Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

25 November, 2020
by Lyn


Thanksgiving week is typically a time when we give a little more thought to the many things we are thankful for, but we encourage the Sunnybrook students to regularly consider and express gratitude for what we have. Science has shown both physical and mental health benefits for those who cultivate gratitude in their daily lives.

We read some stories about being thankful, including Thankful by Eileen Spinelli and Giving Thanks: a Native American Good Morning Message by Chief Jake Swamp. The children selected a small book to record all the things they are thankful for with drawings and words. They didn’t have to think very hard to get started, and they shared some truly authentic ideas. They are thankful for family, the Easter Bunny, bridges, water parks, picking apples, toilets, train tracks, sisters, etc.

Thankful booksmixing mudrockingholding Spanish circle - singing Cabeza, Hombros, Piernes, Piessetting up slideshorsey rideall piled in and off on a flightrebuilding the helicopterdeer in the meadowconstructinglooking at the snowflakesfinding snowflakessnowflakesmaking shapes in the snow

Each child received a copy of Woodland Stone Soup to take home. After the holes were punched in the pages they wound a coil through the holes to secure it together into a book, then wrote their name on the front. We hope that you enjoy reading them with your child. They worked so carefully over several days to create beautiful illustrations and are now looking forward to performing it for you next month.

stacking up the pagesassembling her bookreading Woodland Stone Soup

Story telling bracelets were introduced, and the children who were interested used colorful beads to represent different aspects of the stone soup story. They laced the beads onto an elastic cord, and can use them to tell the story. First they added three colorful glass beads for the three travelers, then 3 brown wooden beads for the 3 round, smooth stones. Next they added some sparkling gem encrusted beads for the villagers followed by a large wooden bead to represent the cooking pot. Three decorative glass beads represent the ingredients, and finally, a heart charm was added for sharing stone soup and connecting with others as friends and community.

making her braceletstory telling braceletlacing on the villager beadsadding the stone beads3 travellers, 3 round, smooth, stones, villagers, a large pot, ingredients for the soup, the community gathering together to enjoy stone soup together

During sign language group we reviewed everyone’s names, then guessed whose names were being signed by Rose. We learned the signs used to introduce ourselves – my, name, is – then children who wanted to took a turn introducing themselves using their sign names. We reviewed the numbers 1-11 and sang a fun number song while signing. For our winter performance we will be singing the song “The More We Get Together” so Rose taught us all the signs and helped us sing through it a couple times. We learned that signs change depending on the meaning of the word, for example, when signing more, if talking about more people or more time, we would sign it differently.

Va girl whose name begins with Fa boy whose name begins with Rpracticing introducing herselfMy name is3

We are so grateful that we have been able to spend 12 wonderful weeks together so far, and that everyone has remained healthy and safe. We are thankful for the Sunnybrook students, families, board members, and teachers that make up our community. We are thankful that we live in an area where we are able to spend our days outside, enjoying nature and all the outside opportunities for exploration, play, and learning.

We wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving! Even though you may be apart, hopefully you will still find joy and gratitude.

20 November, 2020
by Lyn


Using black pastels and blue, purple, orange, and yellow liquid watercolors, Monday students created beautiful sunset pictures on mat board.

yellows and orangesevening silhouettes and sunsetstrees in the eveningblue, orange, pink above black

We read through the story the Sunnybrook students wrote, titled Woodland Stone Soup, and each child chose a page to illustrate. They worked so carefully drawing the animals and coloring them just the right colors. We are excited to send a copy home with each child next week. It is such a fantastically beautiful book!

illustratingdrawing raccoons, chipmunks, bunnies and bearsthree raccoonsthe chickadee shares some seedsfinishing up the illustrations

The story This is the Jacket I Wear In The Snow served as an introduction to dressing for winter weather. We talked about all the layers the child in the story wore, and all the layers we are wearing to keep ourselves warm.

fire drill line up13how many ones?sorting and organizing10's and 1'sCrown, branches, trunk and roots, trunk and rootsbranchesmaking musicmud mixdancing to the rhythmthe alligator marchfilling the tunnelhauling stuffthree locked doorsbead barscareful cuttingoppositesa snow and woodchip moundfast asleepchattingbreaking through the sand blocktap, tap, tappingcollectionsmini snowballpulling and pushing the princessWant to try some?raking and scooping snowplowingWill metal break the ice?blue and purple swirlsThey discovered that they had matching LOVE, LOVE, LOVE shirts and matching gold glitter shirtsmixing up ingredientsbusytaking Michelle for a ridemixing and rockingconstructing a helicoptercollecting supplies for the helicopterloading upteamworkcontinuing assemblyin their seatsadding a roofcooking while relaxingchefs in the kitchenteeter tottermaking a map to follow to find the flowersall lined up to put away the toysRow, row, row, row, row! Row your pirate ship!If you walk down the plank, you might go for a dip!KERSPLASH!

During sign language with Rose all the girls in the class were given or chose name signs. Many of the name signs are the letter of the first name formed by the chin, where the sign for girl is made. Some students share a first letter with others, so they chose different ways to sign their names. We practiced the teacher’s signs and boy’s signs, then sang and signed the alphabet songs.

U, VWhose name begins with O?The name sign for a girl whose name begins with MA girl whose name begins with HWhose name begins with W?

We had fun playing Simon Dice (Simon Says) again in Spanish. Zeanny tried really hard to trick us, and we tried really hard to listen and only do the actions when she said Simon Dice, but she was really good at catching us move when she didn’t say it. She read the story Mortimer, about a boy who goes to bed and is supposed to be quiet, but keeps singing very loudly. We chose colored egg shakers, naming the color in Spanish, then used them to make some music and rhythms, following Zeanny’s lead.

felizSimon Dice nadarMortimer

Kindergarteners had fun celebrating the 50th day of school playing lots of fun games. They skip counted by fives and tens to fifty while playing musical stumps, count and freeze, and red light, green light. They worked on their letter books and illustrated their pages from Woodland Stone Soup using their new individual desks.

fawn, fox, fir, forestrunning in the snowfreeze on 505, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 . . .round and round we go50!daffodilsbeesfox, ferns, feathersgrass, granite, grapevinefawn and forest

Friday students continued to study liquids by combining water with solids to see if they would create a solution, where the solid dissolved in the liquid, or a mixture, where they mixed but did not dissolve. They tested out baking soda, cocoa, flour, cream of tartar, cinnamon, salt, sugar, pepper, and corn starch. They easily identified the three solids that dissolved to create a solution. See if you can tell which ones dissolved from the photo below.

mixing baking soda with watershaking the flour and watertesting out pepper, cream of tartar, and corn starch with watershaking it upmixtures and solutions, can you tell which are which?

14 November, 2020
by Lyn

Red Sky at Night, Sailors Delight

in the boat
building a wall at the end of the boat
building the dinghy
attaching the dingy to the ship
going for a ride in the dinghy
watching an afternoon sunset

With the approach of winter the sun has been setting earlier and earlier and rising later, bringing longer nights and shorter days. After care students have been enjoying some gorgeous sunsets on the playground. We talked about this seasonal change and read some stories about the dark on Monday, including Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett and The Dark by Lemony Snicket, both about children who are afraid of the dark and what might be in it. Dark paper and pastels were introduced and the students created some beautiful nighttime artwork, featuring a variety of creatures and nighttime adventures.

coloring blackmy family and friends in the forest at nightnight time picturesMe getting eaten by a monsterpastels on purpletop secretthe haunted housethe monsterpink, red, white, and blue on purplemy friends sitting on a white rock catching meteoritesadding even more detailsadding more darknesspastels on paperpastels on paper artscratched and eaten by a monsterfamily and friends and a zombie

We continued to read versions of Stone Soup and discuss the characters, plot, setting, conflict, and resolution as we wrote our own version of the story. As we have been studying trees and our world around us, we decided to write a Woodland Stone Soup story featuring three hungry raccoons and the many animals of the forest. The kindergarten group and a few interested preschoolers brainstormed and dictated a wonderfully colorful story. They decided immediately that they did not want the animals to be selfish at first, as the villagers in the Stone Soup stories we read are, but to generously share what they have right away, using the ingredients to make soup and a cake for everyone to share. Next week the children will illustrate the story.

bears in treesanimals in the forestbig memorylooking for a matchcrawling over the stumps in the obstacle courseunder the tableover the benchbasketballdumping leavesrocking with feet upmixing up some mealsanimals on rocks and treesanimal habitatsmixing mudstirring the potknocking on the doortyping on her computerdrawing the computerup the ramp and into the garageI see some feetdrawing on blocksthe dinghy at the end of the boatthe obstacle coursestanding up the logpartner blocksspooning small beadsbuilding a rocketpreparing a mealoperating the space shipbikingcounting for hide and seekemptying sand out of bootsblasting offwhat's out there?dirty handsstandingstumpedhiding from the seekersa space lightsailing the seven seassharpening the hunting knives on the whet stonemaking the whet stone movefalling inclimbing out of hidingunder the kitchenon the ballshexagons from trapezoidsbuilding hexagonswriting workbead chain workwool ball transfershape buildingbuilding flowerscuttingcounting snowflakeswatching for momsetting upbalancinga leaf imprintmaking sand souprunning with a friendbroken ropedigging out the cinder block so we can replace the rope holding the tent downcooking up some mudconstructingsharing a mealthe beauty of early morning frostseeing the extraordinary in the ordinaryice crystalsfinding ice crystals everywherefrozen water crystals

Wolfgang and Henrietta visited to talk about fair and equal. We discussed how equal means we get the same thing, but because we don’t all need or want the same thing, that is not the same as fair, which is when everyone gets what they need. We reread Henrietta’s story Friends by Helme Heine about three friends, Fat Percy the pig, Johnny Mouse, and Charlie Rooster, who do everything together, including sailing a boat, where they each do different jobs suited to them. They stop for a snack of cherries, getting different amounts according to how much they eat, and giving all the cherry stones to Charlie Rooster, who is the only one who eats and enjoys them. We demonstrated equal when Wolfgang gave large adult T-shirts to Lyn and a student to wear. It fit Lyn well, but was much too big for the student, so Wolfgang gave child size t-shirts to them, and it fit the student well but was much too small for Lyn. So it was equal, but not fair. When the student received the child size t-shirt, and Lyn received the adult size t-shirt, that was fair.

During Spanish with Zeanny we did some singing with the triste (sad), feliz (happy), enojado (angry), and preocupado (preocupied) faces and dancing with cabeza, hombros, piernes, pies, (Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes) and the Cha, Cha, Cha body music song. She introduced Simon dice (Simon says) and tried to trick the children in their movements. Zeanny read El Loro Tico Tango about a loro (parrot) who steals colorful fruits from all the other animals of the rainforest, but in the end drops them all. We then chose colorful egg shakers to shake rapido, lento, abajo, and arriba.

preocupadomanosSimon dicerapidorojo

Friday students continued their study of water. We began an evaporation experiment by filling two jars with blue water. One we capped and the other we left open so we can compare any level changes in the water. We sang Row, Row, Row Your Boat and Row Your Pirate Ship then read Mr. Gumpy’s Outing about a man and some children and animals who go out in a boat on the pond, and eventually tip over when they all begin to move and squabble. Everyone was then given a piece of clay and tub of water and tasked with making the piece of clay float. At first, the children tried lots of different shapes of clay trying to make it float. Eventually we discussed and brought out a small metal bowl, which was the only metal object that floated in our float/sink supplies, and observed how it was shaped. The children observed and considered how it was shaped and tried out some curved shapes. They continued to sink, so we observed the thinness of the bowl. Many children were then successful making their clay float by shaping it into thin, curved boats.

filling  a jarpouring blue watermaking them evenshaping claysmooshing the clayflattening the claythey float!!flat and curvedtesting out a theorysmall pieces flat and curved floatthin and flata curved boat floatsusing fingers to make it thin

6 November, 2020
by Lyn


On Monday we read Swatch, the Girl Who Loved Color before using lots of bright paints to fill in our black circle outlines in the style of Wassily Kandinsky. They are truly beautiful works of art!

keeping it in the linespainting circlescircle artvibrant colorsblue, green, yellowbig and small

The cold temperatures brought our first snowfall that stuck and the children had a glorious time making angels, snow piles, snowballs, roads and pathways, and having snowball battles. We reviewed the expectations for snowball throwing with those who wanted to throw snow: 1. always ask before throwing snow at someone and wait for their response, 2. if they say yes to a snowball battle, they get to throw snow back at you, and 3. we aim for the legs and body. The children did well following the expectations when they knew what they were. The snow only lasted a couple of days before the temperatures moved up into the 60’s and we had some unseasonably warm T-shirt weather, which we took full advantage of!

a dirty snowballfinding (hopefully) clean snow to eatwatching the graderzoom zoommud and snow mealssnow angelshoveling pathwaysher giant snowballangelicchopping up their snow pilemixing sand and snowfriends climbing togetherstill working on the snow pilediggingmud pieadding some dirtsunsetcatching melted snow dripscollecting waterpictures in the mudscooping up the melted snowcold watera pot for collectingmessy fundrip drop dribblea finger sticking upputting together the new bikessearching for treasurewarm in the sunshinemixing mudscoopingtearing up the boxesa 48 hour trip to North Carolina in a power boatnaming the "Tucker Boat"table workmatching lettersGo Fishdecorating their boatsteppingsnackingcardboard beddingpushing the passenger in the sled

In an effort to teach a bit about social distancing to avoid spreading germs, Susan introduced a game of germ ball. Everyone got a “germ” ball, and we stood at our stumps. When she said sneeze or cough, we handed our germs to the person on the left. We then moved out into a bigger circle, where the people next to us were too far away to reach, so we tossed the germs to the next person. Only some of the people caught the germs. We then made our circle even bigger, and only 1 or 2 people caught the germs.

all spread out trying to pass and catch germstossing the germ balls

We introduced the story of Stone Soup, a story of giving, gratitude, and community, which is an annual Sunnybrook tradition during the month of November. We first read the version by Marcia Brown from 1948 about three hungry soldiers coming home from war who enter a small town searching for food and lodging. All the peasants say they have no food to share, so the soldiers go about making stone soup to share with the community, and in their curiosity, the peasants offer ingredients for the soup until it is fit for a king. The villagers and soldiers then dine together, enjoying the food and company, before the villagers invite them into their homes for the night. We read a few other versions, including Some Friends to Feed by Pete Seeger, and the version by Jon J. Muth about three monks who visit a village and they demonstrate how happiness comes from kindness, generosity, and spending time together. We discussed the elements of a story, including setting, characters, emotions, challenges, and resolution. We began writing our own stone soup story. The setting will be the forest, and the characters woodland creatures. We will develop more details and get ready to finalize it next week so we can illustrate it the following week.

brainstorming for our Stone Soup storyidentifying lettersrhymingtapping out a beat to followtaking apart the dollsmatryoshkafinding fox footprintsall sorted by shape and colormatching wordssequencing a story

During sign language with Rose we continued to practice our letters, the signs we have learned so far, and signing the alphabet songs and Skidamarink. Rose signed the letters and when the first letter in someone’s name was signed, those children stood up. We reviewed the teacher name signs, then all the boys in the class were given name signs. Each of their signs is formed by using the first letter of their first name to make the “boy” sign, so if the child’s name starts with T, his name sign is the letter T up by the side of the forehead. In two weeks, the girls will get their name signs.

noonnowtimesinging in sign languageif your name starts with C stand upThe name sign for a boy who's name starts with T

Kindergarten students continued to practice building numbers using Cuisenaire rods, finding counting patterns, and working with letter sounds.

skip counting

We celebrated a golden birthday with our newest 6 year old. As she walked the globe around the sun 6 times, we listed the seasons and counted the years until she turned 6. We read a beautiful book that she donated to the school about a girl who’s mother makes her a dress, and the girl and the dress do everything together. One day after they have traveled across the ocean on a big ship, they are separated and the dress travels on, locked in a trunk, “looking” for the girl and meeting many new people in the process. Many years later, when the girl is a mother to her own daughter, she spots the dress in a shop window and they are reunited.

birthday girl

For Friday science we continued our study of the water cycle and liquids. We read Rivers of Sunlight: How the Sun Moves Water Around the Earth by Molly Bang. We then discussed how liquids vary in their density, how closely their molecules are packed. We can see this with how they move. Liquids with a higher density flow much more slowly, and those that are less dense slosh and splash and move much more quickly. We watched and compared several different liquids to see which were slower, more dense, and faster, less dense. We ordered them, then poured them into a cylinder in layers, creating a stack of liquids that float on each other. In watching them move in their containers, we decided honey was the most dense, so we poured that in first. We then added corn syrup, which we colored purple, then vegetable glycerin that we colored green, blue dish soap, red water, orange oil, and finally isopropyl alcohol.

adding green coloring to the glycerinstirring in the greenpouring in the next layermaking red waterlooking at the layers of liquid

Some students have been curious about shadows, so students who were interested selected a small object and taped it to a piece of paper, then traced its’ shadow. They traced the shadow at 9:15, then each hour following, observing how the position, size, and direction changed as the sun moved. We noticed that the shadows moved from left to right and became shorter as the time approached noon, then lengthened again as the time passed noon.

tracing shadows at 9:15
more shadows
tracing the doll shadow