Sunnybrook Montessori School – Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

19 October, 2018
by Lyn

Fire! Fire! Fire!

The leaves are still on the trees, and winter weather is already arriving!  It was cold and windy throughout the week, and our first snowfall of the year blanketed the ground on Thursday, much to the delight of many, and the dismay of some.  Big plans for snowman construction were made in the morning, but implementation was a challenge with all the leaves tangled up in our ½ inch of flakes.ball tossbig steps on stumpstaking out the leavesgirls on hopping ballsthe witch's brewgoing for a ridea walking stickraking up the leaveshappy hopping6 drummers drummingstanding in the snowscraping the snow off so they are not so slipperycollecting water"Yay" for snowa mini snowballa snowballThe artist Mary Cassatt was introduced Monday.  Mary Cassatt is most well known for her paintings of families, despite being single and childless herself. The children shared stories of their families and family get togethers, then planned out and created their own family portraits to display for Bring Your Family to School Night next Thursday.  Students worked on family portraits throughout the week, and will continue to work on them again next portraitsHer familyadding skin tone colordrawing her familyThe cold winds accompanied us on our walking field trip to the fire station on Tuesday.  We were grateful to have several parents join us for the morning.  Before departing, students shared many safety rules.  Everyone held hands with a partner and stayed behind the partners in front of them.  We stopped at all intersections and walked close to the buildings and as far from the road as possible.  At the fire station we checked out the trucks, hoses, and equipment, then had a discussion with Zina, who donned her fire suit, talked to us about fire safety, showed us tools firefighters used, told us about the fire hoses and fire trucks, then all the children had the opportunity to climb into the fire truck to see where the firefighters ride.  It was a fun and educational adventure!walking to the fire stationlooking at the enginesgreeting ZinaZina in her fire fighting outfita turn in the fire truckin the fire truckchecking out the equipment in the truckUpon our return we made some truly creative thank you cards for Zina.
Thank You ZinaThank yous for ZinaDramatic play was busy with Doctors, nurses, check in attendants, X-ray technicians, and patients.
checking on the patientThat will be $1 pleaseDoctor on dutyIs anything broken?May we help check you in?Does it hurt here?Yes, we can schedule your appointment.Momma with her babiescounting out the changelistening to his heartthe Doctor is inchecking on the babiesLots of yellowred, yellow, bluematching words & matching babies with adultsWhat's missing?4, 5, 6wooden word card word matchinga creative structurepressing it downLegosnumber die additionafternoon quiet worksorting and counting worknumber writingsilly girlshammering colored shapes in placea block tower100 boardteen boardmatching partsanimal leg additionreading to a friend3, 4, 5coloringheads and tails5 long chainFeely bag - what do you find?orange playdoughstarting construction - measuring the group meeting areatong transfer100 chart writinga magnificent magnatile machinetransfer work with momSusan introduced map making.  With some help from some friends, she demonstrated how to make a map of a house.  Students placed doll house furniture on a large piece of paper, setting up the pieces by where they thought they might be in a house.  We then discussed where walls and doors might be.  Susan traced around the furniture, then removed it, and we used our memories to recall where items were so Susan could label them.  She then introduced making a map of our classroom.  Students had measured the room and outlined it on graph paper.  Because a map is a small representation of a location, we would not be able to pick up the furniture and trace around it, so Susan and many of the children spent Thursday measuring the various areas of the room, coloring and cutting out rugs and furniture, and placing them on our classroom map.This is the living roomwhat room is this?tracing the furniturea birds eye viewpreparing the classroom mapmeasuring the woodworking & painting matmeasuring the cubby rugmeasuring from woodworking to dramatic playthe distance between shelvespieces on a mapDuring Thursday Spanish we sang our color song and body songs, then Zeanny introduced the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso.  She showed us many paintings he made, in a variety of styles, from his blue period, to cubism, to abstract art.  She created a black outline of one of his paintings, which the students worked on coloring in later in the day.  She played an “eye spy” (in Spanish) color spotting game.  Zeanny would name a color and the children would guess what item of clothing Zeanny was looking at, and who was wearing it.Introducing Picassonegropink circlesstarting to fill in the spaces with colorPicasso coloringFor woodworking Mr. Bond had a special bag for each student.  Each bag had 5 pieces of wood inside, which will go together to create a pencil & notecard holder.  Mr. Bond showed each group a series of photos, and as with the bird feeders, the students put them in order of construction, from first to last.  The students then worked on sanding their pieces of wood, which they will gradually assemble, and then take home to keep.what do we do first?sanding a blockordering the processhere is your bag of piecesDuring music with Susan we read the stories Farmer Joe and the Music Show and Thump, Thump, Rat-a-Tat-Tat, two rhythm and rhyming books.  Susan introduced different types of drums and we listened to the sounds they made. We then took turns rat-a-tat-tatting with rhythm instruments, and Thump, Thump, Thumping on the big drum. Everyone got to hit the djembe before getting ready for outside.Farmer Joe and the Music Showlisten to the drumsrat a tat tatquiet thumpsThump thump thumpdrumming on the drumstoriesFriday students read Life by Cynthia Rylant, and two books about Living and Nonliving.  We learned that living things need air, water, and food to live, and all living things can move independently, even plants!  We discussed how all living things grow and change, and eventually die.  We learned that plants make their own food using air, water, and sunlight, and they will turn and grow toward the sun.  We then did a sorting activity, where each child closed their eyes and chose an item from a bowl.  They then determined if it was living or nonliving, and placed it on the corresponding or nonliving

12 October, 2018
by Lyn


raking up the leavesIt was glorious to have a couple of toasty days to enjoy before the rainy, cold, windy days of fall returned.  We took advantage, spending as much time outside as we could.  The playground was overrun by dinosaurs, dare devil jumpers, balancers, and rockers, leaf rakers, and haulers.Look, a jet!red, white, and bluerockin and rollinchecking out the mushroomspushing the bikebig jumpsteppingsleeping dinosaurs in a dinosaur nestcollecting food for the dinosaursjumping girlsthe dinosaur leaving the nestbalancing ballerinarakinghauling the dinosaur fooddinosaur feeding timechatting on the logbalancing
walking the stumpshauling ALL the stuffWe continued to discuss fires and fire safety.  We talked about good fires and how fire helps us.  The children shared that fires can keep us warm in a wood stove, and we can use campfires to roast marshmallows.  We discussed how fires were used for cooking and how important it was to not let fires go out before the invention of matches and lighters, so families would feed their fires and bank them to keep coals burning.  We also discussed how farmers and foresters may intentionally set a controlled fire to burn portions of fields or forests to allow new plant life to grow.  Susan taught us four new fire songs – two about good fires, and two about two very famous bad fires – “London is Burning,” about the Great Fire of London in September of 1666, and “Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow,” about  The Great Chicago fire of 1871.  At the art table the children created tissue paper fires by wrapping small tissue squares around the eraser of a pencil, painting some glue on the paper, and dabbing the tissue onto the glue.campfirescareful workbuilding firea circle of fireWe brainstormed and discussed ideas for a new dramatic play theme, and after several votes, it was narrowed down to a hospital or an airport/airplane.  It ended in a tie vote, so Susan reminded us that there is a DART helicopter that takes patients to the hospital, so it was agreed that we would create a hospital with a helicopter.  We began setting up late Thursday morning, and continued Friday morning.  The helpful doctors, nurses, patients, and pilots were anxious to get busy!a patient waiting to be examinedin the medical helicopter on her way to the hospitaltime for your shotchecking on the patientWe finally named the calf.  This vote also ended in a tie.  Suggestions from Butterscotch to Dandelion were shared. In the end it was between Toast and Belle.  Since it was an even vote, we decided to wait until the following day when other students would be present and do a re-vote.  When most of the Toast team decided to change their votes, Belle became the winner!  Welcome to the Sunnybrook family, Belle the Jersey calf!team Toastteam BelleWe read and performed the story of The Little Red Hen, as told and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, with puppets.  We performed it twice so each child could have an opportunity to be a character.  The little red hen discovers some wheat berries that she and her chicks plant, tend, and harvest.  She and the helpful chicks then take the wheat to be milled into flour and use the flour to bake some bread.  Throughout the process she asks her animal friends for help, but despite their ability to contribute, they refuse.  At the end when the Little Red Hen asks, “Who will help me eat the bread?” they all say, “I will!” but she says, “No, only my chicks and I will eat the bread.”  Several of us felt this story was a bit sad because the animals didn’t get any bread.  We thought about why that was and agreed to revisit this story next week, when we might ponder: Were the animals able to help the little red hen?  Why did they refuse to help?  Why did the little red hen refuse them bread?  What could everyone do differently next time?  If the animals knew what she was going to do with the wheat, would they have helped?matching upper and lowercasethe dinosaur penmetal inset tracingmorning mat workher very own board gameillustrating and writing insect booksinsect bookscareful coloringdice additionsight word spelling practicecircle pin punchingteen boardwho is the cutie in the mirror?play doughthe dinosaur housedesign teamtong transfersetting the tablecoloring fishbinomial cubethe dinosaur bridgethe dinosaur towerafternoon workthe chefs in the kitchena number gamebuilding wordsthe police officer has arrivedDuring woodworking with Mr. Bond the children worked together to assemble the two birdhouses they sanded and organized last week.  Each child screwed in a screw, using their strong arm, hand, and core muscles to push and turn the screwdriver.  They were so excited and proud when they were completed, and are anxious to hang them out for the winter birds to enjoy when the snow arrives.
attaching the roofrighty tightybird house #1 teambuilding the birdhousebirdhouse #2 teamUsing and making maps was introduced through the stories How I Became a Pirate and Me on the Map.  We learned that we can map a room, a house, a street, town, state, country, and world.  We took a clementine and peeled it, then pushed it flat to show how something round can be made into a flat map, but it would change the shapes and sizes of the land and water.Stories from the weekDuring music Susan read the story Penny’s Song and we sang high and soft like Penny’s mom, and low and loud like Penny’s dad.  We used our ears to listen to two bells to determine which was higher and which was lower, then moved our bodies up when the high bell rang, and down low when the low bell rang.  We then moved our bodies gradually up and down as we sang up and down the scale.  Finally we took out some rhythm instruments and took turns striking, shaking, and ringing to our musical version of Johnny Works With One Hammer.Which is high and which is low?lowesta bit higherhighFriday students had a delicious time during science doing an apple taste test.  Each student had the opportunity to select one of ten apples to test.  They described the physical appearance of their apple, which was drawn on our chart according to the describers description.  Each apple was then cut into slices, and everyone tasted it, describing it’s taste and texture using words such as sweet, tart, tangy, sour, crisp, and soft.  After tasting all the apples, the children wrote their names next to their favorite apple, or an apple they had never tried before and might want to try again.  It was super-duper hard for some to decide and wanted to write their name next to every apple!
granny smith is sourpucker upI choose this one!what shape and color is your apple?sweet and crispythis one is super duper good!hmm, which one should I choose?finishing up the extra slicesmaking batsflying bats

5 October, 2018
by Lyn


packing it inThe rain kept us in a few days this week, so by the time the sunshine returned we had plenty of energy to expend.  We made good use of our outside time!mud puddles after the rainpaleontologists digging for dinosaur bonesconstruction crewworking her musclesgoing for a rideformulating a planone-on-one soccer matchlooking for wormsmud soupadding ingredientshow to haul a sledbalancingone legrolling in the new stumpshelping zipZeanny visited us on Monday for a health lesson.  She read us the story Germs! Germs! Germs! all about those dreadful illness causing germs.  She did an experiment with us to demonstrate the importance of proper hand washing.  Everyone gave Zeanny a high five (after she put glow germ lotion on her hands) then we examined our hands with a blacklight and noticed all the glowing “germs.”  We added a few more “germs” then washed our hands the way we typically do.  After checking over our hands again, we discovered that we still had a lot of germs left, so we went back and scrubbed with soap all over our hands, including in between fingers and under nails, for 20 seconds while singing a “Rub the Germs Away” song Zeanny taught us.  This time we removed most of the germs.  The children decided that washing thoroughly was a good idea!
pre-handwashing germ checkGerms! Germs! Germs!looking for germsMonday was our first play date day, and therefore our first library day.  Susan and Tammy introduced the children to the expectations for library behavior and the schedule, then walked over and had a wonderful time visiting.  They renewed our library card and helped to pick out some books to borrow for a couple of weeks.  They were quite excited by their choices.reviewing the library planthe farmmagnetic tunnel tubesgames and puzzlesOur second butterfly ecased Monday afternoon just before 4PM, so a few friends were able to see it just after it emerged. We set the tank outside on its side Tuesday afternoon in hopes that the rain would soon end and it could find some nectar for sustenance. As we were lining up for lunch on Wednesday, it flew past us and landed in the grass. We were happy to say goodbye and give a proper send off.our butterfly ecasedHomes and houses were introduced through the books Homes and Houses and Homes.  We learned about all the different types of materials that homes can be made from, how some are large and some are small, some keep cold or heat out, and some have lots of windows for ventilation, and that homes are located all around the world and may be constructed to fit the environment where they live and the available resources, such as houses on stilts or huts made of mud. We talked about where we live – in a home, in a town, in a state, in a country, on a continent, on the Earth, in our solar system, in our galaxy. We read the book Energy from the Sun about what energy is, and where we get ours. The Cosmic nesting boxes were then introduced, which shows the Milky Way Galaxy, inside of which nests the Solar System, inside of which nests planet Earth, etc. cosmic nesting blocksAt the art table the children made their own homes by drawing on thick Mat board with pencils or crayons, then painting them with water color markers.  We will put them on stands and use them in the block area to build communities.drawing their housesdrawing her housePainting his houseoutlining their homescolorful homeshomesWe read Stop, Drop, and Roll about a girl named Jessica who was learning about fire safety in school and was worried about remembering all the different safety procedures.  We discussed various fire safety rules and read the book Fire Safety, so we would know to always stay under the smoke, stay out in the open and never hide,  call for help, stop, drop and roll if fire is on your clothes, touch doors to see if they are hot before opening them, and make a fire safety plan with your family.  We will be visiting the fire station in a bit over a week to meet a firefighter and see the equipment.STOP, DROP, and ROLLHenrietta and Wolfgang (our hen and wolf puppets) visited to help us think of ways to appropriately manage our emotions.  The children, Henrietta, and Wolfgang had a productive discussion about taking deep breaths, taking a break, having alone time in the quiet house, getting hugs, and spending time with a friend or teacher to help calm ourselves if angry, sad, or over excited.  We sang our version of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” with strategies so we can better remember what to do in the moment.  We made happy, sad, angry, and excited faces and noticed how our bodies tensed or relaxed by how we were feeling.belly breathingpracticing breathing with belly stoneshelping a friend zip upsums of 5 Memory gameDaddy's castlerolling up his matmatching letter sound objectsteen boardnumber trayrainy day bristle blocksLand, Air, Wateran intricate tunnel and a tall, tall towerbinomial cubecounting boxa tall castlefloor workplay doughHow many?matching farm parents with babies"Hello?"hammering golf tees into claypainting fall colorsmath and sensorial workhammering patternsbinomial cubeleaf nomenclatureworking on the 100 boardcommunity puzzlehandwriting practiceteamworkmatching workbuilding numbersso much to dotaking care of the babymorning workchecking on the patientCounting boardsgrouping and counting with a friendartistswooden word cardshammeringquiet workwriting with the movable alphabetclean up teammaking 10 memory gameFor woodworking Mr. Bond brought the parts of a bird house with photos of the assembly process. Each group worked together to put the photos in order from the first step to the last, then they took turns helping to sand the parts. Next week they will screw them together. It was a fantastic planning and ordering activity that took some good observing, problem solving, and communication skills. As always, thank you so much Mr. Bond for another fantastic Wednesday!Which comes first?clip it on the board in orderLet's put them in orderWhich piece first?sanding the piecesWe read All Kinds of Families and Whose Mouse are You? to introduce the similarities and differences among families and to start to get to know each other better.  We played “When the cool wind blows” and stepped onto the rug when a statement applied to us, such as “The cool wind blows for everyone who is a sister” or “the cool wind blows for everyone who has an uncle.”

For Spanish with Zeanny we continued to learn about Latino culture and countries where Spanish is the primary language.  She introduced items from some of the countries, including an icorina whistle, some sombreros, a coffee grinder, and several other items.  We enjoyed singing our Spanish songs and listening to the story El Sombrero del tio Nacho (Uncle Nacho’s Hat) by Harriet Rohmer.Zeanny wearing sombrerosopening La Caja Magicacoffee grinderitems from Spanish speaking countriescasita, tamborcillo, icarinacoffee grinder and filter with cup from Costa Ricachecking out the instruementsSusan read the singing story books Fiddle-I-Fee and Over in the Meadow, then we took out the rhythm instruments and practiced following a rhythm. Susan revised the song “Peter Works with One Hammer” to use the child’s name and singing “strikes with one mallet” to teach the terms strike and mallet, and give each child an opportunity to follow the rhythm of the song. Each child then chose an instrument and practiced resting, playing, and holding.Over In the Meadowtapping out a rhythm to "Peter works with one hammer"rhythm instrumentssome of our storiesFor Friday science we attempted to take a silent listening and looking walk after reading about fall leaves, why they start out green and change color, and the story The Listening Walk.  We quickly discovered that it was just not a suitable day for being quiet and listening, so instead we ran around the bandstand before heading to the playground to run some more.

28 September, 2018
by Lyn


friendsFall has arrived!  The leaves have started changing colors, the crab apples have been falling, and the weather has started to cool as the days get shorter.  The children have been busy like squirrels, running around chasing each other, collecting treasures of nature, and practicing their balance.
to the topbalancingexaminingjumping offsetting up sledsthrowing leaveslooking at the mushrooms growing in the logFor Monday art we learned about the Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo, who is famous for her self portraits.  We looked at a few of her tamer self-portraits, and some self-portraits by other artists.  We observed that the self-portraits looked just like the artists, with accurate skin tones, hair shades, eye colors, face shapes, and features.   We then used markers, crayons, colored pencils, and/or water color paints to create our own self-portraits.  We read the stories Whoever You Are by Mem Fox, and Why am I Me? and introduced this activity to the class on Tuesday. Throughout the week Susan guided small groups through the creation of their own self-portraits, which are displayed in the art gallery (except for another 4 or 5 to finish up next week).self portraitsblack hairmustard colored dressblond hairblue eyesI have white hairwhat color is your skinwhat do I look like?what should I add next?self portrait galleryWe continued to read about and discuss farming, farm animals, gardens, and harvesting.  On Wednesday morning we got to meet our calf.  She visited from the Fay farm, and we learned so much about her.  Our calf is brown.  She is a Jersey. Jerseys produce milk that has a lot of thick cream.  When she grows up (in about two years), her milk will be sold to Cabot, and made into cheese.  Right now our calf is one month old and weighs 90 pounds.  When she was born she weighed as much as a human four-year old (about 40 lbs), but when she grows up she will weigh 1000 lbs!  Right now she is still drinking milk – 2 gallons every day!  Soon she will start eating grain and grass.  She lives in her own hutch in a group of hutches near other calves.  Since she is still a baby, this helps keep her healthy and free from catching germs from other cows.  When she is a little older she will live with a group of other calves, who will become lifelong friends (just like Sunnybrook friends!).  We were so excited to each have a turn to pat her and lead her around on her halter. At the end of the morning, we were gifted with all sorts of goodies from the farm – cheese, stickers, a pencil, a bracelet, a tattoo, and a snack guide. Everyone was thrilled with their gifts. Over the weekend we will think of names for our calf. We will share our ideas and vote on what to name her on Tuesday.our calfpetting the calfhello calfgetting introducedpetting hermeeting the calftaking a turnleading her aroundholding the halterwalking the calfpresents from the farmFor woodworking Mr. Bond prepared a hammering activity.  Each child used a hammer to pound nails down into a piece of wood, then turned it over and hammered it back through.  They continued to hammer until they were ready to move on – some did it just once, while others did it several times.  They were impressively accurate with their hammering skills!hammeringseeing how it's doneWe read Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens.  Lazy Bear and Clever Hare performed the story for us, along with Clever Hare’s family.  Click this sentence to view a video recording of the story.carrots, beets, & radishes - bear gets the tops

going over the waterfallapple tree number puzzlecoloring hummingbirdshammering & legoswritingteen boardapple tree puzzleusing nails to hold the shapes onspooningan insect book and addition workjournal writingafternoon whisper time workteamwork on the hundred boardGo, go, go!puzzlesdrawingtrinomial cubematching cylinder blockshammeringleaf nomenclaturematching by roughnessMmaking progressmetal inset tracingplaydoughcube block patterns & farm puzzlechalk boardafternoon worksound cylinder matchvehiclesthe fall and winter treecuttingfall colorscreating a picturedramatic playsorting soft and hardtaking turns holding the doorstories from the weekZeanny introduced Spanish Heritage month, which we will be learning about over the next several weeks.  She brought a map of Central and South America, and the country of Spain.  She showed us each of the countries where Spanish is the primary language, and we practiced repeating their names.  Zeanny told us that music and dancing and brightly colored clothes and flavorful foods are a part of Latino culture.  She read us a story about Spain, where the Spanish language originated, and we watched a Sesame Street Video about a Latino festival.  We danced along to the song as it played.  After Spanish, several students carefully colored in the countries on the map where Spanish is spoken, and we hung it on the wall.countries where Spanish is the primary languagesinging about Latino festivalscoloring the countriesDuring music with Susan we continued to practice rhythms, but this time on the big drum.  We sang our songs, and Susan introduced some new ones about fall.  We followed Susan’s drumming patterns, carefully listening, watching, and counting to be sure we played slowly, quickly, and tapped out the correct number of taps.  Finally, at the end, we made rain drip drop, then pitter patter, then booming thunder so loud we had to cover our ears!Love Growsdrumming patternsone, two, threefollowing the rhythmtap, tap, tapand . . .hard rainpitter patter raindropsThe sun arrived for the harvest festival and most of the children chose to help set up.  They carried out the pumpkins, paints, smocks, paper, crayons, hoops, etc. and arranged the items on the playground.  Thank you so much to Mr. Bond for the pumpkins for painting!  (We still have several painted pumpkins on the playground if your child’s did not come home on Thursday).  When it was time, we were anxious to get out to enjoy all of the activities.  There was pumpkin painting, vegetable printing, apple transferring with tongs from one bucket of water to another, leaf, bark, and wood rubbing prints with crayons, pumpkin balancing, and an acorn balancing obstacle course, where the children held acorns on little spoons and carefully maneuvered over balance pods, stepping stones, up the balance beam, over the stumps, and through the hoops.  It was such a fun day!carrying out the pumpkinsbalancing acorns on spoons while on the balance beambalancing an acorn while walking the balance podssteppingpainting pumpkinsapple tong transferleaf rubbingvegetable printingbalancing a pumpkinpumpkin headswalking carefullyscooping acornsFriday students took their first field trip.  Melissa Grella from Taproot Environmental Education came to Sunnybrook and walked with us down to the Community Garden.  We were so careful to hold hands with our partners the entire walk and to stay behind the pair in front of us.  When we reached the Community Garden, Melissa showed us the raised bed where the McCormick family had planted carrots for the food bank.  We learned to pull them up by grasping at the bottom on the leafy stems at the top of the carrot and pull it up out of the ground.  Some of them were quite big and stubborn and needed some extra help to get out.  We snapped off the tops, which went into the compost, and put the carrots in a box.  When we had pulled them all, we washed off our hands and some of the carrots, which we then got to try.  We walked the carrots back down to the food bank at the Methodist church, where we dropped them off with Myra Emerson, who will use them in a soup or other dish for families to enjoy.  Thank you to Melissa for allowing us to participate in harvesting the carrots and accompanying us on our walk!at the garden bedhow to pick a carrotcarrots in the boxshe pulled a big one!pulling carrotsa big one and a little oneThe tops keep breaking off!washing uptaste testdropping off carrots at the food pantry