Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

15 February, 2020
by Lyn
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There were lots outdoor birthday parties, games of chase and capture, sledding adventures, snow removal teams, and kitty cat caregivers.

doing the steep drop3 kids in a sledup and down the hillall loaded upcaptured!

Monday students strengthened their finger skills peeling the papers off crayons. It was quite a challenge! After selecting the colors they wanted, they placed them in a silicone heart mold. The crayons were slowly melted in the oven at 250 degrees until they were melted enough to reform but not blend all together into a murky brown. There were some really fun multicolored heart shaped crayons by the time they cooled.

making new crayons out of old crayonscrayons

The art table was busy with students finishing up their Jupiter projects and making Valentine mail bags.

making Valentine bagsmaking Valentine bagsJupiter's stripesJupiter & Mars

The planets Saturn and Uranus were introduced. We read that Saturn, the second gas giant, has beautiful rings made of icy rocks and dust, and that Saturn has many moons, one of which is bigger than the planet Mercury. This moon is called Titan, which means giant. Uranus, the third gas giant, is the coldest planet in the solar system, and rotates clockwise, the opposite direction of all the other planets.

Susan shared the Greek myth of Saturn and Uranus, who have made appearances several times already. The children are really becoming familiar with the stories and chimed in about the different gods, particularly recalling that Saturn was selfish and wanted to rule all by himself, so he would eat his children until his son Jupiter, who had been hidden in a cave by his mother, drove him away.

internal organsred sands of Marsname memoryDinosaur bookworld map puzzlemusiciansno windowswriting with Tammyfloor workpatterns and puzzlesthe garbage going up the chute to the landfillroving the red planetteam work to fill the rover with Mars dustexploring Marsrovingready for workBunny Booexamining the eyechecking her weightnumber boardQ book and 5  Little Monkeys bookletter tic-tac-toereading

Sign Language was a lot of fun! Rose told us a story using signs and spoken words. We knew many of the signs in the story and the children quickly began reading the signs to tell the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears along with Rose. It was so fun to put all those signs together to tell a story! We learned Valentine signs after the story. Rose taught us heart, Valentine, like, and two different ways to sign I love you.

Goldilocks sat on the chairGoldilocks wobbled the chairGoldilocks lay in the bedGoldilocks fell asleepValentine

We read the story Moses Goes to a Concert about a boy who attends a school for the deaf. He attends a concert with his classmates and teacher. Moses and his classmates were excited to learn that the percussionist of the orchestra was also deaf, and when she walked onto the stage she was shoeless so she could feel the vibrations through her feet. The teacher gave each child a balloon, which they held so they could feel the vibrations of the music as it passed through the air.

We took out the big drum to learn about sound waves and how they cause vibrations. We and placed pompoms on the top, then gradually played louder and louder, watching the vibrations bounce the pompoms higher and higher and higher until they went flying away.

quietly tappingmaking vibrationsvibrating the balls off the drum

We celebrated our second 6th birthday with tasty fruit kabobs. The birthday girl informed us that she was born in winter in the month of February then she zoomed her way around the sun so fast we thought maybe she was on Mercury rather than Earth!

6 years oldzooming around the sunbirthday fruit kabobs

Thursday we had so much fun celebrating Valentine’s Day! The children distributed their Valentine cards before we began morning meeting (thank you families for helping your children with this task)! We sang some valentine songs, including Skidamarink and A Tisket, A Tasket, then introduced all the various activities the children could choose to do. Children made glitter jars, played roll and color, did sight word color sheets, made heart chains, made Valentines for friends and family, and made paper dolls (thank you Michelle for making that happen). We then played a movement game. Children took turns picking a heart from the rug then everyone did the action written on the back, such as hop on one foot, wiggle like a worm, parade like elephants, sing the ABC’s, etc. They then enjoyed all the amazingly delicious snacks sent in by families. They enjoyed veggies & dip, fruit kabobs, homemade dehydrated fruit trail mix, raspberry muffins, cheese sticks, banana bread, homemade vegan peanutbutter cups & butterfingers, and Annie’s gummy bunnies. We are so grateful for our two parent volunteers who joined us for the day, Michelle and Laura!

distributing Valentinesheart chainssight word coloring workadding glitter glueeveryone has a jarroll and colormaking Valentinespaper dollsglitter jarswiggle like a worm

Friday students explored the final sense – taste. We read some stories about taste, watched a brief clip about how we taste things and the five categories of taste, looked at the taste buds on our tongues, then had our very own tasting party where we sampled a variety of foods and determined whether they were sweet, sour, salty, bitter, or savory.

Looking at the tongueWhy is my tongue white?checking out the taste budstaste testall the things we tasted

At the end of the morning we took out the mats and they had fun dancing, leaping, jumping, laughing, singing, being cheetahs, and showing off ninja moves. They made sure to take plenty of water breaks and were so sweaty they had to remove layers to cool down.

leapingover the matjumpingNinja movesindoor recess dancing time

8 February, 2020
by Lyn
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Stop and Think

Gray days invited busy bodies. There were running games of chase and race to the top (of the hill). There was lots of shoveling, plowing, scooping, snowblowing (the toy lawnmower does double duty in the winter), snowball collecting, pail filling, and snowpile building. The new favorite cozy spot is behind the kitchen where plotting, planning, and spying can take place.

shovel vs snowblowerscooping snowplanting a winter gardendumping the snow chunksfilling the dump truckcollectingstop and goa bunch of kitty catsbulldozing down the snowbuilding their own little hillall aboard

Our Monday art started with DOTS. We read the story Lots of Dots, then donned our T-shirt smocks so we could use permanent black marker to make dots all over our mat boards. We used the marked to connect the dots to create geometric shapes, swirls, and patterns. The artists then used watercolor paints to make their artwork pop. Some artists turned their boards over to make pictures depicting items that are circular, then painted or colored those with permanent markers.

connect the dotsadding color to dot picturesconnected dots

Watercolors remained out for the week, which resulted in some lovely works of art.

water color pictureswater color paintingwater color paintingwatercolors & making Mars

The fourth planet from the sun is Mars, also known as the RED PLANET. We viewed a short National Geographic video about the planet Mars, and learned that the reason Mars is red is because the iron dust on the surface interacts with the oxygen in the atmosphere, creating a layer of rusty dust. We made our own rusty dusty Mars models by mixing red and orange sand to a color of our liking, painted our Mars circles with glue, then gently poured our sand mixture over the surface.

rusty dustred and orange mixturedemonstrating how to make Marsbrushing on gluecutting out Marsmaking the red planet

Susan shared the story of Mars, who is the god of war. Mars loved to fight and he was very impulsive. He would act out of anger without thinking about the consequences, which was harmful to others, though he himself did not like to be hurt. Minerva, Mars’ sister, is the goddess of war. She, unlike Mars, was full of wisdom. This means she was very thoughtful and would stop, think about the impact of her actions, make a plan, then act. We discussed how these different approaches have different outcomes, and which method is a safer, kinder, more respectful method. The children decided that stopping, thinking, and then acting was a better choice.

Mars, the god of warMercury, Venus, Earth and MarsJupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, & Dwarf Plutoplanets orbit the sun

We also introduced the planet Jupiter, which is the largest planet and the first of the four giant gas planets. It is so large that all the planets together would fit inside Jupiter, and it would hold 1000 planet Earths! We learned that Jupiter is a planet of storms, including the great red spot, which is a hurricane type storm that has been blowing for hundreds of years and is about the size of 2-3 Earths. The children pretended to be space probes blowing around Jupiter, taking pictures and samples and trying not to be blown away. They created planet Jupiters by pasting long strips of pink, red, orange, yellow, and white tissue paper onto large circles they traced and cut out, then adding a giant red spot on the lower left side.

exploring jupiterspace probes swirling around Jupiterpainting on glueJupitercolorful stripes of Jupiteroranges, pinks, yellows, and reds

Susan shared the Greek Myth about the god Jupiter (also known as Zeus) who is the god of thunder and lightning. Jupiter is the son of Saturn, and he worked with his siblings to drive Saturn away because he was a cruel and selfish ruler. Strong Jupiter and his siblings ruled together in harmony. Another story Susan shared about Jupiter was when his wife, Metis, turned into a fly and flew into his head. She was very wise and would give him good advice. Juno, another wife, would give him poor advice, and Jupiter had to decide which advice to follow. We discussed how this is the same for us. We have different thoughts, feelings, and ideas, and we have to decide which we should follow. We are responsible for listening to ourselves and making wise choices, as well as when we listen to others.

Jupiter's wife turned into a fly and flew into his head

Susan laid out the five planets we have studied so far and the sun, then we played “When the solar winds blow.” Susan would say, “when the solar winds blow they will take you to . . . ” and then name a planet. The children would then swirl around until they found the named planet, landing there until they were blown elsewhere.

the solar winds blow you to Jupiterbeing blown to Mercurylanding on Earthblown to Jupiterthe solar winds blow you to Mercury

During Spanish with Zeanny we reviewed colors and numbers, this time counting all the way to vente (twenty) using all our deditos (fingers & toes). Zeanny introduced the family through songs, the story Mortimer, and a fun hide and go seek game. El papa and el bebe were hidden, and then students tried to find them with some help from the class.

nueve deditoscounting toesMortimergoing to find Papahiding el bebe

We have been focusing on friendship, kindness, respect, perspective taking, and making kind/wise choices. Susan and Lyn role played a scenario where Susan began playing with Lyn’s work and we discussed what some of the options were Lyn’s response. Lyn shared her thoughts in her head, about how she was feeling frustrated and angry and her initial thoughts were not kind. We discussed how important it is to stop and think before speaking or acting to make sure that the words we say are kind. The children shared some other scenarios and we worked together to brainstorm kind words and actions rather than instantly reacting with unkind words and actions.

letter tic-tac-toea & r tic-tac-toeusing the wrenchesmatching scentsnumber dot memory matchimmunizationsscent matchinghuman bodyLego constructiontime for your shotcolorsname matchmake it look like the picturebuilding the space shippull this lever to landadding cameras, viewing screens, and labels to the space shipthe space ship ready to gothe Dr. is invehicle puzzlerovers on Marsname memory match

We celebrated a fifth birthday on Thursday. The birthday boy brought mini chocolate & vanilla cupcakes to share. He excitedly told us that he was born in the winter, in the month of February, then quickly raced around the sun five times before blowing out the candle. Happy birthday to our newest five year old!

5 years oldfrozen like an ice statue in winter

31 January, 2020
by Lyn
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Living

We love outside where we spend our time moving our bodies, working together, and building our imaginations. The children have been working in teams lending a hand and caring for each other, pulling friends in sleds, holding sleds at the top of the sledding hill, playing group games, inviting others to participate, and working together to accomplish a goal.

the sledding hilltrucking1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . ready or not, here I come!on the gocatchteamworkCAUTION signstaking care of the babygetting the sled readyall the cakesa fancy way of hauling a bikebiking with help

Monday students practiced the art of suminagashi, also known as paper marbling. They selected the colors of ink they preferred, then carefully dripped drops of the ink onto a small paper circle floating in a dish of water. They then took pencils to carefully swirl and move the inks into patterns, pulling the various colors between each other. When they had adequately swirled, they gently laid their papers over the top to absorb the inks, creating lovely marbled papers.

ink dropsmaking swirlscollecting colormarbled paperblue dropsblue, red, and blackcolorful swirlscolorful paper

Our study of the planets in our solar system moved on to planet Earth this week. The children made another planet Earth, similar to those they made in the fall, so they will have them for their solar system mobiles. They used green pastels on paper, then used a blue watercolor wash to fill in the oceans, and some white pastels for a wispy cloud cover.

Mother Earthland and water

We read about the major features of Earth, including land and water, the atmosphere, and the water cycle. We learned that Earth is the only planet we know of that sustains life, where the temperature, atmosphere, and presence of water make that possible. We examined photographs of craters on earth, and discussed how they compare to craters on Mercury and the Moon. Craters on Earth change due to wind, weather, water, plants, and animals, while craters on Mercury and the Moon remain as they are, unchanging, as they have no atmosphere to create weather and change them.

Susan shared the Greek Myth about Gaea/Terra/Mother Earth. Terra was a kind and loving mother who wanted her children to live in peace and work together. Sadly, her children did not want to share power. Finally Jupiter, who had been hidden and raised in a cave, overpowered Saturn, who had been eating all Terra’s children. He freed the children Saturn had eaten and they all ruled together equally. We talked about how this is a myth – a story that didn’t really happen – but that sometimes people do like to be the bigger one in power telling others what to do, but the children shared that that is unkind and they do not feel that they want to be told what to do all the time by someone else.

Mother Earthpassing the Earthpassing quickly

During sign language with Rose we learned more animal signs. Last week we learned signs for common pets and this week we learned signs for some local wildlife. We learned snake, bird, deer, moose, and bear. They are pretty easy to read, as they look a lot like the animals! Deer is signed by making antlers with your fingers on your head, moose is bigger antlers using the arms and fingers. Bird is two fingers opening and closing by your nose, like a beak. Snake is two fingers as fangs and wiggling the hand & arm like a snake. And bear is made by crossing the arms and scratching at opposite shoulders.

happystarfathermoosebear

We watched some short videos about children that are deaf or hard of hearing and discussed how being deaf changes how people communicate and sense the world. We talked about recognizing that being deaf is different, but does not mean that they are broken. We talked about ways that doctors may be able to help some people who are hearing impaired or deaf to be able to gain some hearing, such as with a cochlear implant or hearing aid, but many people prefer to remain part of the deaf community and choose to not use technological assistance to hear. We recognized that sign language is another language like French, English, Spanish, Italian, Cantonese, or German, and we can communicate with others who speak the same language.

earth tonesanimal towerwritingsorting and countingEarth orbits the sunthe dinosaur forestcutting out her moonsreading listsThe Doctors hard at workName memoryteam paintingsorting and countingletter worksorting and counting trayrhyming wordsa block wallBunny boorhyming matchwhich way does it go?adding the walls to the tankorange doughthe dinosaur tankpatternsBunny Booinside the bodytaking a breakconstructingword reading & letter bookstall, taller, tallestbead boardsLook!the people on top of the buildingWriting"Dad loves dogs."

We began to revisit friendships, being kind, being inclusive, and how Sunnybrook is a community where we respect and care for each other. We read the books You Pick Me Up, I Am Enough, and Rulers of the Playground. We talked about the metaphor to pick someone up, and that it does not mean to physically pick someone up, but to support them, care for them, comfort them, and help them feel good about themselves. Rulers of the Playground prompted discussions about how we feel when others tell us what to do all the time and when we are treated unkindly with words and actions.

jumping jacksThere were ten in the bed

We celebrated a fourth birthday with unicorn horn fruit kebabs. The birthday girl informed us that she was born in the season of winter and the month of January four years ago. She carefully orbited the candle while we counted and named the seasons as she walked. Happy birthday newest four year old!

the birthday girlunicorn horn fruit kebabs

During music we were introduced to the terms piano, which means quietly/softly, and forte, which means strongly/loudly. Susan demonstrated playing piano and forte on the drums, as well as slowly (lento) and quickly (presto), which we learned last week. After Susan demonstrated, the children took turns playing the big bass drum piano & lento, piano & presto, forte & lento, and forte & presto. They had fun listening, watching, and following.

drumming pianodrumming fortepresto & forteready to drumforte!

We studied the sense of smell during science on Friday. We watched a video about how our noses work and how we smell, examined a model of the nasal cavity, and then smelled some stuff. We tried to identify all the things we smelled, and we were successful with several, but some were unfamiliar or just a little too tricky. We smelled cinnamon, ginger, peppermint, orange, grapefruit, lime, lemon, tangerine, lavender, and eucalyptus. Some of the smells we really liked, but some were yucky!

The nasal cavitysmelling gingerDo you recognize this smell?

25 January, 2020
by Lyn
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Up High and Down Low

Sittin on the top of the wall

After a cold day inside, we were so excited to get out and enjoy the big, fluffy snow fall. It came all the way up to our knees! We shoveled up mountains, tried sledding down our mini snow pile, then resorted to rolling and tumbling down. We hauled loads of snow, shoveled and plowed it out of the way, and played games of chase and capture. Friday students tromped down the big snow pile at the end of the driveway and went sledding down.

pop beadsbalancingoctopus & shark puppet showaligator & lion, shark & octopusPlaymobile people and farm animalsbalancingmagnatile mansionIMG_4592 (2)sledding down the "big" hillhappy shovelingtunnelfalling in the snowstuck in the kitchenplow truckswatching the bucket loader dumping snow over the bankclimbing up and overscoopshovelingholding the sled for a friendtumbling down the hillmoving housesledding on the big hillbelly sliding

The second planet from the sun, Venus, was introduced. We learned that it is the hottest planet in our solar system. It has a dense atmosphere that traps the heat from the many volcanoes inside, where acid rain pours down and lightning storms shoot bolts around. We made our Venus art project by dropping red, orange, and yellow inks onto a layer of water, swirling them together, then setting our circle on top to collect the inks. They created some beautiful swirly volcanic Venuses.

IMG_4539 (2)waiting for the edges to curl upVenus is covered in volcanosa circle for Venuscutting out Venus

Susan told us about Venus, the Greek goddess of beauty. Susan told us that she was beautiful on the outside, but not on the inside, where she was vain, cruel, and selfish. We learned that she married Vulcan, the god of fire and volcanoes, and metalworking. He was kind but ugly and he forged all the thrones for the gods.

Venus, the goddess of beautyIMG_4542 (2)IMG_4546 (2)vehicle puzzleorange play doughteamworkthe painterhis favorite materialhouse buildingI think you have a feverlooking at an eyeorganstelling storiestracing shapesmaking Mercurytracing and cutting starsconstruction zonehard & softcareful coloringspace memorycaring for the injured patientsorting and counting trayexamining an eye

During sign language we learned the signs for some pets that we might have. We learned dog, made by slapping your leg then snapping your fingers, like you would call a dog, cat, made by using your fingers to pull out from your nose like whiskers, fish, made by wiggling your hand like it is swimming in the water, mouse, which you sign by tapping/rubbing your finger over the side/front of your nose several times, and turtle, which is signed by making a fist with thumb resting on top, and placing the opposite hand over it as a shell.

ninesurprisedmotherfishturtle

Katie and A.O. from Believe in Books visited on Wednesday with their adventure suitcase. Inside there were some dinosaurs and dinousaur teeth. We learned about herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores, and discussed how and why dinosaur teeth are different. A.O. then read Pete the Cat, Cavecat, before everyone chose a dinosaur book of their very own.

Spinosaurus tooth vs T-Rex toothhow long is a T-Rex compared to Spinosaurus

We shared the plants that we cut, pressed, and preserved with Rachel. About half of the students had collected goldenrod, and the other half collected asters. A few students had collected different plants, including a wild cucumber, virginia creeper, and a non-native plant that is invasive and had actually continued to grow and put out shoots even after being collected and pressed.

GoldenrodVirginia Creeper

Zeanny has returned from Costa Rica, so Spanish has resumed. She reviewed colors, numbers, tempo, position, and body parts with some songs, the scarves, egg shakers, and a Dora the Explorer counting story. We had fun moving our egg shakers to different positions and speeds and using our scarves to cover different body parts, such as our cabezas (heads), Piernes (legs), and pies (feet).

what is in la caja magica today?orejaspies

During Music with Susan we learned about pitch. She played a high pitched bell, a low pitched bell, and a medium pitched bell. When she played the high pitch, we rose up on our toes and reached up high. When she played the low pitch, we sank down and touched our toes. For the medium pitch we put our hands on our hips. Everyone got a set of claves, which we then played up high, down low, in the middle, to the tempo Susan named, either lento (slow) or presto (fast).

"I know!"low notehigh noteplaying highplaying slow and low

For Friday science we explored a third sense, hearing. We watched a short video about how we hear, read a story about the sense of hearing, examined a model of the ear and the parts that conduct sound, then played a listening game. We listened to different animal noises then guessed which animals make them. At first they were all easy to guess farm animals, but then they got a little more challenging with goat, lion, and monkey. After science and snack, the children requested that we spend some time in the second classroom, so they chose some activities to enjoy in our small, cozy space.

coloringpuzzles and magnetic shape patternscoloring on the cozy stairs