Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

26 March, 2022
by Lyn


Spring has finally arrived, and it brought us rain, snow, mud, wind, sun, and lots of puddles!

a maple seedafternoon snackerstaking a biking breakbuilding ant homesfood truck vendorsice that looks like glassmud soupworking in the kitchenbrown water - maple syrup or hot chocolate?digging a drainage ditchmuddin'muddy fingers

Monday was the initial Seeds and Sunbeams adventure with Michelle and Emily Champigny from Taproot for those participating students. They went sliding down the icy trails, learned how to identify maple trees by looking at the bark and the shape of it’s leaves, explored a tunnel in the snow made by a mouse or vole, touched velvety moss covered rocks and soft ferns, and discovered branches covered in turkey tail mushrooms.

mushrooms on a logmoss poking through the icelooking at the bark of a treeslipping and slidingfeeling the moss on a big rockchecking out all the things there are to seeferns poking up

We celebrated a fifth birthday with the birthday girl! She told us she was born in the spring in the month of March five years ago, then walked herself and the globe around the sun five times while we listed the seasons and counted her birthdays before enjoying tasty cupcakes with sprinkles.

5 years old!orbitingcupcakes with sprinkles

Rose warmed us up for sign language with the Firetruck song, then invited children to come up and spell out their names by pointing to the letter signs on the alphabet poster. She reviewed and shared more ocean and water signs then read I Will Surprise My Friend by Mo Willems.

Alooking for his lettersafinding zoctopuslobsterclamseahorseSurprisehe, he, he, he, ha, ha, ha, ha

We read A Tale of Two Beasts and talked about how to recognize how others are feeling and acknowledged that we all might have different perspectives about things. We also discussed offering help before stepping in and helping when we see a friend struggling, because sometimes even if it is hard and frustrating we want to do it ourselves, and working through hard things is the best way to learn and improve.

body bookshandprintsa Bob Ross apprentice painting happy little treesLegossquare numberscounting fishsilly face masksbuilding the teensfishing with Rosefinishing up the last of the fish to hangreading with Makennafish tracingfish mouthpectoral finmaking art with ocean rocks, river stones, shells, and driftwoodtypingplaying the ukuleleukulele with Makennatyping

We read the story Swimmy by Leo Lionni about some small fish who work together to stay safe from the bigger fish. We played some ocean games with the parachute. First we made big waves and shook all the ocean puppets off the parachute. Then we put ocean animals under the parachute and took turns going under to get an animal when our names were called. Finally we played great white shark, taking turns going under to chomp on the foot of another child who then became the shark.

Kindergarten students chose their own literacy and math work, practiced reading, worked on their news articles, learned the names of the geometric solids cube, sphere, cone, pyramid, cylinder, and rectangular prism, and played some games to practice identifying objects of those shapes.

M letter sound bookreading sight wordsreading Cop Catreading about Tim the turtlefinishing up our article researchWhy do you like playing with Legos?letter sound books, silent e word work, writing workwriting about cheetahscubes, cones, & spherescones, sphere, cylinderspherical rockKindergarten work timesight word work

Friday students explored the water cycle. We read portions of Rivers of Sunlight by Molly Bang and set up an experiment with hot water that released vapor, which was cooled by a bowl of ice, causing it to condense and then precipitate and collect down in the water. We used our water cycle mat to place arrows showing how the water moves around in the water cycle, precipitating, collecting, evaporating, moving, and condensing.

watching the water condensethe roots of the trees absorb water from the groundwater evaporates from the earth into the atmospherewater condenses into clouds

19 March, 2022
by Lyn

Green and Gold

The students dropped ink onto water then swirled it before placing sheets of paper on top to absorb the ink, creating marbled paper, a Japanese process called suminagashi.

red and yellow swirlsink dropsblue and reddropping inkswirlingblack, red, green, and yellow swirlsblue, orange, and yellow

During sign language Rose pointed to alphabet signs to spell out names, and the children “read” the letters as she pointed to them to figure out whose name was being spelled. She introduced some water signs, including ocean, sea, pond, lake, and river and we reviewed the ocean creature signs and learned crab, which is similar to lobster but just with two fingers pinching rather than all the fingers. She signed the song “Once I Caught a Fish Alive,” which we have been singing a lot lately. To finish up she read the Gerald and Piggy story Are You Ready to Play Outside?

The second letter of this name is nthe next letter of this name is iwateroceanlakerivercrab1, 2, 3, 4, 5, once I caught a fish ALIVEIMG_2322 (2)Why did you let it go?  Because IT BIT MY FINGER SOWhich finger did it bite? THIS LITTLE FINGER ON MY RIGHTWe will RUN

We did some dancing to Octopus’ Garden and Yellow Submarine by the Beatles, which we were informed is the favorite band of several students. They had lots of fun dancing beneath the waves with their friends. We revisited our discussion of reflecting on our experiences with a game of race to your favorite place. The children all moved to their favorite areas of the classroom and shared what they liked about that area.

I'd like to be, under the sea, in an octopus' garden in the shadeGreat White Shark, great white shark, cruising through the watercoral reef puzzlesorting shells and rocksreading about fish with Michellebuilding a mouse housespooning marblessink and float testdigging in the kinetic sandorange play dough manbuilding the pirate ship

We have been reading St. Patrick’s day stories and the children were getting excited for a potential leprechaun visit. In keeping with the St. Patrick’s day theme Makenna introduced green fun foam made with shaving cream, cream of tartar, and green food coloring, which was a fabulous sensory experience.

mixing the shaving cream and corn starchgreen foamit feels so neathulk handssmoosh push

Wednesday afternoon children used their brainpower to design and set leprechaun traps in hopes that a leprechaun would visit the classroom to steal the gold they set as bait and get stuck in a trap and then would lead them to his pot of gold.

setting his trap with a quick release stringan extra large leprechaun trapleaving a note for the leprechaun to lure him intaping the gold coin to the inside of the lid so the box will close when the leprechaun climbs up to grab it, trapping him insideleprechaun box trapsetting upa pot of gold, a pan to trap him, and a sign with instructionspull on the panwhen he goes for the gold the box will fall on himall these blocks to trip him up when he goes for the gold coinready to fall and capture himso much gold to lure him ingold look under tape (then that beanbag will fall on top of you)pot of gold over there

St. Patrick’s Day morning was a most exciting experience, as a leprechaun did indeed visit the classroom. The children found gold dust and little green leprechaun footprints through the classroom leading to all the traps. The children excitedly checked their traps, but alas he was not in any of them. They followed the footprints all around the room, over and under the traps, and out the double doors at the back end of the room where it was decided he exited. After searching and searching we found that he had dropped his bag of gold, which the children dumped out, sorted, counted, and distributed evenly.

green footprints lead to her trap, but no leprechaun, and no gold coin!where he jumped off the shelf and landedleprechaun gold dustfollowing the leprechaun trackshe ran right over the blocks!checking the trap outno leprechaun in here, but he stepped in the pan and stole the goldhe walked right over the pan!The bag of gold!he climbed up and took the gold but got awaytaking out all the gold beads the leprechaun collectedsorting out the gold barssorting out the gold gems

Makenna gave a brief history of the origin of St. Patrick’s Day in honor of St. Patrick who drove the snakes out of Ireland. She introduced Irish music, which was quick and lively and featured violins/fiddles, guitars, and drums. She showed some videos of an Irish music group playing music, then some others with some Irish bagpipe players. We learned about the parts of the bagpipe and how it is played. She then showed some Irish step dancing and gave us a quick lesson for how to keep our hands still at our sides or behind our backs and jumping/dancing by just moving our feet. Everyone was pretty worn out after dancing through two songs! She then introduced a craft activity of leprechaun lookers that the children could make and use to look for leprechauns. Finally, she shared some tasty Irish soda bread she made, topped with butter or blackberry jam.

Irish step dancingkeeping the hands and arms stillblackberry jam on soda bread

We celebrated a sixth birthday. The birthday boy was born in the last days of winter in the month of March. He invited a friend to race around the earth with him before sharing tasty banana bread with everyone for snack.

6 years old!so fast around the sunbirthday banana breadenjoying soda bread and banana bread

Kindergarten students chose their own work, continued working on their newspaper article information and interview questions, designed and built Leprechaun traps, did some reading, and when they sat down to work on Thursday found a letter from Leprechaun Sean balled up on the table. In his letter he asked them to take good care of his gold and tell him how they had found it, so they each wrote their own letters with their own versions of how the gold was found.

a reader readingreading a word chunksworking on the X page of her alphabet bookTab had a nap.sight word reading workCan the pig sit on the tin man?Dear Leprechaun Sean,letter writing to leprechaun Sean

The temperatures continued to increase through the week, from perfect snowman snow to melting snow and ice on our playground, creating fabulous slushy puddles, great alligator swamps, slushy slush for all kinds of play, and MUD! The children used hammers to break down some decomposing stumps and use the pieces to create some interesting concoctions.

mini snowmanhammering stumpsmaking a snowbunnysnowcakesshoveling up all the snowwood pulpshoveling out his giant hotelhauling away the snowsnow mummysnow mummy twomore stump hammeringcollecting the stump gunksmashthe alligator sanctuarymaking mud cakesdigging a ditch to drain the watercollecting waterwalking carefully so as not to spillmaple sugaringmud soupthe juice girls mixing up tasty drinkstrying to collect water on the heart stumpsitting in the mud

12 March, 2022
by Lyn


Fish art was on the menu for Monday. The children drew their own fish then colored and painted them before cutting out a double set, stapling them together, stuffing them with crumpled paper to make it puffy, then hanging them from the ceiling for our classroom ocean.

water all over the earthdrawing their fishstapling her hatchet fishdrawing stripes on her clown fishstapling her fish togetherpainting fishstapling and cuttingcolorful fishcutting out her fishpainting his tiny clown fishmore colorful fishhelp cuttingspots

The children worked with Michelle to mix up some homemade kinetic sand in the sensory table. They had so much fun digging, scooping, and hauling it with cups and trucks.

ingredients for kinetic sandfood coloring to make it brownscooping and mixingmixing another batchkinetic sandtrucks in the sand

Rose read and signed the Gerald and Piggy story I am a Frog about playing pretend with your friends. When Piggy and Gerald disagreed about whether Gerald could pretend to be a frog all the children signed either “Yes, you can!” with Piggy or “No, I can’t” with Gerald. She then read, signed, and sang the alphabet forward then BACKWARDS, wow was that tricky. She introduced several fish and ocean signs, including fish, shark, octopus, and lobster.

"Yes, you can!"signing the alphabetbackwards alphabetwhaleoctopusLobsterfishshark

Henrietta and Wolfgang introduced reflecting on things to examine what worked well and what didn’t and how things could stay the same and/or change to improve. They shared some examples of interactions they noticed in the classroom and the children reflected and discussed what could happen differently the next time. We read Two by Kathryn Otoshi, about how left out two feels when one and three start to play together and how all the numbers begin to take sides. We reflected back on earlier in the year when that would sometimes happen at school and how the students had worked to change that and play together to include everyone.

demonstrating how to drive the vehicle (plow?)starting the bulldozerunderwater reef puzzlesticker faces from Roseplay dough with Rosequiet time workletter sound drawersfishing for numbers and colorsmatching beginning soundsletter sound booksa birthday muffinL items and P itemsfishing time

String instruments were introduced on Thursday. We read Berlioz the Bear by Jan Brett then showed the students a variety of string instruments. We recalled that percussion instruments are played by banging or striking two objects together or against something to make a sound and discussed how string instruments make music when their strings are plucked or strummed. Makenna demonstrated how to play a ukelele, guitar, zither, lyre, and violin before playing and singing a couple of fun songs. First she played and sang the theme song to Scooby Doo then introduced Johnny Cash with “I’ve Been Everywhere,” which was a huge hit and amazing to hear her sing all the cities so quickly in succession! The children were clapping and stomping and moving their bodies. The children took turns through the next two days playing the ukeleles and zithers with lessons from Makenna. They requested more songs, which she willingly performed while they accompanied her on their instruments.

tuning the guitarukulele and a guitarzitherlyreukulele and violinplaying the violin with the horse hair bowlearning how to position fingers on the ukuleleukulele playersplaying ukuleles with Makennastrumming along

Our study of fish has expanded to include other ocean creatures so we looked at some other animal toys that are mammals or cephalopods or crustaceans. We checked out some real formerly but no longer living things from the ocean, including star fish, sand dollars, sea urchins, a cow fish, lots of mollusk shells (seashells), seaweeds, rock crabs, horseshoe crab, spider crabs, a variety of corals, mermaid purses (egg casings for sharks, skates, and rays), bony fish heads, and a sea sponge. The children took turns carefully holding an item and showing it around the group.

woah, look at that!checking out the coralsshowing off the bony fish head

Outside play changed from ice to water and back to ice with the temperature fluctuations, but the mud made an appearance almost every day.

chopping the stumps and hauling the woodchips awaychopping through the ice to the waterkicking the bowl to skid across the icemud timedouble hat earsgetting soggyexplaining their set up to Rosemixing up some ingredientschopping the ice with a stickcollecting icy snow chunksshuffling across the icehandprint in the snowon their wayshoveling muddy watersleddingMUD!time to eatfinding watermaking banana breadgoing for a rideMakenna pulling everyonepulling fastdraining the puddleserving the smoothie with flairbreaking ice with hammersdoing some concrete work

Kindergarten students were busy. They did some fish addition, tossing their fish in the pond, then adding up the yellows and oranges. The sh sound was taught then they sorted shells either by their type, shape, size, color, or texture then did an sh word to picture match. Newspaper reporting was introduced after reading the story Dear Mrs. LaRue about Ike, a dog who had been sent to obedience school, which was reported in the newspaper. We talked about how newspapers are responsible for reporting actual events, using How, Why, What, When, Where, and Who and interviewing people who were involved to get information. Each student recorded how and who they were going to write about, and some began to expand into when and where and why. They will work on this article over the next several weeks and months. They will identify one person to interview and determine some interview questions to ask. They will then compile their data, then write an article. It will be edited then typed up to include a Sunnybrook Kindergarten Newspaper. Thursday afternoon was a super short kindergarten time as we were so engrossed in our underwater sea creature exploration, so they did some quick sight word fishing, with some scaffolding from the more advanced readers helping them read the words they caught.

fish additioncounting oranges and yellowsrecording their worknewspaper reporters in actionwho will this article be about?leprechaun picturessorting shellssort by typesort by type/shapesh word matchfishing for sight wordsWhenleprechauns

Friday morning we began to explore water. First we read the book The Wonder Thing and the children tried to solve the mystery of what was being described and shown through the book. A student finally guessed water and we reviewed the story to see if it matched. Is it high above the peaks, under melting snow, down the sheer mountainside, through the lilting rainforest, out in the tangy sea, precious as air, powerful as rock, and gentle as kisses? Yes! We did the parachute and bounced some fish and a shark, raced for our slippers, then played Great White Shark. The children then explored sink and float by taking turns picking items, predicting whether they would sink or float, then recording the material they were made of, plastic, rubber, glass, metal, or wood, under the appropriate column.

all the slippersshaking the parchuteputting slippers on as fast as she canDoes a glass bottle sink or float?Does wood sink or float?recording our findingstesting out all the things

25 February, 2022
by Lyn



Henri Matisse is known both for the paintings he made in his early years and the cut out paper art later in life, particularly the well known piece “Le Garbe.” We read The Iridescence of Birds and Henri’s Scissors, about his youth and early love of art inspired by his mother, and the end of his life when he began to create paper cut outs. The students then got busy cutting and pasting to create their own paper cut out art pieces.

blue and greensmall shapesred rectanglescutting and pastingpink and purple shapescutting gray shapesPaper cut out art

Rose began sign language with the alphabet song while a student pointed to each letter as we sang it. She read the Piggy and Gerald book There’s a Bird on My Head, which was quite hilarious. Rose then introduced signs for parts of the body, including head, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, neck, shoulders, heart, legs, knees, and toes. We then sang and signed “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.”


Students have been particularly creative in their fort, castle, and hide-out block constructions this week. We brought a large piece of cardboard in for a roof, as they really needed some protection from the elements and spying eyes.

cozy insidea very cool castleAnother castle under construction

Driving the bulldozer and the excavatorsetting up Don't Break the IceMore Don't Break the IcePlaydoughmatryoshkapouring workAa itemssteel drumletter sound work, mad libs, and the human heartSequencing workgiving her patient an injectionletter sound workshowing a friend how to hold and strum his guitarwater tablethe guitar instructorhoning fine motor skillspurplecylinder blockstrinomial cubeall the cylinder blockshammeringcoloring

We sang, read, and acted out several animal stories before refreshing our memories about which characteristics make different animals a reptile, bird, or mammal, then the children took turns selecting animals and sorting them by which class they belong to.

What do you do with a sleeping Liza?arching like a catreptiles, birds, mammals

Makenna brought Ukelarry to school and the children had so much fun listening and singing along to “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree,” “In the Jungle,” “Five Green and Speckled Frogs,” “You Are My Sunshine,” “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” and “Banana Fanna.”

Banana Fanna Fo Fanna, Me My Mo MannaMakenna singing

The weather was pretty crazy with ups and downs, from single digits then into the fifties and back to a frozen ice land, we had quite the weather ride this week!

muddy messsled trainhauling snowmixing mudstanding sleddingzooming down the hillwatching the water drainhigh waterwatching the water flowshoveling watertracking a small green boat down the streamsnow surfingwater meltcollecting watercooling off, but still surrounded by watertea is served

scooping up some liquidmaple sugaringPapa Bear's porridge, Mama Bear's porridge, and Baby Bear's porridgesmashing ice

breaking ice with a hammer

Kindergarten students did some reading, sight word roll to the top, hundred board building and writing, and other literacy and math work of their choosing. They were introduced to adjectives and created some silly sentences before drawing a picture and writing a descriptive sentence about it. To wrap up the week they invited younger students to join them for a pirate treasure hunt. Each team had a tracking sheet where they would document their loot, adding up the gems and coins in their treasure boxes. Each team also had a map to mark where their treasures were hidden. They took turns plundering the big treasure box, placing the treasure in their own treasure chests, hiding them, and marking where they were hidden on their map. Their partners then used the map to find the treasure, bring it back, and add up and document their plundered loot.

sight word worksight word roll to the topreading time100 board and roll to the tophundred board writing and pirate ship drawingsight word roll to the toppointing to numberspicking a verbbattle robots and a blue narwhalA strong knight fighting.adding up the pirate treasuretaking out the gems and coinsgems and coinsadding upArgh!  We pirates found the treasure!plundering the treasure boxso many gemsdoing some mathfinding where the treasure is hidden