Category Archives: Classroom Management

Ten Ways To Save On Foods Labs | Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics

save money on groceries foods labs family and consumer sciences teachers

I’ve always been a pretty frugal person which has served me well as a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher. Food prices have been rising much faster than my budget allotment. Here are some tips for how I’ve been able to keep up.

Portion size

Cut portions down as small as possible for students to still achieve the objective. My mini angel food cakes are my favorite example of this.

Skip demonstrating

I don’t demonstrate my soft yeast dough pretzels. Instead, students make their recipe as they watch the episode Good Eats: Pretzels Logic.

Or, only demonstrate

I used to have each kitchen make their own batch of yeast dinner roll dough. Now I only demonstrate the dough and each student gets to form their own roll. Students really take their one roll seriously. I used to end up with a lot of waste.

Freeze!

Freeze anything that won’t get used it a week from applesauce to bacon to yogurt to pumpkin.

Stock up on sales

If you are picking up groceries and notice a sale, stock up on as much as you can use before it would go bad or as much as you need for the year if it is freezable.

Stock up seasonally

Buy canned pumpkin (and most baking ingredients) at Thanksgiving. Baking ingredients are cheap again at Easter time.

Consider seasonal labs

Students who take Culinary Essentials in the fall learn knife skills by making salsa with free garden produce. Students who take it over the winter learn knife skills with a root vegetable soup.

Do. Not. Share. Disposable. Products.

I do not buy paper plates, plastic utensils, plastic bags, or anything of the like for my students. At the beginning of the term I recommend that my students keep a gallon size freezer bag in their folder in case they have leftovers to bring home. No container, no leftovers.

Eliminate disposables for yourself too

Right now my students have muffins sitting on the counter in their stock pots. It’s a little weird but it works! At my last school I had some room in my Perkins funding to get these beautiful Cambro squares. (sigh!) They held everything, were freezer safe, and if you flipped them upside down they were big enough to be a cake take! I know from my time in catering that they take all sorts of abuse and can save your department in the long run.

Dry Milk

Dry milk does not offer much cost savings over liquid but I am able to mix it as I need it so there is never any waste. I would purchase liquid milk for dairy-specific labs but it’s not necessary for a cup here or there in quick breads, for example.

How do you keep your foods budget balanced? Share your tips in the comments below!

 

I hope what you've read is useful! I post here biweekly with resources for Family and Consumer Sciences and Home Economics teachers and share my classroom happenings much more frequently on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Sign up to receive an email when new content is added to my blog. Thanks for visiting!

First Day of School Icebreakers for Family and Consumer Sciences Classes

first-day-ice-breakers-for-family-consumer-sciencesOne of my favorite activities to get to know students is with a signature grid “Bingo” icebreaker. They are fun for a few reasons… First, students get up and out of their seats on the first day, which usually has a lot of sitting and listening to the syllabus. How many of us lose our voice on our first day back?!

I distribute the grids and give students time to try and fill the grid with signatures without duplication. I require that students introduce themselves, not just swap grids and scribble. In the following week, I follow up by drawing a grid, saying the student’s name, and asking them a question about someone who signed their sheet.

Here are links to a few of my favorite signature grids

Teen Insights Our department’s required health-credit class covers some pretty personal topics. This icebreaker is nice for any group of students who will be working closely together with statements ranging from “I have a driver’s license” to “I have never seen The Notebook.”

Food and Nutrition With statements ranging from “I know someone who follows a vegan/vegetarian diet” to “I have a garden or compost bin,” this is a great icebreaker for any intro foods class. You can also use the questions as a pre-quiz of sorts.

Culinary Essentials This icebreaker gives students an opportunity to brag a bit by claiming that “I make the best chili in the world.” It also introduces students to food issues such as “I have seen the documentary Food, Inc.” and “I have butchered and processed my own meat.”

Signature grids can also be made to be a pre-assessment for your content. It is a great way to get issues out, like dietary needs or preferences. It also helps you determine whether most of your students have seen a documentary you plan on showing, or what kind of cooking (in my content area) experiences students have had.

I hope what you've read is useful! I post here biweekly with resources for Family and Consumer Sciences and Home Economics teachers and share my classroom happenings much more frequently on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Sign up to receive an email when new content is added to my blog. Thanks for visiting!

Welcome to my Family and Consumer Sciences Classroom 2015

Welcome back to school, everyone! Our first day was today, Tuesday, with an early dismissal. That leaves me with a few minutes to share some of my classroom updates and organization strategies.

I’ve shared in the past that my kitchens are quite retro. I LOVE my metal cabinets, but they are original to the school. They were “updated” in the late 70’s to burnt orange, although my heat register stayed “60’s blue.”

All this to say, I am embracing my groovy colors with a 70’s owl theme. I happened on the border at Walmart for just $.99.

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My information center has two three-tiered Sterlite drawer sets. One holds supplies and the other is labeled for students to turn in work. I do my best to never touch papers. I put them in a place for students to walk around and pick them up and designate a specific place for students to put them back. I am not a naturally organized person, so this procedure helps a lot.

The cute basket is actually a cell phone holding cell.

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On the board I made owls to hold missing/no name papers. I took the owl images from a Google search, cropped off the feet in a Google drawing, and added the words. They were printed on sheets of card stock along with the labels for the turn in drawers.

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I stapled a paper cup to the bulletin board to hold my colored pens. If a student is absent I write their name on the calendar in their class’s color. I have one above for MTSS block as well.

I made room for my favorite Seneca quote. I drew a cloud in a Google drawing which automatically makes a text box that I typed in. The trunk is freehand. The owl sticker matches my border perfectly, but is from the scrap booking section of Micheal’s.

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I put magnet tape on the back of my remotes and eraser. The markers have a magnetic button taped to them with electrical tape. Keeping them on the ledge seems obvious, but I still misplace them, so magnets help.

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I don’t bother passing out a syllabus because students don’t use them beyond the first day. Instead I make address labels with my contact information. On Friday I will check that the students have the sticker on a folder with their hall passes inside.

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Our students do not carry planners, so I assign passes at the beginning of the term. Students may leave up to four times in a term or they may turn the passes in for extra credit. I obviously always allow a student to leave, but if it it becomes a problem and the passes are used I sometimes have them come in after school. Or, so I say. No one has ever used all of their passes. 🙂

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I like to think that everyone’s classroom has a mess pile they just forget to photograph. This is just one of my little corners; there are at least a few more. The mixers are not back in the kitchens and neither are the microwaves. Here is mine… hopefully it starts a trend!

Take care of yourself this year!

I hope what you've read is useful! I post here biweekly with resources for Family and Consumer Sciences and Home Economics teachers and share my classroom happenings much more frequently on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Sign up to receive an email when new content is added to my blog. Thanks for visiting!