Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

16 October, 2020
by Lyn

Land, Air, Water

Missing Monday made this week feel extra short!

Halloween is on the way, so we have been singing some Halloween themed songs and chants. We are enjoying “5 Little Pumpkins,” “Stirring our Brew,” and “The Ghost of John” (who is a silly, cold skeleton with no skin on).

Rain kept us in most of the day Tuesday and Friday, though we did get out for a mid day energy release. We are finding that we love our indoor days, but miss the opportunity to run and move whenever we want.

Tuesday morning rainbowadding 1place value workcounting tilesletter sound booksdog starts with dIMG-1782 (2)their own version of tic-tac-toepurple skieswater colorschopping the ingredientssister snugglesbuildings in tunnelsdoes it start with the sound /d/ or /a/?typing awaydressing the dollsham, manshort i booklining up the sheepspeedy girlpair of paintersup in the tree standwaiting for a deer to wander byboys in their snowmobilethe snowplow with a salt hopper in the backdriving the bulldozerillustrators at workBook writinggluing paperhis circular trackUniverse nomenclatureparachute gamescatching rainhave some soupcollecting wood pulplots of progressripping it apartWhat time is it Mother Goose? 9 O'Clock!What time is it Mother Goose? Dinnertime!!clawing out the pulp

We began exploring where we live by introducing the universe and our place in it with the story Oliver Jeffers wrote for his child, Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth. We also used the universe nesting boxes to visit the Milky Way Galaxy, our solar system, planet earth, North America, The United States, New Hampshire, Lancaster, Sunnybrook, the child, and the atom, the energy inside each of us. We introduced land, air, and water and what makes up our environment. We used the sandpaper globe to identify land and water on our earth and the land, air, water mat to place animals according to where they travel/live/spend their time.

the luna moth flies through the air

During sign language with Rose we finished learning the alphabet. We learned u-z, then practiced while identifying whose names start with which letters. We then sang and signed the ABC song and a second alphabet song Rose knows.

NOVWWshe is going to be a "witch" for Halloween

We read the story The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes about a girl named Beatrice who always did everything perfectly, and was hesitant to do anything that might result in a mistake. One day she is performing a juggling act in the talent show and makes a big mistake. She wonders, should she cry? Should she run off stage? But Beatrice started to laugh, then the audience laughed, and from then on she had fun making mistakes with everyone else. We talked about how we ALL make mistakes every day and that making mistakes is okay. We learn from our mistakes, and we can just brush them off and try again. We also discussed how Beatrice must have made mistakes, because to get so good at something like juggling, one would have to practice, and practice, and practice, which involves making lots of mistakes.

clawingdestroyingtearingrippingsmashingon the hunt for cluesall his powersand legmixing uppit stopdribblingyarn wrapped stickstearing apartgoing upa little supporthammeringsearching for a lost ringchopping up the woodmaking chop sueychop, chop

Thursday was our first Spanish class with Zeanny. We were introduced to counting, colors, body parts, frio (cold), calido (warm), arriba (up), and abajo (down) through songs, chants, and movement. Zeanny also read a story about Rubia and the Three Osos, which introduced the spanish words for house (casa), soup (sopa), plate (plato), bear (oso), and chair (silla).


Kindergarteners continued to work with cuisinaire rods to build 10. They counted up and built the days up to 23. They created the letter Gg out of grapevines, and Hh out of things in our habitat, such as grass, sticks, rocks, and moss.

fives and tensgrapevine Gghabitat Hh

During Friday science we continued with the theme of land, air, water and read about solids, liquids, and gasses. We compared three balloons – one with liquid water, one with solid water, and one with air. We read about how matter can exist in different forms, such as water as a liquid, solid ice, and water vapor. We poured some water from one container to another and observed how it changed shape. Then we pretended to be molecules in gas form, moving around really far apart, then in liquid form, closer together, then in solid form, packed in tight.

water takes the form of the container it is inmolecules in a solid are close togethersolid water is COLD!liquid & solid water in balloonspouring waterworking carefully

9 October, 2020
by Lyn


The artist Andy Goldsworthy creates art in and from nature. Using leaves, icicles, sticks, stones, water, etc. he forms structures and patterns of symmetry and beauty. The students collected natural items or used some already gathered items and created their own natural works of art in the style of Andy Goldsworthy. The Andy Goldsworthy documentary Rivers and Tides is a beautifully peaceful exploration of Andy at work and is available from some streaming services for free.

Andy Goldsworthy Nature Artstick treebeaver stick criss cross artflowers and leavesfallen brancheslong to short curvepurple, orange, red, yellow, greenriver of sticksstems of artrock snake3 leaves 3 flowersconstructing artpine cone, bark, bark, seed pods, sticks, leafbark circlepine cone path

We read The Giving Tree and Once There Was a Tree and discussed what trees give us and how they are necessary for life and the children shared many valuable resources that trees provide. They created quite a comprehensive list, including oxygen, shade, shelter, food, paper, books, houses, tables, shelves, chairs, flooring, tree houses, homes for animals, food for animals, pencils, doors, toys, fire, etc. We examined tree cookies and discussed how to determine the age of a tree. We counted the rings on a tree cookie and learned that it was over 20 years old.

What do trees provide for us?branchesknock, knock, knockPlaying Memory with friendsexploring tree seeds, leaves, needles, nuts, pods, and rings10 boardworking with sandconstruction vehicles puzzlelacing & traffic signs puzzlepuzzles and tying workFinished! & sound cylinderstable timepouringfilling the tunnelshapes puzzle & Memorystacking dicemore cookingFLYINGsandbox full of children who are full of sandmovers making a pit stopBOUNCEupclimbinghugs for a friend missing Mommatching sound cylindersa birthday party celebration for Lynsilly balancing girlcounting 5+2making a planmatryoshkausing rocks to addpreparing the mealfinding 5train puzzlepuzzles and painting and plant life cycleartanimal continent mapboys in the sandboxsilly girls hidingpin punching very preciselycareful workperfecting the self portraitblock timein motionboingto the topthe tree doctorssled surfingmixing and cookingadding ingredientshere, have some of mineinto the basketcollecting ingredientswagon ridepainting partnerseating rotten noodlesdigging out the holecaring for the sick treecan you fit through?5 and 3patternsnumber dot memoryCheck out our train trackswooden word cardswatercolor paintingpumpkin addition BINGO

The children worked on raking leaves into piles for jumping and tossing. We were surprised to find a giant pile in the middle of the yard on Wednesday morning, and everyone had a glorious time throwing them up, burrowing down, and raking them back into a pile all over again. Everyone was thoroughly littered with leaf debris by the end of the day! When we were done we began raking and dumping them over the fence so they can decompose into soil.

Woohoo!raking pilesleaf showerthe raking crewdumping the collected leavesrake linesjumping in the giant pileleafy girlsleaves falling downLEAVES!!throw them upway up highdown they comeCan you find what is hiding in the leaves?leaf girlsjumpjoyIt's raining leavesraking the pile

During Sign Language with Rose we reviewed the letters a-n and learned o-t. We also reviewed our times of day signs, I, you, and learned how, fine, am/is/are and the phrases “How are you?” and “I am fine” and sang and signed the Good Morning song.

making aCeg

We had special visitors on Thursday. Wolfgang the wolf and Henrietta the hen are good friends, and they came to talk to us about friendship. They shared some of their favorite stories, Friends by Helme Heine and Same, Same but Different and talked about how to make friends, how friends don’t always agree but will compromise and take turns, how we are the same in some ways, and different in others, and how some of us are outgoing and friendly, like Henrietta, but others of us are shy and reserved, like Wolfgang. Henrietta chatted with an old friend from last year, and Wolfgang made a new friend.

Henriettagood friends Wolfgang & HenriettaHenrietta chatting with an old friendwatching the new friendsWolfgang making a new friend

Kindergarten students have continued their number pattern work on the fence and with Cuisenaire rods. They began counting by 10’s and got all the way up to 50 (even though we just passed day 20)! They created Ees out of evergreens and Ffs out of ferns and flowers to go with their apple Aas, bark Bbs, cone Ccs, and dirt Dds.

10+110+2building 10 with ones9 onesmeasuring the length of each color using ones17kindergarten work10 to 1ways to make 10patterns8+25x2=10fives and tens10, 20, 3030, 4010, 20, 30evergreens Eeferns and flowers Ff

Friday students read The Life of a Log and examined some dead logs, including one that had decomposed into a rich, dark soil. They created a compost pot to watch in the classroom by adding soil, water, leaves, and food scraps to a large jar. They checked out the big fallen log in the back corner of the play area that crashed to the ground many years ago and this year began breaking down into smaller pieces. We noticed that it is quite soft and spongy and is riddled with insect trails. We tipped over two rotting stumps to see the bottoms, where lots of decomposition is taking place thanks to fungi, insects, and worms, which we found hiding underneath. The students also discovered a tiny cold toad resting in the dark, damp space, which we released to an area where it could burrow back down safely.

leaves to compostadding waterholes in the loginsect trailswhat is hiding underneath?worms and fungus and milipedesa cold toada worm in the soil from the decomposed wood

We began to build an outdoor compost bin by screwing together some donated wooden pieces for a frame. We will continue to work on this project next week before placing it outside our fence to collect our leaf litter and food scraps.

attaching the slatsscrewing the bin togetherpulling the triggerdown goes the screw

The students decided to help the logs along on their decomposition journey by kicking and hammering away to tear them into smaller pieces, which they collected for a bonfire =). They had a glorious time and were so patient and thoughtful allowing friends to take nice long turns while encouraging and observing them.

breaking the stumptrying to pull it apartusing the claw to get at the spongy pulpbreaking it downpulling out the pulpy wood

3 October, 2020
by Lyn

Falling Leaves

Monday students were introduced to the artist Frida Khalo, who is famous for the many self portraits she painted. We observed several of her tamer self portraits and noticed that she painted herself realistically, and we discussed how we could do the same. The children selected eye and hair colors that matched their own, and mixed the colors espresso, cocoa, mocha, toffee, caramel, peaches, honey, and milk until they created a matching skin tone.

artists at workhere I ama little honeyfinding just the right skin toneAdding the tonguepainting the decorations on her shirtblond hair

Tuesday brought our first walking field trip. We read The Hike and Finding Wild before the children shared all the safety rules for our walking adventure. The children were paired up with a partner and matched to an adult then we headed off to visit a new outdoor environment. We walked to Colonel Town, where we took some time to play on the playground then explored the top of the hill along the fence, searching for natural items. We collected leaves, cones, seeds, needles from evergreens, seed pods, broken sticks with insect markings, lichen, and bark, and any other plant parts we discovered.

IMG-1435IMG-1438IMG-1439IMG-1440IMG-1445IMG-1448IMG-1449IMG-1450IMG-1456IMG-1458turkey vulturesup highgetting help turning aroundbouncingbalancingup highthe big stumpbackwards down the long slidesearching for parts of plantsa twigwhat can I find here?Look at that!up through the leavesa collectoron the way down the hillinto the treeswhat did we find?

Tammy started an experiment with us, and the children made some guesses about what they thought would happen. She had collected several sugar maple leaves, which can be identified as such due to the U curve between the top point and those on the sides. She placed some in a dish that will be left as they are as a control, and some in a second dish that she covered with vegetable glycerin. We will observe them over the next week to see how the leaves in the glycerin change or stay the same compared to those not in glycerin. Some of the guesses where that they would change color, they would explode, they would crinkle up, they would all be green, and they wouldn’t crinkle up.

the control set and the glycerin seta sugar maple leafpouring in the glycerin

We finally got some much needed rain to wet down our dusty playground! It sent us inside for some indoor classroom time, which was a first for many of our new students, and a nice change in environment. The students took advantage of the block area, dramatic play, the art table, the math and literacy materials, and unlimited access to the bathroom.

hundred boardwhat color eyes?IMG_6411 (2)signing his self portraitself portraitstrainsorting, counting and matching to numeralpurple shirt and pink pantsthe wild zooanimals in the housefraction familiescolor cubesuniverse, Milky Way, Solar system, planet earth, North America, United States, New Hampshire, Lancastertrees reaching way up highpatternsice cream parlorfinding the 40'sbeginning sound sortnumber scrollsbuilding a walldiscussingleaf matchingme and grandpa

During sign language with Rose we learned 7 more letters of the alphabet, h-n, and reviewed then practiced the time of day signs we learned last week while singing the song Skidamarink. We began combining signs to sign phrases. We learned how to sign good morning, good night, one day, all day, and all night.

cIMG_6399 (2)fingers to thumb and pointer up makes a dmaking a dg

Kindergarten students have continued finding patterns in numbers as they recorded the 18th day of school. They are tracking multiples of 2, 3, 4, and 5 now. They are beginning to explore base 10. Using Cuisinaire rods they made some observations about the longest, shortest, and which rods go together in groups of 2 to match the longest. They explored the letter Dd by creating Dd’s out of DIRT.

counting daysmultiples of 2longest to shortesmaking them evenbuilding 10DIRT Dd

We learned about leaves and the jobs of the leaf. Leaves provide shade from the heat of the sun, produce oxygen for us to breath, and are the food makers. Henry the elephant had a little chat with a green plant and the chlorophyll inside the leaves. They discussed how the leaves use the green chlorophyll inside them to mix with water, carbon dioxide, and the energy from the sun to create food for the plant. The food that the plants produce makes them the primary producers. They feed not only themselves, but us humans and animals as well. We also learned that the green chlorophyll turns the leaves green, masking the true color of the leaves which we are only able to see in the fall as the leaves stop making cholorphyll to prepare for winter.

making the sunshine, water, chlorophyll, and carbon dioxide puppetsHenry the elephant chatting with a green plantThe leaves use sunshine, carbon dioxide, chlorophyll, and water to make food

We played a leaf finding game. The children would run and find a leaf that matched the description given, such as smooth edge, toothed edge, bigger than your hand, smooth surface, and green leaf.

a friend to helpthrowingbreaking openfull wagoncolorful applespounding pumpkinsclearing out the debrispassscrubbing her hand with a leafrocking backwardswater worksbreaking it with a rockpie soupdrivingover the rocksraining down leavesmixing ingredientsraking up and hauling away the leavessmashingbalancingvehicles puzzleoutdoor artpaintingleaf collectionrescuing a run away leafpushing and pullingdig heremuddy workchecking out an empty spider egg sackrainy day drawingmixinghelmets

Friday students read about the life cycle of a tree and the parts of a tree. They shared what all the parts of the tree do; the bark protects it, like our skin, the leaves produce food, the roots drink up the water and keep the tree anchored to the ground, and the trunk keeps it sturdy and brings the water up and food down. We examined some plant roots to see how some are bigger, but others are as fine as hairs. We did an experiment to see how plants drink water and bring it up to the leaves by placing leafy celery stalks in colored water and observing how they drew the colored water up into the leaves.

blue leaves

25 September, 2020
by Lyn

Autumnal Equinox

a helping handmaking music

The first week of fall was very autumnal with frosty mornings and sunny days with sightings of robins all puffed up to stay warm in the morning chill surrounded by trees sporting red, orange, yellow, green, and brown leaves.

early morning frost sparkling in the sunshine

Monday students continued to explore color with Yves Klein, famous for his paintings in blue. They created monochrome (one color) paintings using varied shades of their chosen color.

Monochrome art with Yves Klein bluegreen strokespurplesmixing bluessunshinetones of yellowshades of redputting artwork on the drying rack

We discussed the changing of the seasons by reading books about fall and learned that the autumnal equinox, the first day of fall, means equal night because the day and night are each 12 hours long. The children shared observations about the changes that fall brings, such as shorter days, longer nights, cooler temperatures, dying plants, and colored leaves.

We practiced our first reverse evacuation drill and fire evacuation drill. We pretended a bear was in the area and joked that he was going to eat us but the children reassured us that black bears are afraid of people and wouldn’t eat us. We practiced going inside anyway. Then we practiced coming back out.

the top floorsorting and countingthe artillerygoing for a morning driveting, tang, tongwagon trainclimbersfun friendsresting at the summitfull of sandconstructingbreaking rocksracingclimbing upcooking up some sandy treatsplaying songs with Susanbuilding butterfliestransfering rockstable timescrubbing all the spotslearning the flip trickplanting apple seedswatering her apple seedsrounding the bend8 purple balls100 board

Wednesday was our first sign language lesson with Rose. She introduced herself and sign language by signing while she spoke, explaining that she was a teacher for many years and communicated with her students by signing with her hands, as that is the way the deaf community communicates. We learned how to sign the letters a-g, I, love, you, morning, noon, afternoon, evening, and night. Rose showed us how to sing and sign the song Skidamarink and added on a fun ending we were not previously familiar with, which included blowing a kiss at the end. We really enjoyed our first week of sign language!


Kindergarten students continued their number work by counting, tracking, and recording the number of days and finding patterns in the number groups. They worked on ways to identify odd and even. They created C’s out of cones from coniferous trees.

odd and even leaf tracking and counting4 leaves and 2 acorn caps

We continued to learn about trees and leaves and had fun singing our tree songs with Susan. We all stood underneath the apple tree and moved backward to measure it, each person finding a branch and standing underneath the furthest end. We then looked all around and realized that the root system underneath was of equal size, under the ground! It was quite a large area!

swish, swish, swish go the leavesWet earth, warm sun, my life as a tree has just begunI'm growing up and growing outyippee, hooray, I am a sprout!as long as it can gomaking a giant Twhat do you think?trucks in the sandrocking with the ball100 boardbalancing birdspatterninvestigatingtheir favorite game of rock and fall offpartner paintingchillinmonsters under the kitchen sinkpainting picturesattempting to break open a peach pit found on the playgroundleaf symmetrybarefoot girlscooking up some evil piedinner is servedcreatingpink tower, brown stairsplaying the steel drumLocked in jailting, ting, tingpercussion5 and 3 is 8ten counting boardinsect puzzlebench slidingpainting timemore paintersdigging for treasureinstruments

Thursday was our harvest celebration. The children took turns playing the parts of the lazy, sleepy bear and his neighbor hare and hare’s family while reading the story Tops and Bottoms. The children enjoyed acting out planting, tending, and harvesting the crops as the hare family and snoozing in the rocking chair as bear. During the morning the children enjoyed printing with fruits, vegetables, and leaves, painting mini pumpkins, and pounding golf tees into big pumpkins then pulling them out with a hammer. Each of the students shared their favorite foods that come from plants, including maple syrup, pancakes, apples, cherries, carrots, and potatoes.

the hare familyWhat will it be, bear? Tops, or bottoms?planting the cropsplanting carrotsbear asked for tops, so we take the bottomstaking off the tops for bearcollecting the tops and leaving the bottoms for bearwe get the topstime to harvest the cornwe get the middlesprinting leaveshammering in tees, and pulling them outmini pumpkin paintingwork place safetymaking the orange pumpkin greenright here!colorful pumpkinshow many can you pound in?working carefullyfull of holesthis is the spotteam worksibling teamtap, tap, tapprinting with vegetables and leaves and coloring a butterflyfun friendsIMG_6332 (2)hammering

Friday students further discussed which parts of the plant different vegetables are. We learned that there are 8 different parts that our vegetables could be; leaves, stem, flowers, fruit, seed, tubers, roots, and bulbs. We got so engaged in our discussion that we ran out of time for our vegetable sorting activity, so we will come back to it next week.

We celebrated our first birthday of the year, though we have one to make up from last week! Our youngest student turned 3, and in honor of his birthday donated the book The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. It is one of his favorites and it taught us that we should always catch our sneezes and coughs with our elbows so we don’t sneeze down any houses (or spread our germs)! The birthday boy held the globe while he orbited the giant yellow sun ball 3 times, the number of times the earth has orbited the sun since he was born, then we sang the Happy Birthday Song to him. Happy Birthday to our newest 3 year old!

orbiting the sunbirthday boy