Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

20 February, 2021
by Lyn

Push and Pull

We took out some clay on Monday and created some 3D art by shaping, molding, pinching, and cutting. Some children made dishes or containers. Some made animals or characters. Some just got creative and made some art. We will paint them when we return to school after break.

clayshaping black panthersa mugcutting claystacking piecespushing and squishinga character

During Sign Language with Rose we practiced our alphabet, some animals, and colors. Rose then introduced signs for members of a family, including sister, mother, aunt, grandmother, girl cousin, brother, father, uncle, grandfather, boy cousin and family. All these signs are made around the face. The female signs are formed around the chin, as this is where bonnet strings would meet, and male signs are formed around the forehead, where a cap brim would be. She then taught us a song about grandfathers farm and we described the animals and the sounds they make. It was a really fun song and we look forward to singing it again.


elements puzzle blocksdoll housesounding out wordsanimal tops, middles, and bottomsThe Hat puzzle with MichelleAdding branches to the treeBark, George!fishingdrawingsorting fossilsthe last few piecesroll and count

We discussed what fish do in winter and where they live. The children discussed how the ice only freezes down so far, leaving a layer of water down below where the fish are free to swim about. We froze a large jug of water to observe how this works, and noticed that an oval pocket of water remained inside, while it froze all around where the cold air touched. We also learned a silly song about fishing and fish wearing pants.

frozen all aroundstackschickadee at the bird feedersfilling the feederadding seedssharpening shopgetting a sharp edgewatching birds at the feedersgirls on the hillshowing off the bird nesteverything a bird could needhappinessdown the hillchillin in the igloorunning grouptaking out the groomersbuilding big groomersgrooming the trailspushing the scooppulling the babythree in a sledfunny girlsstrong girlmermaid fairiesdown she goespullingin the iglooadding spices and hot saucesnow leopardssnow leopards getting snowylate Friday in Centennial Parkbig ice

With our outside focus we have been rather negligent with our social emotional work, and we have recognized the need for getting back to this. We began with a perspective taking story called The Tale of Two Beasts and a game using thought bubbles and talking bubbles. We discussed how we might have very different thoughts about a situation than someone else and there is no way for us to know what others are thinking unless they speak out loud and tell us, nor can others know what we are thinking unless we tell them. Children took turns whispering what they were thinking about, then calling on children to guess their thoughts before flipping their talking bubble and saying what they were thinking about.

What are you thinking about?What do you think I am thinking about?Whisper what you are thinkingDoes anyone know what I am thinking?

Kindergarten students worked hard on their 9 addition sentences with their Cuisinaire rods and their letter J work. They took the first half of their alphabet books and their Cuisinaire rod addition work books home this week to share with you. The second half of the alphabet book will likely come at the end of the year.

J bookJack doing jumping jacks9 addition and animal bookalphabet books

We celebrated a fifth birthday with the newest birthday girl. She very quickly orbited the sun while we tried to keep up naming the seasons and counting birthdays after she told us she was born in winter in the month of February. She donated a beautiful book about a cat that we will share with the entire class after break. Happy birthday 5 year old!

5 years old!

Friday students explored the final method of rock formation. While igneous rocks are formed by heat, and sedimentary rocks are formed by pressure, metamorphic rocks are formed by both heat and pressure. Metamorphic rock is formed when either sedimentary, igneous, or other metamorphic rock is heated and put under pressure. The children took three colors of clay, rolled them into balls then flattened them then stacked them to create a sedimentary rock. They then used their hands to apply heat and pressure by twisting and turning and pushing to create a new metamorphic rock.

twisting and turning
pushing and smooshing
starting with sedimentary layers
so much pressure!
metamorphic rocks

12 February, 2021
by Lyn

Fur, Feathers, Fat and Wool

For Valentines Day Monday students read about some friends in My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohman then created hearts of many colors. They traced heart shapes then outlined them with black marker. They used tape to create lines and filled the open spaces with color using pastels, marker, or paint. Finally they pulled up the tape leaving spaces of color separated by white.

My Friend RabbitIMG_0482 (2)criss cross heartso many colorsred and purplex's and o'sfilling inpurpleall the colorsremoving the tapepulling carefullyfinishing uphearts

Children used heart punches to punch out large, medium, and small hearts then used them to create Valentine pictures and cards for friends and family. Some children threaded beads on an elastic to create friendship bracelets.

HEARTS!!punching heartsfriendship braceletValentine cardsbeading a bracelet

As we have been learning about how animals adapt to winter weather, we looked at ways that animals insulate against the cold. The children discussed how many animals grow thicker coats of fur and birds grow downy feathers. We discussed how sheep have nice thick wool to keep them warm in the winter, then farmers shear it off to cool them in the summer. We also talked about bears and whales that have layers of fat, or blubber, that keep them warm. We then examined some coyote and rabbit fur, some raw wool, wool mittens, and a wool hat, some goose down feathers, and some fat. We discussed the different ways we use these things to keep us warm in the winter, with our wool socks, hats, and mittens, down jackets, and how native peoples were very conscious to use every part of the animals hunted for not only food, but to make tools, clothing, including warm winter wear, fat for burning, etc. The children tested the various insulators by holding an ice cube in a bare hand and an ice cube on the feathers, fat, fur, or wool.

coyoteanimal furso softwool mittens insulate against icerabbit fur insulatingfat insulationfeathers and furcold icetesting out the fur as an insulatorLaura staying nice and warmso cold!

We began to learn about birds and how they stay warm in winter. The children noticed a robin last week while snowshoeing, which was surprising. We learned from Susan that migrating is a hard journey for robins, and they don’t migrate because of the cold, but the lack of food. If they are able to continue to find food, they may not migrate because the risk of the trip is so great. We created some bird feeders by coating cardboard rolls with peanut butter and rolling them in birdseed, then hung them in the tree. Next week we will create others using bundt pans and muffin tins.

punching the holes for hangingspreading on the peanut butterstringing and smearinggetting all the surfacesrolling the peanut butter in the bird seedso carefulstringingtreats for the birds

Most birds live in nests that they build. We observed several nests and discussed what they were made with. The children noticed dried grasses, sticks, pine needles, hair, bark, and mud. We watched a timelapse video of a robin building a nest, bringing grasses and straw and sticks and mud, then packing it down and rounding it out with its’ feet and belly. We watched an engineer bird create an elaborate mud house, carrying the mud in its beak then placing it on the edge to build up the walls. We used some bark and various shredded wood and papers and some “mud” made from flour, water, and brown paint, to create our own bird nests.

nestnest of straw and leaves and barklots of grass and mud in this nesta very small nest with pine needles, long black hair, bark, and white flufflots of mud in this nestexamining the small nestlooking togetheran engineer bird building a mud nestmud and grassesadding brown to make mudstirring up the mudhunting for nesting materialsadding grasses

During Sign language with Rose we reviewed all the animals then learned the signs for the colors. We learned red, pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, gray, white, gold, and silver! Many of the colors are made in similar ways, by making the first letter in the name and shaking the hand back and forth. The children chose to sign and sing the “Elephants on a Spider’s Web” song before signing thank you to Rose.


Spanish with Zeanny kept us moving with Cabeza, Hombros, Piernes, Pies. She played a counting colors game, selecting volunteers to find a number of items of a particular color, which we then counted all together. We used the colored egg shakers to follow the directions and listened carefully while Zeanny tried to trick us. We finished up by reading the Spanish version of Sandra Boynton’s Moo, Baa, La La La, which is Muuu, Beee, Asi Fue! in Spanish.

cabezaseis rosadosiete naranjaverdearribasilencialentomorado

Work on the igloo is almost complete! The children tunneled through the mound of snow to create the entrance, and began digging out the snow that has piled up inside on the floor. More layers of ice blocks have been added and it is now about shoulder height for most students!

digging throughdigging from the outsidereachingdouble diggersinsidepopping throughtaking a breakhere she comesIMG_0570 (2)smoothing out the entrancetwo at a timegetting out the extra snowadding more layersin the iglooshoveling powderbright sunny smilesscraping off snowon the hillsled trainwoooshplay

Kindergarten students did sums of 8 with their cuisinaire rods and began to work on words that begin with J.

sums of 8ordering and matchingsound cylinders4+1=5tengu blockspatterns with cubespainting pink, purple, red, and bluedoll housesfriends and familyblue skiespatterning and countingpouringmarble runMy Bonnie Lies Over The OceanJohnny works with one hammer

Friday students explored sedimentary rocks. They watched a brief video about the formation of sedimentary rocks from various materials, such as sand, dead plants, dead animal bones & shells, etc. We learned that sedimentary rocks form when sediment in the seas and oceans are compacted from the pressure of the water over thousands of year. We learned that coal is compacted dead plants, limestone is marine animal bones and shells, and sandstone is sand. We took turns lifting an empty bucket and a bucket of water to compare their weight and feel how heavy water is and how much pressure it can apply. Some children became the bottom layer of sedimentary rocks, which we added layers to then some water to push down and condense them. We then did an experiment with jellybeans. The children divided them by color, and we pressed them together between boards with clamps, then by standing on them, one layer at a time, until we created a jellybean sedimentary rock.

heavy waterliftstrong muscleslayers under water pressurefirst layer redcreating pressuresorting the next layermore pressuresedimentary jelly beans

6 February, 2021
by Lyn

Winter Shadows

Monday students read about Geoffrey the groundhog who came out of his burrow on February 2nd to predict the weather. A shadow means 6 more weeks of winter, and no shadow means early spring! We looked at some photos of some cool shadow art (by Tim Noble & Sue Webster – the photos we saw were child appropriate, but CAUTION some of their work is not) that molded piles of trash or wood to create sculptures that, when a light shone on them, made shadows of people or animals. We traced the children who were interested in being traced and they colored their “shadows.”

shadow artboy shadowpink hairstrike a poseblue pants, black shirtstars

We played lots of animal games outside – animal charades, animal movement races, and hibernation, adaptation, or migration. We played Simon Says and sang movement songs. We went sledding and sled boarding on our mini snowhill and began building a snowpile in front of the igloo to shape the entrance. We made snow castles, rolled around, pulled friends in sleds, and had snow battles.

migratingdeer yardottersslithering like snakesSimon Says put your hands upflying south for the winterpouncing foxesotter sliding into the waterhuddling penguins

surfinglittle red riding hoodspeed racerbalancingbluerolling like a sushi rolla big partysled trainbalancedsurfer girlgirls in sink holesshowing Michelle all the beautiful colored ice collectedsnow cakesloading up snow for the igloo entrancesnow surfingtaking a friend for a sled ridehappy sleddingsmilesclimbgoing for a ridesnow castleigloo progress

We watched several videos of foxes hunting in winter, which many found quite hilarious, and learned how they use magnetic north and their keen hearing to catch prey. Did you know they can rotate their ears independently and hear rodents tunneling under the snow up to 40 feet away? We discussed why they jump way up to dive down headfirst and the children had some great insights and ideas about why foxes hunt the way they do.

pouncing foxesexamining a fox skeleton

Susan and Michelle took groups of 6 students at a time snow shoeing in the back field while the other children used colored water in spray bottles to color the snow. The adventurers had a glorious time trekking into the deep snow and discovering some wonders of nature. They spied bird nests and even a robin (?) that should have been long gone.

breaking trailwhat do you see?all packed downgetting ready to gowavingheading out on an adventurea cold birdexaming a findreturninghappy trekkersfollowing the leadertaking a snow naploving snowshoeingstomping alongreturninga tired troopercolorful seatsyellow snowicecream standbluecolored wallyellow and green

Some children acted out The Mitten by Jan Brett.

the animalsAlong came a moleA hedgehog shuffled in

During Sign Language with Rose we practiced all the animal signs we have learned so far, then learned some farm animal signs. We learned pig, cow, horse, chicken, and sheep. First Rose made the signs and we guessed what they were. We guessed almost all of them with minimal prompting. Rose also taught us the sign for butterfly and a rhyming song about butterflies flying away.


Kindergarten students played some games of “What’s Missing?” in small groups, hiding Cuisenaire rods in their hands and placing the addend on the table so their fellow students could determine which rod was in the hand that would be needed to make the sum.

sums of 7painting partnersa challenging puzzlepouringreaders100'spegsredcarefullyall the peoplebuilding the treechalk artsnowmobilinghot chocolate for freetransfer workmatchingnumber memorysnowmobile in the snowalphabet BINGO with Laurapuzzlenumber worktigerrock sortingpartner paintingdrawingfamiliesspinning topscastle puzzlegroup of artistsTacky the Penguingroups of 10pentagonbead chainstower and stairsartcuttingyellow, red, orange, pinksunshine, clouds, and a rainbow

29 January, 2021
by Lyn


Monday students had a remote day during which they did mitten activities for art, math, and literacy after reading The Mitten by Jan Brett.

Animals adapt to the changes of winter in different ways. Susan introduced some fun games and activities where we pretended to be different animals adapting to winter. We learned that many animals, such as snakes and groundhogs will huddle all together in a den or other safe place to keep warm. Penguins will huddle on the icy tundra to share body heat and block the wind. Geese will migrate south to warmer climates where food is easier to find. Foxes will listen under the snow for mice and voles, then herd and pounce to capture them. Susan would call out the name of an animal and the children would fly south, huddle, den up together, or hunt and pounce.

huddled penguinsmigrating geesegroundhogs in their denbelly sliding otterotters down the hill into the watera green and black otter

When animals are in their dens, the dens will trap their body heat and block cold winds, helping to keep the animals warm while the temperatures drop. We used blankets to create dens and huddle up together to protect us from the “cold” while pretending to be snakes and groundhogs.

the groundhogs in their denhuddling snakesstaying warm in winter

We collected sleds full of snow and dumped them on our little snow pile to build up our sledding hill so we could finally do a bit of sledding. What excitement there was over our little hill when it was finally ready!

collecting snowmore snow for the hillshoveling snow for the sledding hillpacking down the snowhappy sledding girlsIMG_4993 (2)3 in a sledwhoosha pair in a red sledpartnersweeeee!snow surfingdown on his bellyover and downrun and slidebirthday cakeZOMBIEsleddingLittle Bunny Foo Foosmilesshovels and sledsaround the tunnelsunny girlsgoing for a rideice and snowa snowy chatsleeping in anticipation of Santa's arrivalsnowball battlesnow shoeingtrekking

Work on the igloo continued. Removing the blocks from the tins, adding layers with water to freeze them together, packing on snow to fill in the cracks, placing out the pans, and refilling them with water to freeze more blocks kept everyone busy.

removing ice blockspopping out the iceadding layersgently placing the ice blocksright herehauling over ice blocksfilling the tinsgetting some watergetting higherfilling the tinspouring the waterigloo builders

During sign language with Rose we practiced the ABC’s and all the animal signs we have learned over the past few weeks. Rose introduced 5 new animal signs for animals that live in the jungle, as well as the sign for jungle. We learned elephant, lion, tiger, monkey, and giraffe. Elephant is made by running the hand and arm out from the nose in the form of a trunk. Lion is shown by pulling the hand over the head from the forehead back to show the mane. Tiger is made by showing the stripes on the face using the fingers crooked toward the face and pulling back toward to ears. I bet you can guess monkey and have probably made this sign many times! Giraffe is the hand cupped at the neck and moving down to show a long neck. We then learned the signs for the song “One Elephant Went Out to Play on a Spider’s Web One Day,” including the sign for spider, made by tucking in the thumbs, crossing the hands at the wrists, and walking the fingers forward like spider legs.


During Spanish we practiced all our songs about the body, emotions, and colors. Zeanny introduced a song with the spanish words for all the family members and then read the story Mortimer by Robert Munsch. We then got to pick a colored egg shaker and moved it as directed, shaking lento, rapido, abajo, arriba, and adelante.

CabezafelizMortimerazul huevorojoarriba

Kindergarteners worked on making sums of six with Cuisinarie rods. They finally got a chance to catch up on recording the days on the fence pickets, so they added days 75-85, then used the igloo ice blocks to make sets of ten. They made predictions about whether there would be enough blocks to make more sets of ten, then counted out and organized them into groups.

afternoon worktable workelasticsgo togethersbunny patternsmatching letters and wordspouringpuzzlesback into the jartransfer workmatching!smilesnumber dot memorybuilding the hot chocolate standcutting snowflakes and drawing picturesliving and non-living and rock sortingdrawing her familysome big machinea blue personteamworksweeping upviews of Mount Washingtonpegs and elasticslemonade standmini snowmobile

We celebrated another 5th birthday. The birthday girl very excitedly shared that she would have a unicorn cake at home with her family on her birthday and told us the season, month, and day that she was born. She walked carefully around the sun while we listed the seasons and counted for her. Happy Birthday 5 year old!

orbiting the sunbirthday girl in her birthday dresssome birthday dancingfancy birthday moves

Friday students delved into rocks and how they form. This week we learned about igneous rocks – rocks that are formed by cooling magma or lava. Lava that erupts from a volcano and cools and solidifies outside the earth is called extrusive (ex-out of) rock, such as pumice and obsidian. Magma that cools slowly inside the earth crystalizes into rocks such as granite and are called intrusive rocks. We learned that The Granite State is the nickname for New Hampshire because we have so much granite! (We also learned that Lyn’s nickname in college was shortened from Lynny Poo to Poopy, which the children found hilarious. We will remind them that we do not call other people that). We watched a brief video about igneous rocks forming and then some short videos of volcanoes and flowing lava. We checked out some rocks, then did a little experiment by melting crayons down to see some “lava” type liquid, which became solid heart crayons for those who chose to make one to take home.

our base materials for melting lavachoosing crayons to melt