Daily Schedule

Friday, April 28, 2017

Steps Towards Independence - A Year in Baking Brings Competence and Confidence

We do a lot of cooking and baking in the 1st/2nd grade classroom, not only because it often ties into what we are learning about, but because it is a great cooperative learning project. It is also a chance for us to practice real-life skills in following directions, reasoning, and builds self-confidence.

At the beginning of the year, I am very much involved. Children may have never kneaded dough before, so we practice with playdough. We practice measuring flour using the scoop and level method - it really makes a difference! We learn to break eggs into a separate bowl to make scooping shells easier, just in case.

The biggest change is in the reading and following of the recipe. In the Fall, I would read the recipe step-by-step, making sure that group was using the proper measuring implement, in the proper way. I would have to double and triple check with each group to make sure that no ingredient was missed. I would also have to step in frequently to make sure that each child was getting turns in stirring, to wipe the occasional tear because feelings were hurt because someone else was "hogging" the mixer, and so on. Life in the kitchen with 6 and 7-year olds.

Wednesday morning, months of work have paid off. After prepping the area with the ingredients and materials needed, dividing the children into cooperative groups, and a very short review of a few baking methods, the children were completely on their own. They were amazing! They worked cooperatively and sweetly together, making sure each in their group got a turn, cracked eggs like a boss, scooped and level measured the flour, double-checked the ingredients by themselves, and turned out dozens of beautiful cookies.



Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

1.     Stir together:

½ cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3 cups flour
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

2.     In a separate bowl, whisk together:

3 eggs
2 sticks of melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3.     Using a spatula,

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, until it comes together, careful not to overmix. Use your hands for the last few mixes.

Refrigerate dough for about 10 minutes while you make the cinnamon sugar mixture.

For the cinnamon sugar

¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Remove dough from refrigerator and form small 1 ½ inch balls of dough and roll in mixture. Place them on baking sheet and flatten slightly.

Bake for 7-9 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes.

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