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

Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

11 January, 2019
by Lyn
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Forest Homes

catching snowflakesSnowflakes fell in all their six-sided glory to layer our play yard in mounds of fabulous, fluffy, sparkling whiteness.  We captured and studied some flakes on our mittens before they melted away, and we ate, shoveled, scooped up, and slid over the other billion.tasty snowpulling, pushing, piling upsnow girlsshoveling and plowingwatching the birds fly to the feedersnow boardingboarding twinsMonday students made art by blowing through straws to push liquid water color across paper, spreading into branches as it moved.blowing colorsblue streamspink and purple branchesBefore heading to the library while visitors came for the monthly play date, they constructed and painted a mushroom fairy house for the new dramatic play forest area.  The bear den and fairy house were joined by a tree house and a tent (on loan from the Kelly family – thank you!).  The Sunnybrook forest animals were busy storing up food for winter, hibernating, building camp fires, and visiting among the various abodes.painting the mushroom housea turtle in the houseknock knockslippers off in the bear denfull housesin the mushroom housebears in their denOur study of trash and recycling continued as we read the stories Don’t Throw That Away!, which taught us about which items we can recycle, and My Little Plastic Bag about what happens to a trash bag thrown out along the roadside.  The bag was chopped up by a mower, then washed into a stream.  It made its’ way to the ocean where it was eaten by a fish, who was caught by a fisherman and sold for food, so the chemicals from the bag were ingested by the family who ate the fish.brown stair & pink towera, dwater colorsbear on a bike puzzlelast piecewashcloth foldingfabric matchingcube patternstrinomial cube & 7 long chainHmm, what do I need to write?taking notesI am going to a meetinggravity mazeafternoon dance classa circus on the light tableLego constructionwriting and drawinglines of orange and yellowhammeringmore gravity mazeletter writinghow many cylinders tall?afternoon workreading to friends100 boardreadingpattern blocksfraction familiesWe listened to and performed The Mitten by Jan Brett.  The children selected animal headband masks and acted out the story as they listened to the telling, burrowing into the “mitten” then falling out all over the ground when the meadow mouse burrowed in, making the bear sneeze.  They had a lot of fun both watching and performing.the hedgehog and the snowshoe rabbit burrowed inaaaaah-chooooo!in goes the hedgehogthe animals in the mittenthe bear sneezed and they all tumbled outWe read several books about winter animals and hibernation.  We learned that many animals hibernate – some go into true hibernation where they do not wake until spring, and others go into a sleep state where they may be disturbed and awaken to eat and move, including bears.shake her up and wake her upstoriesWe took out the parachute and played some fun parachute games.  First we sang Ring Around the Rosy, then shook, shook, shook the parachute to shake off Henrietta the hen.  Next we played a name finding game.  When our names were called, we ran under the parachute, grabbed our own name tags, and ran back out.  We then switched it up.  We listened to two names called, then ran under the parachute when we heard our name and grabbed the name tag for the other name called.  Finally we played great white shark, taking turns being the shark who swims under the parachute and nibbles the toes of a friend, who then crawls under the parachute to become the next shark.shaking off Henriettamore shakingwhere is your name?Which one is mine?I can't find yours!Here comes the great white sharkFriday students continued their study of the five senses.  We reviewed what the five senses are, then proceeded to learn more in depth about the sense of sight.  We looked at a model drawing of an eyeball cross section and located the optic nerve, cornea, iris, pupil, lens, and retina.  We looked in a mirror to see what color our irises are.  We turned out the lights then looked at a partners pupils.  We observed that their pupils were quite large.  We turned the lights back on and looked at our partners pupils again, and saw that they had become very small. We determined that they shrink to keep light out when it is bright, and open to let light in when it is dark. We then watched two short videos about how our eyes work (How Your Eyes Work & A Journey Through the Human Eye).  We looked through a magnifying glass and binoculars to see how things that are small can look larger, or far away can look close and clear. Finally we played some games. We started with I Spy With My Little Eye. The children listened to the clues and walked to stand near something in the classroom that fit the visual descriptors of the item until there was no mistaking what it was and everyone stood together.  We then played a letter finding game.  The nametags were spread around the rug, and when shown and given the name of a letter, the children had to find and stand on a name that had that letter in it.  To finish up, we pulled out some colored flashlights and did some dancing!looking at our eyeswhat color is my iris?making the mountain lion biggerbinocularsfocusing in on one objectdancing lightsAs it was too cold for outside play on Friday, the children helped to create an obstacle  course, which they then proceeded to do over, and over, and over, and over . . . walking the chairshopping ballstepping stonesbalancing podsspinning

4 January, 2019
by Lyn
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Hibernation, Migration, Adaptation

collecting snowWinter is officially here. We had fun slipping and sliding on sheets of ice that dotted the yard.  We ran and slid across the ice like baseball players sliding into home plate. Many of our toys were trapped in ice due to the melting and freezing over break, so we had to be resourceful and work on our negotiating, compromising, and turn taking.ice slidingchillin on the iceend of the slidesnow on the tonguesweeping away the snowsnowy girlsgotchatrying to dislodge the stuck truck with her footplowing out a path for the trucksnow much fun!hot tongues melt snowrock and fall offhanging mittensWe celebrated two fifth birthdays this week.  The birthday girl let us choose either a confetti cupcake with chocolate frosting and pink sprinkles or a chocolate cupcake with white frosting and star sprinkles.  She very happily and slowly orbited the sun with the globe as we named the seasons and counted the years since her birth.happy birthday girlbirthday cupcakesThe birthday boy brought containers of blueberries or strawberries and raspberries to choose from.  After distributing the tasty treats he held the globe as he walked around the candle five times while we counted his birthdays.  After the Happy Birthday song he blew out the candle and everyone munched up their berries.one, two, three, four, fiveblowing out the candleHip Hip Hooray It's Your Birthday Today treatsHappy Birthday newest 5 year olds!

We read the story Winter Dance about a fox that is trying to figure out what he does in the winter.  He encounters several animals who encourage him to do what they do, including a woolly bear caterpillar who creates a cocoon, a turtle who dives down to burrow in the mud, a bat who hangs from its’ feet in a cave and goes to sleep, geese who fly south, a snowshoe hare who turns white to blend in with the snow, and a bear who snuggles into a den in the ground and sleeps.  As the children recalled what the different animals did, we learned the terms hibernation, migration, and adaption.  We pretended to be migrating geese flying south, hibernating turtles burrowing down, and adapting hares losing our brown hair and growing in thicker white hair.  We discussed how animals stay warm in the winter and read a story about a bear and his fox friend, who misses him while he goes to sleep.  Before finding a den to cuddle up in, the bear got fat by eating and storing up lots of food.  We talked about how this creates an extra layer of fat, which provides insulation.  The children took turns holding ice cubes on their bare skin, with a wool mitten, and with a blubber mitten and compared how much cold was felt with each.direct contact & blubber insulationice on a mitten, and ice on the blubberMr. Bond started a new project this week. Each child will get to build their own tool carry box. They started out by drilling a hole with the hand drill for the handle to go into. Each child rotated the handle around and around while Mr. Bond held the top until they had gone down 1/4 inch.drillingaround it goestaking her turncranking the viceWe read the story Where Does Our Garbage Go? and learned about where all our waste ends up when we throw it away.  We introduced the idea of recycling glass, plastic, aluminum, and paper into something new. We also talked about composting our food, which becomes soil for new plants to grow and be healthy.  We introduced the recycling triangle and the numbers we might see in them, then we took turns sorting waste into the appropriate containers.  We put food waste in the compost, paper in the paper trash, which is burned in Lyn’s furnace, recyclable plastic, metal, and glass in the recycling bin, and waste in the trash can.  Next week we will start to save, wash, sort, and document the waste we produce at school.#1 plastic in the recycling binword matchingbotany puzzlesanimal housesan aviaryhammeringhere comes the shipcapping the bottlesMorganizing the blockscutting out his hemispherespin punching Australiaplay dough and Legostunnelsfabric matching by feelsorting by colorforest familiessoft or hardWe watched three videos of street drummers who use buckets, pots and pans, and other materials instead of just drums to make music – Gordo, Dario Rossi, and the London Eye Drummer.  The children couldn’t help but move their bodies – heads were nodding, toes were tapping, and torsos were wiggling.  Finally they got up to dance to the three different styles of drumming before we attempted our own drumming.  We discovered that everyone drumming with just one drum at the same time was just too loud and lacking rhythm, so one student demonstrated how to play our buckets, pots, and pans in a rhythmic (and quieter) way.  The bucket drums were taken out again by individuals to practice their own rhythms and music making independently.got the rhythmmoving to the beatdrummers drummingdrummingFor Friday science we were introduced to the five senses.  First we used our eyes to observe a photograph of a fox in a snowy field.  We tried to use descriptive words to discuss what we saw, such as colors, shapes, sizes, and structures.  We closed our eyes to do some listening, touching, tasting, and smelling.  We tried to find descriptive words and to identify the different items that we heard, felt, tasted, and smelled.  We listened to an Andean Chac-cha and identified that it was like a maraca and was made of wood.  We listened to scissors opening and closing and tried to figure out what they were.  We touched some silly putty and said it was hard but soft, smooth, and stretchy.  Some children said slimy, but we discussed that slimy is wet and gooey, while this was dry and smooth.  We tasted some cherries – some were sweet and some were tart. We smelled grapefruit, and there were lots of close guesses – limes, oranges, and lemons. We also smelled the herb sage, which was new to almost everyone.  Everyone then once again closed their eyes while we listened to, smelled, touched, then saw and tasted clementines, trying to describe and guess what we were each holding in our hands. Over the next five weeks we will focus more in depth on each sense, more fully isolating and exploring each.tart cherry facessmelling the clementinetasting the clementinetubes and marblesshooting it out the up rampbears in a cave

21 December, 2018
by Lyn
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Cookies and Pajamas

Our two days before winter break were much anticipated. On Monday the children measured, poured, stirred, whisked, mixed, and blended up some butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs, flour, etc. to make sugar cookie dough.  It was left to refrigerate for a couple hours, then taken out, rolled flat, and cut into shapes. The children also sifted and mixed the icing for decorating, adding colors and stirring them up.buttereggsvanillablendflourcombine and siftrolling out the doughcutting out the peoplegravity mazeplay doughcuttingan important callhammeringTuesday was the most anticipated day of the entire year – PAJAMA DAY!  Children arrived in snow man pajamas, spider man pajamas, dinosaur pajamas, striped, polka dotted, and plain pajamas.  It was gloriously cozy and fun.  They had a variety of activities to choose from, the most popular being the bouncy house brought in and inflated by Ian Schulte.  There were lines of children waiting for turns all day, and it was occupied from 7AM – 4:30PM, when we finally deflated it.  Thank you so much, Ian!  The children had a most wonderful time!in the bouncy housetumbling aroundtaking turnswaiting to use the bouncy houseIMG_8836 (2)Now you bounce meCookies were decorated . . .cookie paintinglots of colorsred and bluecareful workGlitter jars were filled with clear glue, glitter glue, glitter, and water to shake and watch settle (except when a bit TOO much glitter and glue were added) . . .choosing the glitterpink and goldso many colorsWe popped popcorn, made creamy hot chocolate, and ate it all up with our cookies.POPCORN!snack timea green cookiesweeping upwashing the tableWe took out the big drum and placed felt balls on top, then took turns narrating stories that the drummers followed, gradually getting louder and louder until all the balls were bounced off the drum.  We told rain storm stories, starting out with a pitter patter of rain and ending in a thunderstorm.  There were unicorns and moose tip-toeing, walking, then running stories.  There were stomping bear stories, and through it all, lots of drumming, laughing, and smiles.pitter patter comes the rainraining cats and dogsthunder and lightningbouncing so highunicorn tip-toeunicorn gallopingWe finally settled down for some stories at the end of the morning, then after lunch snuggled under the tent for a quiet afternoon of even more stories. How the Grinch Stole Christmaslistening to storiesThose Darn Squirrelsstories under the tentTo end the day, the children engaged in an indoor “snowball” (yarnball) fight. So much fun!   It was truly the most magnificent day of the year!yarn ball fightgrab the balls

14 December, 2018
by Lyn
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Winter Celebrations

a mitten pathThe children were on the go, gliding over the packed snow as they pulled friends in sleds all around the yard.  We made rainbow snow all over the playground by spraying colored water wherever we found nice white patches of snow.sled plowingtaking a breakblue snowpurple and bluefilling the dump trucksnow in the sledmixing colorsgreen streamhappy pulling and happy ridingMonday students did some winter night pictures by using pastels on black paper.  We tried writing on the black paper with markers, colored pencils, and crayons, and discovered that they were all hard to see and not very bright.  We then tested out the pastels and found that they created vibrant pictures on dark paper.  Some beautiful works of art were created and posted on the wall!pastels on blackbright colors on a dark backgroundwinter nightWe learned about several different fall/winter celebrations this week.  On Tuesday we learned about Diwali, a primarily Hindu celebration, which is very popular in India, and has expanded to other religions as well, each with their own stories and traditions.  We watched a National Geographic video about the November celebration of Diwali and read a story about four children who share their Diwali traditions with their class.  We learned that statues of the goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, are displayed during this time.  Rangoli designs are created from sand, typically in the shape of a lotus blossom, in the entryways of homes, special treats and foods are enjoyed and shared with friends and neighbors, fireworks are set off, and diyas (oil lamps) are lit.  The children colored in Rangoli designs throughout the week.

Susan shared the traditions of Saint Lucia, which is celebrated in Scandinavia, but primarily Sweden. Saint Lucia is based on the legend of Lucia (a 4th century saint) arriving in a glowing white boat with her head framed in light, bringing food to save a town from famine.  She told of the primary traditions associated with the holiday.  Girls dress all in white with a red sash. The oldest girl in the family wears a wreath with candles as a crown and wakes the family by singing the song “Santa Lucia” and carrying special buns and hot drinks to the family. Whole towns have processions, too. Boys carry star wands and girls wear wreath crowns and carry candles. It’s the official beginning of the Yuletide season in Sweden.  The children created their own green paper crowns with shining candles, and sparkling star wands.Saint Lucia star wandsSusan also talked about the Danish tradition of Jul Nissen (elves) that appear throughout people’s houses for children to find throughout the season. They are supposed to bring good luck.  The children had a fabulous time coloring and cutting out elves to hide all over the classroom! Can you spy the elves?elves and rangolireading booksin need of a tissue, riding the wavesvisiting Asialooking for his name in the name baskettaking notesThe pencil holders that the children have been diligently working on for the past two months were completed on Wednesday.  Each child chose to drill two or three holes for pencils, then used Mr. Bond’s hand drill to crank it around and around to drill out the holes.  Everyone finished in time to take their holder home.  Thank you so much to Mr. Bond for such an amazing project and so many new experiences with ordering the steps, following directions, working with different tools, building up finger, hand, arm, and core muscles, and focusing to carefully and safely use the tools.  It has been such an amazing first part of the year in woodworking!turning the drillnumber workperler bead creationsfinding the patient's medicinepattern block patternsFIVE!making snow stormstall towerscloudsgravity mazecolorful fishwritingmidnight sky playdoughadding organsfine fine motor work - coloring with tiny tipped pens and mazesCinderellaOur week was dedicated to practicing for our performance.  The children listened and participated so well.  They followed instructions about lining up, following in line, singing clearly, watching Susan, attending to the cues, and listening quietly.  They were very impressive with their practicing and the Thursday night Winter Performance was truly spectacular!  They definitely showed off their hard work!  Thank you to Chad Fillion of Phlume Media, who video taped the performance for all families to access.  We so appreciate it!!  A lin Thank you to everyone for joining us to celebrate this season together.  It was wonderful to gather together with everyone.  We so appreciate your contributions to the pot luck and your help cleaning up after – it was the quickest clean up we have had yet!rehearsalFriday students did a fun candy cane experiment.  They placed candy canes in four jars, then filled the jars with different liquids – vinegar, soap, hot water, and cold water.  We then made predictions about which liquid we thought would dissolve the candy cane the fastest.  Seven students hypothesized that the hot water would work the fastest, and one hypothesized that the cold water would be fastest.  We then observed to determine which it was.  The hot water did dissolve the candy cane most quickly, with vinegar following closely behind, and cold water following as the third fastest.pouring vinegaradding soapwarm waterwatching the dissolutiongetting smaller and smallercandy cane dissolving chart