Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

23 October, 2021
by Lyn
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NOW HIRING

We are looking for a kind, engaging, passionate educator to join our team starting immediately.

Early Education Lead Teacher qualifications are preferred, but not required. This position is flexible and can be part time from 12 up to 40 hours/week. It is a school year position working with 3-6 year old students. Strong recommendations and a love of children are a must.

For more information, or to apply, please contact Sunnybrook Director Lyn Schmucker at [email protected]

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!

14 January, 2022
by Lyn
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Skeleton

examining squirrel tracks

Harold and his Purple Crayon introduced drawing lines to Monday students in the story by Crocket Johnson. We read Lines That Wiggle by Candace Whitman and The Line by Paula Bossio then watched a video where an artist demonstrated how to draw a portrait using one long line without picking up your pencil even once! Some artists gave it a try and discovered it was quite tricky to draw a whole picture using just one line.

Rose continued to review and introduce mammal signs. She did a fun activity where the children sorted some stuffed animals into groups. The children determined whether the animals had hair, four limbs, gave live birth, and nursed their babies or not to figure out if they were mammals or not mammals. We sang “Hurry, Hurry, Drive the Fire Truck” and “Sally the Camel Has 5 Humps.”

hurry, hurry climb the laddermammal4 limbsmilkmotherDoes it have hair? 4 limbs? Give live birth?Is it a mammal, or not a mammal?Sally the camel has 4 humpsSally the camel has no humps, because Sally is a horse, of course!

We watched videos of different animals walking. We observed how they moved their legs and learned the names for the different ways of moving. We observed a bear, which waddles like raccoons and skunks, who walk by moving both legs on one side at the same time, then both legs on the other. We tried it out and found it was kind of tricky to move that way. We then watched a deer walking, which is a diagonal or perfect walker, just like cats, dogs, foxes, and coyotes, who walk by alternating their feet. Most of us found this was the easiest way to move as it is the way humans move naturally when crawling and walking. We watched a mink moving, who is a bounder like fishers, otters, and weasels, moving both front feet then back feet. Finally we watched a rabbit galloping, who moves by placing their front feet down then hopping their back feet in front of their front feet, just like squirrels, mice, and groundhogs, so when we find their tracks in the snow, their big back feet are ahead of their little front feet prints. Some of us found this to be the hardest way to move.

waddling like a bearF has a tiger on her head . . .a yak, a deer, and a wolf on their heads

The children had fun taking turns performing The Mitten by, Jan Brett.

along came a badgera great big bear climbed inthe mouse tickled the bears nose and the bear sneezed and all the animals came tumbling outAaaaaa ca chooooo

It was a pretty chilly week with minimal sunshine but we did our best to stay warm running around, sledding, chopping up snow & ice, going on adventures, and looking for tracks.

heart icegoing for a ridesleeping while sleddingin the housethe welcoming committeeea snow personall cozythe bucket snowman

We returned to discussing steps and strategies for problem solving. As an implementation site for the Pyramid Model, which we began this year, we were given some great materials to use in the classroom. First we looked at an emotional regulation scale, showing a child from calm to distressed and talked about taking breaths to send oxygen to the brain and help calm ourselves. The children then shared some examples of problems that might need to be solved. We read a story about the steps to follow to solve a problem and some solutions we could try.

painting partnersassembling the human bodysand play with Rosesnap circuits fan helicopterup it goes!flipping the switchshowing the girls how to gently place the fanbuilding wordsperfecting fine motor skills with very careful tracing workexamining the brain partstheir super cool animal shelter castlewatching the wash agitatewhere do the lungs go?Sleeping Queens with Makennaballet dancerspin punching shapesThe fortress

The Medical Clinic was busy this week with so many patients getting exams, X-rays, vaccinations, and medical advice. I was told my heart was broken and would never be better again. It was a very sad day for this patient! Those nurses, doctors, and EMTs were very busy! They even had do dodge some wizarding spells when a Harry Potter invasion took over the clinic.

adding stripes to the ambulancered stripes on the back doorshere are your internal organspicking up patients in the ambulancetreating the patientlet's take your blood pressure and give you some shotsfilling out the intake formsthis baby needs some shotsoff to pick up a patientlistening for the heartbeatMichelle is in rough shapeDr. E

Kindergarten students chose their own math and literacy work. They did some sight word reading and a sight word word search. They listened to some addition and subtraction word problems, determined if it was an addition or subtraction problem, then used pictures, tally marks, fingers, rocks, flat glass marbles or counting in their heads to determine the solution to each problem.

number scrollreadingfinding sight wordsandthereturning to some writing workA panda had 7 stalks of bamboo.  It ate 4.  How many stalks of bamboo were left?pin punching their continents

Friday students did some skeleton dancing and were introduced to the names of the major bones on our bodies. We learned that all mammals (as well as reptiles, amphibians, birds, and most fish) have skeletons of bone (or cartilage) and they share the names. The head bone is always a skull, no matter what animal it belongs to, as is the femur, ribs, vertebrae, pelvis, etc. After several introductions to the names of the different bones the children took turns finding the bones on our skeleton, John. They identified the clavicle, vertebrae, femur, patella, pelvis, ribs, skull, and shoulder blades.

The skeleton dancethe hip bone's connected to the backbonefemurclaviclepelvisskullribs12 pairs of ribs is 12+12=24

7 January, 2022
by Lyn
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Tracking

chipping out the ice

Snow is a wondrous thing! It can show you how to get to a deer yard when wandering through the woods or let you follow a winding snowshoe hare trail or see where mice have popped up to run around. We read about animals leaving tracks on their way home one winter night and used our previous knowledge and experiences and the pictures in the book to figure out which animals were heading home. For art the children stamped, traced, or drew animal tracks on a snowy white paper and used track cards to identify them.

tracing tracksmoose tracksmoose, deer, and hare tracksmore trackseven more tracks

snow girlsbalancing actup and down the hillcamping outpre snowboardpush and pullhugsreciprocal hugsboys chillinsharpening their ice knives on their sharpening stonesshoveling outgirls chillin"Now no one can see me!!"creating snow cakesfancy caketwo in a sled

We celebrated a 7th birthday on our first day back with tasty cupcakes. The birthday girl informed us she was born in the month of December in late fall seven years ago. She went so quickly around the sun it was hard to keep up with listing the seasons and counting the seven years, so we probably tacked on a few extra with all that orbiting!

7!round and round she goes

During sign language Rose introduced signs that have to do with mammals, including hair, deer, moose, squirrel, and bear. She then read the story Duck, Duck, Moose by Sandra Boynton about some ducks who make a cake and Moose who messes it up but is forgiven when he realizes what he has done.

Duck, Duck, Moose - Oh, no Moose!M is for monkey

We introduced mammals through some songs, games, and exploration. Each of the children selected a mammal from the animal bin and shared their observations about it. They all had 4 limbs and hair. We ran our hands down our backs to feel our vertebrae and looked at a model of a spinal column. We learned that mammals are vertebrates with bones and a spine. We learned that baby mammals are born alive and drink milk from their mothers, which is where the name mammal comes from; the mammary glands that female mammals have for producing milk.

The children really enjoyed spending some time examining the bones from a fox skeleton Lyn and her children found while walking through the woods a few summers ago that they collected and cleaned. It was almost the entire skeleton, skull to tail, including the toe bones and claws. They very carefully rolled out mats and spent time gently removing the different sets of bones and looking at them, the skull and teeth, shoulder blades and pelvis, vertebrae, leg bones, ribs, toes, and claws.

fox bonesvertebraefox teeth

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt preceded a conversation about disappointment and handling and managing those feelings when something happens that is disappointing. The children shared experiences when they were disappointed, such as when a block structure or sandcastle got ruined, or they couldn’t watch a show when they wanted to, or had to wait until the weekend for hot chocolate, or they really wanted something but couldn’t have it, etc. We all shared some things we could do to manage that disappointment, such as rebuilding the structure, having a conversation about it, taking some breaths and letting it go, figuring out a way to do it differently next time, or changing the narrative in our heads from negative thoughts to positive thoughts, such as “it really stinks that we have to leave the beach so I don’t have time to rebuild that castle, but I know I will get to come to a beach again and I will build another one.” or “At least I have hot chocolate to look forward to this weekend!”

forest animalsmatched all the lettersmitten matchingbuilding the teensbeadingclipping on the mittensletter sound drawerslots of friends building a foresta picture for momAfrican animals puzzledrawingsailing awayMat sat. Sam sat.4 + 3 =a pink heart for momfilling all the cupsa baby chickchecking on the cookies

Since humans are mammals, we will also be studying the human body and how to take care of it. We spent some time building and painting an ambulance and took Friday morning to set up a health clinic in dramatic play. The physicians, nurses, and office managers were anxious to get to work signing in, examining, and treating patients, and the patients were ready for their appointments.

painting the ambulanceWhite for the ambulanceGiving the baby her vaccinationsChecking intaking the patient's blood pressurelistening to the baby's heartbeata finger shot

Kindergarten students spent the week on math. They were introduced to the ten bead bars and did some work counting by tens and building 10’s numbers. The numbers 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90 were flipped over and the children selected one, flipped it over, and built it using their ten beads. They were then introduced to the 100 square and did the same thing, building 100’s. Finally they were given sets of unit beads, 10 bead bars, and 100 squares then used place value charts to record the number they had, counting up each set and writing the corresponding number in the correct place value spot.

building 10's10, 20, 30, 407 10's5040 with 60 left over60 with 40 left overmaking 100s2808 100s and 6 10sHow much do I have?450 something

18 December, 2021
by Lyn
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Celebrations

As winter approaches we learned about the winter solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the whole year, when the reduced amount of sunlight brings colder temperatures and corresponding snowy precipitation. We introduced several winter celebrations where light is an important aspect, including Diwalli, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas. We briefly touched on some traditions around these holidays that use candles or lights. All of the Sunnybrook students this year celebrate Christmas, and they shared that one of their traditions is to bring a tree into the house and hang ornaments for decoration and light it with strands of little lights.

looking through all the little items in the letter sound drawerssand playbracelet beadingfinding the rhymesbraceletsreading about reptiles with MakennaLegosbuilding a houseChicka Chickapenguins slidingbiking through the puddles

The children had the opportunity to draw a design on a wood cookie or wooden ornament shape, then paint it with acrylic paints. Some had so much fun with the process, creating colorful swirls and blends, while others created miniature detailed pictures of a winter or holiday scene.

yellow, blue, violetadding detailcolorfulPinka snowmansigning his ornamentstarting with white

Pastels on black paper were introduced and the children created some nighttime winter scenes, including deer in the forest, or other dark/nighttime pictures, such as the planets in the solar system.

winter nightsa house at nightdark on dark with a spot of lightadding detailsNeptune

During sign rose reviewed the alphabet and each child was given some letter sign plates. We put them in order, stapled them together, and taped our alphabet caterpillar to the wall. Rose reviewed the reptile signs for alligator and crocodile, and showed us how to distinguish between the two – the alligator has a rounded snout and the crocodile’s is more pointy, and she read us a story about an alligator and a crocodile.

Pleasestapling the letters togetherwhich one is i?

Rose also brought some fun coloring pages the children enjoyed coloring, cutting, and pasting. She shared a build your own Santa page and a decorate, cut, and paste presents under the tree activity. The children worked so carefully to color, cut, and assemble their Santas just the way they wanted.

Coloring with RoseBuild a Santa and an elephant in water

We read the story of the Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. The Gingerbread baby was visiting our classroom. We had to follow the clues to discover where he was. The children divided into groups then took turns following the clues to find the next note telling us where the Gingerbread baby went next in our classroom. He was finally discovered asleep in the rest room on a mat. The children took Gingerbread baby outside and took turns hiding him then finding him. It was awfully hard not to peek while he found his next hiding spot, and he was discovered every time before hiding again!

The Gingerbread Baby has been found!

We celebrated a fifth birthday with our resident bibliophile and cat artist. She told us she was born in the fall in the month of December five years ago, then proceeded to race around the sun with the earth clutched tightly in her hands as we attempted to keep up listing the seasons and counting the years since her birth.

5 years oldsuper fast!

Everyone was so excited for pajama day! The children had so much fun playing with their stuffed animals and doing activities, including Twister, train tracks, and stories under the tent. They created some marble and ping pong tunnel courses with cardboard tubes. They made fabulous glitter jars. They built paper snowmen. And they had fun with pop-beads and playing games. They enjoyed some popcorn and hot chocolate with heart shaped birthday muffins from the birthday girl. After lunch we all gathered under the tent to sing some Christmas carols (and upon request, the favorite song, The Lion Sleeps Tonight/aka Wimoweh).

glitter jarstubes and tunnelsrolling ping pong balls and marbles down ramps to the collection areaOperationtwister under the tentwatching the popcorn pophot chocolate, popcorn, and heart shaped birthday muffinssleeping QueensChristmas Carols with Makenna and Ukelarrylistening intently to Makenna singingmusic

Kindergarten students worked on letters to Santa. They began with the date, then the address “Dear Santa.” They wrote something kind they had done this year then asked for a particular gift they are hoping to receive.

Dear SantaA letter to SantaI helped a friendDear Santa, I am helpful to my friend

Friday students had a quiet day playing trains, coloring, washing the chalkboard, enjoying donuts brought by the Green family, playing house, and making snowglobes with Makenna. For lunch they each got a special cupcake treat that Makenna made for everyone with pink frosting covered in candy canes.

chugga, chuggadonutsaround the tracka necklace and handcuffscoloringsnowglobescleaning the chalkboard

Have a wonderful vacation and happy holiday! We will see everyone in two weeks.

11 December, 2021
by Lyn
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Together

So Funny!

Stone soup week finally arrived, a bit late but much anticipated. The children loved washing, peeling, and cutting (all those preparation tasks) their vegetables. They brought onions, carrots, potatoes, celery, green beans, butternut squash, thyme, and broccoli to prepare, some salt and pepper, canned beans, canned tomatoes, and frozen green beans. With Michelle’s magic touch and some help from some students, the soup made our classroom smell delicious for two mouthwatering days!

peeling carrotsgreen beansThymemore carrotsonion and butternut squashpotatochop chopcutting broccoliscooping out seedspeelingcutting carrotsgreen beanseven more carrotsbroccoli, potato, onionslicing celerypreparing soup

The children read about milk and watched some videos about making butter, then took turns shaking up some heavy cream until it separated into the buttermilk and the fatty solid butter to go with the tasty homemade bread Michelle mixed up and baked in her bread maker.

shaking cream to make butter

Wednesday finally arrived and we were so excited to have Laura join us for our stone soup meal. Everyone was thrilled to say hello, give hugs, and for new students to introduce themselves. The students brought their bowls up for soup, several going back for seconds and thirds, which they enjoyed with their homemade bread and butter, some cheese, and tasty apple cider.

Laura arriveshugs for a friendtime for souphomemade bread and butteryummy soupate it all upstone soup time

During sign language Rose set out several reptiles and we practiced making their signs. We sang and performed the “Hurry, Hurry, Drive the Fire Truck” song. To finish up each child was given two caterpillar parts with the hand sign for two different letters then we built it from a to z.

hurry, hurry, ring the bellft, u

On Thursday we were introduced to percussion and percussion instruments, which make noise when we strike them or two or more parts collide together to make a sound. We clapped to the count of 4, using our hands and bodies as percussion instruments. We then had brief demonstrations to a multitude of percussion instruments. Everyone chose an instrument to play, which we did to the count of 4 to the best of our ability, then traded for new instruments. To finish off, we took out the big drum. We discussed how sound is made by vibrations that travel through the air. We saw the vibrations on the drum by placing some small wool balls on the drum and watching them bounce as the drum was tapped, just a little for small taps, then higher and higher as the drum was hit harder and harder and the volume increased. Finally everyone had a chance to tap the drum, at first quietly like snow falling, or far off sleigh bells, or a distant snowmobile, then gradually harder (and louder), causing the balls to bounce all over and fly off the drum. It was rather exciting!

big vibrationsbanging on the drummaking the balls bounce

Kindergarten students did some snowman multiplication math. They rolled a die two times. The first time told them how many snowmen they were going to draw, and the second told them how many body parts each snowman would have. For example, if they rolled a two and a four, they would draw two snowmen with four snowballs each, then calculate how many snowballs were used (2×4=8). They did some writing about what they observe with their senses in winter. They thought then wrote what they see, smell, taste, feel, and hear in winter. They began work on a math story song, There Were Ten in the Bed, which they illustrated and used subtraction to determine how many were left each time one rolled out of the bed, and showed that on each page.

2x2snowman multiplication mathI see, hear, smell, feel, tasteIn winter I see santa, snow, ice, snowmenIn winter

We had a super warm day that melted all the snow and made lots of watery puddles, then some chilly wintery days.

slip and sliderainy day sleddingsleds and shovels for water collectiondried hydrangea flowersclimbersa bucket full of water and slushfilling sleds with slushover therehauling away the waterfilling up the truckbuilding a damplowing the roadssilly monkeysfunnychecking the patient's vision after an eye injurysled housefilling the bucketpuppiesa sledding hill

Legos and magnatiles made an appearance and the children had fun building and creating.

magnatilesmemoryLego house teamlooking grouchy like Jim-panzeethe houseboatSleeping QueensLego timegetting the reptiles to high ground out of the flood zone100 boardCc sound bookOo sound bookgoing for a drivetaking care of babygetting readywatching the soapcoloring pages100 board, round 2Lego underwater Robotpracticing fine motor skillscapturing queenssorting flat marbles

Friday students read Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones, all about the different animals that are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs, including reptiles. Several weeks ago we placed two chicken eggs in a jar of vinegar, so we pulled the jar down and examined the eggs. We observed that the vinegar had disintegrated the calcium shell, leaving behind a soft, rubbery membrane, like those surrounding reptile eggs, which have soft shells, unlike bird eggs. After rinsing off the shell gunk everyone took a turn holding the “reptile” egg, observing how squishy and soft it was.

reptile like eggswe can see the yolka soft, smooth membranebeing so carefulit squisheshow does it feel?the vinegar is stinky!