Using Hands-On Math and Reading Skills to Bake for Charity

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Students in New Hampshire had a great opportunity to practice using hands-on math and reading skills to bake for charity.  They participated in the King Arthur  Bread Baking Program, and baked loaves of bread to share with a community action group and their families.

“We thought the program would be a positive activity for our school on several levels,” said sixth-grade teacher Kelli Maynard. “The program’s motto — ‘Learn, Bake, Share’ — really says it all. There is a hands-on curriculum connection since students use math and reading skills to follow the recipes.

“We hoped that families would be able take some time out of their busy schedules to enjoy baking together, and perhaps the older students would gain some independence in the kitchen. The sharing aspect encouraged kids to help others in the community.”

Hands-On Math and Reading Skills

The entire student body participated in the project in some way. Students in kindergarten through third grade made decorative labels for the bread; fourth- through seventh-grade students baked bread; and eighth-grade students brought in two cans of soup to pair with the bread.

Students, even those who weren’t too keen on the idea of the project, enjoyed baking.

Using Hands-On Math and Reading Skills to Bake for Charity

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“At the beginning, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it,” said seventh-grade student Owen Barry, who baked a braided white loaf with his mother. “I’m not a real great cook. But as the assembly went on, it looked really interesting. It was actually a lot of fun.”

Students learned how to measure, proof yeast and kneed dough though Driscoll’s demonstration. Two students were invited to assist her with the demonstration. In addition to braided loaf and a baguette. 

Ward made pizza dough and Coleman made cinnamon rolls.After the demonstration, students were sent home with the materials to bake two loaves of bread. They were instructed to bake one braided loaf or baguette for Rockingham Community Action, and the other could be for their families.

“I made a braided loaf for school, and cinnamon rolls for my family, with my dad,” said fourth-grade student Jenna Mayes. “The cinnamon rolls are all gone, they were delicious.”

Learn, Bake, Share

Another student said she was surprised at the time commitment to make homemade bread.

“I was excited about making it, but it took a lot of time, about 3 ½ hours,” said sixth-grade student Caroline Brown, who made a braided loaf and cinnamon rolls with her father. “Braiding it was complicated at first, but fun after I got the hang of it.”

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Using Hands-On Math and Reading Skills to Bake for Charity

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