Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Great 4th Grade Baking Show

 A fraction room transformation. Are you excited?

I was so excited for this room transformation. Let me start by saying that it cost me about $70. I was honestly a little worried about the cost of supplies on this one, but it didn't end up being too bad. If you have a bigger class and need more supplies, depending on your district, you could easily get some of the actual ingredients donated by families.

My students needed some extra review on simplifying fractions and changing improper fractions to mixed numbers. I knew a recipe would be great practice for this, and I have been hearing so much about the Great British Baking Show on Netflix, that I decided to run with it!

I wanted to use a recipe that was no bake, so I just searched on Pinterest for a no bake recipe and found this one. I retyped it and I changed all of the measurements. For example anything with a 1 became 3/3 or 5/5. The 3 tablespoons was 12/4 tablespoon and a half became 7/14.

Next I hit up WalMart. I got a few table cloths, lots of storage containers, and some additional spatulas and measuring cups (they have some great, cheap ones!). When I got home with the ingredients and supplies, I measured them out into separate containers. I was sure to add the amount they needed, plus some, so that they would actually have to measure.

I wanted to have individual containers so that almost everything they needed was at their work station. There was one area in my room with the shared ingredients like vanilla, whipping cream and milk. Then, I had a station with a microwave and two hand mixers. I have a co-teacher in my room during this time, so she manned the hand-mixers for me.

I had talked with students the day before about how we use fractions in recipes, so they had some background knowledge. Then, that morning I greeted them at the door, had them leave their things in the hall, and welcomed them to the Great Baking Show. They had already been working in groups for math, so I told them to find a table with their group and do not touch anything. (I actually told them their team would lose points if they touched anything, but there were not really any points to be won or lost in this lesson.)

I showed them a clip on Netflix of the Great British Baking Show just to further set the stage and let them see how to act and how we would be "judging" them. Honestly, the hardest part is once you hand the recipe over to them, not helping them. I did step in once when a group was about to add a half a CUP of VANILLA! I started to freak out and then just said, "Are you sure about that?" and they caught the mistake.

I walked around taking notes of things I noticed, any inaccurate measurements, things they were doing well or struggling with, and so on. I also asked them to write on the recipe what measurement they used so that I could look that over later as well.

That afternoon, I had two other teachers join me as we judged. We tried our best to sound like judges on a baking show and we did rank them. The kids handled this so well. They knew what they had done wrong and it was a great learning experience.

I have been super into brain science lately and kids actually learn so much more when they make mistakes! That's why I wanted them to make those mistakes rather than have me correcting them while they were baking. The kids were begging me for a copy of the recipe so they could go home and try again! What better ending to a lesson is there than that?


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