Teaching Tips

Jun 26, 2017, 15:26
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Hyde Park - Culinary Education Teaching Workshop

02 September 2009
  • Before students can leave for the day, they will need to fill out a comment card type of evaluation as an exit possibly 5 minutes early or to receive a homework free pass. (SL)
  • During lab, I use a digital camera. Recording opportunities for improvements, safety/sanitation violations, final product shots, as well as students in action and group shots. On the following lecture session we review the shots, critique and then I will provide the team in charge with a floppy disk containing all shots, so that they, in turn, have an opportunity to share, print, e-mail, etc. (RB)
  • In addition to including a section in my syllabi on “Student Expectations,” I also include a section on “Student Expectations of Instructor.” Here I detail items that the student shall expect from the instructor, highlighting such items as: professional development, student interaction, interpersonal issues, course preparation, completion of course content, professional conduct, instructor access and group norms. (RW)
  • Create an “Early Bird Special” question projected on screen prior to the start of class. Question will pertain to the subject matter of the day and will be discussed just before the class starts. It will not be available to latecomers and may actually contain material that could come back as a quiz or exam question. It will facilitate getting your class started on time and get students focused on the material. (RB)
  • Teacher’s Pet: Each class period I let one student be the “teacher’s pet.” They always volunteer for this job…their duties include: (they wear a fun nametag as well) checking roll, returning graded work, passing out handouts, running errands, room prep, etc. This relieves teacher of housekeeping duties. The reward for the student is a food treat or bonus points. Students can only do it once until all have had turns. (LF)
  • Peer practice on measurement: Before we begin daily restaurant operations, students measure out either a bread or quick bread “mix.” I grade and save these for future emergency days during restaurant operation. Similar peer practice on knife skills: Students coach each other in pairs and chop vegetables in mirepoix proportions which we cook and freeze for later. (MM)
  • Create Travel Brochure: Include map, flag, capital, 2-3 prominent cities with short paragraph of each, description of country, people, religion, terrain, special festivals and celebrations, agriculture, typical menu (minimum of 5 recipes), rate of exchange. Grading is on creativity, neatness, correct grammar, spelling, punctuation…and completeness! (KL)
  • Plan a Party (of a country): Title theme, invitation, drawn tableservice, 5 recipes, party activities/game, etc. Grading is on budget, creativity, etc. (KL)
  • Design a Menu for a Restaurant for a Particular Country: Front cover (general info), inside name of dish/recipe with short description of each such as 5 of each of the following: appetizers, salad/vegetable or fruit dishes, main dish/entrée, desserts and other (wine, drinks, pasta). Back of menu must have a minimum of 5 items (brief history of country, culture, religion, bodies of water, cities, agriculture, tourist attractions, sports, recreation, etc) (KL)
  • Senior Year End Performance Test: Prepare items in each skill station: stocks, soup, salad, dressing, stew, sauté, roast, demi glace, sauce, decorated cake, crème caramel, biscuits, fruit pie, yeast roll. (RB)
  • Have a welcome party on the first day of class with juice and pastry. (RB)
  • As an intro to herb and spices unit: I lay out fresh herbs, whole and ground spices. I number each item. Then I hand out a numbered sheet to the student so that they can write down their guesses on what H/S they think each one is. Students are encouraged to touch, taste, smell to help them identify them. After going over the correct answers, giving students clues about taste and smell on how cilantro differs from parsley, we then define what herbs and spices are and how they are used in cooking. I use this opening activity to introduce the herb and spice unit. I also give a short research assignment asking the students to find history of a chosen spice, uses other than cooking, find a recipe, cost it and then prepare the recipe during an oral presentation which is graded with a rubric by the student’s peers. (MT)
  • As an individual project, I give a cake decorating test. They choose the cake type and size, create a plan and then decorate. I then evaluate based on everything from the use of decorating tips to eye appeal, sanitation, and color consistency. (MEP)
  • When I start talking about taste/smell, as an intro I fill film containers with cotton balls. On each cotton ball, I put a few drops of a flavor extract (without labeling them). I group the students and pass out the containers and then have students attempt to identify them. After they have gone through the containers, we discuss each one (how it smells, if it makes them hungry, etc) Then we go over textbook information on taste/smell. (AMC)
  • Make certain you check on the WMMB website www.wisdairy.com for cheese recipes, information, photos etc. It is a B2B site so you will need to sign up with a name and password. We send back approval 24 hours. (DL)
  • Team Project: Each class selects a holiday and then creates a theme display. The stipulation is that everything must be edible. (BB)
  • Community Service Project: Juniors made 75 pounds of all size dog biscuits in shapes of bones and cats and donated them to local SPCA. (BB)
  • Class Trip: Ice factory and carving demonstration. Students also got to work in teams of 4 with hand tools and templates. (BB)
  • Every Friday we have leftover pastry and cookies in our bake shop. Some weeks we allow our culinary students to bring some to their last period class. Other weeks we bring the pastry and cookies to our volunteer fire department, our police department or the senior citizen center. Great PR! No wasted treats! Great lesson for students! We include a copy of the next week’s menu to help build sales. (PJ)
  • To stress proper labeling of items in kitchen, I pass around 5 plastic bags (double sealed) with white powders. I tell the students that there are five common kitchen items. They are allowed only to look and not to open the bags. They list the five things they think they are (Most will say flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, etc) One of the packages contains cleaning powder. Then you stress the importance of labeling and storage of food stuffs and cleaning supplies. (CS)
  • Level 1 Restaurant Project: Design a menu with descriptions. Include mission statement, clientele, location. Price out 1 appetizer, 1 entrée, and 1 dessert. They must include recipes with the project: Level 2: Expand the project to include designing a restaurant including floor plan, traffic pattern, parking, interior décor, as well as back of house—kitchen, placement of equipment, etc. Level 3: Cater an event including securing location, theme, invitations, menu, guest list, servers, chefs, seating. (ST)
  • We work a lot with local farmers. In the past, local farmers have provided baskets of ingredients including produce, meat, and maple syrup. I’ve had my students take this mystery basket and prepare a meal. We then invite the farmers the enjoy the feast and speak about the product. (DC)
  • Dessert Pizza is easy and fun and can involve the entire class. Students move around and interact, then we eat. (AG)
  • Capitalizing on my students’ propensity to produce awesome graffiti, I direct or channel that energy to producing bulletin boards. These change quite frequently. (AG)
  • Our culinary class has adopted an area hospital and several adult homes. We bake a variety of goodies including diabetic desserts, hand out the cookies, brownies, etc and also provide entertainment, poems, songs, and dances. (AG)
  • Cook Offs! One half the class will prepare; the other half will critique. (AG)
  • Role Playing: Someone plays the teachers. The teacher plays a student. (AG)
  • Games are fun: We play food scrabble. And I take candid digital photos and put them on the computer. Students love seeing themselves on screen! (AG)
  • I encourage students to bring recipes from home that have been handed down through generations. We also learn more Spanish. I encourage Spanish speaking students to help us with their language as they learn English. (AG)
  • “Two Truths and a Lie” On the first day of class, each student writes on a small piece of paper their name and 2 truths and 1 lie. They crumble paper into snowball and have a snow ball fight with the group. Each student gets one “snoe ball” and finds that student. They introduce themselves to each other, after which all students stand and introduce themselves and read their own 2 truths and 1 lie. The rest of the class guesses which truth is a lie. (VC)
  • Scavenger Hunt: After dividing into 4 member teams, each team locates from a pre-printed handout the utensil/equipment from their individual team list. AS a team, they discuss and report back to the class where the item was found, its use and where it lives. (VC)
  • New curriculum which will be available this Fall (2004) consisting of 7 booklets on culinary arts put out by Mid-America Vocational Curriculum Consortium. Look on the web at www.mavcc.com. (RA)
  • Give tests in small groups and then the entire class will share the average high score. (JC)

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