Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

3 September, 2017
by Lyn

Sunnybrook Play Dates

All children ages 2-4 and their siblings and caregivers are invited to join us the first Monday of each month, October – May, from 10-11 AM for a morning in the classroom.  
Play dough Offer your child a social opportunity, visit with fellow local families, investigate the Sunnybrook classroom and montessori materials, and meet Lyn, (the teacher/director).  The play dates are an ideal opportunity to orient your child to the Sunnybrook classroom if you choose to enroll.

An art activity and snack will be provided.

Play dates are scheduled for the following dates:

October 2
November 6
December 4
January 8 (NOTE – 2nd Monday)
February 5
March 5
April 2
May 7

Please check this website if we are experiencing inclement weather that may cause Sunnybrook to be cancelled (if SAU 36 has a delay or cancellation due to weather, Sunnybrook will also), or contact Lyn ([email protected]) to be put on a play date e-mail list to be notified of cancellations.

23 September, 2017
by Lyn

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

boys in the sandSummer ended in a glorious fashion, with warm sunny days and leaves falling from the trees.  The children discovered all sorts of interesting insects and other small creatures.  There was lots of fun with balls, digging in the sandbox and garden, bike riding, balancing, and playing games with friends.
leaf pile!an invertebrate party!shoveling sanddigging in the gardenat the tablechatting with Susanhugs for a frienda small insectchatting with Susanballs!raking up a pile of leavesduck, duck, goosesand playin the sandcatching falling leavescomforting a friend who is sada red ball and a blue ballchatting with friendsthrowing the frisbeeafternoon picnicFor Monday art a parent joined us to do a planting project.  She brought tea cups, soil, sand, and jade tree stems.  The children helped stir the soil and sand together to make a jade tree potting mix, then filled their tea cups and selected their jade tree stems and leaves to plant.  Some planted multiple stems, and others chose just one leaf.
Jade branchesfilling the cups and planting the stemsplanting a jade treesoil and sand in teacupsSusan introduced a ladybug activity at the art table.  She informed us that ladybugs have an equal number of spots on each side, so the children figured out that if we were to put three spots on one side, we would need three on the other, for a total of six spots.  The children used red circles for the ladybug bodies, then added legs, spots, heads, & antennae.
making ladybugsWe read about animal classes on Tuesday, then introduced the first animal class we are studying: insects.  The children had already been exploring insects over the first two weeks of school, but this week learned exactly what an insect is.  Insects have three body parts: a head, thorax, and abdomen.  Insects have an exoskeleton.  Insects have six legs.  Many insects have wings.
a giant road, a tunnel with lights, and road signsgirls buildingnumber chainsmagnetic car drivingwater playspooningGoldilocks and the Three Bearsmatching shapesan insect abodewatching the fishall packed up and on the road to Disneyafternoon drawing"Does it need air, water, and food? Is it living or non-living?"shapesbeginning sound sort (w) or (c)build a bug magnetsthe teacher readingDoes it start with the sound (R) or (H)?rhyming picture matchmagnatilesdrawing, cutting, and gluingpouringbeginning sound sorta tree block towera magnatile structureusing the tree blocksstringing beads100 boardbeginning letter sound sortingmorning workwooden word cardsbutterfly wingsa garage with rampspicture matchinggeometric solidsafternoon writing timemath workWe have continued to observe our chrysalis, and we read the story The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  We recognized that the author made an error – the story said that the caterpillar built a cocoon and turned into a butterfly, but caterpillars that build cocoons turn into moths, while caterpillars that turn in butterflies transform into chrysalises.  We also recognized that the author took creative license when the caterpillar ate all sorts of foods that caterpillars would not eat.

We read about and discussed the end of summer and the beginning of Autumn and discussed what would grow in a garden that we may harvest, such as corn, squash, tomatoes, and flowers.

Friendship skills are a necessary skill for forming relationships, particularly ways to initiate an interaction in a positive manner.  We read The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle, and introduced six ways to initiate an interaction with a friend: offer a hug, invite to play, give a play idea (ex. “Let’s go build with blocks!”), give a compliment, offer help, and share a toy.  We will continue to discuss and work on these skills throughout the year.

After reading Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney, everyone took a pair of sticks and tapped out some rhythms.  Each student took a turn tapping a rhythm for everyone to imitate.  We tried some fast beats and slow beats mixed together, some slow beats, and some very fast beats, and listened very closely to follow and repeat.
one, two, three, four, fivetapping out a rhythmFriday students read How Do Apples Grow? and The Apple Pie That Papa Baked, then shared all the things that they KNOW about apples, such as they grow from flowers, they have up to ten seeds, they have five compartments to hold the seeds because the flower has five petals.  They then shared the things that they WANT TO KNOW about apples, such as why they grow on trees, and why they fall to the ground.  We then did an apple taste test.  We observed and described seven varieties of apple, including Gala, Macintosh, Fuji, Granny Smith, Gingergold, Pink Lady, and Honey Crisp.  They discovered which were crispy, and which were soft, which were sweet, and which were sour.  Most students decided that they liked them all equally, while one was emphatic that he preferred Granny Smith.  The children wanted to count all of the seeds in each apple, so they opened them up and figured out how many seeds each held. After tasting our apples we figured out the answers to their questions.  They thought then answered their own question about why apples grow on trees using information they read in How Do Apples Grow? – because they are the houses for the seeds.  We discussed why we eat apples – because they are full of nutrients, and when they fall to the ground, they make the soil nutrient rich, acting as food for the seeds so they can grow into trees.
7 varietiesWhat do we KNOW about apples?Yum!"How is your apple?"counting seeds from an applestasting applesSome songs we sang this week were “Ladybug’s Picnic,” “Make New Friends,” “Jump Jim Joe,” “The Hokey Pokey,” and “The Ants Go Marching.” Friday students had fun singing “Pig on Her Head” by Laurie Berkner (but with insects), and dancing to “Caterpillar, Caterpillar” by Kira Willey.
IMG_9792 (2)dancing to Caterpillar, Caterpillar by Kira Willeya friendly visit with some family petsStories from the week

16 September, 2017
by Lyn


diggingWe were so grateful for the return of summer weather before the official arrival of fall next week!  We enjoyed our time in the sunshine digging, balancing, riding bikes, running, rocking, raking, and driving trucks.  We discovered and inspected many insects in their various stages, including a fir tussock moth caterpillar, and some arachnids, including many harvestmen (which, despite looking like them, are not spiders).  The afternoon students even enjoyed a couple of picnic lunches.
almost time to go out for our picnicpicnic lunchbalancingwhat is under the dump truck?reaching for some wild cucumbers on a vineenjoying the sunshinelog balancingon the movecrawling, leaning, digging, standingLook what I found!filling up the dump truckbalancingtwo boys on a stumpWhen we arrived Monday morning we observed that our caterpillar had transformed into a chrysalis over the weekend.  It is a beautiful bright green with gold spots, and we are anxious to see it become a monarch butterfly in another week.  A friend informed us that when it turns black the butterfly will emerge.
looking at the chrysalisWe also have some other new friends in the classroom. Tammy brought us two goldfish to care for and observe. Each week a different child will have the responsibility of feeding the fish.
two new friendsFor Monday art we read, “Fall Leaves” and shared our observations about what happens when summer turns to fall.  The days get shorter, the temperature gets colder, and the leaves begin to change color and fall off the trees.  We then took maple leaves, turned them on their front sides, placed paper over the backs, and used the sides of crayons to rub over the ribs of the leaves to make a print of it.  It takes a lot of coordination and can be a bit tricky, but everyone stuck with it and produced some colorful leaf rubbings.
Monday artleaf rubbingThe fall theme continued at the art table after we took paper bags outside with us to collect fall items, which we used to make fall art collages.
collecting fall itemsa skeleton leaffall artsummer turns into fallWe celebrated our first birthday of the year.  This birthday girl waited an entire year to celebrate her birthday at school with cupcakes!  She smiled while she held the globe and announced for us that she was now four.  She then orbited the candle sun four times while we named the seasons and counted the years for her.  We then sang happy birthday before she blew out the candle sun and we all enjoyed her birthday cupcake treats.  Happy birthday newest Sunnybrook four-year-old!
Birthday girl!happy ladybugThe kitchen area, water table, easel, Legos, and play dough continued to be popular,
How many scoops on your ice cream cone?and then . . .cooking up a stormice cream and pizza and toastplay doughhow do these connect?pouringLegoswould you like red?ABC puzzlefire engine puzzlehow tall before it falls?a series of towersand more Montessori materials and activities were introduced.
making tenleaf nomenclaturelacing the very hungry caterpillarmath, sensorial, & science workcleaning the dust off the plant leavessorting by initial sound "a" or "b"Which is heavier?Do these sound the same?geometric solidsrhyming puzzlemagnets with Susanmorning worktransfer work & snackcylinder blocksmatching bellssound cylinder matchingleaf nomenclaturesandpaper lettersAfternoon writingMagnets in the science area ATTRACTED a lot of interest as well.
Is it attracted to a magnet?magnet funwoolly willyWe continued to learn the routines and expectations of the classroom.  During morning meetings we learned how to wash our hands properly and how to set up and pack away our snacks.  We Learned how to take out a mat, roll it out, and flip it over.  We learned how to take out work, complete it, and put it away.  We learned how to walk around a mat and to show respect for the work of others by leaving it for them to complete.  Finally, we learned to flip our mats back over, roll them up, and put them away.
table washingWe read some stories of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and discussed some of the errors of proper etiquette that Goldilocks made and what she could/should have done differently.  The children shared that she should have knocked and waited to be invited in, and invited to eat, etc.  The Three Bears’ house was brought out to play with and practice ways to be polite when visiting someone’s house.
The three bears' houseWhere is Goldilocks sleeping?Living and non-living was introduced during group gathering.  We read the book Is It Living or Nonliving? and learned that living things need air, water, food/nutrients, and plants need sunlight to live.  We also read that living things can move on their own.  Each child then closed their eyes and selected an item from a bowl and identified it as living or nonliving.
What kind of beetle will this larva become?A friend brought in our second insect for us to observe.  At first we thought it was a grasshopper, but we discovered that with its’ narrow body, leaf-like wings, and thinner legs, it was a katydid.  We enjoyed watching it munch on the grass in its’ jar and closely examining all of its’ parts.  We could see that it would blend in with plants in the environment very well with a leaf green body and wings that look like leaves.

On Thursday we introduced rhythm with the story Crocodile Beat, then made our own rhythms by stomping and clapping lento (slowly), andante (regular), and presto (quickly).
Some of the books we read this weekFor Friday science we all removed our slippers to do some comparing, contrasting, and sorting.  We observed which were longer and shorter, and ordered them by length.  We sorted them by color and by material – soft fabric slippers or rubbery crocs, then black, pink, and characters.  We will continue to do sorting and classifying activities to help develop this understanding further!
In order by sizesorting slippers

13 September, 2017
by Lyn


Join us in the Sunnybrook play yard for some FREE fun fall activities and crafts.
All children and their families welcome!


9 September, 2017
by Lyn

Sticking Together

a group of girls on the tunnelWe had a fantastic first week at Sunnybrook!  It was so fun to see our 13 returning friends again, who were excited to be back, and our 11 new friends, who fit right in and quickly acclimated to the classroom.

Despite the clouds and rain, we were grateful to make it outside every day.  The children had fun playing catch and kickball, riding bikes, digging in the sandbox, making mud soup, chasing each other around, and working together to find insects and worms, push each other in the car and on bikes, and move the big log.
trucks and boys in the sandjumping over the puddlefilling the dump trucksplaying catch with Susantaking a seatchecking out the crab apple treeraking up the fall leavescollecting water for the mud stewfront end loader at workdigging in the sandmonsters making mud stewnew friendsteamwork to move the big log - step one - push with your feetstep 2 - push with your handsstep 3 - search for hidden insects and worms!Our first week was very busy getting into the routine and getting to know the classroom.  Returning students were wonderful helpers, giving classroom tours, assisting younger students with their needs, demonstrating how to set up for snack time, guiding them through handwashing, helping to turn the water on in the sink, and sitting with them during group times.  Each day during morning meeting we reviewed the daily schedule, so everyone knew what to expect of their day.  We sang some fun songs, including “Jump, Jim Joe,” “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” “ABC’s,” “Good Morning,” “You Are My Sunshine,” and “Hickety, Pickety, Bumblebee.”  During group gathering at the end of the morning, we discussed classroom expectations, and the children shared how we should behave and treat others and the classroom materials.  They shared many ways to be safe, kind, and respectful.  We read several stories, including, Geraldine’s Blanket, Inside, Outside, Upside Down, Can I Play, Too?, and Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
Making good use of our new bench!!afternoon writingFor our first art project, the students painted sticks, which we will turn into a group art display for our classroom (except those that went home because they were too precious to part with).
painting stickspaint on sticksWe were very excited to also welcome a monarch caterpillar to our classroom, brought in by a student. After transferring it from its’ jar to the tank, and adding some sticks so it can climb up, we have watched it closely throughout the week. Thursday it climbed up to the top and it spent the next two days attaching itself to the top of the tank. We are anticipating the transformation to chrysalis to happen over the weekend, but are hoping that we may be in time to catch it on Monday.
watching the caterpillar attach to the top of the tankThe water table and the easel were both well used.  There were so many paintings, that we ran out of space to dry them!  Children also enjoyed working together in dramatic play, which is currently set up as a house/kitchen, where they created many wonderful meals to serve their friends.  Playdough, Legos, and puzzles were manipulated and assembled. The blocks became tunnels, roadways, cities, insect homes, and towers, using some rather creative placement and balancing strategies.pouring water through the water wheelmixing up bubbleswater, water, water!IMG_9300 (2)greenishpreparing pizzalots of treats to eatsetting up the best surprise birthday party ever for Lynblue play doughpink and blueLego boysthe solar system puzzle teampuzzlesIMG_9289 (2)teamwork to create some complex balancing and patternsInsect homesmaking sure the grasshopper follows the road signsa system of roads and buildingsplaying with the doll houseReturning students returned to some of their favorite activities, and we began to introduce some of the Montessori materials and methods to new students, as they began to orient to the classroom and show interest in items they punching Asiapom pom transfer with tongsbell matchingspooning rockswooden word card matchAbracadabra make the CUBE reappear!the pink towerDo these sound the same?Friday students enjoyed a quieter day, and we had our first science time.  We read, What is a Scientist?, then used our scientific skills to learn about magnets.  We charted what we already KNOW about magnets – they stick to things, specifically metal – and what we WANT TO KNOW about magnets – which metals they stick to?  So we did an experiment.  We took turns choosing items and testing to see if they stuck to the magnet, then sorting them by things that are attracted to magnets, and things that are not.  We found that many metals stuck, but not all, and read in a book that magnets attract the metals: iron, nickel, steel, and cobalt.Is it magnetic?Some students then did a magnetic art project. They taped magnets to the back of a paper, then drew faces and used cut pipe-cleaner pieces as “crazy hair,” which stuck to the magnet.crazy magnetic hair pictures