Practical Life and Snack
Posted by mrsmelva on 04/01/2010
I had washed our classroom laundry – tea towels, table cloths, dish cloths and a few extra sweaters. I dumped the hamper of clean laundry on the rug and the students got busy folding, helping each other as needed. They already had folding experience with folding their shoe bags each morning after putting on their indoor shoes, but other than suggesting to a few that they fold the towels “the same as you fold your shoe bag”, they did the work quickly and independently.
I have changed this set up slightly, adding two more placemats so that 4 children can have snack at once, and placing a damp cloth in a basket instead of a bowl of water. If the cloth needs rinsing and wetting the student takes it to the sink This prevents water being dripped in other people’s snacks by overly enthusiastic cloth wringers!
Most days snack is an option during the work period. Occasionally we all eat together when we cook something as a group (usually as follow up to a story or activity) or when there is a special celebration such as Thanksgiving dinner. These are a challenge since we have so few tables, but we use our trays and careful procedures for getting our supplies and food, and for cleaning up.
Yes, the students use real knives. I show them how, and I stay nearby to offer guidance if needed. In 21 years I have only had 2 students cut themselves badly enough to need more than a bandaid and in both cases, they chose to play with their knives rather than cut the food. Our next cooking activity will be making potato wedges for snack. Our pumpkin soup is a basic hamburger soup. I brown the hamburger with onions and garlic in dutch ovens while the children are coming into class, the smell gets them very curious. Then I introduce them to cutting the vegetables, we use carrots, celery, pumpkin, sometimes potatoes. The pumpkin is hard to cut, so I peel it and precut it into strips (preparation of the environment, think of early scissor snipping activities). The cut vegetables are rinsed and put in with the hamburger and we add water. When it boils we add some macaroni. Sometimes I add canned diced tomatoes too. It is a very flexible recipe! We season it with some seasoning salt. Everyone is given a small serving to start with and those who like it can have seconds, and some even have thirds! I serve this every year at Halloween, rather than having a sugar laden party. Invariably some parents still send a sweet treat which we have for dessert. I teach the children to sit and wait until all (or most) are done eating before cleaning up when we eat together. I set out a garbage can for scraping plates, and a pail for liquids (soup or juice) and then they place their dishes in the dishwasher. I have them stagger stack the trays since there is often food on the trays and I sanitize the trays before putting them away. I also sanitize the snack table and placemats between classes.