Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

13 March, 2021
by Lyn


king of the wall

In following our study of birds, Monday students read a picture book story based on Paul Klee’s painting Cat and Bird. We then watched a short tutorial video about how to draw a bird, modeling how to draw a head, body, beak, legs, wings, tail, eye, and feathers. The children then either used their imaginations or chose a bird photo as a reference and drew a bird. The bird pictures were glorious and included a rainbow bird, colorful eagle, black crows, a chickadee, dark eyed junko, purple bird, and several others.

crowblack crowdrawing feathered wingsbirdschool birdsmourning doveblack capped chickadeedark eyed junkogrosbeakbirds

This is the week of the Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska, so we learned a bit about how it started, with a serum run to bring medication to some children in Nome Alaska with diptheria, and the many dogs and mushers who ran an 800 mile relay to deliver the medicine. We learned some of the terms the mushers use to direct the dogs – hike for go, easy for slow, and woah for stop. The children then chose to be a dog or a musher, and we formed 4 teams then followed directions from the mushers while racing around the yard.

sled dogssled dogs returning to be chosen as part of a teama team of dogs with their musherLyn's dog team was the fastest

During Sign language with Rose we learned the sign for opposite, then learned some opposite signs, including small & big, tall & short, happy & sad, silly & serious, sweet & sour, left & right, young & old, and new & old. We then learned the signs for Make New Friends. We already knew several of the signs, so the challenge was signing them all fast enough to keep up with Rose!


We celebrated a fifth birthday (wow!) with the birthday girl who was born in March in the season of winter. She walked the globe around the sun while we counted then was serenaded by the Happy Birthday song. Happy birthday 5 year old!

Birthday Girl5

During Spanish we did the marching/body movement song again. It got quite silly as we started to move more and more body parts, starting with our manos (hands) and going all the way to our piernas (legs), caderas (hips), hombros (shoulders), cabezas (heads), ojos (eyes) and lengua (tongue). Zeanny read a story about an abeula (grandmother) who travels all over the world collecting things for her grandchild, then everyone had fun playing the quien comio (who ate) el galleta (the cookie) game.

dancingquien comio?el papa!

With the rise in temperatures the snow and ice has started melting, creating lots of wonderful puddles and lots of glorious goopy mud. We watched the water flow from the high ground to the low ground, where it pooled and settled, slowly filtrating into the soil and evaporating in the sun. Susan led us in thinking about how water flows and where it goes. We all watched a stream of water flowing down, pulling silt down with it. We then pretended to be precipitation – either rain or snow – falling and settling on the ground, then melting and flowing downhill before gathering at the bottom. Afternoon students experimented with boats, making them out of paper, mat board, bowls, and paper cups. We had such a wonderful week playing in the water and mud and removing layers to enjoy the warmth and the sun.

watching water flowdown the hill it goeswatching the silt being pulled by the flowing watersnowflakes landingmelting and flowing down hilla cup boatfollowing the flow of the waterpaper boatsfloating boatsmud piesmolding mudscooping ice waterhappy on the hillpainting with watertop of the hillcooking in the frying pancracking icecollecting sledsfilling the dump trucksnow cones for Lauratasty drinksmud soupsnow conesa full potenjoying drinksshoveling up the snowstringing up the bird feedersmud loafhappy chefscooking timehis favorite digger is backcampfirerunrestingblack, blue, and yellowmud batteradding flavor to the snowconehuntingmarvelous mudpuddle jumpingwater holedigging a trench to drain the waterfilled upmaking teafilling up the panspooningice blocksblueteamworkfilling the kettlescooping waterloading upchocolate snow cone?scoopunder the apple treechecking out the truckgoing for a ridetrying to pull Lyn out of the puddledriving through the watergarbage truckwater wavesleapjumpdriving through

Kindergarten students were finally able to get back to a bit of outside work time. They counted the pickets all the way up to 100 days. They used orange paint to paint every 10th picket, just like the orange 10 rods they use in their math work. They painted yellow dots on each picket for the number it represents after each ten, so one dot on the 1 picket, 11 picket, 21 picket, etc. two dots on 2, 12, 22, etc. They took some photos being kooky kids and kids for their K page. They did some straight line letter writing practice, forming their l’s, i’s, w’s, v’s, x’s, etc. One afternoon the afternoon students filled a square with Cuisinaire rods to make a 100 square.

fit 100 on this squarefitting 1005 10s and some other numbers to make 100building 100how many to build 10s5's, 2's, 3's & 7's100number rods1's, 2's, 3's, 6's, 9's and 10'sfinished!pretty patternfunny manbookend tensrhyming words puzzleEveryone loves LEGOSmagnet artthis girl loves hammering the golf teesCan you set it up to look just like the picture?The Street Beneath My Feetlight box tracingsigns and people

Friday students read and talked about bird beaks, then used 6 different utensils representing different beak types, and 6 types of bird food, to see which type of beak was best for eating which types of food.

sucking up nectara cutting and tearing beaka seed cracking beakcrack all the seedsgrabbing wormshummingbird beakHow does a Heron get it's food?a duck bill strains the water plantsDSC00340 (2)mouse piecesa sucking beakDo robins stab worms or grab them?cracking open the mouse?Which tool will open sunflower seeds?eating water plants with a grabbing beak

6 March, 2021
by Lyn


Monday students used their art time to paint their clay sculptures that they created before break. The clay is quite fragile, as it air dries rather than being baked in a kiln, so we had to be careful to prevent cracking.

purple, pink & orangeredblack platered and blue sectionsblack pantherforming her clayorangebluewhiteblue and greenlots of colors

We did some moving and got our heartrates up, then felt how fast they were beating. We observed that our bodies were hot, our breathing was heavy, and our hearts were beating quickly in our chests. We read a book called Listening to My Body: A Guide to Helping Kids Understand the Connection Between their Sensations and Feelings. It is all about the physical sensations in our bodies and what they tell us and the emotional feelings in our bodies and what they tell us. It talks about how we may exhibit our emotions physically, such as clenching our fists, raising our shoulders, and getting a bit warmer when we are angry. We also learned some strategies for how to help ourselves recover from intense emotions and safely handle them. We did activities throughout the book to bring some awareness to how our bodies were feeling and what made them feel that way.

giving ourselves big hugs

Henrietta and Wolfgang visited to introduce their friend, Tucker Turtle, who has a lot of stories to share. One story he had was from when he was young at Sunny Stream school. Tucker shared that he used to get angry and hit, yell, and throw things, but he doesn’t do that anymore. He learned to STOP, tuck in and take some deep breaths and THINK of a solution to his problem before ACTING. It took him a lot of practice, but now he can control and respond appropriately to his frustration and anger.

IMG-0865Tucker Turtle introduces STOP, THINK, ACT

a painting for her familya counting game with SusanLegosthe house and all the tiresred and blue make purplehammeringfilling the dropper bottlespainting partnersanimal cavescartwheelhopping like a frogdollhousedomino trainsa stone wall to block flooding to the villagereading about being a big sister with Michellepartner paintingLego housered, yellow and blue make brownfish countingtapping in the teesswirls of colormusical chairscolorfulputting on a performancewhat do you spy?reading "Bark, George"teamwork on 100 boardcounting knotstable workcovers and jarstees in claysand in the funneljumpingfinding Waldocutting and coloringopposites match

During Sign Language we learned signs for emotions. We learned grouchy, hungry, angry, sad, happy, scared, surprised, worried, and shy. The children then took turns telling us how they were feeling. There were a lot of grouchy kids at school on Wednesday, though their smiling faces told a different story. We had fun singing the Down on Grandpa’s Farm song, signing the color, size, and name of the animal, including a black and white skunk!


We had a lot of fun in Spanish learning the Spanish words for the family and doing some fun movement activities. We sang the familia song then played a game where we had to figure out which member of the family ate the last piece of pizza. The children covered their eyes, but it was just too tempting to peek, so Laura created a blockade to keep sneaky eyes from spying. Zeanny read a story about animal families and we identified the large and small families and the plants they liked to eat.

tristefelizmoving all the partsall the partsno peeking!putting up a shieldWho ate the pizza?

Kindergarteners enjoyed some fishing addition work. They tossed ten fish into a pond, then documented how many were yellow and how many were orange, then added them up to make sums of ten. They also had fun working on their K pages for their alphabet books. Before they begin writing they do their exercises to get their big and small muscles ready to work!

5 + 5 =104 yellow fishlining up to count7+36+4sortingfish in the pond9 yellow fish and 1 orange

Michelle came on Wednesday and together with Susan took groups of 8 students at a time out snowshoeing. They were so excited to get out and adventure in the back field again. They were on the hunt for natural items and returned with a small bird nest made of pine needles and birch bark, several galls, lots of tall plant stalks, and a caterpillar web/nest. We attempted to open the galls by bashing them with our hands, which didn’t work, so we tried stomping on them with our boots, which didn’t really work. Finally we got a hammer and a saw and were able to get them open. They were fascinating to observe and oddly beautiful.

Ready to head outtrackstrekking along the hillup and aroundcollecting tall plant stalksall in a rowin the snowfinding dried plantswinter flowersclimbingbig stepsonwardslowly down the hillfollowingcrossingtrying to open the gallwhat does it look like inside?examining the gallsawingusing the plant stalks to push snowlook at the lines and the spot in the middlehammering the stalk to see the pulpsawing stickssawing stalks

mud souppenguin rookerymixing mudmud mining sitesledding joydesigns in snowpine tree artscooping mudmud on the goglorious mudmud piepullingmixturea helping handcampfire for making smoresteamworkplant stalks for fort buildingthe boys

Friday students read some stories about bird songs and calls. We looked at some photos of local birds that remain for the winter rather than migrating and identified them. The children easily identified the crow, chickadee, downy woodpecker, and bald eagle. Several of them knew the blue jay and one person identified the cardinals. The evening grosbeak, dark eyed junko, and mourning dove were all new. We then listened to bird calls and tried to identify which birds made them. The crow and chickadee were easy and fun to imitate. The children were quick to identify the woodpecker, they were stumped by the bald eagle, and after several guesses figured out the mourning dove, junko, and grosbeak.

Some students worked together to combine lard with cereal bits, broken up granola bars, and bird seed. They spooned the mixture into silicone molds then cut up straws and placed them in to create a hole for a string. We set them outside to cool and solidify so we can hang them in the tree for the birds to feast on.

mixing cereal and birdseed with lard
stirring up the bird feeder mix
scooping the bird feed mix into the mold

20 February, 2021
by Lyn

Push and Pull

We took out some clay on Monday and created some 3D art by shaping, molding, pinching, and cutting. Some children made dishes or containers. Some made animals or characters. Some just got creative and made some art. We will paint them when we return to school after break.

clayshaping black panthersa mugcutting claystacking piecespushing and squishinga character

During Sign Language with Rose we practiced our alphabet, some animals, and colors. Rose then introduced signs for members of a family, including sister, mother, aunt, grandmother, girl cousin, brother, father, uncle, grandfather, boy cousin and family. All these signs are made around the face. The female signs are formed around the chin, as this is where bonnet strings would meet, and male signs are formed around the forehead, where a cap brim would be. She then taught us a song about grandfathers farm and we described the animals and the sounds they make. It was a really fun song and we look forward to singing it again.


elements puzzle blocksdoll housesounding out wordsanimal tops, middles, and bottomsThe Hat puzzle with MichelleAdding branches to the treeBark, George!fishingdrawingsorting fossilsthe last few piecesroll and count

We discussed what fish do in winter and where they live. The children discussed how the ice only freezes down so far, leaving a layer of water down below where the fish are free to swim about. We froze a large jug of water to observe how this works, and noticed that an oval pocket of water remained inside, while it froze all around where the cold air touched. We also learned a silly song about fishing and fish wearing pants.

frozen all aroundstackschickadee at the bird feedersfilling the feederadding seedssharpening shopgetting a sharp edgewatching birds at the feedersgirls on the hillshowing off the bird nesteverything a bird could needhappinessdown the hillchillin in the igloorunning grouptaking out the groomersbuilding big groomersgrooming the trailspushing the scooppulling the babythree in a sledfunny girlsstrong girlmermaid fairiesdown she goespullingin the iglooadding spices and hot saucesnow leopardssnow leopards getting snowylate Friday in Centennial Parkbig ice

With our outside focus we have been rather negligent with our social emotional work, and we have recognized the need for getting back to this. We began with a perspective taking story called The Tale of Two Beasts and a game using thought bubbles and talking bubbles. We discussed how we might have very different thoughts about a situation than someone else and there is no way for us to know what others are thinking unless they speak out loud and tell us, nor can others know what we are thinking unless we tell them. Children took turns whispering what they were thinking about, then calling on children to guess their thoughts before flipping their talking bubble and saying what they were thinking about.

What are you thinking about?What do you think I am thinking about?Whisper what you are thinkingDoes anyone know what I am thinking?

Kindergarten students worked hard on their 9 addition sentences with their Cuisinaire rods and their letter J work. They took the first half of their alphabet books and their Cuisinaire rod addition work books home this week to share with you. The second half of the alphabet book will likely come at the end of the year.

J bookJack doing jumping jacks9 addition and animal bookalphabet books

We celebrated a fifth birthday with the newest birthday girl. She very quickly orbited the sun while we tried to keep up naming the seasons and counting birthdays after she told us she was born in winter in the month of February. She donated a beautiful book about a cat that we will share with the entire class after break. Happy birthday 5 year old!

5 years old!

Friday students explored the final method of rock formation. While igneous rocks are formed by heat, and sedimentary rocks are formed by pressure, metamorphic rocks are formed by both heat and pressure. Metamorphic rock is formed when either sedimentary, igneous, or other metamorphic rock is heated and put under pressure. The children took three colors of clay, rolled them into balls then flattened them then stacked them to create a sedimentary rock. They then used their hands to apply heat and pressure by twisting and turning and pushing to create a new metamorphic rock.

twisting and turning
pushing and smooshing
starting with sedimentary layers
so much pressure!
metamorphic rocks

12 February, 2021
by Lyn

Fur, Feathers, Fat and Wool

For Valentines Day Monday students read about some friends in My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohman then created hearts of many colors. They traced heart shapes then outlined them with black marker. They used tape to create lines and filled the open spaces with color using pastels, marker, or paint. Finally they pulled up the tape leaving spaces of color separated by white.

My Friend RabbitIMG_0482 (2)criss cross heartso many colorsred and purplex's and o'sfilling inpurpleall the colorsremoving the tapepulling carefullyfinishing uphearts

Children used heart punches to punch out large, medium, and small hearts then used them to create Valentine pictures and cards for friends and family. Some children threaded beads on an elastic to create friendship bracelets.

HEARTS!!punching heartsfriendship braceletValentine cardsbeading a bracelet

As we have been learning about how animals adapt to winter weather, we looked at ways that animals insulate against the cold. The children discussed how many animals grow thicker coats of fur and birds grow downy feathers. We discussed how sheep have nice thick wool to keep them warm in the winter, then farmers shear it off to cool them in the summer. We also talked about bears and whales that have layers of fat, or blubber, that keep them warm. We then examined some coyote and rabbit fur, some raw wool, wool mittens, and a wool hat, some goose down feathers, and some fat. We discussed the different ways we use these things to keep us warm in the winter, with our wool socks, hats, and mittens, down jackets, and how native peoples were very conscious to use every part of the animals hunted for not only food, but to make tools, clothing, including warm winter wear, fat for burning, etc. The children tested the various insulators by holding an ice cube in a bare hand and an ice cube on the feathers, fat, fur, or wool.

coyoteanimal furso softwool mittens insulate against icerabbit fur insulatingfat insulationfeathers and furcold icetesting out the fur as an insulatorLaura staying nice and warmso cold!

We began to learn about birds and how they stay warm in winter. The children noticed a robin last week while snowshoeing, which was surprising. We learned from Susan that migrating is a hard journey for robins, and they don’t migrate because of the cold, but the lack of food. If they are able to continue to find food, they may not migrate because the risk of the trip is so great. We created some bird feeders by coating cardboard rolls with peanut butter and rolling them in birdseed, then hung them in the tree. Next week we will create others using bundt pans and muffin tins.

punching the holes for hangingspreading on the peanut butterstringing and smearinggetting all the surfacesrolling the peanut butter in the bird seedso carefulstringingtreats for the birds

Most birds live in nests that they build. We observed several nests and discussed what they were made with. The children noticed dried grasses, sticks, pine needles, hair, bark, and mud. We watched a timelapse video of a robin building a nest, bringing grasses and straw and sticks and mud, then packing it down and rounding it out with its’ feet and belly. We watched an engineer bird create an elaborate mud house, carrying the mud in its beak then placing it on the edge to build up the walls. We used some bark and various shredded wood and papers and some “mud” made from flour, water, and brown paint, to create our own bird nests.

nestnest of straw and leaves and barklots of grass and mud in this nesta very small nest with pine needles, long black hair, bark, and white flufflots of mud in this nestexamining the small nestlooking togetheran engineer bird building a mud nestmud and grassesadding brown to make mudstirring up the mudhunting for nesting materialsadding grasses

During Sign language with Rose we reviewed all the animals then learned the signs for the colors. We learned red, pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, gray, white, gold, and silver! Many of the colors are made in similar ways, by making the first letter in the name and shaking the hand back and forth. The children chose to sign and sing the “Elephants on a Spider’s Web” song before signing thank you to Rose.


Spanish with Zeanny kept us moving with Cabeza, Hombros, Piernes, Pies. She played a counting colors game, selecting volunteers to find a number of items of a particular color, which we then counted all together. We used the colored egg shakers to follow the directions and listened carefully while Zeanny tried to trick us. We finished up by reading the Spanish version of Sandra Boynton’s Moo, Baa, La La La, which is Muuu, Beee, Asi Fue! in Spanish.

cabezaseis rosadosiete naranjaverdearribasilencialentomorado

Work on the igloo is almost complete! The children tunneled through the mound of snow to create the entrance, and began digging out the snow that has piled up inside on the floor. More layers of ice blocks have been added and it is now about shoulder height for most students!

digging throughdigging from the outsidereachingdouble diggersinsidepopping throughtaking a breakhere she comesIMG_0570 (2)smoothing out the entrancetwo at a timegetting out the extra snowadding more layersin the iglooshoveling powderbright sunny smilesscraping off snowon the hillsled trainwoooshplay

Kindergarten students did sums of 8 with their cuisinaire rods and began to work on words that begin with J.

sums of 8ordering and matchingsound cylinders4+1=5tengu blockspatterns with cubespainting pink, purple, red, and bluedoll housesfriends and familyblue skiespatterning and countingpouringmarble runMy Bonnie Lies Over The OceanJohnny works with one hammer

Friday students explored sedimentary rocks. They watched a brief video about the formation of sedimentary rocks from various materials, such as sand, dead plants, dead animal bones & shells, etc. We learned that sedimentary rocks form when sediment in the seas and oceans are compacted from the pressure of the water over thousands of year. We learned that coal is compacted dead plants, limestone is marine animal bones and shells, and sandstone is sand. We took turns lifting an empty bucket and a bucket of water to compare their weight and feel how heavy water is and how much pressure it can apply. Some children became the bottom layer of sedimentary rocks, which we added layers to then some water to push down and condense them. We then did an experiment with jellybeans. The children divided them by color, and we pressed them together between boards with clamps, then by standing on them, one layer at a time, until we created a jellybean sedimentary rock.

heavy waterliftstrong muscleslayers under water pressurefirst layer redcreating pressuresorting the next layermore pressuresedimentary jelly beans