Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

3 October, 2021
by Lyn
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No Playdates for 2021-2022

Unfortunately, due to being short staffed and the current COVID crisis, we will not be holding playdates for the 2021-2022 school year. We hope things are looking up next school year and we can resume our monthly playdates. Be well!

16 October, 2021
by Lyn
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On the Hunt

We began our transition to outside drop off this week, which went very smoothly for some and was a hard change for others. Those with energy to get out who need to run and move have been able to do so until they are ready to head inside for snack and inside work. Those who prefer a quieter, calmer start may choose to go inside and participate in morning meeting and do work with inside materials. As morning meeting can be a struggle for some, and not developmentally appropriate for younger students, we give them the choice to participate or not. This has given everyone the chance to decide for themselves if they are ready and able to attend and participate, or if their bodies need to expend some energy instead. We will continue to monitor and observe and adjust to meet the children’s needs as we are able and explore holding a second meeting after lunch so more students have the opportunity to participate.

Outside the children were busy constructing forts, a hunting camp, and hunting ships, and going on hunting expeditions for ALL of the animals – deer, moose, grouse, bear, and SHARKS! They suffered many shark attacks and captured lots of sharks. They played ball, dug holes, built sand castles, mixed up mud soup, pulled friends and supplies in the wagon, captured bad guys, raced around on bikes, played tag, flew paper airplanes, created lots of pictures, and tossed balls and rubber bowls to dislodge paper airplanes, bowls, and balls stuck in the tree.

teamworkchatting on the climbing wallfilling a pothauling weaponsfilling a bucketlittle pileshelping outbuilding the hunting campthrowing balls up to knock the ball in the bowl downtrying to get the ball down

Inside students did math work, writing, puzzles, games, musical instruments, blocks and cars, dramatic play, lots of art projects, practical life activities, etc.

writingpin punchingdrawing and writingdrawing and pin punchingreading the instructions to River, Roads, and Railsforming clayRivers, Roads, and Railsteen board100 boardpin punchingdrawing her familypeg boardinstrumentscar rampsstrategizing how to get the yellow car from the stairwaywriting names

During sign language with Rose we practiced the bird signs – bird, goose, duck, chicken, nest, egg, hatch – and learned some new ones – eagle and wing. We learned how to sign the numbers 1-10 and read a story about Duck and Goose who were counting the things around them.

nesthatcheaglewing134footprintsbutterfly

We read and acted out the story The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything.

two boots went clomp, clomp, and one pair of pants went wiggle, wiggletwo gloves went clap, clap, one shirt went shake, shakeone very big, very scary pumpkin headdressing up as the pumpkinone tall black hat, one orange pumpkin head, two white gloves, one shirt, one pair of pants, and two boots

We revisited our classroom expectations and the children illustrate some ways to be Respectful, Kind, Safe, and Responsible and posted them on the wall to remind us how to treat ourselves, others, and our environment.

illustrating classroom expectationsHelp others who don't know the expectationsPlay nicely with bikes outsideClassroom Expectations

Zeanny came for our first Spanish class. We sang songs about the body, colors, and counting. We were introduced to the terms for different parts of the body, colors, and numbers. She read a story about colors and the children practiced each color name – blue/azul, green/verde, yellow/amarillo, orange/naranja, purple/morado, red/rojo. We then played the colored egg shakers slowly/lento, quickly/rapido, forward/adelante, behind/detras, low/bajo, or above/arriba.

cabeza (head)piernas (legs)nuevenarizorejasazultu gusta? (you like?)abajo

Kindergarten students were busy with writing work. They chose from several options for writing – creating their very own book about anything they choose, continuing their Pete the Cat stories, or writing about something they like to do and why. They illustrated their books then worked on sounding out and writing down all the corresponding letters they hear in each word. We are focused on phonetic writing right now to solidify their connection between letters and their most common sounds, and gaining confidence in their ability to decipher words and write them down. Writing typically precedes reading, as it is much easier to take a puzzle apart than to put it together, and this is what they are doing when they write – breaking it down into the sounds. Phonetic writing is an important precursor to later reading, and you will notice that a lot of words are not spelled accurately – that will come later! This is an important part of the process for them to master first. For example, one student wrote that they like to draw – g r o (this is the phonetic spelling as the r changes the /d/ sound to a /j/ sound and aw makes the soft /o/ sound – so this was excellent work identifying the sounds and writing their corresponding letters). I will teach the spelling for some common words outright, as the students will encounter and use them over and over, such as the, of, and, to, is, an, am, all, etc., and they will work on these both in context and in isolation.

writing time

Friday students who chose to did some apple taste testing. They tried out 7 different types of apples and rated them by how much they liked their flavor and texture. They observed and described the color and markings of each, including the flesh inside, then chomped and chewed them up, describing the flavor as they ate them. Some got a thumbs down (granny smith was NOT a favorite for most) or two thumbs, 8 fingers, and 10 toes up, such as the Cripps Pink apple.

we like the Macintosh the best so farthese are my favoritesI like it!I give this one a 6not sure about this one!10 fingers and 10 toes it is so good!apples

Makenna brought Ukelarry back for a visit and we had so much fun singing songs with them! She played and sang “You Are My Sunshine,” “In the Jungle,” “Five Green and Speckled Frogs,” “Old MacDonald,” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” The children enjoyed singing along and being hopping frogs. We love having Makenna and Ukelarry sing to us!

singing with MakennaMakenna and Ukelarryenjoying the music5 Green and Speckled Frogshopping frogsgreen and speckled frogs

9 October, 2021
by Lyn
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Colorful

mud

Yves Klein loved BLUE! He even created his own blue and used it to paint blue works of art. The children were introduced to monochrome artwork through an introduction to Yves Klein and the stories Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger and Bob’s Blue Period by Marion Deuchars. They then created monochrome paintings using a pallet of varied shades of the same color. Children continued to create monochrome art throughout the week to take home or display in our gallery.

blue girlsgreen like her shirtgreenCan you tell his favorite color?shades or orangea tree painting & cleaning off the paintfuzzyreda display of monochrome art

We had our first sign language group with Rose on Tuesday. Rose first introduced herself and taught the children how to sign “my name is” . . . then each child introduced themselves. She taught us signs for different types of birds, which we will be learning about this month, and the signs for yes and no. She read us a story and played a game asking us questions, to which we would reply in sign with YES (making a fist and nodding it, like you nod your head for yes) or NO (putting down the ring and pinky finger and holding the pointer and middle finger straight and touching them to the thumb like a beak).

MyNameisnamebirdduckgooseeggyes or no?No!

Henrietta and Wolfgang made their first appearance of the year with a problem they had in the sandbox the other night. Wolfgang was sad because Henrietta had grabbed the shovel from him. They helped us read through the first steps in problem solving, and the children brainstormed some ways to solve such a problem so next time Wolfgang and Henrietta would have some ideas for how to work it out.

an artist in processa catletters in their placesall aboard the shipcounting trayletter N writing practicemarble transferreading in the quiet housecolor sortingmaking a birthday cakefine motor work - tweezer transfercoloring woodland animalsbird finger puppets

Our study of birds began when some students found a dead bird on the front lawn, so we went to check it out. We kept our distance to avoid touching it and getting any mites or diseases while we observed it. We notice that it had two feet with claws, a beak, feathers, two wings, and a tail. We collected the bird and placed it in the freezer to examine later with a couple other songbirds who met their end, courtesy of Lyn’s cats. When we examine and compare them we will be careful to keep our distance to avoid any germs they may carry.

a black throated green warbler?cookingmaking mudbird finger puppets

water in the potpreparationspicking up a grubapple soupdigging up dirttiny thingsball bash tag gameraking leaves for throwing in the airchopping a pumpkinperformingrakingtunneling under the sandboxdancerslooking at a dew covered spider webbuilding a fairy housean assassin bug nymph

Children chose one or two colors of of their very own clay to put in a jar to use whenever they want. They each have a clay work mat with their name on one side and the alphabet on the other. They had fun using their fingers to pinch, squeeze, mold, form, and roll it, and tools to cut and mark it.

claya pink and orange bunny

We read Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins & Eric Gurney, Here Are My Hands by Bill Martin Jr. & John Archambault, and A Germ’s Journey by Thom Rooke & Anthony Trimmer. We saw a picture of a man sneezing and talked about how germs spread from one person to another, or from a person to objects to other people, and how important it is to wash hands. Lyn “sneezed” some glow germs into her hands then passed them to the children, then we turned off the lights and looked at the “germs” under a black light. We tried to rinse them off with water but it didn’t work, so we scrubbed with soap for 20 seconds then rinsed and voila! No more germs!

glowing germs

Kindergarten students did some number work. They began number scrolls, writing sets of 10 numbers at a time, starting with 0-9, then 10-19, 20-29, etc. They will continue through the year and see how high they can go, working on number formation, identification, patterning, place value, and multiples of 10. They played some sight word games to become familiar with some early common words. So far they have been introduced to the, a, and, of, to, it, that, in, you, & is. Students also continued to work on their Pete the Cat stories, adding more things he stepped in and the colors that it changed his shoes.

sight wordsnumber scrolls

Friday students had a reverse day. We spent the first half of the morning outside, then came in for snack and work time. While outside we created a compost jar by adding leaves, both green and brown, some grass, a few sticks, some apples, a bit of soil, and some water. We took the jar inside and will watch as it decomposes through the year and transforms into nice rich soil for growing new plants.

adding leaves to the compost jarpouring in some water to help it decompose

2 October, 2021
by Lyn
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Harvest

stirring

The artist Mary Cassatt painted portraits of children and families. On Monday we discussed who might be in a family and invited the children to make family portraits, including anyone they considered family, which could be those who live in their homes, pets, and extended family. Before taking pencil to paper they decided who they would include and the order they would draw them, then they got to work.

adding details to family portraitsMe and momMom and Dad

Life is full of rules and expectations, at home, at the store, at the library, at school, and anywhere else you go. We invited the children to share the expectations that we should have at school and discussed how they all fit into Being Respectful, Being Kind, and Being Safe, and how some fit into two or all three.

working as a team to make a magnet pictureplant or animalsorting colorssorting triangles by colorbeginnings of a pirate shipdrawingMe and my friendfraction familiescoloring plants and animalsadding all the blockstime to eatMatroyoshkamatching babies to adults

We have been reading and talking about farms, gardens, the arrival of fall, when plants die, and harvesting the final crops before winter. We read and acted out Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens. Bear sat lazily in his chair and Hare and his family planted, tended, and harvested crops at the end of each season, until Bear realized that Hare had been tricking him, growing beets, radishes, and carrots when Bear asked for the tops of the crop, broccoli, celery, and lettuce when Bear asked for the bottoms, and corn when Bear asked for both the tops and bottoms.

Bear, you get the bottoms, and I get the topsBear gets the tops and bottoms, Hare gets the middles

finding little creaturesharvesting ingredients for chocolate frostingchocolate frostingflower soupclimbinglooking at what a friend foundcupssoupbalancingjumping offmaking a castle at the end of the tunnelsmashing pumpkinspumpkin pulpflower soup

We had a fun water play scrubbing day for anyone who was interested with bins of soapy water to scrub out all the mud kitchen dishes. Those who love and seek the sensory experiences with paint and water and soap had a lot of sudsy fun.

water playscrubbingmixing bubblessoapy handsscrub, scrub, scrub

We enjoyed our Thursday Harvest Festival activities despite the cold. The children were busy under the tent making leaf garlands, leaf rubbings, rolled radish paintings, seed collages, and vegetable print paintings. They got their bodies moving while hammering golf Tees into pumpkins, balancing acorns on spoons, transferring apples between buckets of water with tongs, hopping around in pillow case sacks, tossing radishes into pots, and rolling a pumpkin around a hula hoop obstacle course.

trying not to drop the pumpkinall the colors mixed make brownseed collagevegetable printspulling them outsack hoppingbig jumpsapple transferpumpkin rollingpounding T's into pumpkinsthreading leaves to make a garlandpunching holes in leavesradish roll paintingbalancing an acorn on a spoon, and moving applesradish toss makes a neat sound when it strikes the side of the pothula hooping with Makenna

Kindergarten students did some penny addition by selecting 10 pennies each, then passing some to a friend. They then counted the amount their friend passed them and the amount they kept, then added them together to find the sum. They did some writing with Pete The Cat. They continued the story by brainstorming what else Pete might have stepped in and what color it would turn his shoes, illustrating and writing their ideas.

penny pile additionPete the Cat stepped in bubble gum, pumpkin, squash, cucumber pie, strawberries, and pie

Several students decided to become world travelers by digging their way to China. They worked tirelessly through the week, creating a rather impressive hole in the sandbox, discovering and making piles of the layers of sand and clay and soil they discovered. To ensure no one was injured, they creating a variety of WARNING signs to post around the hole.

CAUTION DEEP HOLEAdding stepsDon't Fall in the HoleCAUTION No Jumping in the Big HoleCAUTION!   BIG HOLE!sleeping in the big hole