What happens when you study fractions with 5 boys, add some flour, butter, and chocolate chips to the mix? You get these amazing conversations about how we should have a baking club, unprompted.
I was floored by these conversations and the legitimacy behind their thoughts. Our goal was to be able to convert a recipe for 2 dozen cookies to a recipe that would make 28 cookies along with creating a recipe that would make 8 cookies with gluten flour.
This was a powerful problem that required these boys to really think about what happens with a specific recipe and converting to different units. One item that they kept coming back to was how fun this was. We know that real life problems are exciting. We know that for students to learn, they must be invested.
This leads me to the baking club comment, not one of the these boys said no to this idea. In this group we have 2 boys who show very little interest in learning, 2 boys who are shy about sharing their thinking, and 1 boy who enjoys doing his own research. These 5 boys came together, baked cookies so that they could share with others. How many times do we present our students with a problem and a new idea pops forth? We must give validation to their ideas.
I want to start a baking club with these boys. They had an idea that we should create a club where boys and girls bake together. They even came up with the idea that we should bake some break and make soup for a good lunch someday. These are 11 YEAR OLDS who want to learn, who want to make, bake, and share with others.
My challenge to you all is to create opportunities where students have the chance to share their ideas and make them their own. All I did was present a real life problem and the ideas just exploded.
We had a great conversation about how the cookies look different with different types of flour and also how to expand our thinking with math. So much power from a little recipe.
Create a recipe for success with your students. Challenge them to create and make and your class culture will soar!