Class Decision Making:
We are planning to make farmers a special treat for the Farmer Appreciation Day we are hosting. After much discussion and a couple of rounds of voting, we decided to bake chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin cookies. With that decision made, we’ve got right to work on the preparation required!
A side note: A high school student that grew pumpkins in her family garden had donated a large pumpkin to our class before Halloween. Students decided it would be unfair if one student got to carve the big pumpkin during our pumpkin carving center, so they opted to save the big pumpkin for making a treat for farmer appreciation. (Honestly, THEY came up with that! I know it probably sounds like a “let’s be fair” teacher idea, but students really decided that. And, of course, I’m proud of them for coming up with a fair and interesting idea for using our pumpkin!) Little did they know, I’ve never made ANYTHING from a pumpkin, despite my extensive baking experience. Looks like I will be learning right alongside my students! Here we come pumpkin cookies!
This week, we have been focusing on studying cookie recipes. As a teacher, it fits in really well with my division-recommended Literacy Place lessons. One of the recommended text-type studies for procedural writing focuses on recipes, so I’m glad to have an authentic reason for teaching students about recipes! And more importantly, students have a real reason to learn about recipes – they want to make cookies for our event! Suddenly, we have a much deeper purpose for our reading and much more urgency to learn.
Many learning opportunities have arose from our recipe reading already:
- more or less – we’ve learned to look for amounts of flour, eggs, sugar and margarine to determine if a recipe will make more or less cookies than another recipe
- comparison – aside from quantities of ingredients, students noticed some recipes included different ingredients like oatmeal, coconut or M&Ms
- considering allergies – some recipes called for nuts, which we could not bring into our nut safe school
- importance of order – procedural texts often have a logical sequence and we discussed the importance of following recipe directions in order
- vocabulary – “shortening” was one example of an unfamiliar word that came up in our reading – we have had some good discussions about new and interesting words
- further research – one of the pumpkin cookie recipes we read called for pumpkin puree, so we added to our project to do list -“find out how to make pumpkin puree”