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

Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

7 December, 2018
by Lyn
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Winter Lights

looking through the chunk of iceWe worked on balancing while maneuvering over the icy ground. Sleeping beauties were gliding across the ground, pulled by their trusty companions.  Sled trains and dump trucks were pulled and pushed over the ice and snow.  Bird seed scattered for the birds was collected and redistributed to various parts of the yard.  Rainbow snow was colored using spray bottles filled with tinted water.a mountain of bird seeda mountain of snow and icedigging through the ice to find watergetting snugglesslipping on the slippery icepeek-a-boochillin with friendshard rockingafternoon sled ridegoing for a ridesleeping beautylooking outplowingscraping off the bird poopa sled train of boysI have a shovelblue snowspraying a rainbowa colorful mountainMonday students had a visit from Zeanny for a health lesson on fruits and vegetables.  Zeanny told us how fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins with super powers that help to keep our bodies healthy by boosting our immune systems so we are better able to fight off germs and illness.  We tried some carrots, celery, grapes, and clementines to keep our bodies healthy.

As Monday was a play date day, the children took their monthly trip to the library with Tammy.  After a story, the children were busy playing in the ambulance and with their favorite library toys.

There were several projects to work on this week.  Students finished up their candle holders and painted the posters of the animals for the Five Days of Winter song, including two sleeping bears, three munching moose, and four snowy owls.  They also made their five snowstorms by adhering snowflake stickers to circles on sticks.  For family gifts they each used acrylic paint markers to decorate wooden circle ornaments, creating colorful creations to hang from their trees.three munching moosepainting ornamentscolorful stripesredsnow storm paddlessnowflakes fallinggreenWe continued to rehearse throughout the week, once again working in both large and small groups with Susan.bell ringersI love the Mountainsgetting all lined upjingling bellsThe Winter Solstice was introduced.  We sang our Four Seasons song and talked about how the days get shorter and the nights get longer, bringing colder temperatures and winter weather of snow and ice. We learned that the seasons are caused by the tilt of the earth and that the further we live from the equator, the shorter our winter days and the longer our winter nights.  We learned that many cultures hold winter celebrations around the time of the solstice that often include lights and candles.

The first holiday we learned about is Christmas.  Most/all the children in our class celebrate Christmas, and the children shared their Christmas practices and traditions, such as bringing inside and decorating a Christmas tree with lights and ornaments, watching Christmas movies, hanging stockings, going to church, finding their elf around the house doing different things, being visited by Santa and his reindeer, and getting and giving gifts.

We also learned about Hanukkah, which is 8 days long and is a Jewish celebration.  At Hanukkah it is tradition to light a candle on the menorah each day.  Some may play dreidel with food or coins and eat traditional foods, such as potato latkes with applesauce.dreidel, dreidel, dreidelyour turn to spin the dreidelWe read the story The Night Before Christmas and learned about Saint Nicholas Day, celebrated on December 6.  Saint Nicholas is revered for generously caring for others, giving money and protection to those in need.  Susan shared a story about Saint Nicholas.  There was a man with three daughters who was very poor, so he had no money for their dowries for them to marry.  Saint Nicholas is said to have dropped money down the chimney so the daughters could all be married (other versions say the money was thrown through the window and landed in stockings and shoes left to dry by the fire).  His generosity and giving spirit inspired the origin of Santa Claus.take a deep breathhow many flies?rocket ship to the moon puzzlemarble mazewriting the alphabetAir, Land, Watersmall brusheseating the stegosaurusrocking the babyafternoon mat worksnapsWhere in the World?sorting and countingartistsbear on a bike puzzlepaintinghospital lifepattern block designsgently soothing the babylistening for the heartbeatthe skeletonWill this work?reading word listsMemorycolorful drawingsfelt ball transfer workthat will be $100elements puzzleIMG_8500 (2) - Copymaking finger puppetseven more patternsanimal puzzlered and yellow stripedinside the bodyblocksperler beadsa flower, two monsters, a beehive and something I can't rememberAll lined upmore designsThe children continued to build their pencil holders, attaching the final side and determining how many holes they want to drill for holding pencils.in goes the nailtwo holes or three?tappingHere is the final sideI will hold this partFriday students learned about the incredible elastic brain.  We read about how our brains are in control of everything we do, from blinking and breathing to moving, seeing, feeling, thinking, and remembering.  We read that the more we practice something, the better we get at it and the stronger our brains become.  We learned that making mistakes is an important part of learning and that everyone makes mistakes.  We played a game of memory and used our strong brains to remember where the cards were and match them.

30 November, 2018
by Lyn
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Books, Books, and More Books

Cool GirlsSledding, sliding, skating, shoveling, and snowballs were the highlights of our snow play.  We had a few days of perfect snowball making snow, so we rolled up some snow to build Fuzzy the snowman with fancy stick hair.  We pulled friends in sleds, built a snow castle on the picnic table, observed snowflakes that fell on hair and hats, filled the toy bin with snow then emptied it out, skated around on the ice left at the bottom of the bin, discovered squirrel tracks under the bird feeders, pretended to be reindeer pulling Santa in the sleigh, and ingested as much snow as we could, despite constant reminders not to.winter funso much snow to eatice skating in the skating rinklined up on the loghanging out in the snowtracking the squirrelFuzzyadjusting Fuzzycatching snowflakesDonner the reindeer has been injuredRudolph broke his legMonday students were introduced to the artist Wassily Kandinsky, whose well known Squares with Concentric Circles inspired our art for the day.  We read The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds and Lots of Dots by Craig Frazier, then we created our own dot and circle paintings.  First we used various cups and containers to print black circles on our papers.  Once dry, we added color as we desired.Kandinskycirclesblack painttiny black circlesadding colorred, blue, greenfull colorbig circles and small circleshelp from a friendThe art activity for the week was creating small candle holders to hold LED tea-lights, which will be used during the Winter Performance.  The children used watered down glue to adhere pieces of tissue paper to small glass jars.  They create a nice colorful glow when lit up.painting on glueblueadding colorworking carefullyso many colorsred and pinkpainting the paperWe celebrated our first sixth birthday of the year. The birthday girl told us she was born in the fall, in the month of November, so we listed the seasons and counted the years as she walked around the sun. After the Happy Birthday serenade, everyone enjoyed some tasty fruit pops. Happy Birthday, Birthday girl!Birthday girlWe continue to practice our songs, both in small groups with Susan, and all together, as well as the merengue with Zeanny.  We are starting to get the steps down, marching while wiggling our hips, clapping hands with a partner, going under the bridge, hopping and turning, rolling our hands, and making a train. There were plenty of tutus to go around.  Thank you to all of you who are sharing!glockenspiel practiceall lined up to dance the merengueWe read some stories about feelings and emotions, Visiting Feelings and My Many Colored Days.  We talked about how our bodies feel and the faces we make when we are feeling different emotions.  We talked about what we do to help calm and comfort ourselves when sad or angry or frustrated, such as getting a hug, walking away and taking a break, or having some time alone.  We then passed out pictures and decided what emotions the child in our pictures were showing.  The children placed their pictures according to their interpretations of the child’s facial expressions and body language.she looks sadThis boy is happyStoriesWe read the stories The Jacket I Wear in the Snow and The Mitten, then introduced the mitten matching work that we place on the shelf in practical life.

Readers were busy reading books all week, both to themselves and others, as well as listening to stories. 
princess stories
glockenspiel playersLegosfine motor workreadingAljars and coversfine artTraffic Jamteen boardbuilding towersBear on a bikefabric matchingGO AWAY BIG Green Monster!Stories with TammyRivers, Roads, & Railscleaning updrawingNorth America Puzzle Maphammering patternsscrew driver work, colorful picturemaking wordsWalter the Goldfishfloor workdinosaur towers and rampsblock patternsmatching covers to jarsafternoon worktyingreading about the circulatory systemtransfer workfarm puzzleThe dinosaur ship and the dinosaur bridgeartistsThursday morning we took a walk to the library to hear author Deborah Bruss read her newest story, Good Morning, Snowplow!  She told us that the illustrators of her story are from California, where they don’t get snow like New England, so she was wondering if they would be able to accurately depict a wintery night time and the work of a snowplow.  She discovered that although they currently live in a warm, sunny climate, they each had once lived where winters were snowy, so they did a beautiful job capturing the serenity and beauty of a snowy night.  We really enjoyed her lyrical text and hearing her share her story.  She also read her stories Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and Book, Book, Book, which were equally engaging.  We were so grateful to meet Deborah, hear her read, and discover some new stories to add to our classroom collection.Author Deborah BrussGood Morning, Snowplow!Our own classroom authors have been busy creating their own stories this week.  Many authors and illustrators have been excited about writing books.  They brainstorm a topic (or topics), create the characters, setting, and general story line, then illustrate their books.  When they have completed one or all of their illustrations, either they or a teacher adds text – sometimes quite detailed, and sometimes one word labels.  Some of the stories this week have been about seahorses, cuddles with family, dangerous animals, Little Red Riding Hood, and singing rocks.starting storiesa crocodile storyconcentrating on drawing an alligatorFor Friday science we read The Heart and learned about the most vital organ in our body.  We learned that the heart is the size of our fist and is a muscle responsible for pumping blood through our bodies.  The red blood cells carry oxygen from the heart and lungs to the tops of our heads and the tips of our toes to keep us healthy.  We learned that the white blood cells fight off the germs that make us sick.  We used stethoscopes to listen to our heartbeats, then read about exercise and how important it is for keeping our bodies healthy.  When we exercise we breath faster, which means our heart pumps faster to move all the new oxygen.  We did some crazy dancing then felt and listened to our hearts beating very quickly, as they worked hard to move the oxygenated blood through our bodies.listening to his heartcrazy dancing exercise

 

23 November, 2018
by Lyn
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Some Friends to Feed

sledsThis Thanksgiving week truly does resemble the Thanksgiving song “Over the River and Through the Woods,” unlike any others I can remember.  The children have certainly been enjoying their time outside in the white stuff, pulling friends in sleds, having snowball fights, and attempting to drive the large trucks around.chillin in the sledunloading the blocksemptying the binIs this snow fresh enough to eat?Dashing through the snowWe continued to practice our songs for our performance, working in small groups with Susan to practice on the instruments, and in the large group all together.ringing bellsMake New FriendsChildren of the world puzzleMorning workassembling the organsLegosrolling dice and writing the numbersdrawingplaying the glockenspielding dang dongpin punching and dice additionAntarcticasorting traygeometric solid picture sortassembling a puzzle of peoplepuzzlingbuilding a dinosaur housemore puzzlesteen bead board & pink towerdrummingdinosaur house with balconieshammer and screwdriversI see you!writing workturning in the screwTaking covers offwatching the liquid timer in silencehandwriting practicehammeringWe continued to read stone soup stories and watched a couple more stone soup storytelling videos and listened to Pete Seeger’s telling of Some Friends to Feed.  We also read several books about Thanksgiving and being grateful.  We shared things each day that we are thankful for – the most common being family, and the second being school.  It was so joyous to listen to all the things that the children shared, and to feel that they truly were thoughtful about their gratitude.  We created a Thankful tree, where children wrote or dictated things that they are thankful for on a leaf, bird, or star, and hung them on the thankful tree.I am thankful for . . .hanging her leaf on the Thankful treea Thankful birdhanging her thankful birdI want it up highThankful TreeStone soup preparation began on Monday and continued through our short week.  The children each had a turn washing, peeling, and chopping up vegetables.  They carefully held their vegetable and peeled away from themselves as shown, and diligently sliced them into pieces, sawing back and forth until they finally separated.  It was hard work and took a lot of careful concentration and attention, but everyone stuck with it until they had completed their task.snapping beanspeeling and cuttingwashing a carrotparsnips and carrotspeelingcarrot and potatochopping up the potatoslicingchop, chopOn Wednesday morning the children shook, and shook, and shook up jars of cream until they finally (almost 2 hours later) turned into butter, which we enjoyed with our bread and crackers during our stone soup feast.Shake, shake, shakeback and forthup and downalmost readyIt's butter!!Look what we did!We're still cute in this picture, toostraining the butterbutter on breadEveryone was so excited to welcome families to join us for soup.  There was a choice of a creamy carrot & potato soup, or a vegetables in broth soup.  Some children had several bowls, trying both types, and some selected one or the other.  It was fun to sit together as a community to eat and enjoy friendly conversation.Good conversationyummy soupfamily and friends
We hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families and we look forward to our Winter Celebration in a few weeks!

16 November, 2018
by Lyn
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Snowfall

throwing snowSnowy weather made for a short, cold week!  The wind kept us inside on Wednesday, but we made it out to enjoy the snow Thursday and Friday (though there is minimal photo documentation of this).  The children had fun throwing snowballs, making snow angels, playing freeze tag, and finally using the sleds to pull things around in the snow. We were excited to see lots of birds enjoying the food in the feeders and finding their tracks all over the snowy ground.making a snow angelpotato headstone soup gameindoor recess activitiesmagnatiles & KnexWe read several versions of the stone soup story and discussed the overarching themes of caring for others, kindness, generosity, and building community and relationships through sharing meals and good conversation.  We talked about sharing with those in need and showed the children where the food donation box is sitting on the filing cabinet.stone soup flannel boardadding carrots and mushroomsWe read the story Mouse Was Mad about a mouse and how he handles his anger.  He hops, he stomps, he screams, he rolls around in a ball, and finally he stands perfectly still and breathes.  Other animals show him how to hop, stomp, scream, and roll around, but they are all in awe of his stillness. We practiced being still and breathing to calm ourselves just as mouse did.  We pretended to be angry and noticed that our shoulders raised, our muscles tensed, our faces scrunched, and our breathing got fast.  We practiced breathing to help everything relax and discussed appropriate ways to calm ourselves when we are angry.  We made a model of the brain with our fists and discussed the parts of the brain that control different things.  We learned that the frontal cortex is where we do all our thinking and problem solving, and the brain stem is the area that controls our emotions and fight or flight.  When we get angry we flip our lid – the brain stem & limbic area take over, and we are no longer able to reason and problem solve.  We talked about things that we can do when we are angry until our frontal cortex is in control again and we can talk and reason.writing and cuttingpaintersquarters go herebrown stair & pink towerdino landteen bead boardhammering shapes into patternsHow many pennies under my hand?sound cylinder matchingscrew driver boardsmaking a callchecking inmorning mat worksorting and countingfarm animal matchreading Harry Maclaryfinishing up her color bookcoloring the oceansbotany puzzlesafternoon quiet timereading with friendsIf 8 pennies are on the table, how many are under my hand to make 10?letter sound workfire towerdrawingWe added another side to our pencil/note holders during woodworking with Mr. Bond.hit the nail on the headcareful hammeringtap, tap, tapattaching the sidehammeringDuring Spanish we practiced our usual songs and our Los Posadas song.  The children are starting to get the words down (much better than I am)!  We played a Simon Says type game, standing way up tall – gigante – and crouching down low – pequena. We also practiced dancing the merengue a couple of times.  We are getting better and better at marching while moving our hips, jumping, clapping, and making a train around the room.gigante (giant)pequenadancing the merenguePracticing and preparing for our winter performance has been a daily activity.  The children are familiar with several of the songs, and we are now working on our accompanying music.  Each child selected a song that they wanted to play an instrument or hold a picture for and we began practicing that.  Some are playing a block from the glockenspiel, some are ringing hand-bells, others are shaking jingle bells, and a group are holding pictures for a New Hampshire Winter version of the Twelve Days of Christmas that the children wrote with Susan.taking turns with the drumsboom de-adaplaying Make New Friendshand bell practicepretending to hold picturesFriday students had a quiet day.  A Sunnybrook Alumnus visited for the morning and taught us how to make silly putty.  She is an expert!  She guided them through it, adding ingredients, food coloring, and glitter, then helped them mix it until it was just right!  They all had so much fun mixing it up and playing with it for the morning.adding bluemixinglong blue silly puttystretch and twista big blue blobGrinchy green