Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

17 June, 2021
by Lyn

Thank you, Susan


Susan, we will miss you dearly as you move on to your house in Vermont for your second “retirement,” which you came out of to teach at Sunnybrook 4.5 years ago. There are just not enough ways to thank you for EVERYTHING you have brought to Sunnybrook.

all lined upsumingashipaint

Families, I imagine you all have seen the amazingness that is Susan at work. We were so fortunate to have her join us for four amazing years after she moved to the North Country from her life in Middlbury, VT where she founded and ran the Aurora School for 20 years.

Over these four years she has brought so much to Sunnybrook. Her wisdom, her experience, her deep knowledge about SO MANY things, her passion for and knowledge of music, her quick wit, her amazing songs and song making up abilities, her fabulous plays and performances, her energy and enthusiasm, her igloo building skills, her compassion and passion for children, her positivity, her love of learning, teaching, and exploring, her many strategies, skills, curriculum ideas, and activities, her open heart and mind, her strength, and her ability to see the best in those around her and challenge us to be and do better with those areas where we struggle. She has been an amazing teacher, mentor, and friend to all of us. She will be so missed! Thank you, Susan, for a wonderful four years. I so wish it could be more, but we know you will be loving life in Vermont with your family and friends and wonderful house and garden and your Sunnybrook apple trees to remind you of us. THANK YOU!!

fraction worklacing buttonsUS puzzle maprosado & muradosensorial & math worksorting living and non livingJupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, & Dwarf PlutoI love the Mountainsgetting snugglesWill this work?jingling bells

17 June, 2021
by Lyn



For Monday art we read Right Outside My Window by Mary Ann Hoberman, then the children selected frames, measured paper to fit, then drew what they see right outside their windows. There were some exceptionally detailed drawings and they were sure to color the whole page, including the sky and grass, leaving no white space behind.

a bear eating blueberries and fishthree trees at Story Landa mother bear and a cub in a treethe pond and the goat pen and Mount Washingtona family of birds and some flowersThe new swingset, the dogs, the gardenThe blue sky and the green grass and me and Mommymy neighbor's houseRight outside my window I see . . .

Zeanny joined us Tuesday morning for our final Spanish group. We sang the como estas song, the family song, and the finger counting song. We closed our eyes while Zeanny hid the cheese behind one of the family members then took turns guessing who ate the cheese. Zeanny then read the story Mortimer by Robert Munsch. We all love the parts where the family members go “bump, bump, bump” up and down the stairs, and when Mortimer loudly sings when he is supposed to be sleeping. To wrap up the morning we used the egg shakers to follow Zeanny’s directions. Thank you Zeanny for another wonderful year of Spanish!

singing with Zeannydancing with Zeannydiezthe family songno peekingWho ate the cheese? Quien comer el queso?boom, boom, boom down the stairsno hagas ruido (be quiet)arriba (up)

During sign language Rose read and signed Llama Llama Red Pajama then we all sang and signed the “Butterfly, Butterfly, Fly, Fly Away” song. Thank you so much Rose for coming every Wednesday and teaching us sign language! We learned so many signs and had so much fun!

Lama Llamabutterflyfly, fly away

Kindergarteners reflected on their year and all the things they learned – so many things! Some of the things they shared were: how to do math, how to count by tens, listen to the teachers, to share toys, to take my time, to listen to my friends, to write new letters, to freeze on 50, etc. They then each decided what they learned as individuals then drew an illustration to show that and wrote a sentence about what they learned. Some children even asked to do several pages and make a book out of them. On the last day, day 170, they finished painting and counting the fence all the way up to our final day.

In kindergarten I learned to take your time.counting beans

We did some art, jumped on the trampoline, cleaned and scrubbed, collected more insects and toads and slugs, took out bubbles for bubble blowing, went on some hunting adventures, and spent time playing with our friends and enjoying our last days.

collecting or plotting?a collection of thingsup on the rooftopa toad?A toad!chatting while they workcreating a house for a toadtrying to rescue a moth wingGuess what Laura is making!examining the wasp nestjumpready, set . . .carefully constructingcaring for the patient who has lost consciousnessplanningburiedself portraitsgel pens on black papermagnatilesLegoshow much do you weigh?sharpie on photo paperWill sheep sleep?big jumpsupwriting about the unicornthe marimba and the glockenspielhand tracingpercussionhunting alligatorsprepartionssetting up the boat for the hunting tripbig smilessandycollecting suppliessittingbig bubblea bunch of bubblesblowinggoing for a ridewe need some soap for these benchesgirls on the wallhopping bunny rabbit

We had some student photographers use the camera and they took some fun and silly photos of friends that absolutely needed to be shared.

smiling for the cameragrinbig grinbig smilesposinggoofy girlssmirksilliespeek-a-boostopcheekyone of the photographers at work

On our last day of school we learned all about bees and the jobs they do! We read Bee then watched several brief videos about bees. We watched a queen bee laying eggs, a time lapse of an egg hatching and metamorphizing from a larva to a pupa to an adult bee, a video describing the 9 different bee jobs, and one about the jobs of the worker bee. We then played the bee game. Everyone chose a job, then got busy feeding the larva, fanning the hive and honey, laying eggs, guarding the hive, taking out the dead bees, cleaning the cells, and forraging for pollen and food, taking pollen from flowers and leaving pollen at other flowers and bringing some back to the hive. We changed jobs and tried doing something else for a while.

the larva changing into adult beesthe guard bees protecting the hive from invading insectsa forager bee collecting pollencollecting pollen and an invading insect on the hunt for beescollecting and dropping off pollenmore pollenforager bee giving pollen and nectar to the nurse bees who will feed the larva

For our final goodbye we watched a video of the story Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney, about a young girl who decides she wants to travel to far away places, and when she is old to live by the sea. Her grandfather tells her that is all well and good, but she must do one more thing. She must do something to make the world more beautiful. When she is older and has travelled the world and lives by the sea, she finally finds a way to make the world more beautiful. She spreads lupine seeds all around as she walks each day, and in the spring there are pink, and purple, and white lupines everywhere they go.

last day goodbye group hugs

Thank you for sharing your children with us. Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we navigated this year. Thank you for all your support and cooperation. We will those who are moving on and are looking forward to return of everyone else. Have an amazing summer!


12 June, 2021
by Lyn

Jump, Frog, Jump!

Jackson Pollock inspired our art for Monday. We read Action Jackson a story about how he created his artwork in a big barn on his land using house paint, an enormous canvas, and a variety of sticks and brushes etc. to dribble, drop, splatter, and drip paint. The children excitedly danced and splattered their way through cups of colorful paint to create their own Pollockesque art.

Bluepurple splatterdrip, drip teala touch of graysome brown over red, purple, green, and blackspots of yellowwhite on blue and greenpurple linesblue on green and purpleadmiring her workdrips and drops

We read about amphibians then read about the difference between frogs and toads. We learned that frogs prefer water, while toads prefer land, frogs are smoother and wetter, while toads are drier and bumpier, toads have short back legs for little hops and frogs have long back legs for big jumps, frogs have teeth on their upper jaw to hold insects while toads have to swallow quickly, and frog eggs are laid in clumps and toad eggs are in chains. We then played “Frog says hop _________” and all the froggy children hopped slowly, backwards, to the tree and back, on their left foot, etc.

We had some classroom visitors, which were super exciting. The green tree frog we spotted pretty quickly but we had to do a little rearranging in the tank before we could spy the little brown spring peeper.

green tree frog in the top right corner of the tank

We played “The cool pond calls for anyone who _________” and the froggies would jump off their stumps and swim around if the statement applied to them, such as “has a brother,” “is wearing blue,” etc.

The cool pond calls . . .

We read the story Go, Go, Go, STOP! about little green who uses his only word, GO, to help the vehicles at the construction sight get their work done. Things get a little crazy when all they do is go, go, go, so fortunately little red arrives, who shouts STOP! Together they figure out how to work together for just the right amount of GO and STOP to help things run smoothly. We then played “Go, Go, Go, STOP” and all the children ran, hopped, galloped, etc. as they listened to the person holding the GO and STOP sign.

Hopping!  Go, go, go, go!flyingGo!Run! Go, go, go, go, go!

During sign language Rose read and signed two more stories, Will Giraffe Laugh? and Will Ladybug Hug? about how the friends try to get giraffe to laugh and who wants or doesn’t want Ladybug hugs and how ladybug gives or doesn’t give hugs as requested. We sang and signed one of our favorite songs to wrap things up, “Sally the Camel,” which is fun and catchy!

Giraffe was GROUCHYCrocodileFroggy has wrapped his tongue around giraffeHa, ha, ha, ha, ha!. . . but will her friends led ladybug HUG?side hugs

We celebrated a sixth birthday with the first June birthday before the arrival of summer. The birthday boy rapidly orbited the sun with the globe while we quickly named the seasons and counted off his birthyears before he reached six and we sang the Happy Birthday song.

speedy birthday boywinter, spring, summer, fall

The kindergarten students finished up making letters for the very end of the alphabet, chose their letters and numbers for their graduation demonstration, and practiced presenting. We are so grateful that all the K families were able to attend kindergarten graduation. It was a special night and it is hard to say goodbye. We will miss those graduates!

seed Ssviolet Vvyellow Yysetting up their benches and stumpsall in their spots

We enjoyed the heat of the first half of the week and the cooler temperatures of the second half. The children enjoyed the inside time this week just as much as the outside time.

planting the beans and pumpkins with Michellebeans are in!6, flutter like a butterflyrunning through the sprinklergetting wetsoggy girlsoakeda slow pass throughslow, fast, waitingwater in the facemixing upscooping dirt into the truckmud stewlooking at the stink bugs (New Hampshire bugs as they were named)back and forthsilly girlshe invented a balance boardand inspired everyone elsebalancingwibble wobbleDon't fall in the hot lava!!all in a rowfollowing their pathsbuilding a fire for the birthday camping tripThe birthday cakeboys and bombscoloring tiny rocks

catching a wolfanimal magnetsLego houseat the doctor's officecatching words with Lalphabet BINGOplaying WAR with Susantall flowers in the back, medium in the middle, and short in the frontwatching the fish and snailsbuilding a car runplaying the glockenspielbuilding with blocksrhyming puzzlethe musicianstwo handed playingdancing to the musicplaying the marimbaletter sound books

The students asked to use the sprayers to do some cleaning one afternoon, and spent the rest of the week washing up everything they could find that needed some scrubbing; the quiet house, walls, entryway, stair railings, chimney, easels, etc. They got the classroom looking spic and span!

washing the quiet house and chimney
scrubbing the easel
the chimney needs some attention
cleaning crew

For our final Friday science fun the children made SLIME!!! They were so patient while they each took turns measuring and mixing in ingredients, stirring between each addition, then gradually adding more and more contact lens solution and quickly beating it with a fork then kneading it until it was just the right consistency. We found that although it called for 1 tablespoon of contact lens solution (with boric acid in it), it actually needed about 1.5, but we added it a bit at a time until we had just the right consistency. They added lots or a little food coloring and lots or a little glitter to make it just the way they wanted. The children had fun through the rest of the morning and afternoon playing with their glittery, slimy creations.

glue, water, food coloring and glitterred and blueblueblue, blue, green, bluelots of glitteradding the contact lens solutionalmost ready!slimy greenblue goo and greengetting thickerslime!pink and blue glitter slime!stretching out the slimedark bluewashing upblue in a tray

4 June, 2021
by Lyn

Hey, Hey, Hay!

capturing the escaping slugs

Ronnie from Weeks Memorial Library invited us to a reading by the author Christy Mahaly, who lives in Vermont, through the Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF). She was super engaging and the children loved chatting with her and listening to her read her story Hey, Hey, Hay!, all about making hay. Many of us knew parts of the process, but we learned about all the steps and machines used to mow the grass, ted it so it can cry, rake it into windrows, bale the hay, and transport and store it for the animals to eat when winter arrives and the green grass is gone. She handed out picture cards of the steps in the process, and the children placed them on the flannel board when we got to that part of the story. Every time the story mentioned hay, we all shouted, “hey, hey!” and every time we saw a tractor, we made tractor sounds. We sang “Old MacDonald had a Farm” and pulled animals that eat hay out of a bag for the different verses. Finally, Christy read us a poem about an acorn turning into an oak tree that we acted out before she gave each child a paper Hey, Hey, Hay! hat and everyone got to choose two books to keep from CLiF.

Christy and Ronnieauthor Christy MahalyHey, Hey, Hay!How is hay made?Brrrrrrrrrrrrr like a tractorgrow like an oak treeHey, Hey, Hay! hats

For sign language Rose read and signed two fun rhyming books, Will Sheep Sleep? and Will Bear Share? In the first book sheep follows his bedtime routine, including getting some water, brushing his teeth, etc. and for each activity we are asked, “Will _____ help sheep sleep?” Finally counting sheep helps sheep sleep. In the second book bear has a variety of items. Some, such as berries, are for sharing, while others, such as a toothbrush, are not! To wrap up we sang and signed “The Green Grass Grows All Around.” We are starting to get a little better with keeping up with Rose when signing this tricky and fast paced song!

sheepsleepbrush teethperhapsbearshareberryyes!nesttree

During music Susan introduced 13 different percussion instruments/drums and asked the children to put them in size from largest drum head to smallest. They did well comparing drum head size rather than height and got them all placed in order, with several that were all the same size. Groups of children then had the opportunity to play, following Susan’s instructions to play a particular way, such as quietly and quickly, or slowly and loudly, or quickly and loudly, or slowly and quietly. It was a little tricky to play quickly and quietly with some drums!

bigger or smaller?so close in sizewhere should this one go?hmmmthis looks the sameIs this one the biggest or the smallest?drum slowly and quietlydrum quietly

Michelle came to do some planting in the bollards now that they are finally filled with soil. She took students in small groups to sprinkle and water a variety of flower seeds that we are anxious to see grow through the summer and fall.

giving it a good soakpacking down the dirtpatting down the dirt

Kindergarteners counted up to 160 on the fence and repainted all the orange lines for tens, and yellow dots for ones. They did some letter work with X, making an X out of flox and making box turtles out of boxes.

painting tens and ones150'sflox Xpink and purple floxXxbox turtle shellsa green box turtleyellow and greenbox turtlebrown shelled box turtle

For Friday science we went on a leaf hunt and the children were tasked with finding 15 different leaves. While hunting they also found the skeleton of a dead animal (looks like a cat, but we said maybe fox), a toad, lots of flowers, and the library. They did some laps around the bandstand before climbing up and finding a spot to dump and sort their leaves. When asked what characteristics they could sort by, someone suggested smooth and bumpy/serrated edges, so everyone sorted their leaves into piles by those characteristics. Some children then sorted by size as well.

boneslook at the skullleaf huntersrunning around the bandstandlooking for the doorsorting leavessmooth and rough edgesher piles of leaves and flowersrough and smooth and everything elsesortedwhat about this one?dirt, flowers, rough edge leaves, smooth edge leaves, maple seed, worms

As the end of the year approaches, the natives are becoming increasingly restless and we have been taking advantage of the good weather. We have many plans to introduce frogs, turtles, etc., the lifecycle of a pond, and continue our social/emotional curriculum but attention spans are focused on outdoors and social play, so we follow their cues and shift the plans. Worms are harder to find lately, but toads and slugs have been abundant!

painting rainbowsrockin and rollin right off!Five green and speckled frogssix green and speckled frogsmixing up the potion to turn you evilmemorymaking applesauceMom and Dad roasting marshmallows for smores over our campfirefilling up the water tankfingers in the watersliding down benchespainting rocksartists at the easeltoads or insects or slugs?applesaucea ninjadoing tricky trickspicking baby applesgreens for cookinga girl flying a kite in the blue skypainting with waterspinning wheelenjoying some peaceful time in the sunshinerelaxingmaking some food for dinnerpaintinggetting cozy in the cool shadesetting up the housebuilding a protective safe for his watertagshoveling dirtthe crew at workcovering up the rocks the plow pushed up"I'm working for the government"smoothing it outgetting it all packed downmud in the panSTUCK!muddin'cleaning off her feet and shoesa tiny spiderdripping mud monsters