Tag: Middle School

Teaching About Vegetables

After teaching this unit last year, I knew I had to update my vegetable lessons and activities, especially since we are a 1:1 school with iPads!  So, I’ve spent the better part of six months trying to figure out how to make this unit more engaging, both with and without technology! I am super pleased with the results, as are my students!  These lessons focus on students’ preexisting knowledge of vegetables, the consumption of vegetables (habits as well as reasons to consume), nutritional value and subgroups and vegetable classifications. Because knife skills are used in the lab options, be sure to cover that information prior to the lab(s)

COPE24 Parenting Program (sponsored post)

With Abuse and Other Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on the Rise, St. Louis-based COPE24 Launches Curriculum to Teach High School Students Vital Skills to Help Prevent Future Traumas and to Strengthen the American Family.

Pop-Up Family Structures

I’m finding that my students do better when they have a good balance of “hands-on” activities mixed with technology. So, in this feature you will find my version of a “pop-up” style activity that revolves around the family structures. Students work in small groups to complete a “pop-up” of their assigned family structure, incorporating additional information. The “pop-ups” are then displayed and students participate in a gallery walk to learn more about each of the unique family structures.  See below for more details!

First Aid Injury Scenarios: Flipgrid Style

If you teach a unit on handling childhood injuries, this lesson is a must for you to try! After learning about Flipgrid through a teacher in-service, Diane Senkoski, a sixth grade FACS teacher from Pennsylvania,  created a super engaging lesson for students of all ages, using the free app. Even if you are not a 1:1 school or have access to technology, the lesson can be easily adapted for live performances!  So, what are you waiting for…set up your free Fligprid account and get started!

Exploring Pasta

Pasta is one of my all time favorite units to teach in my Foods unit! Pasta is so easy, versatile, and economical that I feel every student should know how to prepare before they leave high school! I always tell my students that they will never go hungry if they know how to cook pasta. Use the provided slide to navigate through a variety of resources to learn more about pasta as your students complete this assignment and work their way into the lab.

Cheese Balls Pantry Raid Lab

Cheese balls are often associated with parties, holidays and potlucks! But why limit them to just those events? I get to a point in the year when I have “a little of this and a little of that” leftover from other labs and taste tests. So I decided to have a pantry raid lab and have students make “cheese balls”. All I had to do was buy a block of cream cheese for each group and provide some parameters for the challenge. See below for more details.

The Digestion Project

There is a huge emphasis on student directed learning and that meant that I would need to change the way I taught digestion. Sure, I could teach the process, all the organs and their functions to my students in a PPT and then give them a test, but that would not be very engaging, creative or student directed in any way. So, below is the new way I will be having my students learn about digestion.

Saving Money on Food Activities

Interestingly, students requested that I teach about coupons and techniques to help save money when food shopping. I happily obliged by putting together some engaging activities and resources to help students get started, but then flipped and put them in the driver’s seat to investigate and come up with solutions to their own request. See below for more details and if you have any interesting ways to teach this topic please share in the comment section below.

Food Origin Project

In the Ethnic Foods class, students study all of the regions of the world. The course begins with “Why do we Eat the Foods we Eat?” This lesson was created to stimulate the ‘investigative minds’ of students, encouraging them to ask questions and seek answers. In the study of American Culture, each region is celebrated with an authentic foods lab. This project was created to get students to understand the influence of other cultures on our own American favorites.

Gidgee Gadget Lesson

I spent time this past summer browsing on the internet and reading teacher comments on Twitter. One of my favorite things is to watch TedTalk videos. I kept coming across ideas that what we teach students will be obsolete in 40 years, many future careers have not been invented, how fast knowledge doubles, advances in artificial intelligence, brain research, etc. So, what’s a teacher to teach? Or more importantly, what is it that students must be able to know and do to thrive in a future world full of unknowns? You may have additional thoughts but some of mine are students must be literate, be adaptive, be problem solvers, be able to think-outside-of-the-box, use technology, communicate effectively with others, work with others, and re-invent themselves in the workplace. Then, for the first time in my long career, my school adopted a partial block schedule with the first 2 days of the school year being block days. Students need to have positive experiences so they want to come back the next day plus I didn’t want to bore them. So, I wrote the Gidgee Gadget lesson. Take a look below to see what it’s all about!