Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

3 September, 2017
by Lyn

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:

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.

20 January, 2018
by Lyn

Wild Animals

setting up the snow plowSnow plows were busy keeping the roads clear, while thrill seekers took turns sledding down their constructed mountain.  Explorers took turns pulling each other through the snow-covered tundra. Architects were constructing towers and experimenting with ice adhesion.using tools to get a chunk of icedown the hilla tower of bucketsshoveling the snowfresh powderslippery iceWhat is in the tunnel?fresh snowbuilding up the sledding hillmaking a pathholding the sled for passenger loadingpulling and pushingsnow plowpeeking through the slitsice chunkwill the broken pieces freeze back together?balancinggirls and a sledSusan continued to enthrall us with the music and story of Peter and the Wolf through the week.  We laid on the rug and listened to the music all the way through, taking note of the various instruments, their speed, and their tunes and considered how each story character would be moving and what they might be doing.   We then listened to the music accompanied by the narration and the picture book illustrated by Charles Mikolaycak.  After completing the story, we discussed what might happen next and how the individual character stories might progress.  Several students wrote and illustrated short sequels for some of the characters.Listening to Peter and the Wolfcontinuing with Peter and the WolfWhat happens after the wolf is taken to the zoo?At the art table the children worked with Susan to trace, cut, staple, and paste together forest animal headbands.  We had many owls, moose, deer, foxes, bear, bunnies, porcupines, and even a butterfly roaming our classroom.making a moose and an owla butterfly and an owla black porcupinecutting out patternsassembling earsa moose!a forest full of animalscuttingcareful scissor workThe animals and fairies continued to work on setting up and decorating in the forest & fairy house, and play animals and fairies.adding mushrooms and flowers to the fairy housedecoratinganimals in the hollow loganimals in the forestwhoo whooin the fairy houseThe Hanson-Phillips family provided a special pizza party treat for the Thursday afternoon students. They loved their cheese and pepperoni pizza. Thank you so much for the Scorpios pizza, Hanson-Phillips family!bunny and friendsbuilding a treesnow in the forest dioramaalphabet BINGOgo together picturescvc wordsanimalsbalancing tree and bead pattern lacingbuilding a treeHow much does a moose weigh?tall towers of blockspouringweighing the deeradding up the gramsletter formation workafternoon work timeLEGO constructionhow many to make ten?handwritingfabric feel matchingrhyming puzzlealphabet Go Fishplay doughanimal puzzleletter handwritingbuilding wordsrecording facts for his research paperOn Wednesday we were excited to welcome local game warden, Glen Lucas, who came to do an activity about mammals.  All mammals have fur or hair, some all over their bodies, and some just in select areas.  The mammals we learned about are animals native to our area which are covered in fur.  The children had a wonderful time taking turns wearing an animal picture necklace and naming the animals pictured.  The remaining students were then given furs which they matched with their animal pictures.  The students observed the different animal fur sizes and colors and used that information to find their match.  Before packing the furs back in the box, Glen set them out on the rug and the children took turns feeling the soft furs and again naming which animal each fur came from.  Thank you so much, Glen!Which animal is this?a skunkWe match!feeling the fursWhat animal is this?On Thursday we pulled out the parachute for some fun active games.  We all took off our slippers and tossed them into a big pile under the parachute, then mixed them all up.  We held onto the edge then counted to three and listened to hear the names called, then raced as quickly as we could underneath to grab our slippers and get them back on our feet.  We always love shaking the parachute, so we pulled Flash the sloth from the shelf and worked as a team to shake, shake, shake him off the parachute three times.  We played our favorite game last.  Rather than crocodile or great white shark, this time a wolf crawled under the parachute and pulled someone underneath by their feet.  That child then became the wolf, crawling around and pulling under another child until everyone had a turn.under the parachuteshaking off Flashwatch out for the wolf!feeling some fursFor Friday science we introduced measuring with the query “I wonder how long the rug is?”  The children suggested we use a tape measure, but we encouraged them to think outside the box.  What else could we use to measure the rug?  One student suggested a human chain, so the children decided to lay down in a row.  We discovered that the rug was 3 children long and 2 children wide.  They then worked in pairs to find items around the classroom that they could use to measure the rug.  They found that the rug is 4 ½ large pieces of paper long, 14 name tags long, 14 tunnels long, 6 big boards long, 7 small work mats long, and 4 large work mats long.  They recorded their findings on the easel after counting out their measurements.How long is the rug?recording his findings14 nametags long and 4.5 pieces of paper long6 boards and 14 tunnels long14 tunnels4 mats longcounting matsrecording their measurement6 boards

14 January, 2018
by Lyn

Winter Work

chillingsmilesSledding, snowman building, and shoveling kept us busy in the snow.  The children built up a little snow hill to sled down, then took turns holding the sleds for each other.  They fanned out to make snow angels and rolled snow balls for snowmen.  They pulled each other in sleds around the paths they shoveled out, and followed the leader through the yard.following the leaderburied in the snowsledsyummysleds full of snowshoveling snowwalking the paththree muskateerssitting aroundsledding hillOlafmaking a snowmansilly girlsFor art on Monday we spooned marbles out of jars of paint, dropped them on paper in a box, then shook the box to make the marbles roll the paint around, creating colorful lines back and forth across the paper.  This activity continued throughout the week with varied shades of green paint and green paper to make needle covered branches for the evergreen trees in our classroom marble paintorange and redmoving the marblesevergreen branchesIn the sensory table the children grated up bars of soap and unwound rolls of toilet paper, then mixed them all together with water to make “clean” snow. They loved the feel, and had so much fun smooshing and molding it.making clean snowpouring in the watersmooshing up the "snow""snow" ballsmessy clean snowThe students were very busy painting evergreen and birch tree trunks and branches, then assembling them in dramatic play.  They colored and cut out flowers and mushrooms to adorn the forest floor, and painted the base of the fairy mushroom house that will be set up next week.  The children are very excited about these projects and this dramatic play theme.  The bears, bunnies, and foxes have been very busy in our forest already, and the fairies are anxious to move in soon.painting tree trunksbrown barkbirch brancheswhite birch barkpainting the mushroom houseflowerswhite mushroom housewatermelon hatsWe celebrated a new year’s birthday with our newest five-year-old.  It is hard to believe that she is 5!  She happily orbited the globe around the sun while we listed the seasons and counted up the five years since her birth.  After singing Happy Birthday everyone enjoyed the delicious fruit salad she brought to share with some strawberry cream cheese dip.  It disappeared very quickly!Birthday Girltasty fruit saladWe played some fun games to reinforce the concept of personal space through the introduction of “own” and “common” space.  On Tuesday we played NEAR and FAR, where we got as near to something (the wall, a shelf, etc.) then as far from it as possible.  We ended by being as FAR from everyone else as possible and as NEAR to ourselves.  On Wednesday we continued by building bubbles around ourselves and being careful to keep them intact by staying just far enough away from others to prevent them from popping.  On Thursday we practiced moving in different ways within our “own” space and the “common” space, while keeping our bubbles intact.

We continued our introduction to Mammals with a sorting activity.  Each child got an animal, which they examined then placed on a tray of either insects, arachnids, birds, or mammals according to how many legs it had and what type of covering (feathers, hair/fur, or an exoskeleton).
painting mammal habitat dioramasputting leaves and berries on a treecolor cubesdoll housesand rakingroads and animalsalphabet BINGObead chainsLEGOS with friendsIf there are ten pennies all together, how many are under my hand?letter tracingThe civil rights movement was introduced through several books about skin color, which lead to discussions about getting to know people by talking with them and spending time together, rather than determining who they are based on appearance.  We looked at a map of the earth showing skin tone, and saw that the closer people live to the equator, the darker their skin, though now with ships, cars, and airplanes people of all skin shades live all over the earth.  We learned that skin tone is determined by how much melanin is in your skin, and that lighter skin gets darker when exposed to the sun for longer periods of time.  We read some books about Martin Luther King Jr. and Ruby Bridges, and the unfair laws that prevented those with darker skin from sharing water fountains, schools, and restaurants with those with lighter skin, and how people worked together to abolish those laws.hugs for a friendwritingquiet rest time activitiesmore quiet rest time workplant care and sand gardenblock constructionbell matchingreadinganimal trails and homesLEGOSmammal nomenclaturesand pouring with a funnelSusan introduced the story Peter and the Wolf by playing clips of instruments playing Prokofiev’s compositions for each character in the story.  We began by listening to the short clips, then moving our bodies to the music.  We then gathered back together to listen again and guess which type of animal or person each instrument & music might represent.  We matched music to the bird, cat, Peter, duck, grandfather, wolf, and hunters.  Next week we will listen to the full story and continue to become familiar with the instruments representing the characters.moving to Peter and the Wolfbirds flittingriver stonesfollow the leader's patternpurple, orange, yellowstories from our weekFor science on Friday we continued exploring scales.  The children examined a variety of scales used to weigh food, people, and other items.  We looked at digital scales and balance scales.  Each child took a turn weighing him/herself on a body weight scale, and we recorded each child’s weight.  The children then paired up in small groups or worked as individuals and chose a balance scale.  They selected an animal or two to weigh.  They placed the animal in one tray of the scale, then carefully placed weights in the other tray.  With some guidance, they carefully added and removed weights until the scale was balanced, then added up the weight of their animal.  At the end of the morning, we examined our lists of weights and ordered them from lightest to heaviest, and created bar graphs showing the weights of the children and the animals we weighed.How much do I weigh?How many pounds?this weight is heavy!Is it balanced?adding up the weight of the orcaHow much does a moose weigh?the weight of the arctic foxthe arctic fox weighs 44 gramsHow much do you weigh?a bar graph of animal weights

6 January, 2018
by Lyn

When Cold Winds Blow

With such a short week and some crazy cold temperatures, we only made it outside one day.  We were so grateful that it warmed up enough to get out and enjoy the snow.  We slogged through the high snow, shoveled up mounds of snow and jumped in them, hauled the sleds around, and did our best to stay a friend a turn with the shovelshadowstrying to pry open the doordiggingsitting in the snowtaking a restangels in the snowAs it was too cold to head outside in the below zero temperatures on Tuesday, we brought the snow inside. The children had fun donning mittens and playing with arctic animals, scoops, bowls, and spoons in the sensory table.playing in the snowemptying the snow tableWe read the book Friends by Miles Van Hout and talked about friendship and what are helpful and hurtful friend things to do. We sang and danced to the song In and Out the Window, pairing up with a friend and working together to do the motions of the song.
dancingWe celebrated the newest four year old birthday on Tuesday. The very excited birthday girl zipped the earth right around the sun as we tried to quickly name the seasons and count out the four years she has been alive. She blew the candle sun out after the birthday song, then everyone enjoyed the tasty mini cupcakes she brought to share. Happy 4th birthday, birthday girl!
birthday girlThe dramatic play area is being turned into a forest with a fairy house, as that was the runner up last time the students voted.  We brainstormed some ideas about the forest and the animals that live there, and what types of houses to include.  They began by assembling a puzzle of sorts.  Susan copied the pictures from the picture book In the Woods, and the children put them together in order, laid them out, taped them together, then adhered them to the base of the wall.  They then began building some animal homes – a hollow stump and a bear den.  A baby bear was also added.  The children will continue over the next several weeks to assemble the animal and fairy homes, trees, forest landscape, and animals.setting out the muralconnecting the picturescutting out a bear cub for the forestsetting up the hollow log homeMammals were introduced through the books About Mammals by Cathryn Sill and John Sill, and Animals Born Alive and Well by Ruth Heller.  We examined models of mammals, and the children observed that they all had hair and four limbs.  We also discussed that mammals are warm blooded vertebrates whose babies are born alive and produce and feed them milk, as the mothers have mammary glands.

The Vashaw-Lanham family gave Sunnybrook a gift of a new puzzle block set, called the four elements. The children loved constructing with it, and it added a bright splash of color to our block play. Thank you so much to the Vashaw-Lanham family! The four elements has quickly become a favorite class material.using the new elements blocks and the tree blocksan area for the moose and deerthe solar system puzzlesand gardenletter workplaying with the doll houseten additionwriting about dinosaursafternoon work timeplay dough with friendsa block buildingreadingbalancing the clownsand pouringcleaning up the spilled sandreading to himselfdoll housereadingFor Friday science we read Just a Little Bit by Ann Tompert and Balancing Act by Ellen Stoll Walsh.  We discussed what equal means, then the children constructed balancing platforms and placed items on each end to make the platform these shells weigh the same?balancingare they equal?

17 December, 2017
by Lyn

Snows Are Falling

girls in the snowOur final week before Winter break brought cold and snow.  The children made good use of the new shovels and sleds donated by the Armstrong family.  They filled their sleds with snow and hauled their loads.  They shoveled out paths for walking.  Friends took turns pulling each other around the yard.
red sledfilling the tunnel with snowIMG_2216 (2)snow surfingshoveling outin the green sledOn Monday we read about wind, which is formed when cold air and warm air meet and change places.  We read the story When the Wind Blew.  We talked about how we can blow out and make a small wind and how that is used in art.  We watched a video about glass blowing, which showed us how artists use extremely hot melted glass, which they collect at the end of a blow pipe, then blow it and shape it into various glass pieces, such as paperweights, pitchers, sculptures, etc.  We then used our breath to make art by dropping liquid water colors onto paper and blowing air through straws to move the colors around, creating beautiful patterns.fingers of colorsigning his workblowing out airpurple and orangemaking art using our breathmaking the yellow movebright spotsWe celebrated our most recent fifth birthday.  The birthday boy brought a special cake to share with his friends.  After holding the earth and walking it around the candle sun five times through the four seasons as we counted out each year, we sang happy birthday and he blew out his candle.
birthday boyOn Tuesday we read the story The Snow Child, an old Russian Folktale about an elderly couple who never had children, which they desperately wanted, so one winter day they built a snow child who magically came to life.  Many children colored and cut out stick puppet figures of the old woman, the old man, and the snow child.
snow child puppetsThe children continued to practice daily for their Friday winter performance, perfecting the songs and their presentation of This is the Jacket I Wear in the Snow.
practicingletter sound workbird towersa penguin palaceIMG_2336 (2)don't topple overphases of the mooncrazy block structuresreadingcleaning up his workIMG_2223 (2)boys building with blocksmoney nomenclatureindoor recess timeplay doughWednesday was gingerbread day.  We read the stories The Gingerbread Man and The Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett.   Children then made foam gingerbread men using kits sent in by the Armstrong family, and several children made their very own paper gingerbread houses with assistance from Susan.  Many children helped to mix up a batch of gingerbread, measuring, pouring, and mixing ingredients together, before rolling and cutting out the gingerbread people.decorating the gingerbread boygingerbread boy assemblyIMG_2243 (2)a happy boylots of buttonsgingerbread house constructiondesigning her housescooping in the flourIMG_2242 (2)pouring in gingertaking turnsholding the bowl and mixing things upstirring the dry ingredientsadding brown sugarcracking the eggmashing in the butterholding the bowl for a friend to stirmixing it uppouring in the molassesIMG_2278 (2)The much-anticipated pajama day finally arrived, and everyone excitedly participated in pajama day activities.  Many children made relaxation glitter jars by mixing water, clear glue, glitter glue, and glitter, then gluing the top on the jar and shaking it up, then watching the glitter swirl around and slowly settle back at the bottom.  Many children also used white circles, orange triangles, pompoms, pipe-cleaners, etc. to make snowmen.  Purple and white popcorn was poured into the popper and the children enthusiastically listened and watched as it slowly heated then began to pop, finally pouring out into the bowl.  They enjoyed dipping their gingerbread men into melted white chocolate and sprinkles, and drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows.  Tammy and the children strung up ropes and hung sheets to create our fort, then we snuggled up with our stuffies and blankets to listen to holiday stories, including How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Polar Express, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.making glitter jarsglitter glueopening the glitter gluesnowmen constructiondipping in sprinklescoated in white chocolate & sprinklestasty gingerbreadbiting off the legsgingerbreadHere it goes!here comes the popcorn!watching the popcornwaiting patiently for hot chocolatemarshmallows pleasehot chocolate & popcorn & gingerbread menpopcorn snacksnack timeunder the tentThe Polar Expresslistening to storiesIn the afternoon, after rest time ended, the children played a fun game of friendship building cooperative musical chairs, where rather than children being eliminated as chairs were taken away, they had to figure out how to make sure that everyone had a seat.  They had a lot of fun squishing everyone in!
walking around to chairsa seat for everyonemaking 3 chairs workcan we all fit on two chairs?down to one chairIMG_2308 (2)For Friday science we did a citrus taste test, a much-requested activity.  We discussed how citrus fruit are similar to each other and different from other fruit, particularly how they have thick peels that need to be removed and the insides are divided into segments filled with pulp.  We tested a lemon, a lime, a grapefruit, a tangerine, a clementine, and an orange.   The sweeter fruits were preferred by most, particularly the orange and clementine, but some loved the lemon and the lime and the grapefruit.
citrus fruitsome grapefruit pulp to samplenot a fan of grapefruitIMG_2315 (2)sectionsloving the lemon!waiting for a tasteorange tastinglittle bitesOur Winter program, selected and lead by Susan, was a huge success.  It was wonderful to have so many families in attendance.  Thank you so much to everyone for joining us and sharing some time together.  We wish you all a wonderful holiday season!  Enjoy your family time!  See you on January 2nd.singingThese are the jeans, stiff in the knee