Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

11 November, 2017
by Lyn
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Frost in the Shadows

shadowsThe children were busy outside playing with mud, digging in the sand, pulling around sleds, and playing with friends.
MUD!handfuls of mudfive sledschillingreen bucket with green ball, pink bucket with red balldigging out mudsitting in the sunshineinspecting the worm under the logboys in sledsWhen new tree stumps were discovered in the yard, the children quickly built a balancing course.  It started as a line, then became a circle so they could walk around and around without stopping.
stump hoppinga row of childrenup, down, overfollowing the balance pathwalking around the balance coursebalancingup and downThe cold fall air brought frosty mornings.  At recess, the children observed that patches of frost remained.  After investigating around the playground, they concluded that where the sun had touched, the frost had melted, but where it continued to be blocked by items such as tables, benches, stumps, and trees, the frost remained, leaving frosty grass in the shadows.frosty shadowsfrost in the tree shadowMonday art was once again a study of Paul Klee art, but this time we looked at line drawings filled in with color, including his piece Cat with Bird, and introduced the use of line in art.  We read the story using the cat with bird painting as inspiration, called The Cat and the Bird. We also read about the use of line with the stories Lines that Wiggle and The Line. The children then used pastels or crayons to draw pictures, then color them with watercolor paint.Paul Klee line drawings with colorwatercolor paintingspastels with water colorMonday art in the style of Paul KleeAfter art and snack, the children visited the library with Susan and Tammy while potential future students had a play date in the classroom.
duplos at the librarytaking babies on the busOur discussions of birds continued with an introduction to nest building.  We read several stories about birds in nests, and watched parts of a video of a robin building its’ nest. At the art table the children then built their own nests, using hay, yarn, string, and ribbon. Through the rest of the week they also made eggs out of clay and birds from felt.building a bird nestcutting yarna nest of haycutting yarn for nestshow to build a nestforming eggswhat shape should an egg be?gluing birdsnests and birdsbirds, eggs, and nestsMany airplane co-pilots continued to fly passengers all around the world.co-pilotsairplane rideZeanny came for Spanish on Tuesday and we continued to learn the calabazas counting song.  She read us two stories, one about an abuela (grandmother) who travels the world collecting souvenirs, which we counted, and Oso en un Cuadrado (Bear in a Square) about shapes.  We then played a counting game, where one child was a rana (frog) and another was a mosca (fly).  A third child was the spinner, who spun the arrow and counted how many hops each could hop forward to see if the rana would eat the mosca or if the mosca would fly away.quatro calabazasspinning numbers for the ranaOn Wednesday morning the children were buzzing, buzzing, buzzing, so some of us took some time after morning meeting to get outside and run, run, run!  We felt much more settled after letting out some of that energy, so we were better able to focus on our morning.early morning energy expenditurerunning, running, runningWe began to discuss the human body and being healthy through eating healthy foods, which provide nutrition.  We did a digestive system demonstration.  We pounded crackers with a hammer, to represent teeth chewing food, then discussed how they would be combined in the mouth with saliva, then pushed down the esophagus into the stomach.  We placed the crackers and a banana in a bag with some water (saliva), then added stomach acids (coke) and everyone took turns smooshing it.  We measured out a piece of string that was 27 feet long – the length of the digestive system – then poured our “stomach” contents into the intestines (a piece of stocking) and watched as the water was pushed out and “absorbed” by the body, then finally the waste was pooped out at the end.  We read the story Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi, and discussed how everyone and everything that eats poops.exchanging pennies for dimesnumber writingcounting birdsapple tree number puzzlenight sky play doughschool bus puzzlematching sound cylindersblack with sparkleswhat will orange become when you add blue?afternoon mat worknumber scrollsfeelings nomenclaturetaking out a rack for his paintingnumber formationreading & writingmatching pictures & wordstraps and buildingsWe read a third Stone Soup story and discussed what themes are similar through the three books we have read so far.  The children observed that in each book there were people that were hungry and that they made soup from a stone, though they acknowledged that it was the other ingredients added that made the soup, not the stone.  We will continue to read and look for themes.

For music, Susan brought out the glockenspiel and played some tunes.  We listened then tried to identify what she was playing.  She then played some high notes and low notes while we had our eyes closed.  We listened closely to identify if they were higher or lower than the first note.
playing songs on the glockenspiel

11 November, 2017
by Lyn
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Spooks and Soups

muddy faceRain brought puddles and mud, which made for some messy days, but lots of wet fun.
a giant puddlerunning through the puddlebig jumpgetting wetthe fastest leopard cheetah evera long bridge to crossbouncing ballshop & crawldriving the dump truckmoving the balance beamdumping his load of sandon the movedigging in the sandhanging aroundhouse constructionscooping out the mudjump!mud soupFor Monday art the artist Paul Klee was introduced, and his use of shapes in his work Castle and Sun.  The children created their own works of art by gluing shapes into patterns to display in our gallery.
Paul Klee shape artsix circlesgluing shapesPaul Klee art galleryFor Halloween fun the children decorated a Halloween House,
decorating the Halloween Housecutting decorations for the Halloween HouseHalloween House crewplayed pin the hat on the cat,
pin the hat on the cathats on the catglued on eyeballs and colored skulls and spiders,
halloween artspider eyesmixed potions and brews,
potion mixingbubble, bubblestirring his brewpotion mixturepotions overflowingand made glittery slime,
making slimeadding glitter glue for slimeslime!mixing slimelots of slimeorange slimebefore enjoying the many, many snacks and treats.
Party snacksThe Stone Soup story was introduced.  Throughout the month of November we will read several versions, which we will compare and contrast.  We discussed main character, setting, plot, feeling of the characters, and the problem or challenge and how it is overcome.

The children got to work constructing and flying the classroom airplane.  They had great fun taking turns being the co-pilots, passengers, and attendants.
waiting to board the planeBirds were introduced with several stories, including About Birds, and the children identified the characteristics of birds, such as having feathers, a beak, two wings, a tail, laying eggs, and usually building a nest.  They then did an animal sort, deciding whether their animal was an insect, arachnid, or bird, often counting legs to determine in which category it belonged.
bristle blockscylinder blocks5 triangle designs from various countriesplacing the cylinder blocksmorning mat workcuttingstanding in the circlepatternscreative constructiontracing birdsnesting dollsFor music Susan continued to work on the various musical terms.
music with SusanMy Bonnie Lies Over The OceanFriday for science the children continued their study of birds with Tammy and Susan, discussing feathers and wings.  They measured and cut out large life size models of wings for a variety of birds, from a hummingbird to a bald eagle.
measuring wings

28 October, 2017
by Lyn
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Mix It Up

a muddy puddleSome much needed rain came down, but luckily it only kept us in one day.  We spent our cloudy but warm days setting up and running through an obstacle course that put our gross motor (big muscle) skills to use.  We alternated feet running through hoops, crossed a balance beam, step walked across big blocks, zig zagged around the stumps, stepped up and over a table, hopped the hoppy ball, and crawled through the tunnel.  Some students had so much fun they did it over, and over, and over!   We also did a lot of raking, and pulled out the sleds to haul our loads of leaves to deposit in our garden for compost.  When we discovered a fantastic puddle under the apple tree, some students took off shoes and had fun in the mud, or stomped through in rain boots.  It was a busy, messy week!
three girls in a bincollecting helicoptersa drill on his forehead for drilling into the groundrunning through the hoopsbalancing & zig-zaggingbalancing & waiting for a turnkick!STOP!raking leavesfilling up the sledspulling a friendhauling leavesbare feet!dumping the leavesteamworkand dump!busyindoor recessbristle blocksa puppet showMr. Potato HeadMonday students were introduced to the artist Mary Cassatt, who is well known for her family portraits.  We discussed who would be included in a family portrait for each student, then they used pastels to create their own family portraits.
family portraitlabeling her family membersAt the art table for the week there was black paper, gray paper, pastels, and chalk.  The pastels and chalk are very bright and create a vivid contrast with the black.  There was a lot of drawing, as well as some cutting and folding. We later included bracelet beading at the request of the students, and they laced many bracelets for friends and themselves.
pastels on blackcoloring mixing and cutting linescoloring and cuttingbeading braceletsThe sensory table full of rocks continues to be busy.
filling up the bowlfilling upsweeping up their dropped pebblesscoopingTuesday was a mixed up backwards day.  With Tammy ill at home, and in anticipation of predicted rain showers, we reversed our morning, going out first, then coming in for a group snack, then Spanish, and finally work time.  The children handled the change well, and enjoyed having Zeanny stay for the rest of day.
Reading "Where Is The Green Sheep?" during snackreading before rest with ZeannyFor Spanish, we played an up and down game with Zeanny.  When she said arriba (above), we stood up and reached up, and when she said abajo (down), we crouched down.  She tried to trick us, but we were pretty good at listening and responding.  She read us some stories, and taught us a song about calabazas (pumpkins/squash).  Our vocabulary word for the week was calabaza, and anyone who writes it gets a prize.  At the end, all the students who wrote last week’s vocabulary word, mariposa (butterfly), got to pick a prize of a stamp or sticker.abajoarribawaiting for a prizewriting calabazacalabazaspelling out calabazaWe read the books Whoever You Are by Mem Fox, and We Are All Alike, We Are All Different, and discussed how we are similar to and different from everyone else on the planet.  We discussed how we are all people with blood and hearts and feelings and thoughts, but we all look different, have different preferences, and think different thoughts.  We played a game called “The Warm Wind Blows, for anyone who ____________.”  When the blank was filled in with phrases, such as “has a brother,” “likes spaghetti,” “is a boy,” those who fit that category went into the center of the circle.color mixingcutting and drawinga symmetrical transforming structureIMG_0819 (2)japanese sand garden & plant carelocks and keysloading up the conveyormovingto the endcolor mixmat workpost rest activitieswriting her vowelsworking on that fine motor controlcolored magnetic art blockseye-hand coordination and muscle controlrock building with the layerscool block structuressound cylinders & number sorting trayapple tree number puzzle & world map puzzleextending the block playstaying in the linesreading with a friendnumber writing practicereading about Pigeon with a friendnumber scrollnumber work100 boardhandwriting practicetransfer workwashing the chalkboardputting on his armorletter workmaking a Bwooden word cardspumpkin addition BINGOtransfer workThis was the last week for our kitchen in dramatic play.  The students brainstormed some new ideas to take the place of the kitchen, then voted to select which it would be.  Some of the suggestions were a farm, a haunted house, an airplane, a fairy house, a bus, and a train.  It was decided that we could do a temporary haunted house for our Halloween party on Tuesday, but narrowed down the long term options and voted between an airplane, a bus, and a fairy house.  The airplane was the winner with 11 votes, so next week we will begin brainstorming what will be needed to set that up.a table full of foodFor music with Susan we practiced the different terms for quiet to loud, from pianissimo and piano, all the way to forte and fortissimo.  We tapped or toes or stomped our feet and sang from very, very quietly, to very, very loudly.  It was fun to practice regulating our voices and bodies to match the corresponding term.  We also sang the song, “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean,” and every time we had a B word, we moved our arms or bodies up or down.  We then practiced doing it Lento (slowly), andante (medium), and presto (very fast).  It was challenging trying to move so quickly!forteStoriesWhile Lyn met with families on Friday, Susan and Tammy spent the morning in the classroom.  For science Susan introduced a fun rock experiment.  Each student took two colors of clay, which they rolled and folded and pushed together, similar to a metamorphic rock, then cut it in half to see how it had marbled and swirled as it changed.molding their rocksmixing and flattening the rockssee my rock layers?cutting the rockrock pieces

21 October, 2017
by Lyn
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Pumpkin Time

a giant maple leafThe trees are almost bare and the nip of fall is in the air.  The sunshine kept us warm while we traversed the balance beam and the log, played toss, rode bikes, hauled loads of dirt in our trucks, dug in the sand, raked leaf piles and threw them up in the air, and set up a toy shop for everyone to purchase their toys with leafy currency.walking the logthe toy shophelping with a shoecatchrocking girlsleaves in the truckdigginga ladybughanging with Tammya shovel full of sandrockingsailing in the boatjumping off the tunnelhoppingso fastbalancingAs seen through the lens by a three-year-old.
feet in the leavessunny birchpeeking over a shouldera girl with some ballsleaf playshopping for toysMonday students listened to the stories Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh and Mix It Up by Herve Tullet.  We learned that the three primary colors are red, yellow, and blue, and we can create other colors by mixing these together.  We then gave it a try, selecting finger paint colors and using our fingers, hands, and even arms to smoosh them together and make new colors.
red and yellowmaking purple and greenred and blue make purplemaking orangemore purplewhat will it make?The partner teams continued to finish up their webs and spiders.
finishing up spiders and webslacing through the holesOn Tuesday morning the students were introduced to a sorting and matching activity that was created, cut, and assembled by a student’s grandfather.  We laid out the activity on a mat for the students to see what they would each have in their bag, and encouraged them to find different ways to group them.  They were then each given a bag of different sized and colored shapes, labelled with a letter from A-Z.  There were large and small, red, yellow, and blue triangles, squares, circles, and hexagons.  Some of the students very enthusiastically took their shapes to a mat and laid them out, then looked at them to see how they were the same, then decided to sort into piles by color, by shape, and by size.
sorting by colorAfter reading Pumpkin Jack, about a boy’s jack-o-lantern that eventually rots and decomposes into soil and grows a new pumpkin plant the following year, we looked at all the parts of a pumpkin.  We found the blossom end, where it grew from the blossom on the vine, and located the stem, the rind, and the tendrils.  We cut it open to see the pulp, the seeds, and the fibrous strands.  We questioned which part of pumpkin Jack would have grown into a new pumpkin plant, and the children all agreed that a seed would have to have been left in the jack-o-lantern to grow into a new plant, otherwise it would just become soil.  The children worked on hollowing out the pumpkins, then we took them outside to carve, where everyone who wanted a turn chose an eye, nose, or mouth to help cut out.
loving the mushinessscooping the fibrous strandsscoopingdigging out the insidestaking a turnplaying with the insidescarvingsawing back and forthdumping the pumpkin innards in the gardencutting out the noseJack-o-lanternsSusan, who is our resident singer and musician, has enthusiastically volunteered to lead group music times.  She began by reviewing high and low tones with the song, “There’s a Spider on the Floor.”  When the spider was high on our heads, we sang in high pitched voices, and when it was low on the floor, we sang in low voices.  Susan began teaching us about whole notes, half notes, and quarter notes.  She showed us a long block, two blocks that equal one long block, and four blocks that equal the same length.  She then led us in some clapping and marching to the count of four.  We would march on one, two, three, four and clap on one and three.whole notes, half notes, quarter notesmarching and clapping the notesFor our second Spanish session with Zeanny we saw that the orugas (caterpillar) that went into the magic box last week had become la mariposa (butterfly).  We played a game, passing la mariposa around the circle (like the hot potato song) then flying it around if we held it at the end.  Zeanny began to teach us colors – verde (green), azule (blue), Amarillo (yellow), and roja (red).  We also continued to work on the numbers from uno to diez.la caja magicaamarilloWe celebrated a fourth birthday with our newest four year old. He smiled while walking through the seasons, taking the earth on it’s journey around the sun four times. He passed out cups of dirt and worms for everyone to snack on after the happy birthday song and blowing out the candle. Happy fourth Birthday!
birthday boyworms in dirtTo introduce an important lesson, that everyone makes mistakes and that they are opportunities to learn, we read the true story The Day Roy Riegels Ran the Wrong Way, when he did exactly as the title says, and ran for a touchdown to the wrong end zone during the 1929 Rose Bowl.  (We had to do a little football lesson first, for those of us who don’t follow football).  At the end of the story, after Roy had run across the field and stopped only 1 yard from the opposing teams end zone, finally realizing what he had done, he was very upset with himself.  His coach, being a wise and supportive mentor, told him that mistakes are in the past, to let it go, learn from it, and don’t let it change the rest of the game.  Roy Riegels took that advice, and played a great second half.
By the Light of the Halloween Moonrhyming puzzleagate slices on the light tablegray, purple, redafter rest workscooping rocksa curved top barnbells, cylinders, number beadstaking a closer lookhundred board in the quiet housestretching with Tammypreposition cardssweeping uppumpkin parts nomenclaturemat workemotions cardstransfermatching circlesletter formation practiceHow many apples on the apple tree?where on the globe?setting upportraiturecolor mixinga large meal for a friendrocksa series of cylindrical towersalphabet BINGO & movable alphabetsound cylinder matchleaf nomenclatureconstructingrocks in the sensory tablerock matchingcolor cube artreading to the groupstories with a friendtransfer with long tongsflower puzzlea pen for the animalswriting with Tammyapple tree puzzleteen boardCostume Partystories from the weekFriday students reviewed how igneous rocks are formed – by lava or magma cooling in or above the earth, and sedimentary rocks – by layers and layers of rock, debris, sand, soil, etc. piling up and being pressed together into rock.  This week we learned about metamorphic rocks, which are formed when other rocks are under heat and pressure, which morph, or change them, into new rocks.  We watched a short video, then did an experiment with crushed ice.  We agreed that if we made a ball of the ice and applied high heat, such as over a stove, it would melt, therefore becoming melted rock which would then turn into igneous rock.  If our snowball was put under only pressure, such as being hit with a hammer, it would break into smaller pieces, turning it to sediment to become sedimentary rock.  Finally, we made a snow ball that I held for a long time in my hands (it was very cold, so the children decided not to hold theirs) while applying steady pressure and heat from my hands.  After several minutes, it was much more solid, compact, and melted together, just like a metamorphic rock.
making a metamorphic rock