Salads in a Jar

One of my classes was on the small side this year so I asked them if there was anything in particular they wanted to learn about regarding food. They very promptly provided me with a list! I wish I could get some of their assignments that quickly! LOL! Anyway, one of the items on their list was salads…in a jar! Having been to a salad in a jar party where each person brought an ingredient to share, I thought this would be a fun lesson and lab to put together. I also thought I’d try my hand at putting the lesson together as a HyperDoc where students could work their way through the background information in an independent, self-directed way. Even if you don’t feel comfortable giving students the HyperDoc, I find it’s a great way to keep myself and my resources organized!

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Fundamental Habits: Mindfulness & Singlehood

Independence or singlehood is the most critical stage of the family life cycle. During this stage, one strives to become fully able to support himself or herself emotionally, physically, socially and financially. Utilizing Sharon Lipinski’s “7 Generosity Habits” and Learning to Breathe: A Mindfulness Curriculum for Adolescents , Sasha Roble, a FACS teacher from Pennsylvania, created this lesson which encourages students to strive for a healthy body, mind and spirit. Keeping in mind throughout the lesson, that taking care of oneself means that you have a solid, strong foundation from which you can give to others throughout the family life cycle. After spending some time on managing one’s physical health, students in this lesson focus on the concept of mindfulness. Scientific studies show that mindfulness boosts your immune system, increases positive emotions, decreases depression and anxiety, grows additional gray matter in the brain, fosters compassion and enhances relationships.

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Positive Phrasing Activity: Never Say No

This activity is part of my unit on Discipline & Guidance that I use in my Child Development class. It is a fun and interactive way to teach students how to positively phrase their sentences when directing or talking to children. Let me preface this activity by saying that it works better when you’ve had time to really get to know your students and develop a rapport with them.

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Fidget Spinner App & Kitchen Review Activities

If you can’t beat ’em, you might as well join ’em! Fidget spinners are all the rage, not to mention the bane of most teachers! However, if students are interested in them, why not use them as part of an educational activity? Below you will find two review resources that use spinners to help students learn common kitchen measuring abbreviations, conversions and tools. If not all of your students have access to fidget spinners and you don’t want to actually purchase these devices, there is a free app you can utilize in order to take advantage of this, hopefully, short-lived fad. In the meantime, use it in a constructive way to help keep students engaged and attentive!

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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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