Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Marvelous Muffins: Busy Bakers

With orders rolling in, our class has been busy baking to fill orders for our Marvelous Muffins fundraiser.  Earlier this month, our class went through the March calendar and selected baking dates when the school kitchen would be available for our "bakery".  Next, the class wrote a note home to parents requesting baking volunteers.  I also added a message with the specific details and dates. 

Thankfully, I work with great families and we've had many volunteers come forth to help us with this special project!   We created a March calendar on our SMARTboard and, as we confirmed volunteers, we scheduled students to "work a shift" in the bakery.  This system has worked well because I could continue teaching lessons in the classroom while students went to the kitchen in pairs and small groups.  A few students got to bake each day and we made sure everyone got a turn over the course of the month. 

In addition to the contribution that students are making to helping others with their baking, there was also lots of learning involved.  Students were able to work with our volunteers to follow directions, read recipes, measure, count out orders and more.  It was a very big job to bake over one thousand muffins, but this group of students and volunteers tackled the task successfully. 

Our final baking day was this week and we had some guests join us to help with the project.  On one of our recent video calls to our partner classroom in Miniota, my grade 1s were excitedly sharing the details of their project.  During the call, one of the students in my class raised her hand to ask the Kindergartens a question.  She wondered if their class would like to be part of our project and invited them to come to our school to help with the baking.  I thought this was a great idea since our classes already work together virtually and it did work out that they were able to join us in person!  The Miniota Kindergartens took turns baking with us to help us fill the final orders for our fundraiser.  We are lucky to have great classroom partnerships so that we can work together and learn together!


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Marvelous Muffins: Taking Orders

One of the steps in our Marvelous Muffins project was to create order forms.  Once we'd decided on kinds of muffins and prices, we did some shared writing to develop our order forms.  Students suggested information to include on the forms and I typed.  Since our shared work is always projected on our SMARTboard, students also proofread and suggested revisions as we developed the order forms.  When the order forms were ready, students counted out enough for each grade and sent forms home to each family in our school. 

We were very excited to see muffin orders coming in right away!  To keep track of the number of orders, we worked together as a class.  Students took turns reading aloud order forms and tallying the orders on our class chart.  After we tallied, we counted by 5s and 10s to find out how many orders we had for each kind. As more orders came in, we added to our chart and updated the totals.  It was great reading and math practice for us!   This week, we finished tallying and counting all orders.  Our school community has shown us tremendous support - check out the order tally!
Next, students wanted to calculate the total number of orders. The numbers are pretty large for grade 1 mathematicians, but before I knew it, students were putting their mental math skills to good use!  One student suggested starting with 60+40=100 and from there we continued adding up our orders using mental math.  You can see our thinking below (impressive mental math!).  Our grand total is 179 orders - that's 1074 muffins! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Marvelous Muffins: Putting our Plan into Action

The grade 1 class has been busy putting our Marvelous Muffins plan into action so we can help our partner class in Ghana, Africa.  After determining which kinds of muffins we were going to sell based on survey results, our class started to read muffin recipes.  We read recipes and discussed the variations in recipe size and ingredients.  Since I've never made chocolate chip muffins, I decided to test out a recipe at home and surprise the class with a batch of muffins to taste test.  We determined that the recipe was tasty, so we decided to use it for our baking.
Once we had selected our recipes, our next job was to write a list of ingredients that we would need.  Using SMARTnotebook, I was able to display the recipe and a blank slide side-by-side on our SMARTboard.  We read through the recipe together and each time we read a new ingredient, a student added the item to our list.  Next, we went through the ingredients we already had and narrowed down the list to create a list of groceries we needed to buy. 

Our class took a walking field trip to the grocery store to purchase the groceries.  Students worked together to push the cart, keep track of items on the grocery list, load groceries, unload groceries and carry groceries. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Marvelous Muffins: Planning our Fundraiser

Once our class decided that we'd like to help our African partner classroom by raising money to send them school supplies, we created an action plan for the Marvelous Muffins project.  Students brought forth a number of important questions, which we worked through as a team:

Should we sell muffins individually at the school or take orders for muffins to be picked up by families?  

I explained to my students that our current grade 4 class had a hugely successful cookie sale when they were in grade 1.  We discussed how that class had a goal of symbolically adopting polar bears and they were easily able to raise enough money to meet their goal.  After much discussion, we agreed to move forward with the plan to take orders for muffins, with the possibility of setting up a muffin stand for individual sales at a later date. 

What kinds of muffins should we offer for sale?
Our class brainstormed a big list of different kinds of muffins.  Students decided that we should ask others about their favourite kinds of muffins to determine what would be best to offer for sale.  They were eager to ask others' opinions, so I introduced the concept of a survey.  I  suggested that our class generate survey questions using Survey Monkey, so we created this simple survey together and shared it on from our class Twitter account.  Students suggested we also post the survey link to our blog, so we wrote this post together as a shared writing activity.  

How much should we charge for the muffins?
Students were discussing how much to charge for muffins, so I suggested we call our local bakery to find out what they charge for six muffins.   We placed the call together so everyone could be part of the conversation.  After explaining that it was "Mrs. Obach and her grade 1 class calling", I invited a student to ask the bakery employee our question about their pricing.  We found out the local bakery charges $4 for 6 muffins.  We used this information to develop a survey question about how much people would be willing to pay for our muffins. 

Based on our action plan, we created a to do list to guide our project.  The to-do list changes and grows as the project evolves, but it's an easy way to break down what we need to do for our project to move forward!