Living on Your Own

Teacher of the Month: Donna Cabrera

Congratulations to this month’s teacher of the month, Donna Cabrera, a Family & Consumer Sciences Middle School teacher from Pennsylvania. While this is her first year teaching FACS, she is no stranger to the classroom, having taught Special Education for 10 years.

Knife Skills: A Hands-On Lesson & Lab

This hands-on lesson plan, shared by Marlee Barton of Kentucky, includes knife skill activities using Play-doh and graduating to real vegetables. A soup lab follows Sounds like a fun and delicious way to learn about knives!

Spin a Stir-Fry Lesson & Lab

Need quick cooking recipes for your foods labs or dinner at home on a busy night? I know I do! That’s why I teach about stir-fry cooking! Not only is stir-fry cooking quick and easy, but it’s nutritious, colorful and fairly easy to clean up. So, after students investigate some basics of stir-fry cookery, they get to spin themselves a unique recipe for the class to sample. Try spinning yourself a stir-fry. Who knows, you might just find a new favorite, easy-to-go-to dinner!

Spotlight on a FACS Blog: Kayla Pins

Sometimes the non-school related blogs I follow do a blog hopping where they share other people’s blogs. I thought that would be a great idea to do this with Family & Consumer Science teachers who write their own blogs. The featured blog in this post belongs to Kayla Pins, a Health and Family & Consumer Sciences teacher, who hails from Iowa and teaches grades 7-12 at Cascade Jr.-Sr. High School. I email interviewed Kayla some questions about her blog…so read on to learn more and see some of the impressive lessons she has to offer!

Crostini Appetizers: Mini-Lesson & Lab

You never know when you’re going to need a relatively quick and simple appetizer for entertaining that looks like you’ve spent hours preparing! Crostini to the rescue! I like to teach students that party foods don’t have to be super difficult, expensive or time consuming to pull together. The self-directed mini-lesson provides some background information about crostini and how to make them and then students get to pretend they have to pull together a few crostini appetizers for entertaining, using ingredients they have on hand. The creative possibilities are endless! As a tasty finale, students prepare and sample some hot and cold crostini in the lab! Yum!

Manners & Tablesetting: Breakout Style Reveiw Game

Breakout games are so much fun! It’s hard to imagine that something so fun can also be educational! Breakout games encourage students to work together, against the clock to complete challenges associated with a topic you are covering in class. Breakout games can be used as a way to introduce a lesson or unit or it can be a culminating review activity before a test. Either way, students love them! I tried my hand at creating one for reviewing manners, calculating tips and how to set the common table. Give it a try and I hope your students like it as much as mine did! Warning: This can get extremely competitive!

Quick Breads: Lesson & Labs

I have had some requests to share ideas for teaching about quick breads…so, here you go! One thing about teaching quick breads is that there are a plethora of ideas for labs so you can mix it up from one year to the next and secondly, the labs are pretty inexpensive to make so they won’t break your budget! Another thing I like about teaching quick breads is that it’s easy to include math and science concepts into your lessons and labs. Take a look below to see some things I’ve used over the years as well as some links to previous lessons and activities on the website about the topic.

Ramen Noodles: History & Make-Over with Homemade Noodle Bowl Lab

Ramen noodle soup packages have been around forever and seem to be the “go to” snack or meal for most young adults because they are cheap and easy to make. I wonder how many have actually read the nutrition facts label and ingredients list? Scary! I set out to prove to my students that Ramen noodles could be reinvented to be nutritious without sacrificing flavor.

Off to College Series: College Roommates

Being randomly assigned a college roommate is akin to opening a box of chocolates! To quote Forrest Gump, “You never know what you’re gonna get!” I like to “try” to prepare my students for this because it can make or break their college experience. The saying that “you really don’t know someone until you live with them” is completely true. I was fortunate in my college experience to have great roommates, whom I got along well with, but not everyone is so lucky! This lesson tries to prepare them for the various types of “roomies” they could encounter and how to deal with each in a constructive way.

Food Preservation Ideas

Many think of canning or preserving foods as an old fashioned way of life or hobby, but with more people venturing into organic gardening, cooking and wanting or needing to know what’s in their foods, canning has definitely made it’s way back into this modern era! If you are thinking about teaching food preservation in your FACS classroom, below are some ideas that may be helpful! Also, check out our book giveaway below!