Quarks Writers Workshop,  Moose and Muffins
In Quarks WW we continued our Laura Numeroff series with “If You Give a Pig a Pancake” and “If you Give a Moose a Muffin.”  We cut simple shapes to put together a pig face and then broke into two groups to play a pancake flipping big & little letter match-up game.In gym we donned our moose antlers to make blueberry muffins. All of the kids were able to add in ingredients and help mix up our batter. A couple of larger lessons learned during this process. 1) make sure you have a working oven available BEFORE you tell a class you will be making muffins and they are all anxiously waiting on you. 2) be very clear in communication when distinguishing between baking soda and baking powder. Unfortunately, after Steven saved the day by running our muffins to their house to bake (thank you!), they were completely uneatable. Looked good, smelled delicious, tasted horrible. Happy to report the process and other activities seemed to make up for our flounders. 🙂
Neutron Catapult Math

We thought it would be fun to put the catapults to work in math.  We ended up creating and solving a flurry of addition problems with and without the use of the catapults and numbered paper plates.  There were spontaneous pop quizzes and an introduction of extreme numbers as well!
Here are the names of some pretty high numbers:
Million
Billion
Trillion
Quintillion
Sextillion
Septillion
Octillion
Nonillion
Decillion

Neutron Moviemaking/Animation Class
Today was the first day of our ‘Idea Factory’.  The Idea Factory is where we all come together as respective artists and brainstorm ideas in a fun/encouraging space.  In order to make a successful movie, the Neutrons will work each week as a team and have constant dialogue about new ideas, no matter how crazy or tame they may be.  The important thing about class yesterday was to facilitate an environment where each child feels supported enough to be free to develop their own artistic style in a collaborative way.  We explored character development yesterday and the neutrons were each given a large sheet of Bristol artist-grade paper to draw on and sketch out a character they may want to create out of clay.  On the paper, they also sketched out a small storyboard to illustrate what may happen to their character in a very short animated film (about 3-5 frames for storyboard).  Color could be added to the character sheet with markers and modeling clay, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes were also made available for students to ‘sculpt out’ their ideas as well.  Please encourage your neutron to keep developing characters all week, and of course bring to share.  They were very inspired and inspiring!
Muons and Electrons Papier Mâché Hand Puppets
Today in Art the Muons and Electrons started making papier mache hand puppets. The kids started working on the heads which will get painted with acrylics and then given a protective coat of Mod Podge. Eventually the puppets will have sewn fabric bodies.
I showed the kids some examples by Flor Panichelli http://pelpa-etc.blogspot.com/ and Kelly Kirkham http://kellykirkham.wordpress.com/category/kirkham-puppets/
Muon Music Jam Session
The Muons sketched out diagrams for two guitar chords, Em and C, and practiced alternating between the chords on an acoustic guitar. They then moved to strumming the chords in rhythmic succession employing various beats and measures in order to form a simple two-chord song. They came up with lyrics for a song they entitled, “Eat Some Things”. The kids alternated back and forth between guitar playing, simple percussion, vocals and backup vocals. They stopped short of smashing the guitar in true Rock and Roll form, but may still have it in them for a future live performance. Rock on.
Electron and Muons Writer’s Workshop
We explored the power of point of view and its effects on us as readers and writers of fiction.  The electrons and muons learned about the most common points of view, namely first and third, and we read children’s stories exemplifying each.  The creativity began when we revisited the familiar story, The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper, and altered the point of view from first to third in order to write an account from the point of view of a train who did not stop to help.

Muffins, Storyboards, and Puppets