Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

28 May, 2021
by Lyn


finding insects

As we are planting and growing beans and flowers, and discussing the life cycle of plants and trees, we explored how paper is made. We talked about all the things we use that are made from plants and trees, and found so many things in our classroom made of wood and plant fibers. We looked at the bean plants Friday students planted and observed that they were starting to send down roots. We read about how paper is made and watched a video showing the process and the giant paper factories where trees are debarked, chopped up, combined with water and chemicals and turned into pulp, rolled out into sheets, cut to size, and packaged to be shipped off. The children then recycled some used paper by tearing it into small pieces, blending it up with some water, then pouring out the pulp, rolling out the water, and setting it on heavy fabric to dry.

the root growing downHow paper is madechoosing paper to recycletearing up the paper to make new paperpurple papera loud blenderrolling the water outpushing water outchopping into pulppouring out the paper pulppink paperpouring purple papertoo loud

All the Woodland Stone Soup Practice came to fruition this week as the children performed their story in front of the camera. They donned their costumes and were recorded in scenes, starting with the final scene, then going back to the beginning. Laura is going to work some magic to cut, paste, add sound, and use all those editing skills she has to piece it all together for everyone to view.

all the animals enjoying stone soupmaking the fire3 raccoons, 2 mice, 2 chipmunks, and a groundhoggreeting the chickadee, woodpecker, and bees

The heat at the beginning of the week gave way to cooler end of week temperatures, which was a relief after reaching almost 90 degrees!

Nature Memorytwo boys in their fortclimbersThe baby and the big brotherssawinghis favorite bike for wheeliesover the hillpaintingbluehalf birthday partytoss and catchsetting up shopcaterpillar, caterpillarbiking aroundgoing for a rideDSC00915 (2)a birch catkinraking upfinding a cool spot in the shadepainting blockscoloringmud mealshauling rocksemptying the wagonmixing up the potionparty timeobserving the toadsrelease of the toads

Rose read and signed another Llama, Llama story this week. She shared Llama, Llama and the Bully Goat about a student at school who would push, tease, and hurt the other students. Llama and his friends told the bully goat to stop and told the teacher, who came to help and removed the bully goat from play. To wrap up, we signed and sang “Down by the Bay” and the children made up some very creative silly rhymes.

playdown the slidebullySign language

Susan introduced drumming and rhythm patterns. We learned that in some places, because drums are so loud, they are/were a form of communication that would send messages from far away, and different rhythm patterns meant different things, such as a warning that a lion was nearby. She demonstrated how to make a rhythm pattern that we would then imitate. She drummed a pattern and we used rhythm sticks to repeat it back. She showed us how to use the heels of our hands to make a resonating sound on the big drum and the children took turns in small groups playing the big drum using the heels of their hands.

rhythm with Susantap with fingers or heel of the handrepeating the rhythmdrumming with the heel of the handmaking it resonategood vibrationsmute the sound

During Spanish we sang the emotions song and all our body songs and marched around the playground while singing and acting out La Marcha. She read the story El Frijole de Benito about a cat who plants a bean and takes care of it then waits and waits and waits for it to grow. To wrap up, we played a color finding game. Zeanny would say a color in Spanish then everyone would run to touch something of that color.

tristeenojadapiescaderasListos!La MarchaEl Frijole De Benitomucho, mucho, muchoverdeazul

Michelle introduced the life cycle of a bean and the parts of a plant during Friday science. The children observed how the bean seeds they planted last week have started to push down roots and push up sprouts. Some have even emerged from the soil and grown leaves so they can begin to make their own food. She shared some seedlings that have grown leaves, started to bud, and developed into tiny little bean pods. The children found the stem, roots, buds, flowers, pods, branches, and leaves. They each took a bean pod and opened it up to discover the tiny bean seeds inside. It was so neat to see all the different stages and think about the life cycle of the bean plant.

bean life cycleobserving the roots and shootstouching a rootfinding the roots in the dirtroots soak up the waterleaves make the foodfinding the bean seeds in the podthe blossomopening the podall the stages of a beancollecting the beansseed, seedling, plant, flower

22 May, 2021
by Lyn

A Hunting We Will Go

We went adventuring on Monday. The children were introduced to fairy houses and were each given a nature scavenger hunt sheet. We travelled together across the green, behind the courthouse, and along the river in search of the items on our list while simultaneously collecting bark, dried plants, rocks, flowers, etc. for our fairy houses. We found birds, ants, a body of water, trees, butterflies, leaves, and other natural items before returning to school, running through a sprinkler behind the courthouse to cool off on the way.

we found a treesearching for items on the scavenger hunt listfound: dandilionswaiting to cross the roadrunning to the ice skating rinka rough rockcollecting dried plants for the fairy housesthe edge of the bankwe found some watera rushing riverwatching the water runlooking at the river from the rockfollowing the patha big leafa path through the bushestaking a breakblowing dandilionsrunning through the sprinklera little fairy house with a stone pathbuilding a fairy housetiny house for tiny peopleshowing off her fairy housea fairy house with a swimming poola fairy feastpreparing the area for the fairy housethe finished housethe fairy house

Insects were introduced. The children each selected an insect model/toy to study then shared observations about them. We noticed that insects have 6 legs, 3 body parts (head, thorax, abdomen), two antennae, and many have wings, some of which are hidden under wing casings.

There were ten in the bed and the little one said, "Roll Over! Roll Over!"an inchworm that looks like a lichen covered branchfinding insectswatching a june bug burrow into the groundobserving ants and an inchwormwatching beetles

We continued to rehearse for Woodland Stone Soup and did a partial dress rehearsal. We are hoping to record it as soon as all of our actresses and actors are feeling better and return to school.

all the beesthe raccoons gathered the ingredientsthe three raccoons built a fire

During Sign Language with Rose she told the story Llama, Llama, Time to Share. We learned some new signs, including Llama, gnu, share, doll, castle, and moat. We then took turns signing the alphabet and a corresponding sign, taking turns adding the next letter and sign as we went along. Rose signed “A” is for “apple” then the first child signed “A” is for “apple” and “B” is for “boy” then the next child signed “A” is for “apple” and “B” is for “boy” and “C” is for “cat,” etc.

Nelly GnusharesorryLlamashareE is for elephantH is for hatI is for icecream

We celebrated a fourth birthday with a girl born in the month of May in the season of spring, four orbits of the earth around the sun ago! She donated two super fun books that we loved reading and giggling with; Pete the Cat and the Cool Caterpillar, and Impatient Caterpillar, which was about a caterpillar that struggles to be patient metamorphosing into a butterfly.

Birthday girl

Susan continued lessons on the musical scale and high and low using bells, the glockenspiel (talking bells), and boom whackers. The children were given instruments in order of the C scale and played them to hear the progression, then Susan pointed at individuals to play their bells in a tune and we guessed what was played. They were then given either a bell or a boom whacker and they used the colors and letters on the instruments to pair up and play their corresponding notes at the same time. It was neat to hear the sounds each instrument made and how they matched.

longer is lowermatched upplaying together

Everyone gathered under the shade of the apple tree when Zeanny arrived for Spanish. They sang the body movement songs, and moved all around the playground in a line for “La Marcha.” Zeanny then shared a true story about when she was a little girl at her abuela’s house and the time she snuck out to taste the cocoa beans from the chocolate tree in the back yard, after being told “No lo comos!” (don’t eat it).

I spycomo estasIMG-1686 (2)orejasorejasun piernesLa Marchalistoswhat is in la caja magica?

Kindergarten students painted the fence through 150 days of school. It is hard to believe we have only 4 weeks of school left! They also cut, pasted, and labeled the pictures for their V and W pages of their alphabet books.

w wordswoodpecker, weaselV and W picturesviolets, vulture

We did a bit more work on our house and the children had lots of fun climbing up and enjoying the view from up above everyone else.

using the power drilladding stepssnacks for saleclimbing upbusy bikes and bakershanging outhigh, higher, highestrelaxingKing of the castlepeekon the ground floorenjoying the sunshinegirlsmuddy watersprinkling sanda messy kitchentoss with Michellefilling the water tankoutside lunch on a warm sunny dayfilling a bucket to cool some feetso cooltaking a turnhaving a soaka cool mistsprinklespetal showersshaking petalsa party for Michellea helping handpole vaultingboys in the bincollaborative cookingcreating water pipes and artweedingwatching a bird trying to get into Lyn's carthe dare devilboys in a treesnackingkayakingtaking a tunnel breakplay dough and art

Friday students revisited their learning and observations from last week with the bean seeds then did some planting with Michelle. They filled clear containers with soil, soaked them down, and planted some bean seeds that we will observe as they sprout and grow. They also planted some pumpkins and sunflowers in peat pots to transplant in our well tile bollards in front of the fence.

scooping soilmisting the soilpoking a hole for a bean seedgetting it wetspraying watercovering the seedpacking down the soil

We played a move like an insect game. The children took turns rolling either one or two dice. They then found the card that corresponded with the number or sum of the two numbers, turned it over and read it, and we all did the action on the card. They had fun fluttering like butterflies, crawling like ladybugs, carrying like ants, hopping like grasshoppers, pollinating like bees, and buzzing like flies. We will play again next week with the whole group.

crawling like ladybugsFlutter like a butterflyfluttering butterflieshop like a grasshopperbuzz like a fly

16 May, 2021
by Lyn



Stacey and Lil Zemla came in to do an art project with us Monday. They read the story Petra, about a rock who has been sitting for thousands of years and eventually is picked up by a child and painted to look like an elephant. The children picked rocks from our rock pile then washed and painted them with acrylic paint.

purpleyellow and blue stripesbig and medium rockspurples and bluesspots and stripesgreens, blues, yellows, reds

We continued to practice Woodland Stone Soup. We hope to have a dress rehearsal soon!

Setting up for Woodland Stone Soup practicethe bunny, bees, birds, and mousea narrator readingThe raccoons and chipmunks asking the mouse for foodasking the bees for honey

We had three lambs visit with the Morrison family on Tuesday. The children loved watching (and chasing) them as they ran all around the playground. One lamb was very tame, and some of the children had the opportunity to bottle feed it. The other two were not as tame, and the children really wanted to chase and catch them. When it was time to go we sat on the stumps and watched the sheepdog follow the commands to help herd them.

Meeting the lambfeeding the lambchasingtwo bigger lambsbaby lambpetting a lambmilk for the lambpettingherding the lambs

During sign language Rose talked about rules, where we might have rules, why we have rules, and what the rules are at school, just like the rules Mr. Gumpy had for the children and animals before going for a boat ride. The children shared some of the school rules and Rose showed us how to sign them. The children then took turns signing the story of Mr. Gumpy’s Outing, imitating Rose as she read and signed. We then sang and signed the song BINGO.

Mr. Gumpy owned a BOATDon't SQUABBLEthe RABBITgo for a RIDEDon't keep BLEATINGDon't FLAP ABOUTDon't TRAMPLEDon't KICKThe PIG mucked aboutThe PIG

During Spanish with Zeanny we practiced counting, she tried to trick us with the song Cabeza, Hombros, Piernes, Pies (Head, Shoulder, Legs, and Toes), and then we did some silly dancing with La Marcha. Zeanny then introduced how to set a mesa (table). She introduced all the items needed and how to place everything. This work will be left out in the classroom for the children to practice.

sietepiernesLa Marchaplatoel cuchillola mesa

Kindergarten students did some hundreds, tens, and ones place number building work. They rolled three dice, and decided which number would represent each place, then wrote and built that number. They continued working on their understory. They each chose an animal that lives in the understory to draw, color, and cut out. They considered the size of the animal they chose to draw then compared the size to the other animals and selected an appropriately sized paper, from small to large. They practiced the alphabet by building and walking letters using the stepping stones in the yard.

5 hundredsbuilding 542Building 621drawing a bird for the understorya black beargluing animals in the understoryAnimals in the understorya very small uppercase Nwalking an LS

The Physician’s office continued to be busy.

checking on patientslistening to her heartchecking the X-raystime for surgerySo many injuriesplay dougha big boattracing EuropeLegosexamining wasp nestswasp nestsegg cells inside the nestlearning how wasps build their nestsMemory

We did a little house renovating. The children love to climb up and sit on the roof, so we took off the back panel and added a ladder. We also began construction on the second house. Thank you to the Sansoucy family for the new saw and mitre box, screws, and square! They have been very helpful!

all closed upway up highusing the miter box to get a straight cutup on the roofchatting with Susan from the roofblocking off the back wallspyingcutting boardssawingfood for saleremoving the back panelattaching stepstrying out the new stepschecking inup and downtrading shoescutting a board to sizestarting on the second house

burying friends in pillowsupbikingwagon ridemixing potionbalancinglaying out the basechattinggirlstable movingenjoying the sunshinepedalpushspeedyplaying Ghost in the Graveyardfriendsstirring ingredientscups and bowlsrunning in the hailbraving the falling hailsoccercollecting items for fairy housesmaking mud cakesover and under the bridgeup and overant holesstopping for a chatgirls in a circlepulling, riding, and pushing

Students checked out the worm house throughout the week and observed the tunnels they created and how they mixed the sand and soil together.

finding wormsShowing Susan how the worms are mixing the sand and soilfinding wormsworm tunnels

This week for Friday science Michelle introduced the parts of a seed and the life cycle of a plant. She showed us a video about how seeds become plants, then she gave each student four different types of bean/pea seeds that had been soaked, and a magnifying glass to examine them. The children carefully peeled off the seed coat, located the embryo, which would become the root, and identified the endosperm, which is the biggest part of the seed and will feed the plant until it has sent a shoot up through the soil and formed leaves that will begin using sunlight, air, and water to make its’ own food.

How seeds become plants
peeling off the seed coat
four seeds
taking apart the seeds
seed parts
finding the embryo
Here is the endosperm
examining the seeds
examining more seeds

7 May, 2021
by Lyn

Top to Bottom

We were introduced to pour painting in the style of Holton Rower during Monday art. We watched a time lapse video of the assembly of a base and the pouring of cups of acrylic paint over the base. We watched as it flowed down and was pushed further out into a flower pattern as additional colors were added. The children made their own mini pour paintings after donning T-shirt smocks and selecting blocks and their preferred colors of acrylic paint.

pinkblue, black, and greenpinks and bluered and blueflower patternblue and whitepink, pink, blueblack and greencopper and bluedotsflowing colorspour paintings

The children began playing doctor last week, so we brought out the medical instruments and set up a physician’s office in the dramatic play area. There were so many busy doctors and nurses seeing all the patients with ailments and in need of check-ups. We introduced some models of the nasal cavity and the inner ear, as well as our skeleton, John, with his 206 bones, that the doctors could refer to as needed. We took out the game Operation so surgeons could get some practice keeping their hands steady and earn a little money.

The nasal cavityOperationHow much did the patient weigh?attending to patientsgetting an injectionsuch a busy hospitalgetting a vaccinationtaking notes about the patientButterflies in the tummysome animals in need of a doctor

We read our Using the Toilet story and discussed bathroom etiquette and respect for others. We talked about how everyone has private areas that are covered by underwear and those areas are only for themselves to see and sometimes their doctors and parents and occasionally teachers if help is needed in the bathroom, but not for friends or anyone else.

I flush the toiletFive green and speckled frogssitting on a speckled logeating some most delicious bugs. Yum! Yum!One jumped into the pool, where it was nice and coolreading with Tucker Turtle about how to STOP, THINK, then ACTLego housedoll house girlspouringdot paintingcleaning nametagsloving Legospouring sandnumber scrollbuilding wordscreating a design

Work continued construction on the house. The children attached planks for the third wall, sawing off the parts that were too long, and added a roof that they can climb on (after asking a teacher). We are so grateful to the Sansoucy’s who donated two drills and a bunch of lumber, and the McIlveens who donated a big stack of lumber this fall!!

adding boards for a third wall
screwing in a boardsawing boards for the roofsawingcutting down the longer boardssitting up topenjoying the viewsmilescutting downsitting up top while we finish off the sawingtaking turnssawing the last blockup on the roof

We received some new large hollow blocks, and the children were anxious to play with them. Some students demonstrated how to carry the longer blocks to keep everyone safe. They constructed some fantastically creative structures!

How to carry a long boardtall, tall towerlemonade for salea magnificent fort for spyingtall towers in the fancy fort

Rose read and signed the story of Mr. Gumpy’s Outing, about Mr. Gumpy who takes the children and animals out for a ride in his boat, as long as they agree to ride peacefully to avoid tipping. They go along calmly for a while until eventually they begin to squabble, flap, trample, bleat, hop, chase, etc. and the boat tips over and they all end up in the water before going back for tea. The story had many familiar signs with a few new ones, including boat, tip, river, squabble, and trample. Rose then taught us how to sign and sing “Sally the Camel,” which was a lot of fun!

boatIf you don't SQUABBLEThe calf TRAMPLEDThe boat TIPPED

Susan continued work with high and low using the glockenspiel. Children took turns striking a note that was either higher or lower, whichever Susan asked them to find. They then had fun playing the boom whackers again all around the room.

Longer is lowercan you find a note that is higher?higher or lowerstiking a note that is highertaking turnsmakes a good sound on a headwhackboom boom boom

During Spanish with Zeanny we sang some of our songs then played a super fun game of color tag. Zeanny would say a color in Spanish, and everyone who was wearing that color would run and she would try to tag them. If tagged, you became a tagger until all but one had been tagged. That person then became the next tagger. It was so much fun!

Kindergarten students are at the end of the alphabet, so they worked on the letter U. They painted a forest of trees and brainstormed a list of things to add to the UNDERSTORY. They discussed all the things that might be found in the understory of a forest. They discussed what you would see looking up if laying on the ground, and painted it. They even painted some snags – trees that had fallen and got stuck in another tree. They counted the days up to 145 and painted the fence pickets again, each child painting a multiple of a number, while Susan challenged them to find particular numbers using math questions.

paintadding treesadding a snagbrown trunkspainting treesa forest of treespainting trees

Worms were everywhere this week and the hunters were busy finding them all! The children collected buckets and bowls FULL of worms! Dozens, and dozens of worms!

finding wormsworms under stumpsso many worms!a whole bowl of wormsworms in dirta pot of wormswatching a worm wiggling out of the sand

sandboxkicka stick constructionwagon ridemuddy watermixing mudchopping woodbikingsand playpouring brown waterbalance bikegirls in a wagontipstirring up the ingredientssisterszoomingbarefeet in the sandmaking an obstacle course for himselfmud in the gardenmud kitchendiggingbalancingsilly girlconstructingburriedpull upsWhere did the boy who belongs to those boots go?fly trapsrocking on the hilloutside lunch on a sunny day

Friday students built a worm jar with Michelle. Michelle discussed with them how worms burrow down through the soil and sand and how they eat the leaves and greens at the surface and aerate the soil as they pass through. We found some worm castings (worm poop) and discussed how they are full of nutrients that make the soil rich and healthy. The children then found cups and bowls, which they filled with soil, sand, or leaves & grass. We placed a smaller jar inside a large jar and the children took turns adding their sand or soil to create layers, then put in a layer of grass and topped it with some carrot and cabbage greens and moistened it by spraying with water after adding several handfuls of worms. The top was covered with cheese cloth then black paper was placed around the outside to make it nice and dark, just the way worms like it. In the afternoon we took a peek and saw one worm beginning to burrow down. We are excited to check it out next week to see more burrows and how the layers may have changed and mixed.

worm hunting
worm casting
getting some sand
collecting grass and soil for the worm jar
soil for the worms
a jar inside a jar
adding soil over sand
pouring in some soil
spraying to moisten
adding more soil
scooping in some sand
a bowl of soil
adding grass
putting in the leaves
getting it wet
just right for worms