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Let’s Cook!

Best Gift Ever! Love It!

I love to cook/bake and I think my family would tell you that I am pretty good at it. I am a risk taker when I cook. I try new recipes and try to perfect old favorites. Sometimes this is a good plan, such as the first day of school. I tried out 3 new recipes for cookies and they were all a hit!

Sometimes my risk taking ends in epic fail, like last night. It was my mom’s birthday and I carefully followed the directions for what seemed like a delicious recipe for a decadent chocolate cake. The picture is deceiving. The cake looked good, but it was more dense and bitter than I would have liked. Oh, well… try again.

Yep! I have really been to Carlo’s Bakery!

All this reflecting on my obsession to become the next Cake Boss, got me to thinking about the times I have woven cooking into my lessons. I will not kid you, back in the day it was much easier to do. We didn’t have so many rules and regulations about nutrition, food safety, etc. However, if you sit down and process all the skills we use when cooking, it is easy to see why this is one of my favorite real world experiences for students. Ponder this with me. When I cook/bake, I do the following things:

  • Read the directions over and over. ( I believe that develops fluency.)
  • Shop or select for ingredients. (This can lead to higher order thinking when I try to figure out why I must use bittersweet chocolate instead of my favorite semisweet. Also, I learn new vocabulary.) 
  • Follow those directions. (Check off sequencing on your list.) 
  • Measure ingredients. (Someone say Math Skills?)
  • Mix things together. (Little science rolling in now.)
  • Set time and temperature. (Adding some more math to the mix.)
  • Eat and Share. (This is the truest form of reflection and analysis. I decide what works, what should be tweaked, and which things should never be tried again!)
  • Pin It, Recipe Box It, or Copy It.( If the recipe is a keeper, I make sure to put it in a safe place to use again. I write notes on the recipe to remind me of what to change and what to add.) 
See what I mean? If we are truly preparing students for the real world, we need to keep in mind basic skills still needed such as preparing healthy and sometimes just plain yummy food for ourselves. So I decided to share some resources that you can use with your students to inspire them to become chefs. Now, if cooking in your classroom is absolutely not possible, there are things that simulate or show students how to prepare recipes. If you still get out the crock pot and microwave during lessons, there are things for you also. I would love to see and hear about your classroom cooking experiences! Bon Appetite!
Hey Kids, Let’s Cook: PBS recently picked up this cooking show for kids to use in their programming. Visit the Hey Kids, Let’s Cook website for games and information about food. Then, head to You Tube for the videos of the episodes. 
Let’s Move: Mrs. Obama’s campaign for healthy kids is highlighted on this website. There are useful resources here for food and exercise. 
Cooking Matters: This really wonderful site created by actual chefs, demonstrates the importance of cooking and eating healthy food. Look at the educational resource section for lots of teacher guides. 
Quaker Oats: This simple article is a great explanation of why to cook with kids. 
Cooking with Kids: Guy Fieri, famous on the Food Network, has this organization to encourage students to express their creativity through cooking. Not sure this website is updated very often, but there are some great things here to use. 

Kids in the Kitchen App: This useful app will cost you a couple of dollars but it is made by the teacher favorite magazine, Mailbox. There are 50 easy to fix recipes with printable task cards for kids to follow. Oh, yeah! This is good!

KidECook: There is a free version and paid version of this nifty app. This app let’s students be chefs digitally. They work through the recipes by selecting the tools and ingredients as a simulation of cooking. 

Eat-And-Move-O-Matic: This is a little different than the others, but really important. This shows students how much exercise they would need to do to burn off the calories of favorite foods. Yikes! The information is shared in colorful, kid friendly ways. 

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