Yesterday was week one of a ten week cooking course where I teach 4 and 5 year olds how to cook. Normally this would freak me out since my experience is mainly with upper elementary, but this is my third semester to teach cooking class after school. I’ve had many freak out moments in the past couple of semesters…here’s hoping those moments are all in the past!
I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of knowledge these little ones possessed about kitchen safety and cooking utensils. I introduced many kitchen tools yesterday to see if they were familiar with their names and functions. When I got to the can opener, no one knew what it was or what it did, but their guesses were pretty cute! Just a few of the responses…nut cracker, onion slicer, thing used to take stuff out of the oven. Next, a little kindergartener raised her hand and said, “I don’t know what it does, but I see that it has simple machines on it. I see gears and a lever.” I was so excited for her to make that connection because the kindergarten classes just wrapped up a Unit of Inquiry focusing on simple machines. It’s so neat when you see students making real world connections to their learning!
A little later, we were shaking up a Ziploc baggie with breadcrumbs, an egg mixture, and broccoli to make our “Slam Dunk Veggie Dippers.” If you’ve ever cooked with kids, you know that shaking stuff up is one of the most interesting and fun activities you can do! When it came time for Eudora, a shy 4 year old, to shake the bag, she just stared at it. I prompted her to shake the bag…nothing. Kimberly, the 5 year old sitting next to her, said, “Look, do it like this” while demonstrating. Again, nothing. Iris, another 5 year old, cheered her on, saying, “You can do it! Just give it a try!” As you may have guessed, no response again. And then, the sweetest thing happened. Instead of saying something about her not shaking the bag, Kimberly and Iris said with a smile, “It’s OK, you can try it next time!” I just love their helpful, caring attitude toward others! I can tell it’s going to be a great semester!
I’d like to close with my favorite Pre-K quote of the week. As they were helping one another, I overheard one student say, “We’re using our teamwork!” I smiled to myself, pleased that they were working together so positively. Immediately after that, I hear a very headstrong little lady reply, “I do my teamwork by myself!” Giggling, I reply, “It’s not teamwork if you do it by yourself.” Thinking it over, she turned and said, “I still do it by myself.” Gotta love the independence of 4 year olds! We’ll keep working on her understanding of teamwork. 🙂