Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

1 June, 2019
by Lyn
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Being Me

Children were speeding all around as quickly as they could, playing chase, scooting bikes, pulling wagons, pedaling, pushing trucks, and hopping on balls.  It was very busy!  The crab apple tree finally blossomed, so the petals were collected for potions and stews and other concoctions. Susan shook the branches while children stood underneath for a petal shower.  The regular rain showers have made water play an almost daily option.  It is scooped out of puddles and collected in buckets and sleds and transferred for a variety of uses. 

Our theme of the week has been knowing and appreciating ourselves.  We read and discussed many stories and their themes and messages, including The Paper Bag Princess, Whoever You Are, Dandilion, Ferdinand, Can You Catch a Mermaid?, The Ant and the Elephant, and The Lion and the Mouse.  We discussed being ourselves and not worrying about what others think or expect, being kind, making poor choices and how to amend for them, being grateful, recognizing our value, and being persistent.

Each child made an end of year self-portrait, which will be displayed at the end of year performance next to their beginning of the year self-portraits.

We continued to rehearse our plays and songs for the end of year performance.  The audience was asked to provide feedback about things that went well during The Little Engine That Could, and there were some very insightful comments shared, such as how the performers remembered to face the audience, the train stayed together, and some of the children spoke loudly and clearly.

The children worked with Mr. Bond to attach the tops of their bird houses, the final piece.  They were all sent home to hang for a bird family to visit and nest in.  We are so tremendously grateful to Mr. Bond, who volunteered all of his time and expertise to come in every Wednesday to teach the children and work with them to create several wonderful projects.  Mr. Bond not only volunteered his time, but also planned and designed all the projects, and purchased and prepared all materials to construct them.  We cannot thank him enough for his generosity!

Friday students continued their study of birds with a lesson and experiments on camouflage.  We watched a video explaining how animals use camouflage, and a second about camouflage insects.  We did an experiment with M&M’s and skittles.  There were 5 stations set up, each with a plate of same colored M&M’s and skittles.  The children used their “beaks” to grab up only the S “insects” that were camouflaged among the same colored Ms.  After each team spent 15 seconds at each station, we sorted, counted, and compared how many of each color was collected.  They discovered that the highest number collected was purple, which they determined was due to the purple Ss being hidden in brown Ms.  The lowest number collected was yellow, which they determined was because the yellow colors matched exactly (some of the other colors were a shade lighter or darker) and the letters on them were white, which were more noticeable on the dark colors, and less visible on the yellow.  Later in the morning some of the children colored some moths, which they then hid around the classroom on items where they would be camouflaged, and the other students hunted for and “ate” them.

24 May, 2019
by Lyn
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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

With a few new toys from the yard sale donations, including some trucks, bikes, and a wagon, the children have been racing and zooming and pulling around the yard.   

Monday students read some books about rocks, including Petra, about a rock that pretends to be different things until it is picked up by a child and decorated to look like an elephant.  The children each selected a rock that was just the right shape and size for their needs, located the colors they loved best, and proceeded to paint their own rocks.

Most everyone was excited for our final visit from Believe in Books with Katie, A.O., and their friend Curious George.  A.O. read a story about George visiting a chocolate factory, which was as entertaining as usual.  Everyone then greeted Curious George with a hug, high five, wave, or fist bump, then chose a book from a wide selection to take home for their very own.  Thank you to Believe in Books for all their wonderful visits and gifts of books this year!

Wednesday was the big field trip of the year.  After 15 weeks of collecting recyclables and tracking our trash and paper towel waste, it was finally time to take it to the transfer station to drop off and have a tour.  We had lots of families join us for our very informative visit with the Transfer Station director Dennis Patnoe!  Dennis first took us to the metal, plastic, and glass recycling area.  The children had a great time sorting and throwing all the recyclables into the correct locations.  We got to see the glass put into the chute and hear the glass grinder chopping up the glass into small pieces.  We learned that all the #5 plastics are taken to a plant in Northumberland where they are turned into fuel, and Dennis said that anyone, even non-Lancaster residents, are welcome to bring their #5 plastics to the Lancaster transfer station (good news for us VT residents)!  After sorting our recyclables, we checked out the big pit where trash is thrown, which was very large and deep.  We then saw where metals are left and items that are left for others who may be interested in reusing them, such as doors, shelves, chairs, etc.  Next we went out back behind the recycling sort to see where all those recyclables go.  We saw a large cube of crushed aluminum, and big piles of tin and plastics.  We also saw a big stack of plastic and steel barrels, which Dennis said anyone is welcome to take for free.  He pointed out the solar panels, the large hill of crushed glass, which is used under culverts and sidewalks because it does not freeze (and is also free to anyone in the public who may have need of crushed glass), and the giant pile of brush that will be burned.  We checked out a spot where crushed glass was used to fill in a large hole, then proceeded to the recycling storage areas.  We saw boxes of TVs waiting to be picked up and recycled and where clothes can be dropped off to be recycled/reused.  We then got to see the cardboard crusher in action and saw a 2500lb cube of crushed corrugated cardboard, which will be sold for recycling.  We also saw the crushers for low grade paper and newspaper.  We learned that newspaper will be recycled into mdf board, and low grade paper is turned into paper towel tubes, etc.  The office paper is collected and sold for recycling into new paper.  Dennis sent coloring books and water cycle posters home for everyone.  It was such an informative visit!  When we returned to school we made Thank You cards for Dennis, which we will send off next week.

On Thursday morning for health with Zeanny, we joined Bridget outside to do some planting in our garden.  Wednesday morning Bridget had topped off our garden bed with nice rich compost from her farm.  She brought corn seedlings and pole bean seeds to plant together.  Working in groups of 5, the children each planted a corn seedling and a bean seed next to each other.  Bridget explained that the pole beans would wrap up and around the corn stalks, and in the fall we should have some nice fresh corn to eat.  Zeanny will be sending home a letter for families to sign up to spend a week tending to the garden over the summer for anyone interested.

The children have continued to practice their plays for the last day performance, and The Little Red Hen crew did a run through for the group on Thursday.  We were all appropriately impressed!

Friday students continued their study of birds.  We read and talked about bird beaks and how different birds have different beaks that are just right for the type of food they eat.  Hummingbirds birds have long suctioning beaks for drinking nectar.  Seed eating birds have short strong beaks for cracking open seeds.  Great Blue Herons have beaks for spearing and grabbing fish.  Raptors, such as osprey and eagles, have beaks that tear and rip flesh.  Robins and other worm eating birds have pointy beaks for digging down and grabbing worms.  And ducks and other water birds have broad, strainer like beaks for scooping up small plants and animals.  We did an experiment where we used different tools that represented different beaks, and tested them out to see which beaks were best for eating different foods.  They figured them all out pretty quickly, but had fun experimenting anyway!

17 May, 2019
by Lyn
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Soaring

We have been making the best of the cool, cloudy days, spending as much time outside as possible.  The children have been actively engaged digging, running, pretending, hopping, pedaling, chasing, driving, investigating, kicking, pulling, balancing, climbing, jumping, and exploring.

wormson the stumpall dressed upworkingsleeping timehopping girltruck raceshome sweet homewheelsbalancingshadespullingbusy kidsin the tunnelthe biker gang

Monday students read about the painter Jackson Pollock, who made enormous dribble and splatter paintings in his old barn using house paint.  We did Pollockesque painting outside, dripping and splattering paint on large pieces of paper.  red splatters
pink and purple
splash
dribble
splat
driporange

The kindergarten students began work on graphing the recycling collected over the past 15 weeks of school.  They will present their findings on the last day during the Performance/Kindergarten graduation.  We are preparing for our field trip to the transfer station next Wednesday, when we will take all the recyclables to drop off.

sorting and counting recyclablesgathering information from the recyclables chartsmaking a line graphgraphingcounting and graphinggluing the background paper to the graphchecking the bar graphcoloring, cutting, & tapingplay dough & magnetsafternoon workhow many decorations on the tree?busy restaurantplay doughalphabet go fishlight to darkknot counting ropesreading his geology book100 boardmorning workgreen spotswork with Susanplay doughblock towerspaintingalphabet bingonumber scrollsaddition & pin punchingprincess puzzleusing the allen wrenchunderneath the streetnumber workmarble sortingnumber writing & addition workRivers Roads and Railsmagnetscutting

The children continued to rehearse and prepare for our performance, singing the songs, painting the trains for the Little Engine That Could, and finalizing the scripts for the two plays.

paintingpreparing for The Little Red Henpainting engines & the red cabooseThe shiny new enginereviewing The Little Engine That Couldspectators observing the Little Engine that Could rehearsal

We celebrated three birthdays this week, a fifth birthday and two fourth birthdays!  Each birthday girl brought a special birthday treat to share.  The five-year old brought white cupcakes with blue sprinkled frosting, one four-year old brought fruit cups, and the other brought pink frosted cupcakes.  All the birthday girls orbited the sun with the globe while we counted out their years.  Happy birthday friends!

birthday girlorbiting the sun 4 times
5 years old

yummy fruit!
blue sprinkle cupcakescupcakes and fruitorbiting the sun four times with mom and sister

We read The Man Who Didn’t Wash His Dishes, and recalled the story from last week, Keeping House, about cleaning up.  We talked about spring cleaning, and what that entails, such as washing windows we were unable to wash all winter, and opening them up to air out the house.  We learned that a long time ago, before vacuums, spring cleaning meant taking out the rugs that had only been swept all winter and beating out the dirt.  The children were very excited to get busy cleaning.  They removed items from the shelves and wiped them down, stacked up books from the book case and dusted it out, scrubbed the walls, chairs, floors, chalk boards, easel, and cubbies. 

scrubbing down the chalk boardcleaning inside the quiet housewiping off paintwashing the shelfscrubbing upcleaning the cubbies

The children attached the front of their bird houses with Mr. Bond, working hard to screw in the four screws to hold it on.

drilling out the entrance

tightening

turning

first screw

righty tighty

last screwWe transplanted our bean plants into peat pots to take home. The children added some soil, then we gently placed their seedlings into the pots before patting more soil around them and giving them some water to drink.the bean is growing
transplantingsee my bean
beans
writing his name
adding soil
patting down the soil

We had a special visitor on Thursday.  Nancy Gray came to read several stories to us.  She began with Corduroy by Don Freeman, then Cat in the Hat, Caps for Sale, The Hat, and Cows in Paris.  The children really enjoyed listening to her stories. Thank you, Nancy!

CorduroyCaps for Salestories

Friday students did some bird nest studies.  First we read a couple of stories, Nest and Mama Built a Little Nest, then we watched two videos of birds building nests, first a weaver bird, who weaves stalks of grass together to form a pouch for his mate, then a robin, who collects grasses, mud, etc., pushing it out and smoothing it round with its’ feet.  We then examined a robin’s nest with an egg in it that had fallen in Lyn’s barn and the egg got a crack.  We observed that it was made with grasses, birch bark, string, small sticks, and mud, which helped to stick it to the wall to keep from falling.  We then went out and collected sticks to build our own giant nest.  Finally we played a bird call game.  The children formed pairs or triads and came up with a bird call for their group.  One or two birds were then blindfolded, and the other partner ran to hide on the playground.  The bird that was hiding made their bird call, and the blindfolded partner(s) identified their bird call and slowly walked toward the sound until they located their partner.  It was a bit tricky, but lots of fun!

forming a circleassembling sticksbuilding the nestbirds in the nestwhere are you?listening and following their bird callsfound her bird partnerthe bird on her egg

10 May, 2019
by Lyn
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Chasing Spring

The sunshine took turns with the clouds and rain again, but those glorious warm sunny days were put to good use, spending lots of time outdoors, including snack and lunch some days! We played chase, rode bikes, hopped on balls, dug in the sandbox, searched for worms and insects, played restaurant, and played pass. One of the favorite activities is exploring the environment to see what living things we can find and examine.finding worms
Any creepy crawlies under there?

hoods and boots

sand play

balancing on the sand box

hoppy balls

bare feet weather

riding, running, and hopping

trucks in the garage

balls to bury

the gathering spot
Monday students took their art project outside before heading to the library for their final visit of the year. They combined shaving cream, glue, and liquid water color to create a puffy paint for finger painting, then got to work glopping and smooshing it all over their papers to create puffy pictures.puff paint
blue and purple

splatter splat

green fingers
The children made special envelops to wrap their mother’s day gifts at the art table. They asked when they could give their gifts to their moms, and decided that they could make the decision with their moms. Many of them were anxious to give their gifts so they could have a turn wearing them.an envelop for mom
folding it up
We kept a close eye on our beans throughout the week, and were thrilled to see them go from just split open to plants with roots, stems, and leaves!looking at the bean growth
They have roots and stems!

roots, stems, and leaves
We read some stories about doing hard things and working through challenges. We read I Can’t Said the Ant and the ever inspiring Emanuel’s Dream, about a boy born in Ghana with only one full leg. He hopped to school on his one good leg 2 miles each way, earned money to buy a soccer ball so his peers would include him, and taught himself to ride a bike. He left home to get a job in the city at the age of 13 to help care for his family when his mother fell ill. He became famous when he decided to ride around Ghana on a bike to raise awareness of disabilities and show that those with disabilities were capable of great things.

Wednesday woodworking took some muscle this week! The children worked with Mr. Bond to use the hand crank drill to cut the entrance hole in the front of the bird house. That required a lot of strength and coordination! The children were so proud of their hard work!drilling out the hole
turning the handle

taking out the hole

around and around

watching how it's done

the hole
State Police Officer Lyon and Amos the police dog visited on Wednesday. Before they arrived, we read a book about police officers and the story Officer Buckle and Gloria, about a law enforcement team who worked together to deliver safety tips to local schools. Officer Lyon introduced Amos, who is a 2 ½ year old Black Mouth Cur. Officer Lyon went to school to learn how to train Amos, and has worked with him since he was only a few months old. Amos was trained to work for his food, and responds to Officer Lyons commands, which he speaks in Dutch to avoid confusing Amos. Amos’ job is to locate people. Officer Lyon explained that humans have a distinct scent, and Amos is trained to track them using his extraordinary scenting skills. Amos and Officer Lyon have worked together to find over 20 people in the past two years. It was fun to see Amos follow commands to jump up and touch Officer Lyon’s hand, jump over the table, run through the tunnel, dance between Officer Lyon’s legs, and twirl around. When it was time to greet and pat Amos, the children were quite excited and they all started playing chase together. Thank you so much Officer Lyon and Amos!Welcoming Officer Lyon and Amos
jumping

dancing between legs

food for work

excited!
We read some stories about bicycles, being kind, and forgiveness. We read The Remarkable Riderless Runaway Tricycle and Desmond and the Very Mean Word, about Desmond Tutu when he was a young boy and how he learned to forgive.There were ten in the bed and the little one said, "Roll Over! Roll Over!"During Music with Susan the children practiced the train rhythm for our end of year performance, taking turns with the instruments to create the chugga, chugga, chugga, chugga and choo-choo sounds. First we practiced walking slowly, then gradually faster to “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” then practiced with the instruments.
Planning for the Little Red Hen
another Frozen puzzle

water work

grinchy green

Elsa and Anna

matching words

painting with two hands

trinomial cube

6, 7, 8

100 board

tasty taco

writing

play dough

cooks in the kitchen

water table

a whole feast and some lovely flowers for the table

reading to a friend

reading

wooden word cards

inspired by a friend

more word work

afternoon work

The very busy spider

spoons on magnets on a pole

green play dough

pin punching and magnets

more word matching work

that will be $10 please

reading with Tammy

sweeping up

spooning transfer

cleaning
magnet people tower
blocks

green play dough

pin punching

magnet people

number work

stories
Friday students learned about sound and sound waves. We first read The Quiet Book and The Loud Book, then placed our hands on the ground to feel the vibrations created by the speaker when a song was played. We took off our socks and slippers and felt the vibrations with our feet, and placed our hands directly on the speaker to feel the vibrations. We also watched sand on top of a dish dance and move to the vibrations of the music before making our own vibrations with the big drum.
watching sand dance

feeling the sound vibrations

watching sand dance

making big vibrations

flashlight hide and seek

inside recess ribbon dancing

ribbon dancing