Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

2 October, 2016
by Lyn

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.

October 3
November 7
December 5
January 9
February 6
March 6
April 3
May 1

15 October, 2016
by Lyn

Crazy Creatures

who's the boss?The fall transition is upon us.  We come to school all bundled up on the frosty mornings, then remove layers as the day warms up.  We have been busy raking up, jumping in, and throwing leaves.  Construction crews have been at work building a fair, a garage, and a bridge.  We have been digging, biking, running, sleeping, swimming, and kicking and tossing balls.  We found some interesting creatures this week.  We were catching little fuzzy blue and white flies, which appear every fall on our playground, and according to my research are woolly aphids.  One student dug up a crazy looking horned caterpillar, which will turn into a Bedstraw Hawk Moth.  I wonder what we will discover next week! consulting with the bossraking upleaves!a pile of leavesdigging in the sandclimb up and . . .jump!restingpushing the stumpa big truckcatch!jumping off the tunnelchattingconstruction zonelets go!balancingchecking out the woolly aphidsHyles GalliiThe art area was busy with many different projects.  Every student was asked to make a family portrait, which we will hang for BRING YOUR FAMILY TO SCHOOL NIGHT this coming Thursday from 5-7.  The children also got to work creating a kelp forest in our ocean.  They tied green and blue colored yarn to pipe cleaners, which we then stuck into the ceiling tiles so they hang down for us to swim through.  The children have been very careful to be gentle so the kelp stays anchored.  Many children also made large sea creatures, which they drew and colored, or had help drawing then colored themselves, cut out, stapled together, stuffed and then hung from the ceiling.  Our ocean is looking very ocean like now. self portraitfamily portraitfamily portraits and ocean creature artcoloring her octopuscoloring his sea turtlepainting treasureThe kelp foresttracing sea creatures on the light tablea handprint birdWe continued to learn about oceans and ocean life.  We read the story Blue Sea by Robert Kalan about a big fish who is chasing a little fish, and a bigger fish who is chasing the big fish, and the biggest fish who is chasing the bigger fish.  We introduced food chains with our song “Phytoplankton” and discussed herbivores, omnivores and carnivores.

Wolfgang the wolf puppet and Henrietta the hen puppet were officially introduced to the class.  The children have been playing with them all year, but they finally came down to meet everyone and say “Hi”.  They introduced themselves and told us a little about who they are and what they like to do.  Henrietta is very energetic and loves playing and running and meeting new people.  Wolfgang is very quiet and reserved and prefers to sit quietly and read and draw, but they are best friends and they help each other out all the time.  We then read the story Zero, by Kathryn Otashi, about the number zero who feels like he doesn’t count so he doesn’t fit in with the other numbers, until he recognizes that if they work together, they can count even higher.
Henrietta and WolfgangOcean life nomenclatureSwriting storiescolor mixingfloor workc, h, ereadingO and WSouth Americametal insetsgrinding lavendarcuttingthe buluga whale swimming over the ramprhyming cardshundred boardpuzzle and geometric solidsafternoon workschool bus puzzlebuilding blocksrhyming matchThursday was a very busy day with our first birthday celebration of the year.  We now have two five-year-olds in our class!  The birthday girl held the globe and orbited the candle sun while we counted the five years for her, then we all sang happy birthday before enjoying the tasty confetti cupcakes with red sprinkles she brought to share.  Happy birthday birthday girl! yummy birthday cupcakesAfter the birthday celebration we found our partners then walked to the library for a visit from Assistant Fire Chief Stephen Jones.  Ronnie read us a story, Firehouse, by Mark Teague, about some fire dogs, then Assistant Chief Jones showed us his equipment and talked a bit about fire safety before putting on his gear.  He looks and sounds very different when all dressed up in his fire-fighting suit.   Afterwards we all went outside to see the fire truck, where he showed us some of the equipment he uses, including the ladders on top, the water gauges, and the axes.  Everyone had a chance to go inside and check out the cab where the firefighters sit on the way to a fire.
Firehouse! by Mark TeagueAssistant Chief Jones gearing upchecking out the fire engineFor Friday science we did a floating and sinking experiment.  Everyone took turns choosing items to test.  We were very surprised by some of the items that we thought would sink but didn’t, and vice versa.  At the end, we noticed that all of the items made of wood floated, while metal, glass, and ceramic all sank.  Our final experiment was to test clay.  First we made a ball of clay, which immediately sank.  We then made a bowl/boat of clay, which floated, so we discussed how shape can change whether something will sink or float. It will sink!float or sink?Stories we read this week: Our stories
All the families by, Margaret Wise Brown

Oceans by, Cathryn Sill

All Kinds of Families by, Mary Ann Hoberman

Blue Sea by, Robert Kalan

Zero by, Kathryn Otashi

Stop, Drop and Roll by, Marjery Cuyler

The Apple Pie that Papa Baked by, Lauren Thompson

Mabel the Whale by, Patricia King

8 October, 2016
by Lyn

Fall Leaves, Fall!

picking flowersAs the weather turns we are noticing more and more signs of fall, so the children harvested the flower garden, all the way to the dirt!  They began by picking the flowers, then moved onto the stems, then pulled up the roots.  They had fun loading them in trucks and hauling them around before discarding them over the fence.  There was plenty of construction going on with the big blocks and in the sand box.  The crocodiles, pangolins and a variety of other animal families were also busy roaming around searching for food. a bucket of flowershelping a friend drivebalancingbalancing towersgathering the stemsthe worker and the supervisorrockinthe clean up crewthe draw bridgereading the treasure mapsFor Monday art the children explored color mixing with finger paints.  We read Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh, then got down to business.  They took the term finger painting literally, using their fingers to swirl the primary colors – red, yellow, & blue – together to create the secondary colors – orange, green, & purple.  When they mixed them all together they discovered that they made brown.   Color mixing was available throughout the week with the finger paints, at the easel, and with colored dropper bottles. finger paint color mixingmix it up!I made brown!yellow & blue make greenmagnetic dressing doll & color mixingcolor mixingAfter art, Tammy arrived to take the children to the library while younger students visited the school for a play date and some finger painting of their own. At the library the children were busy being EMTs, playing with the trains, building with the Duplos, and playing puppets. Monday Library Emergency RescuersThe five oceans were introduced.  The children observed that the earth is covered by land and water, and we discussed the various types of bodies of water covering the earth.  We learned that there are five oceans and where they are located.  We will continue to explore the oceans more in depth throughout the month.

The children took a vote about how to transform the dramatic play area.  Five students voted for a fire fighting play area and ten students voted for an ocean area, so the ocean area it is.  We collected several large boxes, which the children immediately turned into boats.  They decided to go treasure hunting, so we brought out some brown paper which they used to create maps and sailing hats.  The children used clay to create treasure, mostly coins and some jewels.  The ocean animals were brought out to the block area and the barn was traded for a ship.  The children brainstormed many ideas, and we will continue to implement them throughout the month.
pirates and their treasure mapsa piranhaaye aye, Matey!sea animals, the ship, vehicles & Wolfgangcreating treasurepainting gold coinsOn Wednesday we were introduced to the four directions, North, South, West, and East and what a compass shows on a map.  We demonstrated how to create a flat map from a round planet by blowing up a balloon then cutting it and attempting to lay it out flat.  Lyn shared the theory that many people believed that the earth was flat during Columbus’ time, but has since discovered that this is incorrect and will be correcting this misinformation next week!  So sorry!  It will be a good lesson on learning from our mistakes.  We learned about Columbus, who wanted to reach the Indies by sailing west, and read the story Follow The Dream by Peter Sis.
sweeping upmultiplication boardletter sound gameslocks and lacingmatching rocksocean names matchlandforms and bodies of water nomenclaturewooden word cardsplay doughbeginning sound matchtracing the fish parts puzzlecolored pattern tilesfrog parts puzzleoceans nomenclatureartists at the chalkboardfour moms and a toy in the sunshineletter sound gameemotions nomenclatureparking the bus in the garagebeading braceletsbird puzzleputting the blocks in just sonumber gameart & snackrelaxing with storiesfinding the hidden picturesbeginning sound matchbeading & map tracingcan you find the seven fish?ocean matchmagnetic dressing dollsletter sound practicemorning worktaking a breakThere was much excitement on Thursday in anticipation of the visit from Clifford the Big Red Dog with Believe in Books.  There was quite a bit of concern that Clifford would not fit into the building and much speculation about how he would get the through the door, as his house alone is as large as Emily Elizabeth’s.  We were happy to see Clifford make it in with no troubles at all.  We enjoyed a story about Clifford and his friends raking up leaves and jumping in them, then everyone greeted him with a hug or wave before selecting a book to keep.
a visit from Cliffordhugs for CliffordFriday students studied why leaves change color and fall off of the trees in the fall.  They proposed several theories, including that they are just too heavy or the leaves get cold.  We read Fall Leaves Fall then watched a video about why leaves change color.  We learned that the leaves are already red, yellow, orange, or purple, but that this color is hidden by all the chlorophyll that the leaves use to capture energy from sunlight which they use to make food.  As the days get shorter, there is less sunlight, so the leaves stop producing chlorophyll.  This was a tricky concept to grasp, but the children seemed to get some of it.

Stories we read:
books we readMouse Paint by, Ellen Stoll Walsh

Explore Earth’s Five Oceans (the first pages) by, Bobbie Kalman

Follow the Dream, The Story of Christopher Columbus by, Peter Sis

Clifford’s Good Deeds by, Norman Bridwell

Clifford and the Grouchy Neighbors by, Norman Bridwell

Clifford’s Family by, Norman Bridwell

Fall Leaves Fall! By, Zoe Hall

Good Night Gorilla by, Peggy Rathmann

30 September, 2016
by Lyn

Harvest Time

biker girlsFall has arrived!  The leaves are turning and the weather is cooling off so our wardrobes now include sweatshirts, sweaters, jackets and long sleeves.  digging for antssetting up the housechipping off the outer layersrough and tumble boys wrestling arounddiggersplanting beans to grow a beanstalk  For art on Monday the children were introduced to Yves Klein and his signature color blue.  We read the story, A Blue So Blue about a little boy who dreams of a shade of blue both soft and strong and he searches the world far and wide to find it, finally returning home to his mother and her eyes that are the color he has been dreaming of.  We learned about monochrome art – pictures that are done in various shades of one color – then made our own blue art. Yves Kleinblue monochrome artThe play dough was very popular this week, as it was night sky blue with sparkling silver “stars” and was paired with a variety of nocturnal animals.  We discussed the difference between nocturnal, being awake at night, and diurnal, being awake during the day.  Most animals, including humans, are diurnal, but some animals are nocturnal.  Ask your child if he/she can recall some of the nocturnal animals that were with the play dough.  Some may surprise you! nocturnal animals with play doughThe bell matching has also been popular. There are currently four pairs to match, though we will eventually build up to the full set of thirteen pairs. Each black or white base bell matches one brown base bell. The children tap them gently to hear the tone, then listen carefully to hear which ones sound the same. It is a challenging auditory discrimination activity! do you hear that one?do these sound the same?does this sound match?bell matchingWe talked a bit about gardens and which vegetables we grew in our gardens this summer.  We discussed the harvest season when we pick everything that is left before the weather turns too cold and the frost kills it all.  We read the story Tops and Bottoms about a hare who convinces a lazy bear to let him plant vegetables on his land, and in exchange he will do all of the work and share the harvest with bear.  When the bear chose to have the tops, hare planted beets, carrots, and radishes.  When bear chose the bottoms, hare planted celery, lettuce, and broccoli, and when bear asked for both tops and bottoms, hare planted corn.  The following year, and every year after, bear stops being lazy and plants and harvests his own crops.Tops and BottomsWe were introduced to the seasons, particularly fall, and why they change.  We read part of the book, Sunshine Makes the Seasons, which told us how the sun warms the earth.  When the days get shorter, the weather gets colder because the sun does not shine as long.  We looked at the globe and saw how the sun is tilted and that it takes one year to go around the sun.  As it orbits the sun, we get less or more sunlight depending on where we are in the earths’ orbit and whether we are tilted toward the sun or away.  We used a flashlight shining on the globe to demonstrate this rather complex concept.  Although it is a lot to grasp, our song, “Four Seasons Every Year” helps us to remember that the seasons are due to the tilt of the earth. We have kept an eye on our handwashing experiment, and we have spotted some germs growing on the bread touched by all of the dirty hands, and the bread touched by the rinsed hands, but the control piece and the handwashing piece are both germ free. look at those nasty germs!busy morningdo these go together?tracing the cteamworkconstructive triangles and puzzlesupper and lowercase matchassembling the enginea wordsacorn transfermazesdo these have the same ending sound?geo boardlacing cardsfeelings nomenclatureletter sound gamewooden word cardsrhyming picture matchrolling up her matrhyming puzzlebuilding words with the movable alphabettrain puzzle with Caseyputting on all of those elasticsalphabet animal matchartists paintingbotany puzzlesreading directions for baking cookieshardest puzzle ever!writing numbersgearsstory writingThursday was the harvest festival.  The children participated in a variety of art activities and games, including vegetable printing, pine cone rolling art, leaf painting, sack races, watermelon bowling, bean bag toss, and an apple grabbing game (moving apples floating in water from one bucket to another using tongs).  Many families joined us for the fun and while some children made a few choices and moved on, others did everything available.  We had a surprise visit from Sue, one of our teachers from last year.  The children were very excited to see her and had a great time wrestling and horsing around with her.  It was a fun morning! grabbing applesvegetable printingbean bag tossapples in the bucketleaf artget it in the basket!watermelon bowlingget those apples!sack racepouring them back inwatermelon bowling after the watermelon splitusing strong muscles to move the tablesFriday students continued the fall harvest theme with an apple taste test for science.  We read I Am an Apple about the life cycle of an apple, then we all washed our hands to begin the taste test.  We examined 7 varieties of apple: granny smith, golden delicious, gala, mac, honeycrisp, fuji, and red delicious.  We noticed that they all looked different on the outside.  They had different shapes and different coloring.  When we cut them open we observed that they looked a little different on the inside as well.  When we tasted them we noticed that they all tasted differently.  Some were tart, others were sweet.  Some were hard and crispy, while others were soft and mushy.  Everyone decided which ones were their favorites and wrote their names on the chart next to the type they preferred.  The Golden Delicious was the most popular by far!
all the applesexamining appplesmy favorite kind  The stories we read this week: Our stories for the week
A Blue So Blue by, Jean-FranCois Dumont

Fall by, Sian Smith & Rebecca Rissman

Sunshine Makes the Seasons by, Franklyn M. Branley

Tops and Bottoms by, Janet Stevens

The Big Red Barn by, Margaret Wise Brown

Red Riding Hood by, James Marshall

Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing by, Judi Barret

Sky Tree by, Thomas Locker

Fall Leaves by, Loretta Holland & Elly MacKay

The Very Busy Spider by, Eric Carle

I Am an Apple by, Jean Marzollo