Thursday, October 20, 2011

Are we doing math today?

Yes, and so much more...
Each day I write a brief outline of the days schedule on the board.  Last Friday, in the spot that usually says, "Math", it said "Cooking".  One child ask, "Why aren't we going to do math today?"  This question lead to a discussion about how cooking can be math:
"Because you measure things!"
"You have to count how much of things you need!"
"I know. You have to use a clock to tell how long to bake what you made!"
Good answers, I thought.

I love to bake with children because it does give practical applications to so many things we learn: reading, math, science, and social skills.  This day, my goal was more focused on the social skills, but I was glad they were thinking about the math aspects within the activity.  
I wanted to see how the children would handle working as a team for a common goal.  I divided the children into 2 groups of six, gave them a recipe, ingredients, and told them to make banana bread.  
Then I sat back and monitored as they divided up the tasks.  Each group found their own solution to the task at hand.  One group even found a way for everyone to stir at once.  
The only assistance I provided was to explain that they didn't need to find the "cream" that the recipe meant mixing the ingredients until they were creamy.

At Summers-Knoll, we think a crucial part of education is having children work together to solve problems and conquer tasks.  Having the ability to work collaboratively is a crucial tool for children in their every day lives and in their future.

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