Quarks Writers Workshop
Using the classic book “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” we wrapped up our sequencing series and introduced adjectives. We created a story-telling necklace to help the kids remember the order of animals that appear in the book and talked about what words were the adjectives in the story.
Each child then created their own page for our Co-op, Co-op Who do You See book. The kids filled in their names and self-portraits, swapped papers, and came up with an adjective to describe themselves. I’ll bring in a completed book for each child with their photo in it for our next class.
We broke into teams for a dice color-charting game and then wrapped up the class with a “mad color dash” where each kid was given a card with a color and had to collect as many items in the room they could find with that color. Luca was the winner!
For next week, the kids have been asked to bring in an item they can describe to the group (think show-and-tell style) to dive deeper into adjectives.
Neutron Math games
This week we finished our math monster game. The neutrons who had not yet had the chance to reveal their unique monster and equation did so this week. Math monster is similar to “hangman” except we use math equations and draw parts of a monster when a number is guessed that is not in the equation. The challenge is to solve the equation before the monster is fully created.
Muon and Electron Writer’s Workshop
Continuing our study of point of view, we discussed the difference and relationship between appearance and identity. We read The Bear that Wasn’t , by Frank Tashlin, in which a bear is mistaken for a man and the ensuing confusion call the reader to examine the question of identity. The author’s choices in point of view allow the reader insight into both the human’s and bear’s thoughts on appearance and its relationship to one’s true identity. We had a great discussion about the book and what the author was portraying about appearance and identity. Also, we discussed how Tashlin’s third person narrator was important in allowing multiple points of view to be heard.
Next, I brought copies of fine art and sculpture for the children to choose for use as a writing prompt. Upon choosing the work of art they found most interesting, they wrote a first person narrative from the point of view of the subject. Everyone took a turn to share his or her narrative, and the results were really tremendous!
Muon Magic
This week the Muons were joined by the Electrons in our continuing series of exercises on logical reasoning and debate. The kids were given a hard set rule (eg., When making pizza, one must always use dough, tomato sauce, and cheese), and were asked to come up with an exception to the rule (e.g., “Yes, but what if the person is a vegan or lactose intolerant”). The kids came up with various exceptions to each rule by starting each exception with “Yes, but..”, and the kids voted on each exception to determine whether they were logical and reasonable.
Once we went through several rounds of exceptions, we transitioned into a full debate format where one child was asked to be a proponent of a given rule, and the other was asked to be an opponent of the rule. This exercise took they kids out of their comfort zones, and had them making arguments in support of “Not eating candy” or “Going to school”. The results were surprising, and all of the kids did a great job creating rebuttals to their opponent’s positions.

Pizza Party, Brown Bears, and The Bear that Wasn't