Muon Magic
Today the Muons learned about the history of blacksmithing and the various skills necessary for mastery of the craft. We discussed the differences between blacksmith and whitesmiths, and discussed the various changes metals go through when subjected to heat through forging, striking, bending, and smelting. The Muons used hammers to strike repeatedly on various coins in order to flatten the coins and remove any existing insignias, then they utilized a blacksmith’s striking kit to place their own messages and insignias on their coins for their own unique form of branding.
Electron/Muon Writers’ Workshop
This week we continued work on the covers of our altered book journals. In our first session working on these journals the kids applied gesso to the covers.This week they added color with acrylic paint.Next time we will start adding embellishments.I brought in the book Altered Book Collage by Barbara Matthiessen and told the kids how it explains some of the history of altered books.We talked about how,in the past,paper was very valuable and not easy to come by so altering books was quite common. In fact monks in the 11th century would go through the process of scraping ink off vellum in order to add their own text and illustration.
Neutron Writer Workshop
We continued our story of “A Tree in the Trail” with a focused discussion on the buffalo hide shield that was hung in the tree by the young boy who had returned riding a horse. We discussed the protecting powers of the shields and the many good and evil spirits that were believed. The group then learned about dream catchers and how the evil spirits of bad dreams were caught in the web, while the good ones were allowed to drip down to the sleeper. We created our own dream catchers with beads and feathers and talked about how the materials being used were quite different than a traditional catcher.
Neutron Drama
To kick off drama this session with the neutrons, we talked about feelings and empathy. After reading ‘Today I feel Silly’ by Jamie Lee Curtis, we ‘tried on’ different facial expressions attached to popsicle sticks. In pairs or solo, neutrons created characters/scenarios based on those feelings. I brought in 3 different boxes of different pairs of shoes attached to stories about people, and the neutrons tried on the shoes. After trying on the shoes and reading the story attached, we talked about ways to make other people feel better and how to ‘put yourself in someone else’s shoes’. We wrapped up the lesson with the book, ‘How are you Peeling?’ by Joost Eiffers. The book captures various feelings through facial expressions carved on fruit and vegetables.
Quarks Math
Today we had the first meeting of the Quarks Crazy 8’s Math Club using the kits we received from the Bedtime Math Foundation. We began by having a snack while discussing polygons and deciding what shapes qualify as polygons. We counted the number of straight sides and angles for basic polygons, like triangles, squares, rectangles, hexagons, diamonds, and trapezoids that we made on the table with glowsticks. Then each kid got a stack of glowsticks, we dimmed the lights, and took to the floor to make shapes. The kids experimented with making different 3 sided and 4 sided shapes, as well as other shapes and pictures with their glowsticks. Next, we discusssed regular polygons (equal sides and angles) and attempted to cover the floor with webs of equaliteral triangles and squares. We ended by redistributing the glowsticks for the kids to take home!
Quarks Unit Studies
This week we talked about the continent of Europe. We marched and repeated the 7 continents, colored Europe on our globes, located Europe on a map and placed native animal stickers on the map. We talked about some of these animals that live in Europe and focused specifically on France and a little mouse named Anatole who stars in the the story we read aloud. Anatole loves cheese so we snacked on some pieces of French “fromage” while listening to the story. Afterwards, the quarks colored a picture of Paris and received stickers to add to their “passports”.

Blacksmithing, Shields, and Glowsticks