Thursday, December 2, 2010

Time for Baking...

The Science Mommy knows there are many great science skills to be learned in the kitchen.  One of the strategies many older Kid Scientists are lacking is the ability to read a procedure completely and follow the directions.  A great way to teach and reinforce this skill is baking and cooking.

My youngest Kid Scientist wanted to bake cookies for the family all by himself.  We had a tub of frozen cookie dough (from a school fundraiser) so he wasn't responsible for the measuring, but he read, and followed, all the directions.

  • Finding the directions what the first challenge for Aiden, then he needed to figure out what everything meant
  •  Reaching the knobs on the stove was another challenge!  But, there was a surprise way for him to practice a math skill...325 wasn't on the dial.  I asked him where he thought he needed to turn the dial.  After a little thought he realized that 325 would be between 320 and 330. (Sounds easy to us...but it's a great teachable moment for younger Kid Scientists)
  •  My oldest Kid Scientist took this picture, so it's not clear what Aiden is doing...he's estimating 2" apart for all the cookies on the cookie sheet.  Younger Kid Scientists are also very literal when it comes to directions, but it showed me that he had read them and understood what he read.
  •  The oven was a bit scary for both of us...but I trusted him and he was very careful.  I did emphasize the need for supervision when he uses the oven.
  • Taking the cookies out, he forgot and grabbed the side of the sheet.  Just a tiny burn...and an unfortunate teachable moment :(  Cold water helped...
  •  He was so proud of the finished product though...dessert for everyone!
This isn't a formal procedure of course...but a reminder to look for the Teachable Moments in everything you do with your kids.  This builds their confidence and their background knowledge so they will be more capable Kid Scientists at school too!

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