Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

3 September, 2017
by Lyn
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Sunnybrook Play Dates

All children ages 2-4 and their siblings and caregivers are invited to join us the first Monday of each month, October – May, from 10-11 AM for a morning in the classroom.
Play dough Offer your child a social opportunity, visit with fellow local families, investigate the Sunnybrook classroom and montessori materials, and meet Lyn, (the teacher/director).  The play dates are an ideal opportunity to orient your child to the Sunnybrook classroom if you choose to enroll.

An art activity and snack will be provided.

Play dates are scheduled for the following dates:

December 4
January 8 (NOTE – 2nd Monday)
February 5
March 5
April 2
May 7

Please check this website if we are experiencing inclement weather that may cause Sunnybrook to be cancelled (if SAU 36 has a delay or cancellation due to weather, Sunnybrook will also), or contact Lyn ([email protected]) to be put on a play date e-mail list to be notified of cancellations.

18 November, 2017
by Lyn
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Freezing, Fowl, and Flying

what is on the other side?The winter chill has settled in and we bundled up to stay warm.  We moved the logs and blocks to the edge of the yard so they did not freeze in the middle.  We raked up more leaves and moved them to the garden to compost.  We played running games to warm up.  And we started to move the trucks, rakes, and warm weather toys inside.sittingtoy sellersice pieceslining up the blocksmixing up leaf soupthree in a rowWe spent a rainy Thursday recess inside with the inside toys, then we had fun performing the story Silly Sally with puppets and doing some ribbon dancing.puppetsKnexmagnatilesPlaymobile farmingbristle blocksFor Monday art we read The Boy Who Drew Birds about John. J. Audobon, and The Painter Who Loved Chickens, then we made our own pictures of art using the medium of our choice, mostly pencil & watercolor and pastels. Watercolor painting was then available to use throughout the week.a blue jay and a pink birdcolorful bird artbird pictureswater color paintingAt the art table the children finished up their birds, nests, and eggs, then assembled them and took them home.  They really enjoyed creating them and working through all of the steps, from nest building through choosing which type of bird and what color eggs.  Some children chose to do realistic representations, while others decided to get creative. We enjoyed having Stacey with us on Tuesday and Wednesday while Susan was out.  She helped everyone finish up their bird projects, which kept her quite busy!painting eggsblack loon eggsIMG_1378 (2)pieces for a nestmaking the eggs cozy in the nesta bird in a nest with eggsWe celebrated a fourth birthday on Wednesday.  As the birthday girl carefully walked around the sun candle with the globe, we named the seasons and counted the years as she aged. After the Happy Birthday song, she blew out the candle and we all enjoyed the tasty popcorn she brought to share.  Happy Birthday, birthday girl!Birthday Girl!The airplane continued to travel to many destinations, flying travelers all around the world.What is the destination?pilots flyingthree pilots and two passengersCome in air controlWe continued to learn about our bodies, particularly focusing on our muscles and bones.  We located many of our bones and named them and continued to sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” but changing the words to skull, clavicle, patella, phalanges.  We located our hearts and felt them beating, then did some active moving, including running in place, jumping jacks, and frog hops, then feeling our hearts and observing that they were beating much faster, feeling our muscles strain and begin to feel tired, and noticing that we were breathing faster and heavier as our bodies worked hard.a forest full of birdsbirds in the treesbuilding with blockslacing beads, japanese garden, and the "baby" under the tablemaking alphabet bookspenny exchange game
apple tree number puzzleblock structures100 board7 continentsafternoon writingcontinent & USA puzzle mapssetting up bird habitatsalphabet BINGO with some creative licenseorangestone soup memory gameexchanging penniesblocks and birdsschool bus puzzlenumber scrollscolor gradingmorning workexamining the birdsplay dough timeopening containersafternoon writingGo Fishsensorial & geographybird sanctuariesletter sound worknumber scrolls, pin punching, journal writing# scroll writingfabric matches by feela giant ship and a fleet of boatscylinder blocksrhyming, reading, & writingBlack sparkly play dough shapesWe watched a short story video of another version of the Stone Soup story and discussed the theme of giving to others and introduced the idea of donating food to those who may not have as much as we do.  We will be collecting food items through the second week of December, after which the afternoon students will walk them across the street to the food pantry.

For music on Thursday Susan sang the song Dem Bones with us, changing the words from foot bone, leg bone, etc., to the real names of the bones.  She then taught us a very fun song called Father Abraham, a body moving song, which gets harder as different motions are added.  Here are the lyrics:

Father Abraham,

had many sons,

many sons had Father Abraham

And they didn’t laugh,

and they didn’t cry,

all they did was go like this

left arm (move it up and down).

(continue, adding right arm, left leg, right leg, nod your head, turn around)

She then read us several story songs, including Over in the Meadow, Hard Scrabble Harvest (illustrated by students at Aurora school which Susan founded and ran for 20 years), and the food web song There’s a Little Black Bug, Sitting in the Water, also adjusted and illustrated by Aurora students.Father AbrahamA Story SongSome Stories from the weekdrummingOn Friday we read about and examined eggs.  We then did an experiment to test how strong eggs are.  We stood them in little cups to stabilize them, then stacked books on top to see how many they could hold before cracking.  We counted the books as we stacked them.  We piled on 41 books before the eggs broke!  We then took turns holding books to see which was stronger – the egg shells or ourselves.  The most we were able to hold was 22, so those little egg shells were very strong!!  We then started another experiment, which will take a week, though we enjoyed observing some changes right away.  We placed an egg in a jar of vinegar.  Immediately after placing it in the jar, it was coated in bubbles, which began bubbling up.  After a while, the egg floated up to the top.  We will continue to observe it over the coming week and will check it out after Thanksgiving break to see how the vinegar changes the egg.3 eggs can hold 41 books before breaking17 books22 books!Can you hold as many books as an egg?an egg in vinegar

11 November, 2017
by Lyn
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Frost in the Shadows

shadowsThe children were busy outside playing with mud, digging in the sand, pulling around sleds, and playing with friends.
MUD!handfuls of mudfive sledschillingreen bucket with green ball, pink bucket with red balldigging out mudsitting in the sunshineinspecting the worm under the logboys in sledsWhen new tree stumps were discovered in the yard, the children quickly built a balancing course.  It started as a line, then became a circle so they could walk around and around without stopping.
stump hoppinga row of childrenup, down, overfollowing the balance pathwalking around the balance coursebalancingup and downThe cold fall air brought frosty mornings.  At recess, the children observed that patches of frost remained.  After investigating around the playground, they concluded that where the sun had touched, the frost had melted, but where it continued to be blocked by items such as tables, benches, stumps, and trees, the frost remained, leaving frosty grass in the shadows.frosty shadowsfrost in the tree shadowMonday art was once again a study of Paul Klee art, but this time we looked at line drawings filled in with color, including his piece Cat with Bird, and introduced the use of line in art.  We read the story using the cat with bird painting as inspiration, called The Cat and the Bird. We also read about the use of line with the stories Lines that Wiggle and The Line. The children then used pastels or crayons to draw pictures, then color them with watercolor paint.Paul Klee line drawings with colorwatercolor paintingspastels with water colorMonday art in the style of Paul KleeAfter art and snack, the children visited the library with Susan and Tammy while potential future students had a play date in the classroom.
duplos at the librarytaking babies on the busOur discussions of birds continued with an introduction to nest building.  We read several stories about birds in nests, and watched parts of a video of a robin building its’ nest. At the art table the children then built their own nests, using hay, yarn, string, and ribbon. Through the rest of the week they also made eggs out of clay and birds from felt.building a bird nestcutting yarna nest of haycutting yarn for nestshow to build a nestforming eggswhat shape should an egg be?gluing birdsnests and birdsbirds, eggs, and nestsMany airplane co-pilots continued to fly passengers all around the world.co-pilotsairplane rideZeanny came for Spanish on Tuesday and we continued to learn the calabazas counting song.  She read us two stories, one about an abuela (grandmother) who travels the world collecting souvenirs, which we counted, and Oso en un Cuadrado (Bear in a Square) about shapes.  We then played a counting game, where one child was a rana (frog) and another was a mosca (fly).  A third child was the spinner, who spun the arrow and counted how many hops each could hop forward to see if the rana would eat the mosca or if the mosca would fly away.quatro calabazasspinning numbers for the ranaOn Wednesday morning the children were buzzing, buzzing, buzzing, so some of us took some time after morning meeting to get outside and run, run, run!  We felt much more settled after letting out some of that energy, so we were better able to focus on our morning.early morning energy expenditurerunning, running, runningWe began to discuss the human body and being healthy through eating healthy foods, which provide nutrition.  We did a digestive system demonstration.  We pounded crackers with a hammer, to represent teeth chewing food, then discussed how they would be combined in the mouth with saliva, then pushed down the esophagus into the stomach.  We placed the crackers and a banana in a bag with some water (saliva), then added stomach acids (coke) and everyone took turns smooshing it.  We measured out a piece of string that was 27 feet long – the length of the digestive system – then poured our “stomach” contents into the intestines (a piece of stocking) and watched as the water was pushed out and “absorbed” by the body, then finally the waste was pooped out at the end.  We read the story Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi, and discussed how everyone and everything that eats poops.exchanging pennies for dimesnumber writingcounting birdsapple tree number puzzlenight sky play doughschool bus puzzlematching sound cylindersblack with sparkleswhat will orange become when you add blue?afternoon mat worknumber scrollsfeelings nomenclaturetaking out a rack for his paintingnumber formationreading & writingmatching pictures & wordstraps and buildingsWe read a third Stone Soup story and discussed what themes are similar through the three books we have read so far.  The children observed that in each book there were people that were hungry and that they made soup from a stone, though they acknowledged that it was the other ingredients added that made the soup, not the stone.  We will continue to read and look for themes.

For music, Susan brought out the glockenspiel and played some tunes.  We listened then tried to identify what she was playing.  She then played some high notes and low notes while we had our eyes closed.  We listened closely to identify if they were higher or lower than the first note.
playing songs on the glockenspiel

11 November, 2017
by Lyn
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Spooks and Soups

muddy faceRain brought puddles and mud, which made for some messy days, but lots of wet fun.
a giant puddlerunning through the puddlebig jumpgetting wetthe fastest leopard cheetah evera long bridge to crossbouncing ballshop & crawldriving the dump truckmoving the balance beamdumping his load of sandon the movedigging in the sandhanging aroundhouse constructionscooping out the mudjump!mud soupFor Monday art the artist Paul Klee was introduced, and his use of shapes in his work Castle and Sun.  The children created their own works of art by gluing shapes into patterns to display in our gallery.
Paul Klee shape artsix circlesgluing shapesPaul Klee art galleryFor Halloween fun the children decorated a Halloween House,
decorating the Halloween Housecutting decorations for the Halloween HouseHalloween House crewplayed pin the hat on the cat,
pin the hat on the cathats on the catglued on eyeballs and colored skulls and spiders,
halloween artspider eyesmixed potions and brews,
potion mixingbubble, bubblestirring his brewpotion mixturepotions overflowingand made glittery slime,
making slimeadding glitter glue for slimeslime!mixing slimelots of slimeorange slimebefore enjoying the many, many snacks and treats.
Party snacksThe Stone Soup story was introduced.  Throughout the month of November we will read several versions, which we will compare and contrast.  We discussed main character, setting, plot, feeling of the characters, and the problem or challenge and how it is overcome.

The children got to work constructing and flying the classroom airplane.  They had great fun taking turns being the co-pilots, passengers, and attendants.
waiting to board the planeBirds were introduced with several stories, including About Birds, and the children identified the characteristics of birds, such as having feathers, a beak, two wings, a tail, laying eggs, and usually building a nest.  They then did an animal sort, deciding whether their animal was an insect, arachnid, or bird, often counting legs to determine in which category it belonged.
bristle blockscylinder blocks5 triangle designs from various countriesplacing the cylinder blocksmorning mat workcuttingstanding in the circlepatternscreative constructiontracing birdsnesting dollsFor music Susan continued to work on the various musical terms.
music with SusanMy Bonnie Lies Over The OceanFriday for science the children continued their study of birds with Tammy and Susan, discussing feathers and wings.  They measured and cut out large life size models of wings for a variety of birds, from a hummingbird to a bald eagle.
measuring wings

28 October, 2017
by Lyn
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Mix It Up

a muddy puddleSome much needed rain came down, but luckily it only kept us in one day.  We spent our cloudy but warm days setting up and running through an obstacle course that put our gross motor (big muscle) skills to use.  We alternated feet running through hoops, crossed a balance beam, step walked across big blocks, zig zagged around the stumps, stepped up and over a table, hopped the hoppy ball, and crawled through the tunnel.  Some students had so much fun they did it over, and over, and over!   We also did a lot of raking, and pulled out the sleds to haul our loads of leaves to deposit in our garden for compost.  When we discovered a fantastic puddle under the apple tree, some students took off shoes and had fun in the mud, or stomped through in rain boots.  It was a busy, messy week!
three girls in a bincollecting helicoptersa drill on his forehead for drilling into the groundrunning through the hoopsbalancing & zig-zaggingbalancing & waiting for a turnkick!STOP!raking leavesfilling up the sledspulling a friendhauling leavesbare feet!dumping the leavesteamworkand dump!busyindoor recessbristle blocksa puppet showMr. Potato HeadMonday students were introduced to the artist Mary Cassatt, who is well known for her family portraits.  We discussed who would be included in a family portrait for each student, then they used pastels to create their own family portraits.
family portraitlabeling her family membersAt the art table for the week there was black paper, gray paper, pastels, and chalk.  The pastels and chalk are very bright and create a vivid contrast with the black.  There was a lot of drawing, as well as some cutting and folding. We later included bracelet beading at the request of the students, and they laced many bracelets for friends and themselves.
pastels on blackcoloring mixing and cutting linescoloring and cuttingbeading braceletsThe sensory table full of rocks continues to be busy.
filling up the bowlfilling upsweeping up their dropped pebblesscoopingTuesday was a mixed up backwards day.  With Tammy ill at home, and in anticipation of predicted rain showers, we reversed our morning, going out first, then coming in for a group snack, then Spanish, and finally work time.  The children handled the change well, and enjoyed having Zeanny stay for the rest of day.
Reading "Where Is The Green Sheep?" during snackreading before rest with ZeannyFor Spanish, we played an up and down game with Zeanny.  When she said arriba (above), we stood up and reached up, and when she said abajo (down), we crouched down.  She tried to trick us, but we were pretty good at listening and responding.  She read us some stories, and taught us a song about calabazas (pumpkins/squash).  Our vocabulary word for the week was calabaza, and anyone who writes it gets a prize.  At the end, all the students who wrote last week’s vocabulary word, mariposa (butterfly), got to pick a prize of a stamp or sticker.abajoarribawaiting for a prizewriting calabazacalabazaspelling out calabazaWe read the books Whoever You Are by Mem Fox, and We Are All Alike, We Are All Different, and discussed how we are similar to and different from everyone else on the planet.  We discussed how we are all people with blood and hearts and feelings and thoughts, but we all look different, have different preferences, and think different thoughts.  We played a game called “The Warm Wind Blows, for anyone who ____________.”  When the blank was filled in with phrases, such as “has a brother,” “likes spaghetti,” “is a boy,” those who fit that category went into the center of the circle.color mixingcutting and drawinga symmetrical transforming structureIMG_0819 (2)japanese sand garden & plant carelocks and keysloading up the conveyormovingto the endcolor mixmat workpost rest activitieswriting her vowelsworking on that fine motor controlcolored magnetic art blockseye-hand coordination and muscle controlrock building with the layerscool block structuressound cylinders & number sorting trayapple tree number puzzle & world map puzzleextending the block playstaying in the linesreading with a friendnumber writing practicereading about Pigeon with a friendnumber scrollnumber work100 boardhandwriting practicetransfer workwashing the chalkboardputting on his armorletter workmaking a Bwooden word cardspumpkin addition BINGOtransfer workThis was the last week for our kitchen in dramatic play.  The students brainstormed some new ideas to take the place of the kitchen, then voted to select which it would be.  Some of the suggestions were a farm, a haunted house, an airplane, a fairy house, a bus, and a train.  It was decided that we could do a temporary haunted house for our Halloween party on Tuesday, but narrowed down the long term options and voted between an airplane, a bus, and a fairy house.  The airplane was the winner with 11 votes, so next week we will begin brainstorming what will be needed to set that up.a table full of foodFor music with Susan we practiced the different terms for quiet to loud, from pianissimo and piano, all the way to forte and fortissimo.  We tapped or toes or stomped our feet and sang from very, very quietly, to very, very loudly.  It was fun to practice regulating our voices and bodies to match the corresponding term.  We also sang the song, “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean,” and every time we had a B word, we moved our arms or bodies up or down.  We then practiced doing it Lento (slowly), andante (medium), and presto (very fast).  It was challenging trying to move so quickly!forteStoriesWhile Lyn met with families on Friday, Susan and Tammy spent the morning in the classroom.  For science Susan introduced a fun rock experiment.  Each student took two colors of clay, which they rolled and folded and pushed together, similar to a metamorphic rock, then cut it in half to see how it had marbled and swirled as it changed.molding their rocksmixing and flattening the rockssee my rock layers?cutting the rockrock pieces