I moved!

I moved! You can find me at my new online home, KaylaPins.com!

Monday, October 6, 2014

I moved!

You can find me at my new online home, KaylaPins.com.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Update: Waffle Cookies Small Appliance Demonstration

I demonstrated waffle cookies again this term but made some changes I'm very happy with, most of them accidental.

I have a grocery purchasing problem I think most FaCS teachers can identify with. When shopping for groceries I think to myself, "Nah, I have plenty of cocoa at school." Then I get to school and I am completely out of cocoa. Meanwhile there are four cans in my pantry at home.

Well, that happened, and I discovered it only minutes before my first class. A quick Google search brought up this recipe and thankfully it turned out wonderfully.

Some other adjustments...

  • My students have recently learned about how cooking changes food. In addition to observing how awesome my classroom smelled (lots of beggars coming in from the hallway) we talked about the difference between conduction and convection. Cookies baked in the oven would require a preheated oven and about ten minutes to cook. Ours were made in small batches but only cooked for two minutes.
  • This was a great review of measuring skills. It includes stick method, cracking eggs on a flat surface, flour, brown sugar, liquid in a measuring spoon, and dry ingredients in a spoon.
  • The new recipe uses more than 50% whole grains.
As you can see from the Instagram feedback my students were quite smitten. Many parents are going to be happy to find a new use for their waffle iron and kids excited to bake.

Monday, August 25, 2014

DIY Surface Bacteria Sampling Dish | Vegan

If you follow me on Instagram (#mhsfcs, #washurhands) you may be wondering why we are decorating for Christmas so early. See all of the beautiful reds and greens?

Although we would love a break from this hot muggy weather, Christmas is a long time away. Those colors you see are all kinds of microorganisms growing on surfaces in our school.

I read a lot online about testing surface bacteria with agar dishes and tape and knew the experiment would be perfect for my students to demonstrate the importance of hygiene in food preparation. I quickly found it to be cost-prohibitive. After looking through several recipes online I came up with this concoction. Because it is so quick, cheap, and easy to make, we were able to collect samples from 54 surfaces in our school!

To make four dishes, dissolve 1 tsp guar gum and 2 tsp sugar in 1/2 C hot water. Whisk vigorously with a fork because the guar sets quickly. Carefully pour the mixture into four 7" heavy duty plates.* Allow to set and place in quart-sized zipper-seal plastic bags.

*Although it sets up well, the guar gum is still a bit runny. In the future I think I will cut clear Solo cups for trays. This would also allow for the use of a microscope. They would also fit in a snack or sandwich bag which are less expensive than quart-sized.
Like most good ideas, this one came late at night. All of the recipes called for gelatin which I do not use in my home. Guar gum is a great substitute that I have on hand. It is six times stronger and at least that more cheaper than gelatin. A little goes a long way.

To test a surface, students tore 1 square of very cheap 2-ply toilet paper and wiped the whole surface.  They placed the paper "bacteria side down" in the guar gum. Then they very carefully peeled off the top "ply" of toilet paper. They put the dish back in to their quart bag and observed the bacteria multiplying over the next several days.

This is my favorite kitchen safety and sanitation activity to date. It was perfect at proving what I wanted, which is:

  • Places you think are gross, like bathroom floors or school lunch tables, are the ones most carefully cleaned.
  • The dirtiest places are the ones you don't think about like cell phones, back packs, and shoes.
  • Sanitize your countertops before starting a lab, even if they appear clean.
  • For gosh sakes, put that phone away!!!
Hopefully this recipe puts a fun petri dish surface bacteria activity in reach for your students! Be sure to comment back here to share!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Revisiting Yeast Balloon Blow-Up Activity to Accommodate Latex Allergies

It's back-to school time which means I'm getting a new group of kiddos ready for the kitchen. They are eager to cook (read: eat) but need to understand safety and sanitation first.

It gives a great visual representation. Recently, however, teachers have been asked to be more aware of students with latex allergies. We have switched our adhesive bandages, gloves, and rubber bands to be latex-free.

I also re-did this activity. Instead of pouring the sugar and yeast mixture into bottles I used quart-sized freezer bags. I squeezed out as much air as possible and continued to follow the same procedure as before.

As you can see, students still have the obvious visual of how much faster bacteria multiplies at room temperature than in a refrigerator. It's just in a more everyone-friendly format.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Kitchen Safety

I found this gem while searching for a bell ringer for food safety. While obviously outdated for my students, I had to share it with someone! The more things change...

Monday, July 21, 2014

New Trick Technology: Blogging | Iowa Family and Consumer Sciences Educators Conference 2014

Thanks for joining me for New Trick Technology: Blogging at the Iowa Association for Family and Consumer Sciences Educators (IFCSE) Conference. If you are new to my blog because of the conference, welcome! If you could not make it to the session but are learning new things because of the blog, thanks for visiting!

I am blessed to teach in block scheduling with 85-minute blocks. The 60-minute session is the equivalent of a early dismissal, which means I will probably talk much faster than a good teacher should. This post will serve as an outline for New Trick Technology. I am a chronic over-planner and will not get to everything in my session, so keep posted in-depth blog explanations. You can contact me with questions and clarifications using the links on my personal landing page.

Novels to Incorporate in Family and Consumer Sciences Classrooms

Did you miss Ramona Hatch's (of Fresh FACS) presentation, FACS or Fiction at the IFCSE State Conference? I went, and it was great! Ramona shared a wealth of knowledge about incorporating novels into Family and Consumer Sciences curriculum. I have a long list added to my Good Reads account. Check them out!

Novels to Incorporate in FACS Classrooms

Detour for Emmy
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tagged: facs-classroom-novels and to-read
Too Soon for Jeff
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Dying For Chocolate
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tagged: facs-classroom-novels and to-read
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder
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tagged: to-read and facs-classroom-novels
0 of 5 stars
tagged: facs-classroom-novels and to-read

I could not figure out how to share Goodreads shelves on Twitter, but that is where you will find most of my quips from conference. Follow me or #IFCSE for all of the goods!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Expand Quizlet for Collaborative Work and Vocabulary Review Fun

One of the technology tools that we learned about for my Digital and Social Media in Education class was Quizlet. Quizlet is an excellent vocabulary review game that my students enjoy. They can access online note cards using their smart phones. We also play the online review games, like Scatter, on the day before the test.

Quizlet doesn't have to be a solitary study tool. In this post I share ways to expand Quizlet into a social activity.

First, students can enter vocabulary terms collaboratively into Quizlet. Quizlet offers an easy import option from spreadsheets. I create a spreadsheet using Google and type all of the vocabulary words into one column. I share the link with my students and they work together to fill in all of the words in the second column until the class finishes.

I don't like to spend class time on busy work, like doing vocabulary worksheets, but I still think vocabulary terms are a good way to introduce a topic and link to previous learning experiments. Doing the work collaboratively gives students more time to quiz and less time just copying from a textbook.

One of my favorite functions, other than the spreadsheet import, is the flashcard printing option. I keep decks of cards of my units to fill the odd time as students finish their labs at different times.

One game we play is actually from a bridal shower. We all had the names of Disney characters pinned to our back and had to have conversations with people to guess our character. For a vocabulary review, the students have either a word or definition pinned to them and they have to find their partner.

Another game we like is Old Maid. The students match their cards and the first student to lose all of their cards is the winner.

We also play Popcorn Race which I have blogged about before. I like that game because students are very competitive with it. It encourages them to learn their words so they can win during classtime.

Have you used Quizlet in your classroom before? I've really expanded on it in the last year and am happy with the results. My students have fun and do well on quizzes.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Use Just 1Password To Log In to All of Your Web 2.0 Tools

Our week at the University of Northern Iowa for my Digital and Social Media class in my graduate program is off to a great start. We are learning a lot from each other and filling our teacher toolbox with handy Web 2.0 apps. Some highlights include:
  • Renee and Becky showed us tools to use for augmented reality. Becky gave us coloring pages that came to life with Chromeville. Renee showed us how to share information and add to printed materials with Aurasma. I joked that it was like Harry Potter newspapers with moving portraits. Wouldn't it be great if students could "take a picture" of a picture of food and be brought to a recipe or tutorial?
  • Do you use QR codes in your classroom? QRStuff is a great resource for adding color and choosing the application type for your code. We saw dice that had a QR code on each face. That would make a great tool for students who understand a concept sooner than others. Roll the QR dice for a leading question for a new project.
  • I shared a bit of how I organize my life with Evernote. Renee organized for a fantastic student, Ian Coon, to join us via Zoom. He shared how he stays organized (a little overwhelmingly so) with Evernote.
A great tool I am using to wrap my head around all of these apps is 1Password. 1Passwordis an program that creates a different, secure password for each time you log in to a new application. As I log in to the various apps I use, 1Password asks to store the information. Here is me logging in to Kidblog:
I have one very complicated, very long password that I use to log in to 1Password. The program stores the password. Next time I log in, I click the Chrome Extension, select the app I am logging in to, and 1Password will autofill the information for me. It is not necessary for me to program each username and password into 1Password, the program just stores them as I log in. I am enjoying this program so far, but it will become even more useful as I do online shopping and banking. I can also create secure notes within the program to store personal notes and information. Let's be honest now... Do you use the same passwords, or only a few, for every application? Is the password you are using actually secure, or does it contain personal information like phone numbers or birthdays? If you are in this habit, like I used to be, I highly suggest giving 1Password a try.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer Kitchen Sprucing

Ahhh, summer! When I finally get a change to all of the things I've had good intentions of doing all year. Or, when I have good intentions to all of the things I've had good intentions to do.

My classroom is pretty retro-fabulous. I wouldn't trade my orange metal cabinets for the world, but they need some sprucing. I'm embracing their retro-ness with some World War II posters. I did a Google search of large images and had them printed as 5 x 7 or 8 x 10 at Walgreens.

We've been touched by the magical Perkins fairy this year so I will have three new Kitchen Aid mixers. To decorate the kitchens, and to better organize, each kitchen will be identified by a specific color and vegetable. I'm making covers for all of my mixers. Here are the fabrics that I ordered from Fabric.com, and here is a link to the tutorial I will use.

I am sew looking forward to some down time this summer!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Get In Some Good Reading This Summer with Goodreads Book Recommendations

While covering for an English teacher recently, the lesson plans asked for students to update their Goodreads account. While they were working I did some browsing and found it is a new tool that I am excited to learn and use.

Goodreads is "the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. [Their] mission is to help people find and share books they love. " In other words, it is to books what Pandora is to music.

I started by importing my Amazon.com orders list and then rating the books I have already read. I browsed the site to add my all-time favorite books; a very exclusive list of just five: 

Kayla's bookshelf: coveted-top-five

To Kill a Mockingbird
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tagged: coveted-top-five
Gone with the Wind
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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
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The Bell Jar
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The Double Bind
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tagged: coveted-top-five

Adding ratings to each of these books gives suggestions based on other readers with similar likes. I can also easily connect with friends from Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ to read their recommendations.

Books are organized on "shelves." By default there is a "Want to Read, "Read," and "Currently Reading." As shown above, I also have my "Coveted Top Five" shelf, although I don't think that one will be changing very soon.

My Currently Reading shelf looks like this:

As you can see, graduate school has the best of me! I'm learning so much and meeting so many inspirational people. But I'm ready to give my brain a break and do some light reading. I have subscribed to several lists already including Best Young Adult Books of 2014, Best Young Adult Books of All Time, and Books Every Highschooler Should Read.

There are so many features on this new social media tool that I still need to learn. In the meantime, I highly recommend Goodreads. Even in my limited experience I can see that it is a great tool to organize books you have read, what to read, and to meet new people. And, if you are busy like me and my other #DSMsum2014 cohorters, you need to take advantage of every spare moment you have! Life is to short to read bad books.

What books are on your summer must-read list? How about your coveted top five?

This post is cross-posted on FACS for All of Us. Come visit me!