Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

2 October, 2016
by Lyn
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Play Dates

pattern block pictureWho:  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.

March 6
April 3
May 1

18 February, 2017
by Lyn
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Amazon Adventures

plowing

We were excited to welcome a new friend to Sunnybrook this week!  The children welcomed her and helped her learn the routines and structure of our classroom, and she has quickly become a happy member of our school family.

Hide and seek, snow fights, wrestling, truck driving and making piles of children were popular this week.  We were very interested in observing some Fairpoint workmen using an auger to drill a large hole and install a new telephone pole on Tuesday.  Friday students were thrilled to spend their recess time up on the big mountain of snow, sliding down on their bellies and bottoms and tromping around, then having running, hopping, skipping, walking and galloping races back and forth in the driveway.
watching the telephone company prepare to install a new polewatching the auger drilling the holehere they comewalkinga girl pancakeso much snow!Valentine’s Day Tuesday was an exciting day of distributing Valentine cards, bean bag toss, hopping in sacks, building heart chains, creating Valentine cards for friends and family, then joining together to enjoy all the tasty snacks and treats that everyone brought in.  We enjoyed cookies, clementines, fruit kabobs, cake, cupcakes, yogurt with strawberries, pumpkin muffins, grapes & pineapple, chex mix, and other yummy items.  Thank you to all of you who sent in snacks for our special day celebrating friendship and love!
Valentine's Morning Workbean bag tossWe continued to learn about and work on our dramatic play Amazon rainforest with Susan.  The raflessia flowers were painted and assembled.  The children made a river and filled it with fish, crocodiles, bull and river sharks, and pink dolphins.  They added large leafy ferns and low growing plants.  They carved out the sides of the boats to make dugout canoes and made paddles to paddle down the river.   We are almost ready to go exploring!
filling the Amazon River with fishpainting the petals of the raflessia flowerassembling the raflessia flowersassembling fernscreating ferns, vines, and trees in the rainforestputting together a raflessia flowerZeanny visited on Wednesday, not for Spanish, but to tell us about South and Central America.  We learned that the two primary languages spoken in South and Central America are Spanish and Portuguese and we practiced saying the names of the countries in Spanish.  She showed us a coloring book with pictures of animals, instruments, and a colorful bus used for transportation.  She shared many funny and interesting stories, including how capuchin monkeys kept her from gathering mangos from the mango tree in her backyard, why to never leave your backpack unguarded in the rainforest, what llamas do when they are displeased, and where to go skiing in the summer.  If they have not already, your children may enjoying sharing some of these funny stories with you.
The countries of South Americaa colorful South American busSouth America continent boxSouth America Continent boxpuzzles and scalespattern picturespuzzlesreading to a friendinstrumentsafternoon workletter workmorning workgrand castlessight wordsplay doughreading and an "a" bookZero by, Kathryn Otashipattern blocks"e" bookbeginning sound sort challengeWe were full of energy on Thursday after a long night of snowfall, so we pulled out the parachute and played some fun parachute games.  The children raised the parachute way up then pulled it down as names were called and they ran under quickly to switch places, then everyone removed their slippers, mixed them all up, then raced to find them and put them back on.  We played our favorite game of “Great White Shark” but turned it into “Hungry Piranha” where the piranha swims under the parachute, grabs a foot and “eats” someone, who then becomes the next piranha.  The students were, as always, very careful to keep their feet still and carefully slide under to trade places, keeping everyone safe.
parachute funSusan brought several items from South America to share with the class.  She showed us a lovely dress woven from colorful threads, a blue alpaca or llama hair poncho from Peru, a carved wooden toucan and a macaw, and a clay-sculpture of an abuela or mama reading to a group of children, and explained how story telling is a cultural tradition of passing on histories and information.
from South AmericaFor Friday science students continued to explore classes of animals with a study on fish.  We examined many fish figures, read About Fish by Cathryn & John Sill and Fishes by Brian Wildsmith, and did our animal class sort, determining if each animal was a mammal, reptile, bird, or fish.  We looked up fish of the Amazon, made fishing poles, then drew, colored, and cut out pink dolphins, bull sharks, river sharks, arapaima, peacock bass, and pirhanas, then climbed in the dugout canoes and went fishing!
fishanimal classificationfishing on the Amazon

11 February, 2017
by Lyn
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Flying South

It was another wacky weather week with lots of fun snowy games, shoveling, tag, sled rides, snow fights, plow trucks, and crazy castles.
shovelingfilling the sledsnow moldfilling the bucket to feed the deerchilly snowsmashing his snow castlesMonday students were introduced to the colorful houses in the La Boca barrio of Buenos Aires, Argentina.  For art, they each selected a wooden block, drew windows and doors, then painted their block houses bright colors, just as they are painted in La Boca.

As Monday was a play date day, the students enjoyed their monthly trip to the library with Tammy.  They were excited to use play dough while there, along with their other usual library visit activities.
play dough at the libraryIn preparation for Valentine’s Day, the children each decorated a brown paper bag for their friends to deposit Valentine’s cards into.  They glued paper hearts and pom-poms and stuck heart stickers all over them.  Some children also made Valentine cards for their friends and family members.
making Valentine bagshearts for Valentine's DayWe began our visit to the continent of South America this week.  We read several books about South America and the Amazon River, and were excited to learn about which animals dwell there.  Last Friday afternoon some of the students helped to change the circle time spots from Asian countries in squares to South American animals in hexagons.  We have started to become familiar with coatimundis, anteaters, llamas, alpacas, caimans, piranhas, capybaras, anacondas, boa constrictors, and a multitude of other South American animals.
lizards are reptilescheck out these turtles!animal class sorting and fish countingreading practicelearning to tie shoes from a skilled friendstories with Susanshape animalsletter sound sortingrainforest puzzlemap tracingdice addition countingreadingletter formationcontinent and land and water form nomenclaturewritingbarn puzzle teamworkwritingThe students took a vote, and rather than a post office, market, or fire station, they chose to set up a rainforest in dramatic play.  Susan educated us about various flora of the rainforest, and she worked with the students to begin building liana vines and trees with smooth bark and large leaves.  They turned the animal crates from the airplane into boats for navigating the amazon river, and will continue to work throughout the month to create our very own Amazon rainforest.
learning about the Amazon Rainforest with Susancutting leaves for the rain-forest treesrainforest vine chainshanging the vinesAs rainforests are named after the constant rains they experience, we learned the terms precipitation, evaporation, and condensation, and a song to help us remember what each one means.  We also learned about the three states of matter, using ice, water, and water vapor to observe the three states.

During Thursday Spanish Zeanny continued to practice the terms for la familia.  She read the story Mi Abuela Va Al Mercado, about a grandmother who travels the world and buys items from the various places she visits.  We sang a song about la familia using our fingers as the different family members.  Each of the children chose a house number for their casa that they have been working on, and stuck it on.
moving with Zeannygatoreading about mi abuelami familiaFor Friday science, we examined some bird figures and discussed what we noticed about them, such as they have wings, they are covered in feathers, they have two feet, they have tails, they have beaks, and most (but not all) of them fly.  We listed our observations on our Animal Classification chart, then read About Birds and added that they lay eggs, and many of them build nests.  We then looked at some peacock feathers, goose feathers, and some nests, then used some feather quills to do some writing.
writing with feather quillssome stories from the week

4 February, 2017
by Lyn
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Curious

Fluffy snow fell off and on all week, leaving just enough for the plow trucks and shovels to stay busy clearing off skating rinks and roads each day.  We found it was too cold for snowballs, but mountains and birthday cakes were constructed around the yard.  We played word tag, hide and seek, and searched for animal tracks.
plowingdeer foodlooking for tracksa sled full of cakemaking a birthday cake for Lynbunch of kids in a bucketFor Monday art the children drew pictures on paper, punched holes through the outlines, then laced colored yarn through the holes as a lacing/sewing introduction.  Some students chose to just punch holes, like our pin punching activity in the writing area.
drawing, punching, & lacinga hexagonal towerbuilding the three little pigs housesribbon dance introWe were back in our classroom on Tuesday.  It was good to be back in our space, and everyone adjusted easily to the temporary rearrangement.

All of the students were introduced to the Japanese art of suminigashi – paper marbling – and they had a lot of fun dropping the colored inks onto the water, swirling them around, and printing them.  There were some beautiful colored papers as a result!
dropping colorssumingashibeautiful swirlsWe celebrated a fifth birthday on Tuesday with tasty blueberry muffins.  Yum!  The birthday boy carefully orbited the sun while holding the earth in his hands and everyone counted for him.
Birthday BoyDuring circle time we brought a problem to the class for them to solve.  We introduced the problem of disruptions during circle time, which makes it difficult for everyone to attend and hear, and asked for solutions.  The children had several excellent solutions.  They suggested that they could give their neighbors friendly reminders if they were being disruptive, that we could make a list of the circle time expectations and post them, and that the children who were being disruptive could use self-talk to remind themselves of the expectations and stop the disruptive behaviors.  We also discussed and practiced how a child should respond if they were being disruptive and a friend gave them a friendly reminder, such as sitting up when asked, raising a hand when wanting to share, and keeping their body in their space when reminded.
where are they arriving from and departing to?reading with friendssequencing a storywriting storiesfloor workzoo in a boxbell matchingflying with Susanpattern blocks and puzzle mapChinese symbol math & pin punchingdrawing the storm troopersa dancing dragon to bring in the New Yearafternoon work timeblocks and animalsanimals in crates in the cargo holdbotany puzzlesreading about Chinese New Yearcaring for the plantsCountry boxespin punchingbead barsliving or nonliving?upper and lowercase alphabet matcha tall towerwooden word card matchThis is the captain checking inRibbon dancing was introduced, and after the safety rules were discussed the children had great fun moving their bodies and the ribbons to the dancing music.  They made big swirls, little swirls, waves, and zig-zags.
little swirlsbig swirlspurple ribbontwirling those ribbonsFor Thursday morning Spanish with Zeanny she pulled an abuela (grandmother), abuelo (grandfather), mama (mother), papa (father), hermano (brother), hermana (sister), gato (cat), e perro (dog) from the magic box.  We sang several songs, including Yo Tengo Una Casita (the song stars at 1.25 min) and Zeanny read the story, ¿Eres Mi Mama? (Are You My Mother?) by P. D. Eastman.  Then we played hide and seek with the different family members and the children took turns hiding or finding them in the houses or with the other family members.
abuela, abuelo, papa, mama, hermana, hermano¿Eres Mi Mama?hiding the gatowhere is Abuelo's gato?gluing their houses togetherCurious George finally arrived with Andrea and Aio from Believe in Books.  The children were so excited to greet him, and they gave him gifts of artwork.  Aio read the story, Curious George Goes to School, then we learned the super fun “Banana Song,” (this link will take you to a version, but the one we learned was shortened to peel, eat, go).  After singing and dancing everyone gave George a hug, high five, or wave, and chose a book of their very own to take home.  It was an exciting event!
artwork for GeorgeCurious George Goes to SchoolPeel Banana!love you Goerge!IMG_6550 (2)and hugs!reading our new booksFor Friday science we introduced reptiles.  We read All About Reptiles and learned that they have dry, scaly skin, their babies hatch from eggs, they are cold blooded, and they have short legs or no legs at all.  Reptiles include snakes, lizards, alligators, crocodiles, turtles, and tortoises.  They examined a snake skin and some turtle shells, did a reptile or not a reptile sorting activity, then played with the reptile toys.
turtle shells and snake skinreptile or not reptile?playing with the reptilesJapanese sand garden

28 January, 2017
by Lyn
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Adventures

What an adventure we had this week!  With water and weather and classroom deconstruction it was quite a ride!

For Monday art the children were introduced to the Japanese art of Suminagashi (paper marbling).  The children dropped colored inks on water, then used paintbrushes to swirl them.  When they were happy with the patterns they created, they carefully laid papers on top to collect the inky swirls.  They created some beautiful papers!
drip dropprintingdropping orangeswirling the inksta da!letter sound workupper and lowercase alphabet matchcontinent nomenclaturepuppets at the librarySnowy Tuesday led us to a beautiful, warm, sunny Wednesday.  With our classroom in disrepair, we rearranged our day.  We started with an outside adventure, which included a trip to the back field to look for animal tracks.  We found some prints that appeared to be made by a dog, but possibly a fox or coyote.  We also discovered some squirrel tracks.  After track hunting we did some yoga with Susan while she told us a yoga story.  Everyone ate snack together then chose from a variety of activities, including drawing, magnatiles, hopping frogs, animals, etc.  After lunch we went to the library for a little playtime at the end of the day.
Was a squirrel hopping here?finding tracksDownward Doghopping frogs and zaksartists at workactivities upstairsThursday and Friday we spent at the library in our temporary classroom.  The children adjusted well to the change, and we attempted to keep on schedule as much as possible.

For Spanish Zeanny sang several songs with us, including the new Casa song she has been teaching.  She then read Rubia and the Three Osos, written in a combination of Spanish and English.  Afterwards, all of the children chose the color they wanted for their house, drew their family members inside, and decorated the front, adding a Puerta (door) and ventanas (windows).
Rubia and the Three Ososdrawing familias and casasAfter having snack, the children had a variety of activities to choose from, including joining Ronnie in the children’s room for story hour, which several of the children chose to do.  After the story, some of the children stayed to play with shaving cream as well, and had a lot of fun with the smooth, soft, puffy, white stuff.
shaving creamfluffy fun!animals & magnatilespop beadsIMG_0833 (2)sled ridesa smiling boy in a sledlearning "Everyone's It" with Susanafternoon quiet time storiesFor Friday science we read about mammals and pretended to be lots of different mammals.  We learned that mammals have hair, give live birth to their young and the mothers feed them milk, they are vertebrates (have a back bone), and have four limbs.  We then took turns reaching into the feely bag to pull out different animals and sorted them between mammals, and not mammals.  The children were invited to make a book about animals if they chose – either animals in general, mammals, or the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac.  The results were really fun!
mammal or not mammal?Animal bookssome animals of the Chinese Zodiacdragon, sheep, rabbit, tigeranimals, magnatiles, connecting gearspatterns with rhombusesSome of our stories from the week