Functional Math - Making Pancakes

I made pancakes last week with four of my math students. We read the directions off a Bisquik box (all we needed to add was water). We kept referring back to the directions in order to promote independence instead of staff telling them what to do. (I love picture recipes as much as the next special education teacher, really, I promise. BUT with these more simple recipe and my higher level students, I want them to learn to read the recipe on the box since they are capable and that's what they will have with them in the real world.)
There are so many skills to teach and practice in a simple(ish) task of making pancakes. That's why I love working with my students on activities like this, because I actually make them do everything! It's fun to see what they do and sometimes surprising to see what they do not think to do.

Using the stove – the directions said to turn to medium-low, so we found high, medium, low, and put the knob in the middle of the "m" and the "l". We talked about basic pan safety, keeping the handle in. We also checked if it was hot by sprinkling water on to see if it would sizzle. We also discussed the difference between a griddle, which gets plugged in, and a skillet, which goes on the stove. We also discussed (and practiced) TURNING IT OFF when we were done.

Making the batter – finding the right cups that we needed (many students first went to the measuring spoons – so we reviewed the difference between those), and we also talked about being able to use a 1/3 cup to measuring 2/3 (working on those adding fractions skills!), measuring those cups to the TOP, and also the difference between a spatula and a wire whisk

Cooking the pancakes - We used a ¼ cup to pour the pancakes so they would all be about the same size. We watched the pancakes for bubbles and then worked on getting the spatula under the pancake and using our wrist to flip (very tricky - a lot of hand-over-hand was needed here at first). We couldn’t see bubbles on the other side, so we needed to wait and flip to check. We talked about them being done when they are brown. And they they could eat their pancakes (after finding the right utensils of course!)

So, have you thought of all these skills that are including in making pancakes? I know I sure didn't but loved seeing a lot of these teachable moments come up. What's your favorite recipe to make with students?

US History: Me on the Map Project

I am teaching United States History this year which I am super excited about. I have been searching everywhere for materials and have been really busy creating/finding materials!

I started out the year with a "Me on the Map" project. I downloaded the circles from here and we did one circle a day. We talked about how our planet is earth, our contintent is North America, our country is the USA, all the way down to each student's address!
 Me on the Map project Me on the Map Circles Me on the Map - my country 
I really enjoyed this activity because 1) it is a great visual representation of the different "levels" of where we live and 2) the process is very similar so toward the end, my students were getting pretty independent in knowing to cut out the circle and paste the items on - and independence is huge!

I used many short YouTube videos when talking about each place that we live - just search the name and you'll find something on the first page! When we got to our cities and streets I used Google Maps - and the students got SO excited as they recognized places such as our school, the community pool, etc. This is also cool because you can zoom in and out to really show the difference between state and street, for example.

Welcome to Breezy Special Ed!

Welcome to my NEW special education blog, Breezy Special Ed!
I have transferred all my special education posts from Breezy Pink Daisies and am SO excited to be sharing my special education lessons and ideas from my classroom on this page now! :)

Grab my button on my sidebar ----->

I would love it if you could follow me on GFC, by email, or even on facebook! (Find the options to follow by GFC and email on my sidebar)

And please share any other great special ed blogs you know (or if you have one) so I can follow that too!

Special Education: Work Skills Schedule

So this year I am teaching a work skills class with 9 students and 7 adults, and I also have a health class of 3 students and 2 adults running at the same time. It can get a little crazy. My work schedule helps a lot!

Students (and adults) know to check the schedule (by finding their picture) to see what their jobs are for the day, and they can get started without needing too much assistance from me. O, the wonderful power of Velcro and laminating. And then every 2 weeks or so I change up everyone's jobs - or sometimes, as things change, daily.

And, as you can see, I have added a few more jobs that I need to create new boardmaker pictures for, but for now, sticky notes are working just fine!

If you have any questions about some of the jobs we do, let me know - I love to share ideas! Other special education teachers out there, what kinds of jobs do you have your students do?
(C) Brie Holtrop- Breezy Special Ed. Powered by Blogger.
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