Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

Autumnal Equinox

a helping handmaking music

The first week of fall was very autumnal with frosty mornings and sunny days with sightings of robins all puffed up to stay warm in the morning chill surrounded by trees sporting red, orange, yellow, green, and brown leaves.

early morning frost sparkling in the sunshine

Monday students continued to explore color with Yves Klein, famous for his paintings in blue. They created monochrome (one color) paintings using varied shades of their chosen color.

Monochrome art with Yves Klein bluegreen strokespurplesmixing bluessunshinetones of yellowshades of redputting artwork on the drying rack

We discussed the changing of the seasons by reading books about fall and learned that the autumnal equinox, the first day of fall, means equal night because the day and night are each 12 hours long. The children shared observations about the changes that fall brings, such as shorter days, longer nights, cooler temperatures, dying plants, and colored leaves.

We practiced our first reverse evacuation drill and fire evacuation drill. We pretended a bear was in the area and joked that he was going to eat us but the children reassured us that black bears are afraid of people and wouldn’t eat us. We practiced going inside anyway. Then we practiced coming back out.

the top floorsorting and countingthe artillerygoing for a morning driveting, tang, tongwagon trainclimbersfun friendsresting at the summitfull of sandconstructingbreaking rocksracingclimbing upcooking up some sandy treatsplaying songs with Susanbuilding butterfliestransfering rockstable timescrubbing all the spotslearning the flip trickplanting apple seedswatering her apple seedsrounding the bend8 purple balls100 board

Wednesday was our first sign language lesson with Rose. She introduced herself and sign language by signing while she spoke, explaining that she was a teacher for many years and communicated with her students by signing with her hands, as that is the way the deaf community communicates. We learned how to sign the letters a-g, I, love, you, morning, noon, afternoon, evening, and night. Rose showed us how to sing and sign the song Skidamarink and added on a fun ending we were not previously familiar with, which included blowing a kiss at the end. We really enjoyed our first week of sign language!


Kindergarten students continued their number work by counting, tracking, and recording the number of days and finding patterns in the number groups. They worked on ways to identify odd and even. They created C’s out of cones from coniferous trees.

odd and even leaf tracking and counting4 leaves and 2 acorn caps

We continued to learn about trees and leaves and had fun singing our tree songs with Susan. We all stood underneath the apple tree and moved backward to measure it, each person finding a branch and standing underneath the furthest end. We then looked all around and realized that the root system underneath was of equal size, under the ground! It was quite a large area!

swish, swish, swish go the leavesWet earth, warm sun, my life as a tree has just begunI'm growing up and growing outyippee, hooray, I am a sprout!as long as it can gomaking a giant Twhat do you think?trucks in the sandrocking with the ball100 boardbalancing birdspatterninvestigatingtheir favorite game of rock and fall offpartner paintingchillinmonsters under the kitchen sinkpainting picturesattempting to break open a peach pit found on the playgroundleaf symmetrybarefoot girlscooking up some evil piedinner is servedcreatingpink tower, brown stairsplaying the steel drumLocked in jailting, ting, tingpercussion5 and 3 is 8ten counting boardinsect puzzlebench slidingpainting timemore paintersdigging for treasureinstruments

Thursday was our harvest celebration. The children took turns playing the parts of the lazy, sleepy bear and his neighbor hare and hare’s family while reading the story Tops and Bottoms. The children enjoyed acting out planting, tending, and harvesting the crops as the hare family and snoozing in the rocking chair as bear. During the morning the children enjoyed printing with fruits, vegetables, and leaves, painting mini pumpkins, and pounding golf tees into big pumpkins then pulling them out with a hammer. Each of the students shared their favorite foods that come from plants, including maple syrup, pancakes, apples, cherries, carrots, and potatoes.

the hare familyWhat will it be, bear? Tops, or bottoms?planting the cropsplanting carrotsbear asked for tops, so we take the bottomstaking off the tops for bearcollecting the tops and leaving the bottoms for bearwe get the topstime to harvest the cornwe get the middlesprinting leaveshammering in tees, and pulling them outmini pumpkin paintingwork place safetymaking the orange pumpkin greenright here!colorful pumpkinshow many can you pound in?working carefullyfull of holesthis is the spotteam worksibling teamtap, tap, tapprinting with vegetables and leaves and coloring a butterflyfun friendsIMG_6332 (2)hammering

Friday students further discussed which parts of the plant different vegetables are. We learned that there are 8 different parts that our vegetables could be; leaves, stem, flowers, fruit, seed, tubers, roots, and bulbs. We got so engaged in our discussion that we ran out of time for our vegetable sorting activity, so we will come back to it next week.

We celebrated our first birthday of the year, though we have one to make up from last week! Our youngest student turned 3, and in honor of his birthday donated the book The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. It is one of his favorites and it taught us that we should always catch our sneezes and coughs with our elbows so we don’t sneeze down any houses (or spread our germs)! The birthday boy held the globe while he orbited the giant yellow sun ball 3 times, the number of times the earth has orbited the sun since he was born, then we sang the Happy Birthday Song to him. Happy Birthday to our newest 3 year old!

orbiting the sunbirthday boy

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