30 November, 2016
We are looking for a compassionate, caring individual to join our team of educators for an exciting, energetic, and creative group of 3-5 year olds.
Preferred candidates will have experience in the Montessori method, early childhood education, and/or child development, although we are also willing to train the right candidate. The position is currently for 12 hours a week, T, W, Th mornings with additional hours as needed, to start in January.
For more information, please call 788-3884 or visit our Facebook page. To apply, please submit a resume, letter of interest, and list of three references to contact to [email protected]. (EOE)
2 October, 2016
Who: All children ages 2-4 & their caregivers and siblings
What: Come play with friends in the Sunnybrook Classroom. Meet other local families with young children. Do an art activity. Explore the classroom. Have a snack. Listen to a story. Meet the Sunnybrook Director/Teacher.
Where: Sunnybrook Montessori School
When: The first Monday of each month, October – May (January is the 2nd Monday) from 10-11 AM.
3 December, 2016
Warm temperatures and rain brought some crazy conditions this week. From ice covered roads to giant puddles of mud, we had quite an adventure. The children enjoyed indoor recess on Tuesday, then played in the mud created by the heavy rains for the rest of the week. They had a fantastic time scooping it, pouring it, painting with it, jumping in it, and sitting in it. We took buckets of water to rinse off the worst of it, and the rain helped as well. They sure had a blast being mud monsters!
For Monday art we read about the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. We took turns being the sun and the earth orbiting around it. We then used pastels to draw winter night time scenes on black paper. Throughout the week children continued to create and add to our art gallery. On Tuesday we read the story The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson, and then had fun making our own strands of paper dolls.
We were happy to welcome Cindy Wade, a recent college graduate and older sister to a current Sunnybrook student, who has generously volunteered to be the third teacher for the month while we are in the hiring process. The children have enjoyed working and chatting with her. Thank you, Cindy!
We learned some new songs for our winter performance, and recalled those introduced last week. We practiced them over and over, acting some of them out and discussing why we would be singing the selected songs. The children are excited for the winter performance, when all the families are invited to join us for the children’s presentation and a potluck dinner on Friday, December 16th at 5PM.
We introduced the quote that we have displayed in our classroom, “Every mistake is an opportunity to learn” and discussed what that means. One of the students shared that a mistake is something that you didn’t mean to do. Many children shared examples of mistakes they have made and what they learned from them and how they can do things differently another time. This is such an important and valuable concept that we hope to help all the children internalize. Despite some students being quite adamant that they do not ever make mistakes, we hope that when they eventually do, they will be able to reflect on them and determine what lessons they can learn from those mistakes.
During Spanish this week Zeanny introduced the parts of the body with the song, “Cabeza, hombros, rodillas y dos pies” (Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes) and read the story De la cabeza a los pies (From Head to Toe) by Eric Carle. The children then took turns adding body parts to create a crazy looking monstruo (monster). Zeanny gave each of the children a piece of paper to draw una monstruo, and many children came up with some crazy monsters of their own.
For Friday science we read the stories Balancing Act by Ellen Stoll Walsh and Just a Little Bit by Ann Tompert, then we learned how to use a scale. The children selected items to fill their buckets, then added or removed items to balance their scales. It is a tricky concept, and many of them understood that if one end was lower it was heavier, so items either needed to be taken out of that bucket or added to the other bucket to make them even.
25 November, 2016
The first snow of the season was covering the ground when we arrived on Monday. The children were excited to build miniature snowmen, make snow angels, and have snow ball fights. The truck drivers found that the snow accumulated on their tires so they had to keep stopping and chipping it off to maintain driving safety. We caught some flakes on our mittens so we could examine the beautiful little crystals. We were grateful that it stuck around for the week so everyone could scoop up and play with the cold white fluff.
For art we read the story Home, by Carson Ellis, and admired all the various types of houses, real and make believe, where people and creatures might live, including apartments, castles, caves, moon homes, and underwater homes. The favorite was the space home, and the children loved sharing which part they would claim for their own. Each student used black permanent marker to draw an outline of their own home on a piece of mat board, color it in with pastels, then paint over it with water color paints, creating some beautiful works of art for our “Home” art installation. Students continued to create home pictures throughout the week, though most of them chose to take them home rather than display them.
We read and talked about Native Americans, the pilgrims who sailed from Plymouth England on the Mayflower to what is now called Plymouth Massachusetts, how these two groups became friends, and the first Thanksgiving celebration. We also read several stories about being grateful and giving thanks and turned our sad leafless money tree into a giving tree. The children wrote their names on paper leaves and we recorded what they are thankful for on them, then hung them on the tree.
On Wednesday Tricia joined us for the morning, which was a special treat, especially since only a few children get to see her in the afternoons. We had fun playing Mr. Potato Head, magnatiles, knex, and play dough for a relaxing morning before our special meal.
The week of Stone Soup finally arrived, and the children got busy preparing on Tuesday. They first washed their hands, then with Tammy’s guidance they scrubbed and chopped up the vegetables and put them in the big soup pot. On Wednesday they opened the cans and bags and poured them into a pot. The soup bubbled and boiled and cooked until it was all ready to eat. We were grateful to have families join us to share in our celebration. We munched on crackers and cheese and sipped our cider while the soup cooled, and when it was finally ready to eat, we slurped it up (well, some of us did). Thank you so much for sending in all the great vegetables, bread, cheese, crackers, and cider for everyone to enjoy. It was wonderful to have so many families join us, and we very much appreciated all the help cleaning up! (I apologize that I did not get any pictures of the actual event.) It was a wonderful week!
19 November, 2016
We had some beautiful warm fall days for playing word tag, being chased by zombies, building houses, bird watching, riding bikes, and digging. All the new five year olds are very much enjoying being the big kids who can go into the classroom to get water bottles for anyone who needs one. For Monday art the children made pinch pots out of clay. We learned that long ago there was no plastic, glass, or ceramic, so it was common for Native American’s to use clay to make pots and bowls. Throughout the week at the art table children also made necklaces using a variety of wooden, straw, and plastic beads. They were introduced to the use of a needle for the first time – how to thread the needle through the eye then how to string the beads through the needle. We enjoyed a visit from Dr. Tarkleson on Wednesday morning. She discussed what her job is – to keep us healthy – and introduced and demonstrated the various medical instruments that she uses to examine and treat her patients, including a stethoscope, otoscope, ophthalmoscope, reflex hammer, tongue depressor, sphygmomanometer, bandages, and syringes. The children were excited to try on her medical caps and coats and test out the instruments. Thank you so much Dr. Tarkleson!
We read several more Stone Soup stories, including the Pete Seeger and Paul DuBois Jacobs version, Some Friends to Feed. We discussed how giving and sharing can help others and can make us feel good. We let the children know that if they would like to help some families, they could bring in some food, and we recognized that some already have brought in items to donate. We will keep the box out for the next couple of weeks before the children take it over to the local food pantry in the Methodist Church.
Thursday morning Spanish with Zeanny was once again filled with lots of fun activities. We practiced the song that tells us to move in different directions – salgo, arriba, abajo, and entre. In la caja magica we once again found the diez Calabasas and we sang the counting down song. There was also the book La oruga muy hambienta (the Spanish version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar) and a paper bag la oruga (caterpillar). Zeanny passed out the various fruits and foods from the story, and when she read the story each of the children took their turn “feeding” la oruga muy hambrienta. Zeanny introduced us to the words me gusta (I like it) and no me gusta (I don’t like it) then the children made pictures of the foods they do and do not like and pasted them onto a poster. We said goodbye to Casey this week. Everyone was sad to see her go, though she promised to come back to visit. Casey was our resident artist who skillfully helped children create and explore with a variety of techniques and mediums. She will be missed!
For Friday science the children created primitive scales with boards and blocks to introduce the idea of equal weight. They used beanbags, blocks, and animals to experiment with creating balanced ends. They carefully set items at each end to keep the weight distributed and prevent the board from tipping over.