April 19, 2014

Gingerbread cookies teach math at SHES

There’s no day more fun than Gingerbread Cookie Day in kindergarten at Spring Hill Elementary School (SHES). Mixing math, science and problem-solving skills with baking, the students made cookies but were shocked when those tricky gingerbread cookies ran away and had to be tracked down.
The annual project begins with a wide range of learning opportunities that are mixed with fun. Students participated in following a recipe to mix the gingerbread dough.  They were able to use their sense of smell to explore some new, more uncommon ingredients in the kitchen, such as molasses and ginger.  They compared measurements of each ingredient, discussed the importance of paying attention to details when following a recipe, and imagined what might happen if they did not read and measure accurately…yuck!  After the tasting of the gingerbread cookies, the classes discussed and completed a bar graph about which body part would be eaten first (foot, arm or head).  Many students chose to eat a foot first so the cookie could not escape.  Students also investigated the following question, “What would have happened if the Gingerbread Man had swam across the river?”  The little scientists were able to predict and observe what happens to a wet gingerbread cookie throughout the day. Ultimately, students watched as their cookies are tucked away in the oven.
When the students returned to take their treats out of the oven, the kindergarten students are shocked to find out that those pesky cookies became bored and decided to run rampant through the school but left clues along the way. Students trekked through SHES, as they solved the riddles and tracked their treats. The children even received assistance from Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy Ruthann Fisher, who is the district’s school resource officer. Fisher was on site to investigate the flour “cookie prints” that were left on Media Specialist Shelly Huber’s back, as the rogue cookies played in the library.
The caper ended in Principal Tammy Endecott’s office where she had corralled those gingerbread guys and gals. The students helped Endecott count the cookies to ensure that all present before taking them back to the classroom.

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