Teaching Tips

Apr 1, 2020, 1:22

Houston, Texas (Part 2):

02 September 2009
  • My students, traditionally, have had little exposure to the wide variety of foods and cooking ingredients available. Many eat “fast food” on a daily basis and few have experienced fine dining. I like to introduce fresh produce groups (fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices and salad greens) by presenting a wide variety of items and having a tasting party. Students are given a tasting chart to complete as I introduce each new produce item. They then write comments under columns for description (can illustrate and color), aroma, taste, how used. I try to select the more common herbs and spices—sage, oregano, basil, chives, bay leaves, cilantro, ginger, cloves, cinnamon sticks, etc. As students examine these and complete tasting chart, they make a herb collection to take home for their family to used in cooking. (KB)
  • Every day when I take roll, each student must tell the class “something good.” This starts the class out on a positive note and some of the students in the beginning seem to have to think about it. I think that they learn to appreciate things more, especially simple things. (NH)
  • Use a koosh to get students involved. I throw it out into the class. The student that catches it is next, to speak, to present, to share etc. I have one that lights up. It’s a Blue Bug! I will say phrases such as “You bug me!” or “Yuk!” I use different ones (koosh) throughout the year. (JC)
  • To help budding culinarians learn the movements involved with sautéing, have them practice the wrist movement with a piece of toast in a sauté pan. By practicing with toast, they will not make a mess or increase food cost through wasted product. Also great is popcorn or dried beans (outside!). (CEM)
  • My tip would be a great game for teaching utensils or kitchen tools. The title “Name that Tool” is a take off of “Name That Tune.” I split the class in two groups and put them in two parallel lines. I then explain the rules (I make those up off the top of my head). The next step is to pretend that you are on TV and start out loud and introduce yourself as the host of “Name That Tool.” I then read the definition of the tool and the first person from each team runs into the kitchen and retrieves the tool. This is a great fun game for both me and the students. They learn where everything is and what they are used for (Take the knives out of the kitchen!) (SL)\
  • When rolling out pie dough, roll it out on wax paper. Then flip it over into pie tin. (MN)
  • To teach major equipment and introduce students to the commercial equipment in the foods lab, design a rotation system and create menus for 3-4 days using each piece of equipment. They may be consecutive or one day per week for 3-4 weeks. (PR)
  • Equipment Bingo: Games for the Classroom. Make a form with BINGO at the top and the usual number of squares (don’t forget free space). Use pictures Xeroxed from text book or equipment catalogs to put in each square. Teacher reads either the use of equipment/care of equipment/or simply the name for the student to find and make (levels of difficulty depend on students/objectives for lesson). Simple gifts/snacks/points or other awards given to winner. No time to make a classroom set? Pass out blank forms and have students choose their own pictures and attach them. (PM)
  • I have the students keep a recipe box in each foods class. They are required to find three recipes each day and write them. Different categories (such as international categories or American regional or general). Anything we cook they record. They bring in recipes from home and record them in family favorite section. I keep a poster up in the room with daily recipe assignments for the entire semester as well. (TSB)
  • Cut pictures, names, and use of tools. Use this with small utensils. Use computer technology to keep students up to date with new issues and recipes (use www.allrecipes.com). Use hands-on demo to show students “how to.” Pair students together to feel “successful” and do better with a partner. (GM)
  • “Web Quest Culinary Project” Break students into small groups. Students elect historian, sociologist and chefs. Students (by group) select a country and region of that country. Utilizing the Internet as the sold source, each group researches the culinary history, food sources, sociological/economic aspects of the region/country. Additionally, ethnic foods and flavors. Each group prepares reports on research by the historian and sociologists. Chefs prepare recipes of dishes in the region/country. Recipes to be inclusive of all segments of a typical full course meal. Each group prepares and presents dishes to remainder of class while explaining the historical and sociological aspects of the region/country. (AK)
  • To assess the students’ knowledge and ability to follow directions in the very beginning of the course, I have the students prepare a domestic recipe of oatmeal cookies. Then students receive index cards with either a measurement or a direction. There is no talking or helping one another (or they could—depending on the class). The index cards are performed in order. Next day I demonstrate the exact recipe going over the correct and incorrect steps. Then there is a taste test and discussion on the importance of measuring correctly and following directions. (SW)
  • After lessons in measuring techniques, reading and following a recipe and after studying baking ingredients and methods, students complete a practical test. In class, each student makes a loaf of banana nut bread. The student’s name is written on a foil loaf pan and after class evaluates the bread, the bread is wrapped with decorative plastic and students take home. It’s easy to see (and taste) many of the common mistakes—flour or sugar measured incorrectly, too much salt or baking soda, etc. We have even had some erupt onto the oven floor which leads into a cleaning lesson. Classes really enjoy seeing so many “different” looking breads made using the same recipe. This lesson does illustrate what can happen when one measures incorrectly or fails to follow a standard recipe. (KB)

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