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Monday, March 16, 2015

Personal Financial Management is chugging along.  We have begun our unit on credit.  The students learned this week to calculate simple interest, as well as use the Amortization Calculation Formula to calculate accrued interest on loans.  We regularly refer to personal monthly budgets and how borrowing money then needing to pay it back affects this number.
In Child Development, we are now in our third week of taking Baby home.  The general consensus is "I'm not ready to be a parent!"  The students truly enjoy this part of our curriculum.  Here's the kicker:  our RealCare Babies from Reality Works, Inc., are now 10 years old.  We are in DIRE need of new Babies, pregnancy simulators, and classroom model Babies representing a drug addicted baby, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Baby, and Shaken Baby Syndrome Baby.  If you find it in your heart to help us with your generous donation, it would be deeply appreciated.  Please contact me!  
Foods for Life II are 'traveling' through South America.  Each student chose a South American country, and will be presenting information about their chosen country.  Our lab for this portion of the unit will be Empanadas.  Yum-yum!  
The students will be 'traveling' again next week as they choose a country of their choice and will make a dish indicative of that culture.
We will wrap up the Cultural Cuisine with a look at regional foods here in the US.
The students continue to work on their monthly blogs.
Middle School Transitions and Careers are right in the middle of Career Search and Exploration.  We are following The Bee Movie lesson plan from Take Charge America.  
After Spring Break, the students will be preparing for their 'job interviews.'  SO MUCH FUN!!!

Monday, February 23, 2015


I find it difficult to believe it has been a year since the last post.  Time has flown by, I have procrastinated, and life is just happening. 
Our Foods for Life II class has begun again for year 2.  New students, new experiences.
We are beginning our continuous unit of food blogging.
One thing I learned from teaching this last year, was that I had the students submit too many blogs.  I was over-excited, thinking the students would feel the same.  This year, we will be submitting 3-4 blogs covering everything from critiquing our school cafeteria food, meal cooked at home, to our final assessment of taking a field trip to a local restaurant and taking on the role of food critic for a day.
Over the next few months, you will see links to several of our students' blogs.  I have also decided to give the students an option as to whether they would like their blog to be public, or if it is just for my eyes.
Thank you for checking in and here we go!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Makin' Up For Lost Time

This has been one crazy winter!  We have missed a total of 9 days of school.  Let's hope all this sunshine we've been having is a sign we will see crocuses peeking out of the ground soon, and temperatures in the 60's...
All this missed time has affected our classroom plans.  No other class is it evident than in our Foods for Life II classes.  These poor kids have only been able to cook in the labs twice!  Had we been in class those nine days, we would have at least 3 additional cooking labs under our belts - and in our tummies!
On top of the missed 9 days, we are heading into OGTs next week.  This means more lost time, primarily for the sophomores, who are taking the OGTs.  Well, ingenuity to the rescue!  
This past week, the FFL II students have been working on research and presentations for the second leg of our Cultural Cuisine tour.  We learned a bit about South American culture, geography and cuisine.  Then, the students paired up and chose a South American country to research in depth.  Each team was to create and present a Google Presentation of their country, following a detailed rubric.  The rubric guided the teams through geography, climate, culture, art, sports, history and traditional cuisine.  

As a hands on cuisine experience, we planned to make Empanadas and Spanish Rice for our cooking lab.  As luck would have it, I forgot about the OGTs and needed to do some fancy footwork.  A suggestion from two students about a totally unrelated lab sparked an idea:  We would make quacamole as a surprise lab.  But of course, how would guacamole fit into learning about the culture and cuisine of South America???
As the students walked into class on Friday, I hurried them into their seats.  I gave them the run-down:  a quick, fun, educational lab was about to occur!  We will make the empanadas and rice the week after OGTs.  This day we are stepping out of our box!
Guacamole was on the menu, and there was no stopping us now!
Of course, any reason to be in lab is a good reason, so the students went to work.  
Some students love guacamole, some had tried and mentioned they didn't care for it, and a couple had never tried it before.
Much to every one's surprise, the students who had never eaten guacamole, and most of those who thought they didn't like it, REALLY loved it!

Here is the link to the Chipotle Guacamole knock off recipe two students found.  Although chain restaurants aren't generally my thing, Chipotle is definitely an exception to my personal rule of eating out.  And this recipe certainly comes close enough to the real thing for those of us who are serious foodies!
Our Friday Surprise turned out great!  For those of us who feel the need to find the connection between the lesson and the application, here was mine:  At the end of the lab, the students were asked:  Would guacamole be found as a part of the cuisine in the country you researched?  There were answers all over the board.  Some said yes, some said no, and some said possibly.  They were then asked "why?"  This required the groups to reflect upon their research about the geography and climate of their chosen country.  I was so proud of all of my students when they answered the "why" confidently and with a deeper sense of our ever shrinking world.  So proud of the FFL II students!  You rock!
Get ready for the Empanadas and Spanish Rice.  The next blog assignment will be to tie these dishes to the cultural cuisine of South American Countries!