Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

10 April, 2021
by Lyn
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Sunshine and Fresh Air

Michelle taught us how to make tempera paint using egg yolks on Monday. Students took turns cracking an egg and separating the yolk from the albumen with their fingers. They then added some liquid water color to the yolks to create the colors they preferred, then got down to creating. When dried, their paintings were beautifully glossy.

catching the yolkgetting the fingers ready to strain out the yolkegg in the handMichelle catching the yolkadding purple to a yellow yolkbluegreenslimeycrackmaking orangegreen and pinkgreens and peachy pinkartistssplatterspinky purple and blue

The spring weather was so welcome after months of having to layer and tuck and protect all exposed skin. It was wonderful to just throw on a sweatshirt and sneakers and run outside. The bikes came out, including two new donated balance bikes, one from a former student and one from a current student. There was lots of make believe play, enjoying the feel of sand on bare feet in the sand box, cooking in the mud kitchen, kicking the soccer ball, pulling friends in the wagon, running, climbing, biking, and basketball.

examining dried leaves and flowersbalancingAll the little monkeys sitting in the tree, teasing all the alligators, "Can't catch me!"friendsa green and speckled frog jumping into the pondmixing uprockingbarefeetbikingwagonon the goburying feetsipping lemonadesitting with Susanwagon ridepumping up the ballsstaying hydratedplaying housecollecting small tree blocks

Henrietta, Wolfgang, and Tucker Turtle did some role playing around what to do when something happens that we do not like. Students used the puppets to act out some scenarios of social interactions that are hurtful or feel unkind. They acted out and we discussed what to do when someone takes something you are using, hurts you, or calls you a name.

During sign with Rose we reviewed some signs, then she introduced water signs in keeping with our study of the water cycle. She taught us water, river, stream, puddle, rain, snow, ocean, precipitation, evaporation, and condensation, then taught us how to sign our Water Cycle Song.

precipitationrainevaporationclouds

During Spanish with Zeanny we did our body moving and dancing songs, then played Pictionary. Students took turns drawing either a food item or a family member that we have learned, and the children guessed what was being drawn. Everyone loved the game and are looking forward to playing again another time.

dancingPictionarydrawingwho is this?what will he draw?What will she draw?

Thursday morning Mandy from Lancaster Floral Design and Garden Center brought three dump truck loads of soil. We enjoyed watching her dump the soil, then immediately got to work filling up the bollards and hauling sled loads into the yard to fill up all the dips, divots, and holes in the yard. It was hard work, as the soil was very dense and wet, but there were some determined shovelers.

dumping soilwatching the dump truckfilling the bollardsshoveling soildumping

By Friday everyone was pretty restless and just needing to get outside so after snack we headed out to enjoy the sunshine, postponing science to the end of the morning when we played a bird call game with those who wanted to participate. The children were partnered and together decided on their unique bird call. One partner was then blindfolded, and the other made the bird call. The blindfolded partner used their sense of hearing to carefully navigate toward their cawing, tweeting, hooting, or cooing partner.

2 April, 2021
by Lyn
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Scrambled

To continue our study of birds we read Reschenka’s Eggs by Patricia Polacco, then created dyes using a variety of food items. We used turmeric, blueberries, beets, spinach, and onion skins, boiled with 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon vinegar. The children colored designs on white eggs with white pastels, then we poked holes in each end and they carefully blew out the yolk and albumen. The children then chose the dye they wanted and let the egg sit in the dye for several minutes. We were surprised by the color the blueberries dyed the eggs – a light black, while the turmeric was a bright yellow, beets created a pink, and the onion skins an orangey brown. The spinach was a dull yellow, likely due to being old and frozen, not the pretty green we were hoping, so no one chose to test it out.

spinachadding watercutting beetsblowing out the yolkhere comes the albumenmaking the holesit feels gooeyblowing out the insideturmeric, beet, spinach, blueberry, onion skins

Spring fever, the full moon, and school burn out combined to ramp up energy and decrease focus, so we spent as much time outside as possible expending energy.

bootlessrakingleaf showershooting on goalprotecting the goalsoccer spectatorsscrubbing off the muda tasty sandwichplayremoving the dried mudcollecting stickssitting with Susanblocking off the mud pit so it dry upkick passbusythe audience watching the performanceconstructing the jail for the bad guyssticks for a friendwatchingconcoctionfrozen mudmaking teaup up upjoythe crew

During sign language Rose reviewed numbers 1-11 and taught us the teens, and how to count to 100 by 10’s. We learned days of the week and seasons, then the song “The Green Grass Grows All Around.” Wow, was that tricky to keep up with!!

signing with Rose13nest

During Spanish we did our body movement songs, practiced counting, sang the family song, then played the “Tu gusto” food game again. Zeanny introduced the fruits papaya (papaya), pine (pinapple), manzana (apple), fraise (strawberry), mango (mango), banano (banana), kiwi (kiwi), and sandia (watermelon). Everyone then chose an egg shaker by asking for the color they wanted and we followed the Spanish directions for how to move them.

La Marchamoving all the partstressandrialentoadelante

We celebrated two birthdays this week. One friend turned 4 early in the week and we shared that her birthday was in the month of March in the season of spring before she walked the Earth around the sun 4 times and was serenaded by the birthday song.

4 years old!

Our other birthday girl turned 6 at the end of the week. We waited to celebrated until lunch time after everyone got some energy out. She donated a wonderfully funny book called Dragons Love Tacos, which the children enjoyed. The newest six year old shared that she was born in April in the season of spring. She walked the Earth very quickly around the sun while we rapidly named the seasons and counted her birthdays.

birthday girl6 in sign language

Kindergarten students have been finishing up another section of their letter books with Susan.

M and N wordslabeling the L picturesnewt and nuthatchcaterpillartracing North Americafishing for a 3cut foam collagespink, purple, and brown

Friday students did more work with eggs. We read the book What’s In That Egg? and talked about all the animals that hatch/emerge from eggs. We then talked about what we learned last week about eggs – the shape of their shells make them very break resistant when put under pressure, but if you hit it on the ground or tap it on something, it will crack and break open. We predicted whether an egg dropped from way up high would break open on the floor. Did it? YES! We then put an egg in a box and dropped it from way up high. Did it break? NO! So we tested it in another box from even higher. Did it break? YES! The children then discussed how to work together as a team and were assigned partners to work with to design a way to drop an egg from way up high and keep it from breaking. Each team chose a box and some materials to package their egg to keep it safe. When everyone was done, the teams decided which order their members would drop their cushioned eggs, then we did the drop test, making sure everyone had a turn.

SPLAT!way up highdropdidn't breakreally highCRACK!tape and toilet paperbox and paper towelscushioned in the boxstill workingwell cushionedso much paddinggetting ready to teston threebreak checkDrop twofallingDid they survive this one?third dropand their downfinal testIntact!

26 March, 2021
by Lyn
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Mud Monsters

It's SPRING!

We took a brief in building field trip Monday morning to view the beautiful stained glass windows throughout the chapel, hallway, and gathering hall upstairs. The children noticed the patterns and pictures made of colored glass and pointed to their favorites. Some of us had many favorites! We then returned to the classroom where we made our own stain glass windows using colored cellophane. They cut out shapes and assembled them into pictures and patterns then laminated them. We now have our very own stain glass windows.

headed up on our field triplooking at the windowsstain glass windowpointing to our favoritesreda flowerpurplecutting shapesgreen circle and blue rectanglesreds, blues, and purplespurple flower, red heartcarefully placing colorsheartsblueslaminatingour stain glass windows

We celebrated the birthday of our newest four year old, who shared her special day with the arrival of spring, though her favorite season is fall. In honor of her favorite season she donated a fall themed leaf hunt book that we enjoyed reading. She then recruited a friend to join her to help share her birthday facts before walking around the sun four times. Happy birthday, birthday girl!

4 years oldbirthday girl orbiting the sun

We practiced a fire drill using the secondary evacuation route through the storage room, back hallway, up the stairs, and out the front of the church and back around to the play area. Everyone did really well staying together and being safe.

all lined up to practice our emergency exitout we go

We have been singing lots of water songs as we explore water and the water cycle and the flow of water around the earth. We read several stories about the water cycle, including All the Water in the World and Water Is Water. We used our water cycle mat as a visual to see how water flows around the earth. The children shared what they noticed, including clouds, mountains, snow, rain, grass, rivers, trees, ocean, desert, roots, lakes, soil and an underground aquifer. The children then shared how the water falls to the earth as precipitation in the form of rain or snow, and we added arrows to show that on the mat. They pointed out how it flows down the mountain, filters through the soil, collects underground, and flows to the ocean then evaporates from the ocean, lakes, rivers, and plants back up to form clouds.

The World is All Covered With WaterWhere does the water go?

Susan introduced a globe passing game, where we toss up the globe and catch it with two hands, then share where each hand landed – land, water, or land and water.

land and waterlandland wand waterwater

During sign language Rose introduced signs that are formed using the first letter of the word and a motion. She showed us several signs for each letter of the alphabet, many that are already familiar and some that were new. The only X sign that uses the beginning letter x she could think of was xerox.

A auntB brownC cloudsD dearD doctorE elevatorH horseI ideaJ juiceK kite

We were visited by Henrietta and Wolfgang, who talked to us about times when someone has done something that we did not like. We read a silly story called We Don’t Eat Our Classmates about a dinosaur who keeps eating and trying to eat all the children in her class. The children then took turns sharing about an experience when someone did something they did not like. They did really well remembering to say “someone” instead of a name! We talked a bit about “on accident” and “on purpose/deliberate” but this is a hard concept to really understand or interpret. We did an activity where the children took turns squeezing toothpaste out of a tube into a little dish every time someone shared something that someone did that they did not like. We then tore and wrinkled up a paper when different unkind actions were described. Students then volunteered to get all the toothpaste back into the tube, and get the paper back to its’ original smooth, flawless condition. They worked so hard and made some really excellent progress! We discussed the steps we can take to apologize when we do something someone does not like, but we also want to try hard not to do it in the first place because even with an apology you can not take back a mean name or a hit or kick.

put the toothpaste in heresomeone pushed mesomeone called me a namesomeone didn't let me playsomeone threw mud at mefixing the paper and getting the toothpaste back in the tube

During Spanish with Zeanny we did our body movement songs then we played a game. Zeanny drew a type of food and sang a song, asking us if we like that food ‘ “Tu gusta manzana (apple)?” We then responded “si, mi gusta” or “no, mi gusta.” We tried to guess what she was drawing by what color marker she used and we got several right, but she tricked us with some.

tristeojosmarchingmoving all the partssi mi gusta

During kindergarten the children painted ten beans. They chose two colors, one for each side, then when dry used them to do some addition and subtraction work. They numbered the pickets through this upcoming Monday, which will be the 120th day of school, and continued their number patterns, drawing circles, squares, underlining, etc. with different colors if the numbers were multiples of 2, 3, 4, etc.

painting the 120 orange as a multiple of 10underlining in redpainting beansmath beans5 beansblue manmaking violetnumber writing workLegosplay doughhugs for Henrietta, Tucker, and Wolfgang

The final remnants of ground ice melted, leaving behind a lovely thick layer of wondrously goopy mud, which sucked in all the mud monsters who dared to approach. With the arrival of the warm temperatures we spent as much time outside as possible, including lunch one day.

scooping mudclimbingpainting with waterwater designspot of mudnaptimemud stewup and overmuddy sandcollecting the icecollecting sandbucket O mudscoops of mudsmoothie timeblueberry, peach, and mango smoothiewater artfilling up the buckettruly a mud kitchenriding the trainwater on woodthe new class petmud cakemuddinsisters and cousinsstump walkingdigging to Chinawhat a lovely mud mustache you have, my dearstuck in the mudhead to toe mudMud MONSTERScollecting the last of the ice to dump over the fenceoutside lunchstuck in the muckglorious mudreflectionmixingbuckets and pailsgetting ready to play in the mudthe first class petburied in mudhave a seatsitting in the seatexaminingstepbalancesnuggles for the babymud dripswatching the traffic pass by

Friday students continued their study of birds by watching recorded readings of A Nest Full of Eggs and An Egg is Quiet. We then did some egg experimenting. How strong do you have to be to break an egg? Well, we tried walking on two dozen eggs, and couldn’t break a single one. We then tried squeezing them as hard as we could, and still couldn’t break them by pushing on the ends, so we tried squeezing the short way, and still couldn’t break them. Finally they got a little assistance making a crack on the edge of the bin, then we were able to break them.

standing on eggs
stepping up
making sure no egg gets on her pants
balancing on eggs
Not even Michelle was strong enough to break them!
squeezing
pushing so hard
using all her strength
trying to break open an egg
finally cracked them open

19 March, 2021
by Lyn
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Last Days of Winter

The children dropped ink on water then slowly pulled a stick through it to create swirls before gently placing paper on top to soak up the pattern to make marbled paper for art on Monday.

soaking up the inkmarbled paperredgreen and redfloating ink on waterrefilling the water pansswirlingsqueezing ink dropsyellow, black, and blue swirlsblack, blue, and yellowswirling the inkpulling the red through the yellowblue, green, and reddrops of blue and red

Henrietta and Tucker Turtle visited to act out an actual event and share what they learned about the thoughts in our heads. Tucker was standing and thinking about what he wanted to choose for work, when Henrietta, who was dancing with her fabulous dancing legs, bumped into him and just kept on dancing. Tucker started to think some negative thoughts about how mean Henrietta was and how she wasn’t his friend anymore. The children discussed what Henrietta was likely thinking, and they agreed that she was thinking about dancing and probably didn’t even realize she had bumped Tucker. We discussed that we have the control over our thoughts in our heads and rather than letting negative thoughts snowball, we can stop and think positive thoughts, and we shared some ideas of positive thoughts Tucker could have instead of thinking Henrietta was being mean.

During Sign language with Rose, we practiced the opposite words we learned last week, and learned some more opposites. We learned want & don’t want, know & don’t know, like & don’t like, in & out, and open & closed, which we sign differently depending on what we are talking about – box, door, window, or eyes. We then signed and sang the song “Make New Friends.” We are getting better with keeping up with Rose!

sillyseriousknowdon't knowwantdon't wantlikedon't likeinoutclosed (box)open (box)closed (door)open (window)open (eyes)

We read some books about water and made up some additional verses to “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” changing the location from a stream to a river, pond, lake, and ocean. We had to be pretty creative with our rhyming and it could get quite treacherous, but we made sure to keep our life jackets on in case we fell out. To set a foundation for our study of water we brainstormed a big list of water words using the prompts, “What did you use water for today?” and “What are some bodies of water?” The children named so many uses for water, including bathing, cleaning, drinking, washing hands, brushing teeth, going to the bathroom, etc. and lots of bodies of water including creeks, streams, rivers, pools, ponds, puddles, lakes, and oceans and types of water such as ice, snow, and rain.

building wordscounting knots, alphabetizingfish life cyclesnowmachinecoloring and cuttingfishingLEGO housewriting workIMG_5870 (2)Goose!alphabet BINGOmore LEGOSletter booksback to hammeringalphabet puzzlepink tower and brown stairsfollowing the patterncolor mixingstrong boystrong girlgoing for a ride with Ianrefilling the droppersLEGOSnumber beadsanimal picturescolorful

Henrietta made another visit, but with Wolfgang this time. They also did a little role play based on true events. Wolfgang was digging in the sandbox and Henrietta asked him to play but he said “No, thank you” because he wanted to dig. Henrietta thought Wolfgang didn’t like her anymore and didn’t want to be her friend, but the children helped her change her thinking to realize that he did like her, he just didn’t want to play what she was playing. Sometimes it is hard to change the narrative in our heads, but with some practice we can stop the negative thoughts and begin to think positive thoughts.

We had a lot of fun enjoying the last days of winter playing in the mud and water from the melting snow and ice!

happyfill it uppouring water in the cupdigging out the boardsmixing up some muddy dishesice and snow mealsMUD!chopping up ice to extract stumpsdigging rocksstirringtaste testpouring mud soupleapinga muddy mealWhat would you like?digging up ingredientswriting in snow with sticksbalancingfeeling the water over the icewater paintingpouring out muddy waterscooping up the brown watershoveling water into a bucketusing a board to trap the ice and drain the watermud marchingmuddin seasonbowls of soupscooping from the water holeIt's going to be a big splashReady, set, jumpcollecting mud