Thursday, December 20, 2012

Capilano in the Kitchen

On Thursday December 13th and Monday December 17th, we came together as a class to make Christmas Cookies for our Christmas party. The children had a lot of fun, and were very proud to be able to share all 8 dozen with their friends, family and friends.

We are extremely fortunate being a part of Hardisty's family in their school. Their very encouraging Home Economics teacher (as our school is a k-9 school) offered access to the Home Ec room to do our cooking so we collected some volunteer parents and very giving families to help us collect the materials. 

When we started our cooking class I asked the children what a recipe was. One child told me it is something that tells us what to do when making food. It was wonderful to hear that some of them were familiar with the kitchen. Bringing your child into the kitchen to help prep food is a wonderful way to spend time with your children, and a marvelous learning opportunity for many reasons.   

·         It helps show them the value of what you’re eating. It can show how much of each ingredient is in what you eat, and can help you discuss good eating choices.
·         It offers math opportunities! I personally, learn better when I can apply learning to real life situations. So when I can see what 1 cup looks like, or what happens when I half something, it really enriches the ah ha moments. This way when teachers in grade one explain to a child “one plus one is two” they can see that equation.
·         It creates early literacy. When you’re reading the recipe, the words have meaning in which you are carrying out, directions.
·         It allows questions. Why do we need sugar, flour and vanilla? Where do we get these items?
·         It allows sensory. What does vanilla smell like? What does dough feel like? What do smarties taste like *wink*
·         It shows proper hygiene. It is not acceptable to scratch our skin and then touch the batter. What should be done to ensure cleanliness?
·         It inspires and creates memories and ever lasting warm moments

We began our cooking excursion by talking about the details of our recipe. I asked the children too shout out the number and I would continue reading what we were adding. The children began shouting 
"1 ... " and I would respond, "cup of butter" 
"1 ..." ... "cup of sugar!" and so forth.

The adults added all of the liquid ingredients, and the children each took turns pouring in our dry ingredients.

Cooking is full of fun sensory! The sounds of the hand mixer and using our motor skills to keep it in the batter, the smell of the vanilla, which some of the children loved where others were not impressed.When the cookies had finished baking, they smelt as good as they looked! And with all of the colourful Smarties, they tasted as amazing as they looked. 

We had a lot of fun creating a sweet treat to share with our friends and families.


Ms Asha
Christmas Cookie Recipe

·         1 cup butter, softened
·         1 cup white sugar
·         1 cup packed brown sugar
·         2 eggs
·         2 teaspoons vanilla extract
·         3 cups all-purpose flour
·         1 teaspoon baking soda
·         1/2 teaspoon salt
·         2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
·         1 cup Christmas Smarties

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and smarties. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Counting down the days

December is going so quickly with only one week left of school! The children are very active ensuring they are preparing for Christmas. They are getting their lyrics down so well and are very ready for our Christmas party next week.

We loved having that Christmas sparkle play dough so much; we had a mom help up make Gingerbread play dough! 


Here is the recipe:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Mix the dry ingredients and then add water to mix. If too sticky knead in more flour.

The smell was outstanding but we refrained from eating it!

We did lots of cutting in the classroom this week. We talked about shapes, and used small shape templates to draw and cut out of coffee filters to make snow flakes! We also brought out “Frosty” so we cold cut wrapping paper to feed him.

The children love open ended cutting in our playschool. Exposing them to open ended cutting as often as possible helps me support them when we need to have defined goals for cutting down the road. I feel children succeed better when they really can relate to what you are asking from them, so with them cutting often without boarders it can make it easier on them in Kindergarten when the teachers ask for a specific outcome.

Another great way to get those little fingers ready for cutting, writing and other exciting Kindergarten exercises, is to strengthen those fine motor skills. The children really loved putting tiny three sided plastic beads onto pipe cleaners to make their own candy canes. The children were really good at identifying different patterns, and enjoyed the creativity they could do in to the various colours.

In class, we were lucky to have lots of different crafts set out for us to enjoy. Some children made Christmas shapes with cut outs, and some of us decided to make snow flake patterns with paper towel rolls and paint.

Our Librarian from Edmonton Public Library's Capilano Branch, came in to read to us some Christmas stories, play some Christmas finger plays, and sing some Christmas songs! We love when Alana comes in to pay with us!

Christian Note:

This week we lit the advent candle two and sang:

Light the Advent candle two
Think of humble shepherds who
Filled with wonder at the sight
Of the child on Christmas night.

Candle, candle burning bright
Shining in the cold winter night
Candle, candle burning bright
 We learned about the Shepard's coming to visit baby Jesus after the angels came to visit them in the fields.
We are really enjoying the felt Nativity set I made for the children, and were introduced to a new plastic, Little People Nativity set. It was a lot of fun.

During circle we also listened to the book The Friendly Beast by Rebecca St James and talked about the different kinds of animals that were in the stable when baby Jesus was born.


Ms Asha