fiona who hits and kicks, and Freezing Felicia, who holds perfectly still.  We demonstrated what our bodies do when we are angry – they tense up, our hands make fists, our faces scrunch, and our breathing gets fast.  We then calmed down and our bodies relaxed, our faces smoothed out, and our breathing got slower.
upstairs and downstairs brain

16 April, 2017
by Lyn
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Animals All Around

looking at an animal home over the bankYay for spring!  We had some wonderfully warm days that allowed us to take off jackets, socks, and shoes and then coat ourselves in sunscreen.  The mud had mostly dried, particularly after we scooped all of the water out of the sandbox on Monday, so we moved on to other activities.  We pulled out the buckets and shovels, balls, rakes, and were given several new trucks from Betty Riff.  We did a lot of running, digging, kicking balls around, driving trucks and raking up leaves.  With lots of energy and excitement as the warm weather arrived, we tried to spend as much time outside as possible.
cleaning out the truckwatering the gardenhauling waterbuilding a camp fireteamworkchilling in the wallow77 degrees and barefoot!tossing the balltruck drivingsitting on the slidechasing the big silver balldigging in the sandlining up for word tagRain kept us in one day, so we had fun taking off slippers and socks and walking around on sticky paper and popping bubbles with our fingers and feet.
feet on the sticky paperpopping poppersmagnatilestoobers and zotsOn Monday we read the story Galimoto about an African boy who goes around his village collecting wire to create a galimoto – a toy vehicle made of wire and other scraps.  We looked at photos of some African wire sculptures, then used silver wire, green wire, and pipe cleaners to create our own sculptures with wire.
creating wire arta crocodile made with wireSpikey and a venomous snake with HUGE fangsOn Tuesday morning we noticed that our second swallowtail butterfly had emerged from its’ chrysalis. We were excited that the temperatures were warm enough to release it. We watched it closely for a while, but it took it’s time flying away, finally departing later in the afternoon.
our second swallow tail emergedwatching the butterflyWe introduced African environments and climates, including the desert, rainforest, and savanna.  We discussed the variety of animals that live in Africa, and which habitats they dwell in.  We learned that the rainforest is home to gorillas, chimpanzees, monkeys, forest elephants, hippos, okapis, and a multitude of other animals.  The savannas are inhabited by lions, giraffes, rhinos, African wild dogs, wildebeest, African elephants, etc.  The deserts house scorpions, lizards, snakes, and camels.
animals of the serengetiWe also learned about the large variety of houses that can be found in Africa.  We saw many pictures of modern houses made of wood, concrete, or brick, as well as more traditional and primitive huts, rondavels, and tents.
putting up the Africa pictureslooking at photos of AfricaSusan has been teaching us a wonderful Swahili song, called “Muku Famba,” about stopping and thinking before we do something.  The children have offered several things that we should think about before doing, such as cutting, crossing the street, etc., so they will begin with “when you are cutting . . . “.
If you hear it at home, these are the lyrics and their translation:

Muku Famba (when you are walking)
Tonga wana mata (think first)
Hallelujah!
O ku nachimuay cha un ga eetay (there is nothing you can do without)
Tonga wana mata (thinking first)
       Clap, clap, clap

At the art table many children selected and painted a shoe box to create an African diorama – their own little piece of Africa.  First they decided which habitat to create – a desert, rainforest, or savanna – then painted them accordingly.  Throughout the week many children added animals, houses, and trees.  Some children will continue to work next week.
painting the African desert at nightcutting out her house working on the housessloppy clay funattaching the scorpion's clawsadding houses and animals to their dioramasthis is the flamingodrawing animals for her dioramaanimals of the rain forest and the savannaAfrica dioramasDrumming continued to be a popular activity throughout the week, and it was fun to hear children creating rhythms and selecting their favorite items to drum with.
more drummingdrummingdrumming timeMancala also continued to be popular.
strategizingmankala challengedeciding her next move

And the Legos put out on the shelf were also a hot commodity . . .

Lego creationswhat can we build?a lego towerloving Legosa moon risinginstrument nomenclaturesequencing cardsour writingtransferring the felt ballssnuggling with puppetsbeadinghow to eat an applewriting and the trinomial cubetong transfer workbuilding picturesmorning workcookies anyone?building a peanut butter and jelly sandwichchecking out some ocean items donated by Betty RiffWe took out the parachute on Wednesday and had some fun with parachute games.  We bounced Cami the Camel up and down until she flew off, all sat underneath to sing songs, and played Nile Crocodile.
shaking off the camelOn Thursday we had a special visitor, Debra Chen, come in to speak to us about healthy eating. She shared a plate showing the foods that we should eat with every meal and everyone shared which foods in each category of protein, grains, and fruits and vegetables were their favorites. We learned that these foods have important vitamins and minerals that help keep us strong and healthy so we can continue to grow and use our bodies. Thank you Debra!
a healthy plateFor Friday science we read Your Fantastic Elastic Brain and learned all about our brains and what they do.  We learned that they control all of the things our bodies do, even those we don’t think about, such as breathing and moving.  We learned that the more we practice, the better we get at doing and remembering things because our brains remember and learn.  We played “Brian Says” (Simon says) and took turns being the brain instructing everyone what to do.

Some new blocks, a water table, and a great new outside table, purchased with grant money from the Neil and Louise Tillotson fund, arrived and the children helped set them up for next week.
Our stories for the week

8 April, 2017
by Lyn
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Scholarship Breakfast Fundraiser

Thank you so much to all of you who attended our third annual Scholarship Fundraiser Breakfast!  It was a wonderful morning, and it was great to have so many current and alumni members of the Sunnybrook family and community join us.  We were able to raise some much needed funds, making it possible for more families to choose Sunnybrook for their child.

Thank you to Mike Holland for catering, Maple Mills for the syrup donation, and Crane and Bell for providing beverages.

Hope to see you all again next year!