Living on Your Own

College Dorm Shopping Project

Shopping for a dorm is a necessary task if you are heading to college, and can be quite a daunting experience if you’ve never done it before! It seems like college students today need a lot more as incoming freshman than what I ever needed in four years of college (many moons ago)! I discovered this when preparing to send my first born off to college a few years ago and as we look forward to repeating it with child number two next summer. Having that experience prompted me to create this project to help students see what colleges suggest they bring and the cost involved. It also allows them to discern between what they will truly use and need versus what they don’t, eliminating a lot of excess spending! This is a real eye-opener for students as they prepare for moving into dormitory living!

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Food Safety Actions: Breakout Notes Activity

I think I love breakout activities almost as much as my students do! So, I thought I’d try my hand at another one, using it as a way for students to acquire their notes regarding food safety actions. In this breakout, students must put the puzzles together that form their notes, complete the notes form and scan for a number to help them eventually open their box. In this breakout, only one box per group is used and within it contains a scenarios activity that utilizes the notes students just spent time obtaining. The boxes also contain a small treat that students may eat while completing their scenario assignment. How do you use breakouts in the classroom? I’d love to hear your ideas, so please share in the comments section below!

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The Thrill of the Grill: A Comparison Shopping Project & Chicken Kabob Lab

Not sure if this happens to you are not, but when I have guys in a foods class, their foremost requests are “Can we cook meat?” and “Can we go outside?” So in the spring of the year, when we are nearing the end of the school year, I try to honor these requests. But to make it practical, I give them a comparison shopping assignment, shared with me by FACS teacher Amanda Swallow. Students have to investigate gas grills and make a decision as to what they’d purchase. After all, it is a large item purchase so they wouldn’t just want to buy the first model they see. Following that project, we do discuss the difference between indoor and outdoor grilling, including pros/cons, options and safety before preparing a Chicken Kabob lab! So, how do you teach grilling in your classroom? Please share ideas in the comment section below.

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EverFi: FutureSmart Financial Literacy Modules for Middle School

I really wanted to incorporate financial literacy into my 8th grade rotation, but didn’t know how to consolidate it and still have enough time to cover the rest of my content in 30 days . Then, I discovered the digital FutureSmart Financial Literacy Modules for Middle School through EverFi and I was immediately sold on the program after talking to a representative. The 7 modules take about a week to complete and students work through them at their own pace. You can literally hear a pin drop in my room when students are engaged in this program! We set up the class on the first day and then students have a week of class time to work. My students must receive a 70% or higher, but after the initial week, I do allow my students to continue working to improve their grade until the end of the 30 day rotation. This puts students in the driver’s seat as they are in control of their final grade! They work hard and stay on task as they know I can see everything they do! So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with a representative today….you won’t be disappointed!

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The English Muffin Challenge

The English Muffin Challenge was a spur of the moment lab! One of our school clubs had two packages of English Muffins left over from an event that they generously donated to us. In addition, I had several left over ingredients from some other labs that I didn’t want to waste. So, I threw it all together for a challenge lab! Students had 40 minutes to create an aesthetic, edible product using the English Muffin and following the parameters of the challenge. Overall, the results were successful, albeit some interesting! However, students walked away knowing they could put together a filling dish, using only available leftovers. The beauty of this type of lab is that the challenge and follow-up assignment could revolve around any food you have an abundance of and wish to use up!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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