Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

12 June, 2021
by Lyn

Jump, Frog, Jump!

Jackson Pollock inspired our art for Monday. We read Action Jackson a story about how he created his artwork in a big barn on his land using house paint, an enormous canvas, and a variety of sticks and brushes etc. to dribble, drop, splatter, and drip paint. The children excitedly danced and splattered their way through cups of colorful paint to create their own Pollockesque art.

Bluepurple splatterdrip, drip teala touch of graysome brown over red, purple, green, and blackspots of yellowwhite on blue and greenpurple linesblue on green and purpleadmiring her workdrips and drops

We read about amphibians then read about the difference between frogs and toads. We learned that frogs prefer water, while toads prefer land, frogs are smoother and wetter, while toads are drier and bumpier, toads have short back legs for little hops and frogs have long back legs for big jumps, frogs have teeth on their upper jaw to hold insects while toads have to swallow quickly, and frog eggs are laid in clumps and toad eggs are in chains. We then played “Frog says hop _________” and all the froggy children hopped slowly, backwards, to the tree and back, on their left foot, etc.

We had some classroom visitors, which were super exciting. The green tree frog we spotted pretty quickly but we had to do a little rearranging in the tank before we could spy the little brown spring peeper.

green tree frog in the top right corner of the tank

We played “The cool pond calls for anyone who _________” and the froggies would jump off their stumps and swim around if the statement applied to them, such as “has a brother,” “is wearing blue,” etc.

The cool pond calls . . .

We read the story Go, Go, Go, STOP! about little green who uses his only word, GO, to help the vehicles at the construction sight get their work done. Things get a little crazy when all they do is go, go, go, so fortunately little red arrives, who shouts STOP! Together they figure out how to work together for just the right amount of GO and STOP to help things run smoothly. We then played “Go, Go, Go, STOP” and all the children ran, hopped, galloped, etc. as they listened to the person holding the GO and STOP sign.

Hopping!  Go, go, go, go!flyingGo!Run! Go, go, go, go, go!

During sign language Rose read and signed two more stories, Will Giraffe Laugh? and Will Ladybug Hug? about how the friends try to get giraffe to laugh and who wants or doesn’t want Ladybug hugs and how ladybug gives or doesn’t give hugs as requested. We sang and signed one of our favorite songs to wrap things up, “Sally the Camel,” which is fun and catchy!

Giraffe was GROUCHYCrocodileFroggy has wrapped his tongue around giraffeHa, ha, ha, ha, ha!. . . but will her friends led ladybug HUG?side hugs

We celebrated a sixth birthday with the first June birthday before the arrival of summer. The birthday boy rapidly orbited the sun with the globe while we quickly named the seasons and counted off his birthyears before he reached six and we sang the Happy Birthday song.

speedy birthday boywinter, spring, summer, fall

The kindergarten students finished up making letters for the very end of the alphabet, chose their letters and numbers for their graduation demonstration, and practiced presenting. We are so grateful that all the K families were able to attend kindergarten graduation. It was a special night and it is hard to say goodbye. We will miss those graduates!

seed Ssviolet Vvyellow Yysetting up their benches and stumpsall in their spots

We enjoyed the heat of the first half of the week and the cooler temperatures of the second half. The children enjoyed the inside time this week just as much as the outside time.

planting the beans and pumpkins with Michellebeans are in!6, flutter like a butterflyrunning through the sprinklergetting wetsoggy girlsoakeda slow pass throughslow, fast, waitingwater in the facemixing upscooping dirt into the truckmud stewlooking at the stink bugs (New Hampshire bugs as they were named)back and forthsilly girlshe invented a balance boardand inspired everyone elsebalancingwibble wobbleDon't fall in the hot lava!!all in a rowfollowing their pathsbuilding a fire for the birthday camping tripThe birthday cakeboys and bombscoloring tiny rocks

catching a wolfanimal magnetsLego houseat the doctor's officecatching words with Lalphabet BINGOplaying WAR with Susantall flowers in the back, medium in the middle, and short in the frontwatching the fish and snailsbuilding a car runplaying the glockenspielbuilding with blocksrhyming puzzlethe musicianstwo handed playingdancing to the musicplaying the marimbaletter sound books

The students asked to use the sprayers to do some cleaning one afternoon, and spent the rest of the week washing up everything they could find that needed some scrubbing; the quiet house, walls, entryway, stair railings, chimney, easels, etc. They got the classroom looking spic and span!

washing the quiet house and chimney
scrubbing the easel
the chimney needs some attention
cleaning crew

For our final Friday science fun the children made SLIME!!! They were so patient while they each took turns measuring and mixing in ingredients, stirring between each addition, then gradually adding more and more contact lens solution and quickly beating it with a fork then kneading it until it was just the right consistency. We found that although it called for 1 tablespoon of contact lens solution (with boric acid in it), it actually needed about 1.5, but we added it a bit at a time until we had just the right consistency. They added lots or a little food coloring and lots or a little glitter to make it just the way they wanted. The children had fun through the rest of the morning and afternoon playing with their glittery, slimy creations.

glue, water, food coloring and glitterred and blueblueblue, blue, green, bluelots of glitteradding the contact lens solutionalmost ready!slimy greenblue goo and greengetting thickerslime!pink and blue glitter slime!stretching out the slimedark bluewashing upblue in a tray

4 June, 2021
by Lyn

Hey, Hey, Hay!

capturing the escaping slugs

Ronnie from Weeks Memorial Library invited us to a reading by the author Christy Mahaly, who lives in Vermont, through the Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF). She was super engaging and the children loved chatting with her and listening to her read her story Hey, Hey, Hay!, all about making hay. Many of us knew parts of the process, but we learned about all the steps and machines used to mow the grass, ted it so it can cry, rake it into windrows, bale the hay, and transport and store it for the animals to eat when winter arrives and the green grass is gone. She handed out picture cards of the steps in the process, and the children placed them on the flannel board when we got to that part of the story. Every time the story mentioned hay, we all shouted, “hey, hey!” and every time we saw a tractor, we made tractor sounds. We sang “Old MacDonald had a Farm” and pulled animals that eat hay out of a bag for the different verses. Finally, Christy read us a poem about an acorn turning into an oak tree that we acted out before she gave each child a paper Hey, Hey, Hay! hat and everyone got to choose two books to keep from CLiF.

Christy and Ronnieauthor Christy MahalyHey, Hey, Hay!How is hay made?Brrrrrrrrrrrrr like a tractorgrow like an oak treeHey, Hey, Hay! hats

For sign language Rose read and signed two fun rhyming books, Will Sheep Sleep? and Will Bear Share? In the first book sheep follows his bedtime routine, including getting some water, brushing his teeth, etc. and for each activity we are asked, “Will _____ help sheep sleep?” Finally counting sheep helps sheep sleep. In the second book bear has a variety of items. Some, such as berries, are for sharing, while others, such as a toothbrush, are not! To wrap up we sang and signed “The Green Grass Grows All Around.” We are starting to get a little better with keeping up with Rose when signing this tricky and fast paced song!

sheepsleepbrush teethperhapsbearshareberryyes!nesttree

During music Susan introduced 13 different percussion instruments/drums and asked the children to put them in size from largest drum head to smallest. They did well comparing drum head size rather than height and got them all placed in order, with several that were all the same size. Groups of children then had the opportunity to play, following Susan’s instructions to play a particular way, such as quietly and quickly, or slowly and loudly, or quickly and loudly, or slowly and quietly. It was a little tricky to play quickly and quietly with some drums!

bigger or smaller?so close in sizewhere should this one go?hmmmthis looks the sameIs this one the biggest or the smallest?drum slowly and quietlydrum quietly

Michelle came to do some planting in the bollards now that they are finally filled with soil. She took students in small groups to sprinkle and water a variety of flower seeds that we are anxious to see grow through the summer and fall.

giving it a good soakpacking down the dirtpatting down the dirt

Kindergarteners counted up to 160 on the fence and repainted all the orange lines for tens, and yellow dots for ones. They did some letter work with X, making an X out of flox and making box turtles out of boxes.

painting tens and ones150'sflox Xpink and purple floxXxbox turtle shellsa green box turtleyellow and greenbox turtlebrown shelled box turtle

For Friday science we went on a leaf hunt and the children were tasked with finding 15 different leaves. While hunting they also found the skeleton of a dead animal (looks like a cat, but we said maybe fox), a toad, lots of flowers, and the library. They did some laps around the bandstand before climbing up and finding a spot to dump and sort their leaves. When asked what characteristics they could sort by, someone suggested smooth and bumpy/serrated edges, so everyone sorted their leaves into piles by those characteristics. Some children then sorted by size as well.

boneslook at the skullleaf huntersrunning around the bandstandlooking for the doorsorting leavessmooth and rough edgesher piles of leaves and flowersrough and smooth and everything elsesortedwhat about this one?dirt, flowers, rough edge leaves, smooth edge leaves, maple seed, worms

As the end of the year approaches, the natives are becoming increasingly restless and we have been taking advantage of the good weather. We have many plans to introduce frogs, turtles, etc., the lifecycle of a pond, and continue our social/emotional curriculum but attention spans are focused on outdoors and social play, so we follow their cues and shift the plans. Worms are harder to find lately, but toads and slugs have been abundant!

painting rainbowsrockin and rollin right off!Five green and speckled frogssix green and speckled frogsmixing up the potion to turn you evilmemorymaking applesauceMom and Dad roasting marshmallows for smores over our campfirefilling up the water tankfingers in the watersliding down benchespainting rocksartists at the easeltoads or insects or slugs?applesaucea ninjadoing tricky trickspicking baby applesgreens for cookinga girl flying a kite in the blue skypainting with waterspinning wheelenjoying some peaceful time in the sunshinerelaxingmaking some food for dinnerpaintinggetting cozy in the cool shadesetting up the housebuilding a protective safe for his watertagshoveling dirtthe crew at workcovering up the rocks the plow pushed up"I'm working for the government"smoothing it outgetting it all packed downmud in the panSTUCK!muddin'cleaning off her feet and shoesa tiny spiderdripping mud monsters

28 May, 2021
by Lyn


finding insects

As we are planting and growing beans and flowers, and discussing the life cycle of plants and trees, we explored how paper is made. We talked about all the things we use that are made from plants and trees, and found so many things in our classroom made of wood and plant fibers. We looked at the bean plants Friday students planted and observed that they were starting to send down roots. We read about how paper is made and watched a video showing the process and the giant paper factories where trees are debarked, chopped up, combined with water and chemicals and turned into pulp, rolled out into sheets, cut to size, and packaged to be shipped off. The children then recycled some used paper by tearing it into small pieces, blending it up with some water, then pouring out the pulp, rolling out the water, and setting it on heavy fabric to dry.

the root growing downHow paper is madechoosing paper to recycletearing up the paper to make new paperpurple papera loud blenderrolling the water outpushing water outchopping into pulppouring out the paper pulppink paperpouring purple papertoo loud

All the Woodland Stone Soup Practice came to fruition this week as the children performed their story in front of the camera. They donned their costumes and were recorded in scenes, starting with the final scene, then going back to the beginning. Laura is going to work some magic to cut, paste, add sound, and use all those editing skills she has to piece it all together for everyone to view.

all the animals enjoying stone soupmaking the fire3 raccoons, 2 mice, 2 chipmunks, and a groundhoggreeting the chickadee, woodpecker, and bees

The heat at the beginning of the week gave way to cooler end of week temperatures, which was a relief after reaching almost 90 degrees!

Nature Memorytwo boys in their fortclimbersThe baby and the big brotherssawinghis favorite bike for wheeliesover the hillpaintingbluehalf birthday partytoss and catchsetting up shopcaterpillar, caterpillarbiking aroundgoing for a rideDSC00915 (2)a birch catkinraking upfinding a cool spot in the shadepainting blockscoloringmud mealshauling rocksemptying the wagonmixing up the potionparty timeobserving the toadsrelease of the toads

Rose read and signed another Llama, Llama story this week. She shared Llama, Llama and the Bully Goat about a student at school who would push, tease, and hurt the other students. Llama and his friends told the bully goat to stop and told the teacher, who came to help and removed the bully goat from play. To wrap up, we signed and sang “Down by the Bay” and the children made up some very creative silly rhymes.

playdown the slidebullySign language

Susan introduced drumming and rhythm patterns. We learned that in some places, because drums are so loud, they are/were a form of communication that would send messages from far away, and different rhythm patterns meant different things, such as a warning that a lion was nearby. She demonstrated how to make a rhythm pattern that we would then imitate. She drummed a pattern and we used rhythm sticks to repeat it back. She showed us how to use the heels of our hands to make a resonating sound on the big drum and the children took turns in small groups playing the big drum using the heels of their hands.

rhythm with Susantap with fingers or heel of the handrepeating the rhythmdrumming with the heel of the handmaking it resonategood vibrationsmute the sound

During Spanish we sang the emotions song and all our body songs and marched around the playground while singing and acting out La Marcha. She read the story El Frijole de Benito about a cat who plants a bean and takes care of it then waits and waits and waits for it to grow. To wrap up, we played a color finding game. Zeanny would say a color in Spanish then everyone would run to touch something of that color.

tristeenojadapiescaderasListos!La MarchaEl Frijole De Benitomucho, mucho, muchoverdeazul

Michelle introduced the life cycle of a bean and the parts of a plant during Friday science. The children observed how the bean seeds they planted last week have started to push down roots and push up sprouts. Some have even emerged from the soil and grown leaves so they can begin to make their own food. She shared some seedlings that have grown leaves, started to bud, and developed into tiny little bean pods. The children found the stem, roots, buds, flowers, pods, branches, and leaves. They each took a bean pod and opened it up to discover the tiny bean seeds inside. It was so neat to see all the different stages and think about the life cycle of the bean plant.

bean life cycleobserving the roots and shootstouching a rootfinding the roots in the dirtroots soak up the waterleaves make the foodfinding the bean seeds in the podthe blossomopening the podall the stages of a beancollecting the beansseed, seedling, plant, flower

22 May, 2021
by Lyn

A Hunting We Will Go

We went adventuring on Monday. The children were introduced to fairy houses and were each given a nature scavenger hunt sheet. We travelled together across the green, behind the courthouse, and along the river in search of the items on our list while simultaneously collecting bark, dried plants, rocks, flowers, etc. for our fairy houses. We found birds, ants, a body of water, trees, butterflies, leaves, and other natural items before returning to school, running through a sprinkler behind the courthouse to cool off on the way.

we found a treesearching for items on the scavenger hunt listfound: dandilionswaiting to cross the roadrunning to the ice skating rinka rough rockcollecting dried plants for the fairy housesthe edge of the bankwe found some watera rushing riverwatching the water runlooking at the river from the rockfollowing the patha big leafa path through the bushestaking a breakblowing dandilionsrunning through the sprinklera little fairy house with a stone pathbuilding a fairy housetiny house for tiny peopleshowing off her fairy housea fairy house with a swimming poola fairy feastpreparing the area for the fairy housethe finished housethe fairy house

Insects were introduced. The children each selected an insect model/toy to study then shared observations about them. We noticed that insects have 6 legs, 3 body parts (head, thorax, abdomen), two antennae, and many have wings, some of which are hidden under wing casings.

There were ten in the bed and the little one said, "Roll Over! Roll Over!"an inchworm that looks like a lichen covered branchfinding insectswatching a june bug burrow into the groundobserving ants and an inchwormwatching beetles

We continued to rehearse for Woodland Stone Soup and did a partial dress rehearsal. We are hoping to record it as soon as all of our actresses and actors are feeling better and return to school.

all the beesthe raccoons gathered the ingredientsthe three raccoons built a fire

During Sign Language with Rose she told the story Llama, Llama, Time to Share. We learned some new signs, including Llama, gnu, share, doll, castle, and moat. We then took turns signing the alphabet and a corresponding sign, taking turns adding the next letter and sign as we went along. Rose signed “A” is for “apple” then the first child signed “A” is for “apple” and “B” is for “boy” then the next child signed “A” is for “apple” and “B” is for “boy” and “C” is for “cat,” etc.

Nelly GnusharesorryLlamashareE is for elephantH is for hatI is for icecream

We celebrated a fourth birthday with a girl born in the month of May in the season of spring, four orbits of the earth around the sun ago! She donated two super fun books that we loved reading and giggling with; Pete the Cat and the Cool Caterpillar, and Impatient Caterpillar, which was about a caterpillar that struggles to be patient metamorphosing into a butterfly.

Birthday girl

Susan continued lessons on the musical scale and high and low using bells, the glockenspiel (talking bells), and boom whackers. The children were given instruments in order of the C scale and played them to hear the progression, then Susan pointed at individuals to play their bells in a tune and we guessed what was played. They were then given either a bell or a boom whacker and they used the colors and letters on the instruments to pair up and play their corresponding notes at the same time. It was neat to hear the sounds each instrument made and how they matched.

longer is lowermatched upplaying together

Everyone gathered under the shade of the apple tree when Zeanny arrived for Spanish. They sang the body movement songs, and moved all around the playground in a line for “La Marcha.” Zeanny then shared a true story about when she was a little girl at her abuela’s house and the time she snuck out to taste the cocoa beans from the chocolate tree in the back yard, after being told “No lo comos!” (don’t eat it).

I spycomo estasIMG-1686 (2)orejasorejasun piernesLa Marchalistoswhat is in la caja magica?

Kindergarten students painted the fence through 150 days of school. It is hard to believe we have only 4 weeks of school left! They also cut, pasted, and labeled the pictures for their V and W pages of their alphabet books.

w wordswoodpecker, weaselV and W picturesviolets, vulture

We did a bit more work on our house and the children had lots of fun climbing up and enjoying the view from up above everyone else.

using the power drilladding stepssnacks for saleclimbing upbusy bikes and bakershanging outhigh, higher, highestrelaxingKing of the castlepeekon the ground floorenjoying the sunshinegirlsmuddy watersprinkling sanda messy kitchentoss with Michellefilling the water tankoutside lunch on a warm sunny dayfilling a bucket to cool some feetso cooltaking a turnhaving a soaka cool mistsprinklespetal showersshaking petalsa party for Michellea helping handpole vaultingboys in the bincollaborative cookingcreating water pipes and artweedingwatching a bird trying to get into Lyn's carthe dare devilboys in a treesnackingkayakingtaking a tunnel breakplay dough and art

Friday students revisited their learning and observations from last week with the bean seeds then did some planting with Michelle. They filled clear containers with soil, soaked them down, and planted some bean seeds that we will observe as they sprout and grow. They also planted some pumpkins and sunflowers in peat pots to transplant in our well tile bollards in front of the fence.

scooping soilmisting the soilpoking a hole for a bean seedgetting it wetspraying watercovering the seedpacking down the soil

We played a move like an insect game. The children took turns rolling either one or two dice. They then found the card that corresponded with the number or sum of the two numbers, turned it over and read it, and we all did the action on the card. They had fun fluttering like butterflies, crawling like ladybugs, carrying like ants, hopping like grasshoppers, pollinating like bees, and buzzing like flies. We will play again next week with the whole group.

crawling like ladybugsFlutter like a butterflyfluttering butterflieshop like a grasshopperbuzz like a fly