Sunnybrook Montessori School – Page 2 – Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

6 April, 2018
by Lyn

Prepping for Spring

digging a channel in the mudMud season has arrived at Sunnybrook!  One of the favorite times of year, the melting snow and defrosting ground make for some fun, messy, mucky play.  There was lots of digging in mud, making mud soup, mud pie, and mud cake, wading in mud while attempting to keep boots on and stay upright, and filling buckets and sleds with mud.  We also had fun with muddy water; scooping and pouring and transporting it.  We worked on chopping up the ice and hauling it away so the green grass can grow.  We are ready for spring to bring back the green leaves, grass, and warm temperatures!stuck in the mudscooping watera giant puddleshovelfuls of waterstuck in the ditchfilling the scoopwater, water, everywherea sled full of waterfinishing off the channela line of bucketsshards of icescooping ice chunkshauling away the icebalancing icea sled full of icesticks and leavesMonday students used squeegees to push, pull, and mix paint around large papers, creating some colorful works of art.purple, orange, greenchoosing some colorsready to drysplotches and specklespulling squeegeesAfter finishing up their art projects and having snack, the Monday children took their monthly trip to the library with Tammy and Susan, where they engaged in their favorite library activities.doll housetic tac toepuppet showanimal ambulanceduplosduplo traindressing the babiesThe art table became a flower making station, as the children created flower centerpieces for the Sunnybrook Fundraiser Breakfast next Saturday.  They used egg carton sections as flower centers, cut and pasted petals to them, painted and printed their hands into tulips, and created their own original flowers.painting flowersflower petalsmaking a daisypurple and pink petalsbooks we readWe read the story Living Sunlight by Molly Bang, and learned about plants and trees, and the oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange between plants and animals.  We also re-explored plants as the primary producers of food, and how they provide energy from the sun to all living creatures.  We had some very engaging discussions about trees and their role in our lives.  When sharing what we use trees for, in addition to oxygen and food needed to live, the students also named, sap, houses, wheels, blocks, floors, walls, drums, paper, and chairs among many other things.  We read the book From Trees to Paper, then presented the students with a problem that we have encountered.  We showed several pieces of drawing paper that had been discarded in the paper trash with very small marks on them.  We also discussed the large number of paper towels being pulled out and just thrown away.  We asked for some solutions.  Students recommended that we plant more trees, and that we make signs reminding everyone to not waste paper.signs and pictures reminding us to conserve paperWe had a wonderful visit from Phoebe, a Sunnybrook mom, who came to play the guitar and sing some songs with us. First she showed us her beautiful wood guitar, which she brought around so we could smell the cedar lining the inside. She then taught us a super fun pirate song. We got to do the motions and say some lines, including being the pirates digging for treasure, and the boat rocking. We had so much fun! To wrap up she sang the song “A Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night,” which nicely demonstrated another part of a food chain, when the fox comes to the farm to catch a duck and goose to feed his family. Thank you so much, Phoebe!smelling the cedar wood in the guitarthe pirate song with PhoebeWe celebrated a 5th birthday on Wednesday with white chocolate drizzled pretzel sticks. The birthday boy carefully distributed his birthday snack, then carried the globe around the candle while we counted his five years, naming the seasons as he quickly walked around the table. We then sang “Happy Birthday” before he efficiently blew out the candle. Happy birthday, new five year old!Birthday Boy!dancing during movement timea group of dancersWe did some work around emotions and learned that Sunnybrook students have a firm understanding of emotions.  We discussed what our faces and bodies look like when we experience different emotions, and everyone got a picture of a child expressing an emotion and sorted it between a happy/feeling good emotion, or a mad, frustrated, or sad/not feeling good emotion.number line matchcutting out a portholecircle matchbaric tablet matchingreptile booksmat workreading about dragonsweavinggirls in a yellow submarinefraction families and color shape patternsFREEZE!Africa puzzle mapcatching a #3 fishpin punching a quatrefoilHow many dimes under my hand to make 5?very careful map tracingjournal writing and addition workcutting and writingcutting out a coiled snaketracing zD for Dad, M for Mom, C for Colhanging muddy mittensbead transferliteracy workWe also continued practicing perspective taking, and discussed what perspective taking is – looking at a situation through another persons thoughts and feelings.  We presented two scenarios and what someone might be thinking, or if they are even aware of their actions and how they may have impacted the other person.  We discussed some common experiences we encounter at school, such as touching someone else’s food, and touching another person in a way they do not like.  We will continue this important work, both in everyday exchanges, role plays, stories, and discussions.

Reptiles were introduced, the 6th animal class that we will study.  We read About Reptiles and learned that reptiles have dry, scaly skin, babies hatch from eggs, once born, they are on their own, they are cold blooded and warm themselves in the sun, and most of them are carnivorous.  There has been a lot of play with present day reptiles and dinosaurs, those reptiles from long ago.reptilesdinosaur homesa line of reptilesa reptile refugedinosaur housesnakes and turtlesanimal class sorta colorful coiled cobraFor science, Friday students learned about the life cycle of plants and the parts of a plant.  We read From Seed to Plant, then explored one of our potted plants, carefully removing the roots from the soil and examining the stem, roots, and leaves.  We took turns looking at the cells of a leaf through a microscope. It was tricky to do, but most students felt they could see the small green cells. They copied the words leaf, flower, fruit, stem, and root to label a picture of the parts of a plant.looking at the leaf cellsone eye closedDo you see the cells?flower, fruit, leaf, stem, seed, rootfruit and flowerlabeling the plant parts

31 March, 2018
by Lyn


Melting snow and ice created an enormous puddle under the crab apple tree, which quickly became the main attraction.  Sleds were tested for floatation.  Shovels were used for scooping up muddy water.  Sleds and buckets were filled, transported, and dumped.  We created a channel from the giant puddle to the back corner for drainage, and the children floated sticks and pushed the slush and water down to the end. There were a lot of very wet children, but it was great fun!
collecting icebreaking through the ice covera sled full of muddy watercollecting water from the tunnelthe shrinking sledding hillthe trench drainingready for the muda busy watering holeat the muddy puddlemuddy water flowing through the drainage ditchon the movescooping the water through the fencerock collectionswhat would you like to buy?digging the drainage ditchdumping the muddy water and icea nice spot to sit and workpouring water into the bucketa sled full of waterscooping water into their bucketsa draining puddleOn Monday for art we shook up and sprayed out cans of shaving cream into bins, poured in some glue, and added some bright colors to create puff paint.  Then the artists had fun selecting colors and smooshing them all over the paper to create their puff art.  They had so much fun, that the puff lost a bit of its puffiness, but it was a fun process.mixing it uphow does it feel?combining colorsloving the messsome puffy paintingsAt the art table Susan introduced wax resist and water color porthole paintings.  The children thought about what they might see out the porthole of a submarine, then planned what they would draw.  They used crayons or pastels to draw their renditions of a porthole ocean view, then painted over them with watercolors.  When dried, they glued on the porthole frame, cut around the outside, and we stuck them up on the wall to enjoy.jellyfish and a clown fisha pink jellyfish and a blue seahorsedrawing an ocean scenecutting around the portholecutting out her portholea yeti crab and a ventpainting the ocean over his porthole window sceneOn Tuesday Tammy introduced the children to some yoga poses.  They moved their bodies like different animals and practiced breathing exercises.

The children continued to work on the yellow submarine and the ocean environment.  They drew ocean animals on a second shower curtain for our ocean water.  We finally assembled the submarine and it was well used for diving down into the ocean and exploring the underwater environment.playing in the oceanocean animals swimming in the waterpainting the top part of the yellow submarinecutting out a seahorse for the oceanthe yellow submarinea manta ray and a blue lobster in the ocean kelpan octopus in the submarineoctopus and a great white shark swimming around the yellow submarineManta rays, another type of fish, were introduced this week.  We read about Rosie the Ray, who knows instinctively how to survive upon birth, as ray parents are not there to care for their young.  Rosie ray knew to hide down in the sand to escape predators, how to hunt for food, and how to sting with her barbed stinger if needed.A full grown great white shark is five children longfish multiplication workwritingSouth America puzzle mapwriting and pin punchingplay doughsitting at the easelmetal inset handwriting workafternoon work timealphabet BINGOmatching and tracing circlesnumber puzzletweezer transfer workLEGOStrapezoid trace & pin punchPiggie Pie with Susanschool bus puzzlefishinga visit to the ocean bookmat workreadingreading to each otherletter workworking hard on her Lego housemath worka tall towernumber writingfast and slow booksUS Puzzle mapThe Armstrong family brought an Easter Book and an Easter activity to share. We read Jan Brett’s story The Easter Egg and colored fun Easter crowns with crayons and markers.coloring Easter crownsWe continued doing some perspective taking activities.  We read the story, Clark the Shark, about a shark who is sometimes just too loud, too rough, and too impulsive, and how he comes up with a mantra to help himself stay cool at school.  The children took turns using the puppets to act out the story and think about how Clark, Mrs. Inkydink the teacher, and Clark’s friends would be feeling.  Henrietta and Wolfgang also chatted with us about playing games on the playground and how they might be feeling when one of them decides to play a new game.  The children took turns being Henrietta and Wolfgang and acting out how to respond.Clark the shark and Mrs. InkydinkWe pulled out the parachute and played some parachute games, including When the Wavy Waters Roll (a version of When the Cold Wind Blows), Great White Shark, and a trading places game.  Each child was given a number, and when their number was called, they ran under the parachute and traded places with the child that had the other number that was called.Making easter egg numbers for the parachute gamewatch out for the great white sharkThe water cycle was introduced during science on Friday. We read several books about water and the water cycle, and we learned about precipitation, evaporation, and condensation.  We set out a glass of ice water and checked on it to see if water vapor in the air condensed when it touched the cold glass.  We also set out a pitcher of water and marked the water line.  The children predicted that the water would be lower on Monday as some of it would evaporate over the weekend.condensation

23 March, 2018
by Lyn


SmilesWe were so grateful that the first week of spring was truly spring-like with sunny days bringing above freezing temperatures.  A soup shop was set up, selling concoctions such as chocolate peanut butter soup, and chocolate raspberry soup.  Games of Duck, Duck, Goose, Red Light, Green Light, and What Time Is It Mr. Fox? were played.  The sledding hill continued to be busy with sledders and snowboarders.  We dug out our drainage trench again, so the melting snow and ice had an outlet.  The spring water play is one of our favorite activities, so the afternoon students were able to enjoy scooping up shovelfuls of water and filling buckets with ice, snow, and muddy H2O during their afternoon trips out to enjoy the sun and warmth.shovelinga fallen snowmanthe ganga daring sleddera cat and her ownerWhat time is it?prospectors with their mining suppliesemerging from a roll overDuck, Duck, Goosethe shovel collectors and a girl in the tunneltipping the bucketa girl sandwichjumping off the tunnelfriend hugsordering chicken soup with carrots and bow tie pastastirring the soupscooping up the waterwater in a sledthe trenchsnowbaordingFor Monday art we did some weaving, a rather tricky concept.  Using fish shapes, the children selected fancy papers and carefully wove them through slits in the fish to create checkerboard patterns.  It took some good finger-work, strategizing, and focus to get them properly woven.  It was a bit of a challenge, but everyone found success!sparkling scalesweavingover, undershiny and swirlygluing them downGreat White shark parachute gamewatch out for the shark!Last week the children voted and decided to change dramatic play to an aquarium.  We had a discussion on Tuesday morning about what happens at an aquarium.  Children who have visited aquariums shared that their experiences involved walking around and looking at the animals, and some had the chance to experience a touch tank.  After hearing about their experiences, everyone decided to make it more interactive and turn it into an ocean where we could swim, snorkel, scuba dive, submerge in shark tanks, and dive down in a submarine.  They brainstormed all sorts of things that we would need to include and immediately got busy making various sea creatures, including spiny sea stars, jellyfish, an octopus, a sea turtle, hanging kelp, ocean murals, and of course a yellow submarine to go along with the song.  Everyone was busy and excited to set it up.a yellow fish and a sea turtlea red octopushanging the ocean backgroundan ocean environmentspiny sea stars in the kelpmaking colorful jellyfishpainting on the glueyellowpainting the yellow submarinesetting up the oceanfishing in the oceanjellyfish dryingswimming in the oceanFor Spanish on Tuesday Zeanny concluded our second session with another cooking activity.  This time we made cajetas with crushed graham crackers, which we mixed with sweetened condensed milk and rolled in chocolate sprinkles.  Before we got to the crushing, mixing, scooping, and rolling, Zeanny told us the story of The Chocolate Tree, one of my very favorite Zeanny stories.  Ask your child to share it with you if they have not already!  Who knew that there really is such a thing as a chocolate tree that grows chocolate.  They can tell you all about how Zeanny did not listen to her abuelita and ate the chocolate even after being told, “No lo comas!” (Don’t eat it!), and what happened.The Chocolate Tree Storypounding the graham crackerscrushing crackerssqueezing the graham crackersbreaking them into tiny piecespouring the crushed crackers into the bowladding the sweetened condensed milkmixing up the cookiesstirringmixing it uptaking a turn stirringmaking sure it is all mixed updropping the scoop into the sprinklesdipping the cajeta in the chocolate sprinklesthe final producttime to taste itWe read the book Ocean Sunlight by Molly Bang, about how the sun gives light to all the billions of billions of billions of phytoplankton in the seas that feed the sealife in all the oceans.  We discussed food chains and how every living thing depends on plants, even if they eat other animals, to sustain life.  We are loving our phytoplankton song about the food chain.  By April the children will likely be able to sing it for you at home!

Seahorses, which are a type of fish, were introduced.  We read several stories about seahorses and learned that they have heads shaped like horses, prehensile tales like monkeys, hard outer skin like grasshoppers, pouches like kangaroos, camouflaging skin and independently moving eyes like chameleons.  We also learned that the father seahorses are the ones that give birth to the babies after the mothers deposit the eggs into their pouches, where they remain until they are born – all 300 at a time!morning mat workWill it sink or float?matching fishcolors on the chalk boardfish and tunnelsfishingMath workcounting fishten chainsink and floattransfer workcontainers and letter workcutting out the hemispheresmath workdoll houseaddition worksequencing a storynumber workfish habitatsfish nomenclaturealphabet writing practiceletter workfast and slow booksfishing friendsWe did some role playing and were introduced to the word MISUNDERSTANDING.  We are working on perspective taking, which research by Larry Aber of New York University has demonstrated has the most impact on a child’s ability to step back from a situation to accurately assess a situation and handle conflict, particularly for those who see any offense as deliberately hostile.  We will continue to work on perspective taking, including taking a step back and reading a situation then deciding how to proceed.stories from the weekDuring music time with Susan we had fun singing the fish song and sharing what our wish would be if we were a fish.  We sang My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean and every time we sang a word that began with /B/ we went up or down.  We took turns holding and ringing bells, and putting them in order from highest to lowest.  It was VERY tricky!  Everyone got a turn with a bell and some of the children were right on with identifying higher and lower tones.putting the bells in orderlow to highFor Friday science we watched a short video about a submarine that submerged down through the zones, and as they traveled down they described the zones and what they saw there.  We learned about the sunlight zone, twilight zone, midnight zone, the abyss, and the hadal zone.  We learned that the sunlight zone is where photosynthesis takes place, and although it is only a very small portion of the ocean, it is where the majority of ocean-life lives.  We discussed water pressure, and how dark and cold it is the further down in the ocean you go.  Some of the children took turns laying on top of each other to see how the pressure builds when there is more weight on top of you, and we discussed how heavy a bucket of water is, so all that water pressing down is heavy!  We then constructed our own display of the zones and each of the children drew, colored, cut out, labeled, and taped up a fish in it’s proper zone.cutting out a blue spotted raya leopard sharkan angler fish lives in the twilight zonea whale sharkdrawing, coloring, and cuttinga leafy sea dragonputting them in the proper zoneswriting a labelSunlight zone, Twilight zone, Midnight zone

17 March, 2018
by Lyn


snowyWinter weather was in full force, bringing lots of snow for snowmen, snowballs, shoveling, and sledding.  We are staying strong wading through the many inches of white flakes.  After our Wednesday snow day we really enjoyed all of the new snowfall.collecting water for his mossshoveling and pulling a passengerhidingpulling gets harder in deep snowshovelingsnow chunkswhat happens if we pull these branches?making a snow ballloading the snowball on a sledhauling the snowball awayFor Monday art we introduced the artist Hokusai, and his famous wood block print “The Great Wave off Kanagawa.”  We used foam trays to “carve” out pictures using crayons, by making indentations in the foam.  We pressed our designs onto ink pads then printed them onto our papers.  Some of us layered our prints, as Hokusai did, to add detail and layers of color.printinggreencircleorange on blueyellowsigning her artWe continued our study of fish with the introduction of sharks.  We learned that sharks do not have bones, but a flexible skeleton of cartilage.  Some sharks have 5 rows of teeth, and may go through thousands of teeth in a lifetime.  Unlike human teeth, shark teeth will be replaced repeatedly as they fall out.  We read that most sharks are carnivorous, but some eat only plankton.  We learned the Phytoplankton song, a favorite for the past several years, which teaches about an ocean food chain.M for Momwriting and addition workputting a story in the correct sequenceletter formationblock towers and tunnelsIMG_4039 (2)morning workspindle box countingnumber tracingdrawingmaking a 5making tens3, 4, 5carefully balancinga very carefully formed toweraddition and number writing workletter sound sort - "All the pretty ones are on the uppercase letters"mat workdrummers drummingconstructingfinishing touchesemptying the water tablea gluing and drawing projectround roomsi wordsWe watched a short video of The Rainbow Fish story and discussed how lonely Rainbow fish was when he was unkind and treated the other fish like he was better than them because of his sparkly scales, and how he made friends and felt much happier when he shared his scales.  At the art table the children used their fingers to make fingerprint scales on their very own rainbow fish.

The Armstrong family sent in a fun story and activity for St. Patrick’s Day.  We read How to Catch a Leprechaun about a leprechaun that visits all the houses and causes mischief while avoiding all the tricky traps set by the children attempting to capture him.  Afterwards many children enjoyed using the little plastic pencil shaped tools to scrape the green off the shamrocks to create pictures.  Some children even worked on creating their very own tricky leprechaun traps.making a leprechaun trapdrawing on her shamrockshamrock artWe played shark cage, a cooperative version of musical chairs.  We created a large tape rectangle on the floor, then played music while the children swam around the rectangle.  When the music stopped, they made sure that there was room inside the shark cage for everyone.  We gradually made the tape cage smaller and smaller as children left to wash hands, until only two students were left to fit into the tiny cage.boys in the shark cageA fourth birthday was celebrated on Thursday with delicious peanut butter cookies.  The birthday boy passed out the cookies while everyone finished washing hands and setting up snacks.  He showed us with his fingers that he is four years old, then proudly walked the globe around the candle sun while we named the seasons and counted the four years since his birth.  Happy birthday four-year old!I am 4!passing out the cookiestasty cookiesWe had some special visitors from Believe in Books. Andrea and AO brought the Cat in the Hat with them in honor or Dr. Seuss’ birthday. AO read the Dr. Seuss story What Was I Scared of? We then took turns hugging, high fiving, or waving to the Cat in the Hat before picking our very own Dr. Seuss book to take home.Andrea, AO, and the Cat in the HatWhat Was I Scared Of?hugs for the catmore hugs