My students need cooking supplies such as measuring cups, mixing bowls and spoons to help integrate life experiences with learning reading directions, math skills, and science concepts.
One of my fondest memories is the smell of a pineapple upside down cake baking. I always thought the kitchen is always the best room in the house. But my students are so used to microwave dinners and prepackaged desserts that the kitchen is now just another room...and that needs to change.
My students are an eclectic group of boys and girls from seven different cultures.
Here in North Carolina, I have Hispanic students, white and black students, Micronesian, Filipino, and Vietnamese students. But all of my students are attending a school with a very high poverty rate. Ninety percent of the students at our school receive free or reduced lunches.
It is never to young to start learning how to follow directions, but it does not have to be boring. Cooking is a fun and natural way to engage a second grade student's mind, curiosity, and pride in creating a delicious treat. With the purchase of liquid and dry measuring cups, students will learn the difference in the importance of the right tool for the ingredient needed. Mixing spoons and bowls will allow the students to have necessary materials in order to create a variety of foods including Moon Cakes (from Vietnam), Coconut Curry (from Micronesia), or even brownies for our Brownie Rewards parties. In short, these materials will enable our class to learn how to read and follow directions, sort and measure ingredients, understand the scientific concept of chemical reactions, explore different cultures through food, and create a family environment through the kitchen.
Creating a safe and comfortable environment in a classroom is the most important part in student building successful relationships which leads to more interest and involvement in the classroom on academics.
I have found that when students create something together, they forge bonds that are stronger. Working together leads to stronger leadership skills, better communication abilities, and it is never to early to develop a love of the kitchen in children.
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