A special education class has found that muffin baking builds math skills and community with the whole school. The tasty aroma of more than 200 freshly baked muffins made by the special education class every Tuesday morning and is enough to capture the attention of anyone passing by.
Every week, four students – Shannon Kenney, Marissa Lawrence, Cody Haupt and Cody Spears – are busy crafting the most popular Wednesday morning snack for students and staff at Coventry High.
“Being able to buy the muffins always makes my day better. I hope the special education kids enjoy what they do and they know how much we love the muffins,” Coventry junior Kelsey Garrett said. “(We) students honestly think it’s the coolest thing that they are willing to bake the muffins and sell them to us. We love them.”
Since the beginning of the program, the special education students have grown to love each other as a family. But baking the muffins every Tuesday and selling them on Wednesday has taught them important classroom lessons as well. The muffin-baking business has taught the students math concepts as well as social and decision-making skills.
“They have to count their money afterwards, see if they made the money they thought they would make with the inventory they have because they pick their inventory,” special education teacher Cassie Baldwin said. “Then, they chart by the month (and) by the week (so) they know which muffins sell the best.”
Baldwin is also watching as her students develop social skills and learn to interact with their peers.
“They’re going all over the school,” Baldwin said. “They’re asking people ‘Can I take your order,’ making change for them, and thanking them.”
Aside from the skills enhanced through making the muffins, the special education students have a great time baking them. Each student has one task they especially love doing.
Kenney enjoys mixing the muffin mix, Lawrence has fun placing the muffin liners, Haupt likes to do the measurements and Spears loves to crack the eggs.
“You know what’s fun about Marissa is that when she does the muffin liners, she color coats them and makes sure they look pretty in the pan,” Baldwin said. “The rest of us just dump them in there, but Marissa makes them look beautiful.”
Likewise, the Coventry students all have their favorite types of muffin that they enjoy each week.
“I always buy the chocolate chip muffins, they’re my favorite,” sophomore Sean Sabolesky said.
Every Friday the students either cook or go on an outing with the money gathered from their muffins sales. So far, they’ve gone to the Apple Orchard, the Hartville Flea Market and the Hartville Kitchen. Along with cooking an entire turkey Thanksgiving week, the students also did something special for Christmas.