Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

16 January, 2021
by Lyn

Animals in Winter

As winter arrives, all living things adjust and adapt to the changes in daylight and weather. In the fall we studied how plants adjust and change and are now delving into how we as people and the animals around us adapt. We are making up a song to help us share our learning, called “What do we do when winter comes?”


For art on Monday the children used pastels to color on a paper, then flipped that paper over and drew on the back, transferring the pastel onto a second piece of paper, leaving the imprint behind.

pastel transfercolorfuldrawinglots of colorflowers and firetrucksa brown moosea big black mountain

We celebrated a sixth birthday with the newest birthday girl, who celebrated at home last month. She told us she was born in the month of December, in the season of fall (almost winter), and then she orbited the sun 6 times while we counted out the years. Happy Birthday 6 year old!

birthday girlcounting up to six

What do we do when winter comes?

What do we do when winter comes?

What do we do when winter comes

When the cold and snow arrive?

We put on layers to keep us warm

We put on layers to keep us warm

We put on layers to keep us warm

When the cold and snow arrive.

camp fireHighlights magazinefriendsbuilding up the snowatop the wallall piled on to go for a ridebrushing off the snowtipping back and forthsnow drawingcatching snowflakesexamining snowflakesmaking sand and snow cakewrestling girlsa sand castleknocking the snow off the roofteamworkpushstrawberry cakefriends chattingrelaxing togetherthe beginnings of a sledding hillshoveling out the fortsnow playdigging outstanding on the tunnelworking as a team to move a heavy loadcreating a snowplow out of snowchillinwinter gamesburriedpacked the bin with snow then snuggled inthe dragon is restinggang of girlsdrawing with a stickup and overmaking a "fire" with Laurawarming her hands by the firea baker at workcooks in the kitchen

We discussed what happens to animals during hibernation. Their heart beats reduce to 4 or less beats per minute, for some stopping all together, and their breaths also reduce or stop. Frogs burrow down into the mud and freeze, ice crystals forming in their blood, then thaw again in spring. We learned that there are true hibernators, such as frogs, but many hibernators actually go into a state of torpor, where they will wake up several times during the winter to eat and expel waste. Bears are not true hibernators. They go into torpor.

What do bears do when winter comes?

What do bears do when winter comes?

What do bears do when winter comes

When the cold and snow arrive?

They eat lots of food to store up energy.

Find a den and snuggle us safely.

Go into a state of torpor

When the cold and snow arrive.

We played animal charades. The children chose an animal, acted it out, and answered questions others asked to help them make an educated guess, such as What color(s) are you? What do you eat? Do you have hair or fur? We saw a tiger, a bear, a unicorn, a cat, some bobcats, and several other animals.

a spider friendopposites matchwriting and letter practicesnow doughnumber puzzleletter sound drawer items that start with /s/knexmagnatile structureslavender circlepaintingbrown stairs balancing with pink tower cubes pulled out

The narrators practiced their lines for Woodland Stone Soup.

Practicing narrating

During sign language with Rose, after practicing our letters and “The More We Get Together” we learned the signs for all the animals in Woodland Stone Soup. We learned raccoon, chipmunk, mouse, groundhog, chickadee, woodpecker, bee, bear, (deer to introduce moose), moose, rabbit and fox (which wasn’t in our story but we wanted to know anyway). Ask your child to show you how to make some of these signs.

leading sign languagedchipmunkmousedeer to moosebearrabbit

Susan showed the children how different animals move and walk, and everyone had fun flying like birds, waddling like raccoons, galloping like hares, bounding like frogs, and walking like deer.

flying like birdswaddling like raccoonsbounding like frogsgalloping like a harewalking like deer

Kindergarteners had a busy week learning the letter Ii, which they made out of ice, and will begin building an Inuit Igloo out of ice blocks next week. They used little icicle pieces to make winter fairy houses. They had several days to add to their fence timeline and for the 70th day they did lots of skip counting and addition work, using and working on the patterns they are learning.

Iibuilding with iceputting pieces togethericicle house

During remote schooling on Friday, children learned all about chipmunks and how they dig out burrows with lots of rooms, just like our houses. They have a kitchen where they store their food, a bedroom where they sleep, called a nest, and even a bathroom where they expel waste. They played some chipmunk games where they gathered up food then charted and compared what they collected, and they designed their own chipmunk burrows.

19 December, 2020
by Lyn

The Longest Night

climbing over and under

As the winter solstice approaches, the days are getting shorter and colder. We turned off the lights and used a flashlight to shine through the pages of a story to see where different animals go in the winter. We introduced the shadow puppet theater then Monday students drew, cut out, and attached their own shadow puppets to sticks, then used them in the theater. They continued to create and play with shadow puppets throughout the week.

princes and monstersshadow puppetthe princesscutting outthe princess on the hillshadow puppet theater

The children continued working on their costumes for Woodland Stone Soup, which will be delayed until after break. There were lots of buzzing bees and animal adventures to give the costumes a trial run.

cutting bear earsbee shirtsbuzzing beesa downy woodpeckera little mousefour rabbit ears!?three stripes for a three year old bee

During sign with Rose we practiced the ABC’s and our sign names, as well as our song The More We Get Together. Rose then introduced some seasonal signs, including snow, skiing, sledding, Merry Christmas, winter, and cold.


The kindergarten students did some number rod work. First they built all the numbers from 1-20 using the 10 rod and 1’s, recording their work by tracing the rod and 1 cubes then writing the corresponding number. They also used the number rods to do 5 addition work. They were each given a sheet with five tracings of a 5 rod, then tasked with building 5 equations and recording the number sentence.

building numbers12, 13, 14what makes five?sums of 53+2=5coloring in the 22+2+1=5

Pajama day was lots of fun with many activities to choose from. Children made snowflakes using pipecleaners and beads. They created then repeated the pattern for each of the 6 snowflake branches, making it symmetrical.

snowflake patternsmaking a patternputting on the beads

They had fun building and playing under the big tent and in the box forts. And dancing like ballerinas in the Nutcracker just like Lyn’s niece, Hannah.

putting up the tenthelping put up the tentLlama, Llama, Holiday Dramabalancing on her toe shoesballet dancersdance movesjust like a real ballerinabox villagehiding in the box fortscrawling out of the cavegoing instory time

They created some snowy snowman pictures.

a big snowmansnowman artsnowman in the snowart

And they did some festive winter holiday stamping.

stampinga forest under the night sky

We celebrated a fourth birthday with the smiling birthday girl. She donated one of her favorite stories, Llama, Llama, Holiday Drama, which we enjoyed reading before she walked the globe around the sun four times. Happy Birthday newest four year old!

4 years old!

The children found lots of fun ways to spend their indoor and outdoor time this week. Thank you to Rose for the new big blue sled, which was a very popular new tool in our snowy yard.

two brushesthe fire bridgescooping snowchipping awayexamining a leafcooking togethera sled full of ingredientspeek-a-boowatching the Calco cranedeliveryplacing it just righta frozen wormMr. Bear, Are You Awake?snow doughtumble timedoing crazy trickspink toweranimal bookthe circle of lifeup and oversled trainbench slidepartner slidingall lined up to godriving the flatbedanimal basketschopping frozen pumpkinfollowing the leaderpullinghow to get the pumpkinbuilding a fireanother big righard workeating snow? Not us!sleds and shovelsteamworkbirthday cakepullinga sledding hillmixing up some movie theater snacksSanta chasing after his sleighflatbed truckcleaning up all the paint dropsnumber puzzlecloud nomenclaturedriving the flatbedcounting applesmatching bead bars to their numbers

Friday students read, talked about, and acted out what different animals do in the winter. They migrated south as birds, munched on berries, grubs, grasses and nuts to fatten up for winter then went to sleep as bears, and they hopped to the best spot at the bottom of the pond to hibernate as frogs. We learned about adaptation, the way snowshoe hares and some other animals will shed their coats of brown hair from the summer and fall and grow in white hair for the winter so they continue to blend into their surroundings. The children then looked around the classroom to see what colors would be good camouflage for our environment then colored some hares to blend in. The children hid their hares around the room in places they would be difficult to spot, then they went on the hunt as foxes and coyotes. As predators they used their eyes to search out and “eat” hidden prey.

birds migrating southbears foraging for food to fatten up for winterrabbits adapting to their environmenta black rabbitWhere will that rainbow rabbit hide?green, red, and purple rabbitcutting out the brown rabbitsbrown will blend well in our classroomcutting out the rabbitsblack rabbit on black pantsWhere will the purple rabbits go?camouflage rabbitson the huntsearching for prey

11 December, 2020
by Lyn

Snowy Quarantine

Our week at home while we awaited test results was busy with remote learning. We had fun singing songs and reading stories on our morning zooms, then using those stories to do activities throughout each day.

Monday we read The Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett, which initiated some gingerbread baby creation activities. Some families made gingerbread houses and gingerbread cookies, which they shared on our zoom.

gingerbread baby on the treegingerbread girl in a matching blue dressadding buttons and paper to the gingerbread babypurple, red, black, green and yellow gingerbread babyadding blue pom pomsa little more glueall ready to hang on the treerolling out gingerbreadThese won't run away!!building a gingerbread housemasterpiecesdecorating the houseadding detailsall finished!decorating gingerbread babiesa purple, red, green and white gingerbread housepainting cookiesa beautiful sparkly bird cookieLetter to the Gingerbread baby

Children made color monsters by blowing paints into shapes and describing which emotions they represented and what made them feel that way.

making emotions monstersblowing paintHappy Monsterwhat makes me happyHappy monsterssad, happy, scaredblowing orangeorange monster

There was lots of outdoor play like the Six Snowy Sheep who engaged in fun snowy activities, and plans for how to spend a snow day, like Geraldine in Geraldine’s Big Snow.

a snowy day hikepulling little sister on the sledsnowball number game4 snowballssnowy day activitiesa snowy day adventurehard at work with Pasnow angelup on the snowpiledeep snow for angelsall the sisters in the snowsleddingjumping in the snowall ready to go!Wooosh!down the hillsnowmobilingoff she goeswhat fun in the snowvery tall snowmanriding the snowmobile into a pile of snowballs while the snowman watches in the backgroundMy family as snowmen under a snowy sky with a snow igloo and a hammocka sled full of snowI would build a snowman and go sleddingmaking snowflakesa small snowmanbuilding a snowman01taking sister for a ride

And some fun indoor activities . . . including Thank Yous to CLiF for the presentation and books.

Thank you to CLiFpaintingBINGOConnect 4bundled up in sleeping bags to watch a showdecorating the treehanging an ornament

The kindergarten students did some 10’s and 1’s math work.

counting groups of 106 cups of 10 fruit loops and 2 more makes 626 bundles of 10 popsicle sticks and 2 moregroups of 10 to make 6242

Tacky the Penguin inspired some penguin activities.

coloring her penguinadding some yellowa happy letter eating penguinAll finished

4 December, 2020
by Lyn



Stacey Zemla, a parent and art teacher at WMRHS, introduced an ornament art project to Monday students. She gave each child an ornament outline for them to draw on with black pastel. The plan was for their artwork to be turned into a wooden ornament cut by a saw that reads the pixels, cutting away any white space that remained. The children enjoyed making their ornaments, but we discovered their art was a bit more involved than the machine could read, so we are switching gears and doing a top secret gift project instead.

heart ornamentexamining the ornamentcircles on sticksselecting an outlineheart

We celebrated a fifth birthday on Monday with our newest five year old. She quickly orbited the big red sun with the globe while we listed seasons and counted years, then smiled through the serenade of Happy Birthday. She donated a beautiful book, Over and Under the Snow, which we read together, finding all the hidden animals in the forest. Happy fifth birthday, collector of tiny things and observer of all things small and wondrous!

5 years old!

We introduced the format of the Woodland Stone Soup performance and began by practicing and recording the first four songs. They are all very familiar songs, and the children very enthusiastically and cooperatively lined up and sang them while being recorded. We were grateful for the unseasonably warm day that allowed us to take the time to practice and record.

lining up to practice

The children began working on their costumes, which so far consist of animal ear headbands. They drew, cut, and attached the ears, using photographs of the animals they are being to determine shape, color, and size.

stacking animalsthree layer cakesandboxmatching words to picturesice pieAre they the same height?cake making teamworka full bucketthe fairy performancesawing logsstick writingLittle Bunny Foo Foo hopping through the forestthe first stage of a forttrenches and mountainsDragon chasecake with a candlerunning group timebalancingRow, row, row, row, rowRow your pirate shipIf you walk down the plankYou might go for a dip! KERSPLASH!Mr. Bear are you a awake?Running from Mr. Bearscraping out the drippingsworking togetherAll the little monkeys sitting in the tree, teasing all the alligators, "Can't catch me!"Along comes an alligator, jaws open wide! SNAP goes a monkey, deep inside!afternoon quiet workmoose hunterscamouflaging their electric gunsorting rocksworking in the fortchopping the wood with the standing sawmuddy handprints on the treemaking a big trenchmud100 boarda painting for Lyndrawingworking on the computerin need of snugglessitting on the big stumpmud pies, cakes, and sandwichespictures

There have been some exceptional feats of engineering this week in the outdoor block and rock area!

the doorwaytriangleslifting the bucket with her lifting toolAdding detailanother vehiclesnow plowthe logging truck (notice the logs in the back)What will this be?

During sign language with Rose, we read her fingers as she spelled out the names of the children and we identified whose name she was spelling. Some of the students have become quite adept at identifying many of the letters and using them to determine who Rose is addressing. We also practiced name signs, the alphabet, numbers through 11, and we rehearsed signing The More We Get Together, which we are working on for our winter performance.

awhose name is she signing?8happiertogether

We read The Color Monster, a story about a monster whose emotions are all mixed up, so a little girl helps him sort and identify each one. We used our faces and bodies to demonstrate how our bodies show our emotions and talked about different strategies we can use to manage our strong emotions, such as walking away, taking deep breaths, getting a hug, taking a break, etc. We used our strategies in the song If You’re Happy and You Know It to help practice and remember them.

surprisedMr. Happy trying to be angry

We said our Good-byes to Tammy on Thursday, and the children gave her cards that they made. They shared memories of Tammy and what they liked doing with her. Some of their memories were playing outside with her, their late afternoons together, and doing the bead chains. Some alumni students who are now 13 and 11 sent some recollections to share as well. After 11 years, it is hard to say good-bye. We wish her all the best as she moves on!

making cards for TammyThank you for TammyGoodbye, Tammya flower and some picturesThank you hugsa picture I made for youGoodbyes

Kindergarten students continued work on their letter books, counting by 5’s and 10’s as they celebrated the 60th day of school.

fox, fawn, fernfinding words10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50brown bear habitat

Friday students sang some winter songs and discussed some holidays that are celebrated in December. We began exploring earth, soil, and rocks. We discussed how soil is made by dead plants and animals and what happens when it builds up in layers, pressing down and compacting the detritus beneath into layers of rock. We examined and sorted some beautiful rocks, admiring their colors, shapes, and textures.

sorting rocks