Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

24 September, 2021
by Lyn


flower soup

Monday artists read Mouse Paint by Ellen Stohl Walsh and White Rabbit’s Color Book, then got messy mixing up finger paints to create purple, orange, and green from red and blue, red and yellow, and yellow and blue.

mixing colorsmaking purplefinger tracksRedpurple and green

Students continued to work on self portraits. They used the mirror to see the shape of their face, eye and hair color, and determine the facial features that should be included, then got busy drawing, mixing paint for their skin and hair, and creating beautiful portraits.

What color are my eyes and hair?artists at workblond hair, blue eyes, and purple glassesshort brown hair and hazel eyescareful paintinggray eyesDiscussing his self portraitWhat color is my skin?

We were excited to have most of our class back this week! We were finally able to get to more of our classroom orientation. We played a self regulation game and practiced STOP and GO as we pretended to be animals moving around the room until we heard and saw STOP, then we would halt and transform into a new animal. We then played a safety game where we located and touched a STOP sign in the classroom and discussed why those signs are on the doors and that those doors are only used when a teacher or parent is with us or has given permission to go, except the bathroom doors, where we knock and listen before opening.

children trainDigging in the sandTheir housebaking up a cakecreating some tasty foodPlaying dragon chase with Michellechefs in the kitchenwater play

We read Horrible Bear and talked about ways we can safely and respectfully manage emotions, such as walking away when frustrated, taking some space when angry, and getting a hug when sad. The Quiet House was introduced, which is a space in the classroom for students to go have alone time and regroup when they feel overwhelmed by emotions or just overstimulated in the classroom. The Quiet House is for one person only at a time and is a choice a student may make for themselves if they feel it is needed. We sang the “If You’re Happy and You Know It” song and added some strategies for different emotions we might be feeling as the actions.

lining up the cylindersReading a rhyming bookSailing the high seasSharing a lovely chocolate cakePlaying housetesting out the thumb pianoRorschach print paintinganimal face puzzle with Michellepirate ship puzzleplaying the tongue drum12 Green and Speckles Frogs, Sitting on a Speckled Logfarm puzzle with Makennashowing us how quickly he can put all the cylinders in the block

We celebrated a fourth birthday. The birthday boy quickly orbited the sun while holding the globe, then shared popsicles outside as a birthday treat. He chose his favorite color, red, for his popsicle.

He's 4!walking the glob around the sunRed popsicle!

We read about some different animals adventuring out and about in Oh, Look! by Patricia Polacco and Sheep Take a Hike by Nancy Shaw. We then took a nature walk and collected some items out in nature, which we brought back to make nature collages.

carrying the collection baglet's head this waycollecting flowerswalking through the tall grassWhat did you find?cutting some plantsartists at workcarefully arranging tiny itemsnature artcutting and gluingred leaves and lots of glueGLUE!Nature collagegluing plants

A Norwegian dwarf rabbit named Mars visited for a little while one afternoon. We talked about how to help him feel safe and how we would keep him safe by sitting in a circle with our knees touching, being calm and quite, allowing him to hop around and taking turns petting it if it came to us, and not picking it up. Some children chose to watch from a distance. Those who participated were very excited but they did well remaining calm and quiet. The bunny will visit again, and the children are already planning for the next visit, drawing bunny pictures to put around the classroom to make him feel welcome.

carefully petting Marsso excited to see Mars

Kindergarten students have been working on letter handwriting, beginning sight words, some addition work, and creating stories about their families – as short as one page or a whole book that they can work on over time – while they sound out their words and record the corresponding letter sounds. At this stage we will give some spelling of basic words they may use often, such as love, but for now we encourage them to write phonetically, not correcting inaccurate spellings as they gain confidence in their sounding out and identifying individual sounds in words. The beginning stages of writing are focused on their phonemic awareness. Spelling will come later or be reserved for common words they will use often, such as the, and, of, and to.

Stories about our familiesoutside at night under the moonI like to work with Pa.

Friday students did a backwards day, starting outside then heading in when it rained, and holding our morning meeting science group at the end of the morning before lunch! We picked the pumpkins from the gardens in front of the fence and did some pumpkin carving. The children loved using the little pumpkin saws to saw back and forth through the pumpkin flesh. They scooped out the seeds and pulp and put it in a pot. They created faces on most of them and random designs on others.

pumpkins!zig zaglook at how the pulp and seeds are growingsawingcutting around the topcarving facescarefully sawing

During science we talked about living things being either plants or animals then sorted small objects according to whether it was a plant or an animal. We discussed the parts of a plant and what each part does, such as leaves breath and make food, the trunk or stem carries the water up to the leaves, and the roots absorb the water from the ground and hold it in the soil, which lead to a discussion of how plants make food and where our food comes from – plants and other animals!! To wrap up, we read the book Where Does Food Come From? by Shelly Rotner and Gary Goss.

17 September, 2021
by Lyn

Who We Are

they found a funny love bug

We read and chatted about the story We Are All Alike, We Are All Different then Monday students were introduced to self-portrait painting. We looked at some self-portraits by famous artists, particularly Frida Kahlo, whose primary subject was herself. We observed that the portraits were realistic and accurate, and discussed what eye, hair, and skin color we would use when creating our own self-portraits. The students looked at themselves in the mirror, drew heads, hair and facial features, mixed colors, and painted. Other children began working on their own self-portraits through the week, and we have begun a portrait gallery in the literacy area.

Self portraits by Frida Kahlo, Van Gogh, and othersWe are all different heights
drawing headsfacial features and hairfinding the right color
adding detailshair on her self portraitmixing just the right skin color

We read farm stories and sang some songs, including Old MacDonald, to prepare for our upcoming Harvest Festival. We discussed, read about and practiced a fire drill.

writing wordscutting apples fallen from the apple treepainting linesmatching sound cylindersbakingin the shipsounding out and building wordsblue and green rainmoms chattingvroom vroomreadingcutting and creatingpuzzlescountingpots and pansmixing up some chicken and baconpumping up the ball

Makenna brought a special red instrument, uke-Larry, from Hawaii in on Thursday and we listened while she sang “In the Jungle” then we joined her for “Old MacDonald,” “Five Green and Speckled Frogs,” and “If You’re Happy and You Know it.

Makenna and Ukel-larry

For Friday science we read about and discussed Living and Non-living, then sorted some items by whether they are alive and need air, water, and nutrients and can move independently, or not.

11 September, 2021
by Lyn

First Week

We spent our first week becoming familiar with the classroom, new friends, the routines, schedule, and expectations. There were so many new things to do and see! As we get into the year we will continue familiarizing ourselves with the environment and work on building and navigating relationships through targeted group and individual lessons and conversations. Some interactions and routines students began to practice were how to get a teachers attention when she is talking to another student (setting a hand on her shoulder), how to get another students attention when you have something to say (saying their name and maybe a gentle touch), how to show someone you are listening (looking at their face), how to take turns (asking, “May I have a turn when you are done?”), how to take out a mat and work and set it up, how to set up snack and lunch, how to line up and go outside safely, and how to respect others work by walking around their work mats.

a yellow caterpillar curled around grassslugbiking girlmatching heads and tails (much harder than one would think!)matching words to pictureshave to take a phone callteamwork to build a houselots of redstatuesall but one statues in hidingbasketball linecooking in the sheltermud soupsled trainmaking pieclimberstoastcleaning up the kitchenflower gardensmagnet pictures of a playground with all the toys and a houseplaydough mountaindice addition

We celebrated two birthdays. Our first friend introduced the Montessori Birthday Celebration by holding the globe and walking around the sun five times, once for each year she has been alive, while we counted her orbits and listed the seasons. She shared gold, purple, teal, and white mermaid cake pops with everyone.

orbiting the sun5 years old!mermaid cake pops

Our second birthday girl was so excited to celebrate her day! She carefully held the globe and orbited the sun four times before we serenaded her with the Happy Birthday song. We enjoyed the pink cupcakes with blue frosting she baked as an after lunch treat, some of us getting blue from nose to chin in our endeavors to gobble them up.

Summer, winter, spring, fallI'm 4!blue frosted cupcakes

We were introduced to a variety of percussion instruments and took turns playing various drums, rain sticks, maracas, guiros, etc.

dancing and playing the frog guirosteel tongue drum and thumb pianossteel drum and rain stick

During Friday science we discussed planet Earth, where we live, and that it is make up of land/earth (rock, soil, etc.), water, and air. We felt the sandpaper globe and found the rough spots of land and the smooth blue water. We then used the land, air, water mat to identify and place animals by where they travel and live.

cutting and gluingplant cleaning

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