Homeschooling Week 1 aka VEGAN WAFFLES!

Posted on August 26, 2013

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2013-08-25 08.42.40The first thing I was told I need to do to start homeschooling is to “unschool”.  To get out of the idea that lessons and learning have to be in a sterile environment with rote memorization of facts.  This seems to be the most fun thing about homeschooling so far, and it’s interesting finding ways to connect our every day actions to standard lesson plans, the scientific method, the engineering process, and “common core” curriculum.  That is what we did last week working to discover the perfect vegan waffle.  We read books and learned more about reading maps, but this is the most interesting thing we did, so I will let you in on our process.

We were presented with this problem.  Olu & Dela love their granddad’s waffles, he makes them at least once a week when we are at his house on Sunday mornings.  Unfortunately the boys eczema and other physical problems are exacerbated by dairy. Over the summer they completely cut dairy from their diet (for the millionth and final time) and it cleared up their skin easily.  So, how do we enjoy waffles, while maintaining that diet?  We decided to experiment with different vegan waffle recipes and see what changes and variations we can make.  We found this recipe online.

Best Vegan Waffles Ever

Makes about 8 waffles

Allergy note: contains wheat ingredients

IMG_20130821_100801.6083 cups flour

2 Tbs baking powder

1-2 Tbs sugar (optional)

1/2 tsp. salt

3 cups rice milk

1/3 cup orange juice

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

cooking spray or cooking oil

Preheat waffle maker (if you’re using a Waring Pro, set it between 4 or 5).

In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients until smooth. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray or lightly brush with oil. Pour batter onto waffle iron and cook until golden brown. Serve plain or garnish with fresh fruit and syrup.

Via  http://artofdessert.blogspot.com/2012/12/best-vegan-waffles-ever.html

IMG_20130820_111059.259Day 1

we followed the recipe to the T, and really enjoyed the waffles.  We carefully took notes of everything we noticed, and checked off each item on the list to make sure we had them, then crossed them off once we used them.  The idea being that this lesson will be the foundation for using and understanding all future informational text.  This falls in line with Common Core standard RI SC, 2:

Essential Skills and Knowledge

  • Apply appropriate strategies before reading, viewing, or listening to increasingly complex informational text (a wide variety including expository and narrative structures and types e.g. trade books, magazines, multimedia resources, functional texts such as recipes and labels related to personal interests and reflecting a wide variety of cultures):
    • Access prior knowledge and experiences
    • Make predictions or ask questions
    • Set a purpose for reading and identify type of text

We let other members of the family try the waffles and asked them to score them from 1 to 10 with 10 being the best waffles in the universe.  We will continue to use that scoring idea for each new item to make, and will eventually start coming up with average scores (I just didn’t want to overload them on this first go around).  We had a problem with the waffles sticking to the waffle iron, using a non stick spray just once evidently is not often enough to ensure that all the waffles will slide out easily, we have decided to try it differently on day two.  Dela complained that the taste of orange juice was too prevalent in this batter so we decided to replace the 1/3 cup of orange juice with just more rice milk for day two.  This falls right in line with Standard 1.0 for science for 2nd graders, who at this stage you want to just be able to make cogent observations about the world around them, and the experiences they have creating things.

IMG_20130821_094250.083Day 2

We got off to what could have been a rough start, but instead ended up being a better learning experience than what I could have planned initially.  After laying out all the measuring cups and spoons, we didn’t realize that the ones we needed to use hadn’t been cleaned since we used them the day before, so we were stuck with 1/3 and ¼ measurements when our recipe called for whole ones.  The boys also noted that the recipe called for three cups of rice milk and our largest measuring cup only went to 2 cups.  It’s interesting what math and measuring skills we take for granted as adults and don’t realize that at one point we had to learn them.  At first they wanted to estimate how far past the 2 cup line 3 cups would be, but after a few minutes (where I bit my tongue repeatedly when I could have sold the problem for them) they figured out on their own that they can put in the full two cups, then measure one cup and add that.

3.NF.1

IMG_20130822_093115.999Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a frationa/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.

Essential skills and knowledge

  • Knowledge of the relationship between the number of equal shares and the size of the share (1.G.3)
  • Knowledge of equal shares of circles and rectangles divided into or partitioned into halves, thirds and fourths (2.G.3.)

IMG_20130821_100452.613The enjoyed the flavor of these the most, but we didn’t really like the color and consistency we got from using the non-stick spray between each waffle.  We decided to try apple juice instead of orange juice on the next batch, and I suggested the strategy of letting the cooking spray  hit in the griddle for a full minute before we added the waffles.

Day 3

I took what was a mishape on day two and intentionally did not have all the right measuring cups.  After realizing quickly that fractions isn’t a skill they learned in 1st grade (and now realizing that it’s not one they are required to know till 3rd) I made some make shift manipulative deviced to help them grasp the concept.

NF (Number & Operations Fractions)

3.NF.1

Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a frationa/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.

IMG_20130823_085458.873Essential skills and knowledge

  • Knowledge of the relationship between the number of equal shares and the size of the share (1.G.3)
  • Knowledge of equal shares of circles and rectangles divided into or partitioned into halves, thirds and fourths (2.G.3.)

3.NF.3

Explain equivalence of fractions in special cases and compare fractions by reasoning about their size

Essential skills and knowledge

  • Ability to use concrete manipulatives and visual models to explain reasoning about fractions

Simple pieces of paper with “One Teaspoon” written across the bottom, then folded and in fourths and labeled “1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4” respectively.  This worked really well, especially when I had to explain the tough concept of 1/3 being bigger than 1/4.  I love that we are not tied to a particular curriculum, and can jump around learning different skills as they are applicable to a real world problem.  The boys enjoyed this as well.  We used apple juice in this recipe, and the batter did not cook to a great consistency like it did with the OJ or when it was just rice milk.  We decide that they taste great, but were too much of a hastle scratching them off the waffle iron.  We decide to go back to just rice milk for day 4.

Day 4

This is the day I finally decide to research the Common Core for how we are incorporating those reading and math concepts.  The want to learn and analyze things comes natural to 7 year olds, so just putting the recipe in front of them and giving them the task fulfilled many of the reading common core goals

RI1

Ask and answer such questionsas who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key ideas in a text.

(SC, 2)

  • Apply appropriate strategies to monitor understanding during reading, viewing, or listening to IMG_20130820_105416.265informational text
    • Use text features and graphic aids to facilitate understanding
    • Recall and discuss what is understood (see CCSS 2 SL.1.b.)
    • Identify and question what did not make sense
    • Make confirm and/or modify predictions
    • Periodically paraphrase and summarize
    • Make connections
    • Visualize
    • Demonstrate understanding orally or in writing after reading, viewing, or listening to a text
      • Engage in conversations about details in the text (see ccss 2sl1.)
      • Describe what is directly stated in the text
      • Draw inferences and conclusions from the text
      • Confirm predictions using details from the text
      • Summarize the text
      • Identify what did no make sense
      • Make connections
      • Generate appropriate questions to meet the information need (MD SLM 2-3 3B1.a)
      • Participate actively and appropriately in duscussions about informational text (CCSS2 SL1, 2, 3)
      • Respond orally and in written form to speifi questions using key details in the text (See CSS 2 SL3: CCSS 2 W8(
      • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English when speaking and writing (See CCSS 1 L1, 2)

IMG_20130822_101807.884Because we ran out of non stick spray, the shape of the waffles were a disaster, but the flavor was great, so we settled on what our final recipe would be.  We also accidentally poured in way more than a tsp of vanilla extract, but no one seemed to notice or care about the change in taste.  For the last day of this process, Sunday, I decided to just get out all the ingredients and then leave the kitchen to see what would happen.  The boys did a great job, exhibiting teamwork and an understanding of all the measuring cups and spoons.  I had fun teaching this, it didn’t even really feel like a lesson.  For those wondering, here is the final recipe with only one small  change from the original.

Olu & Dela’s Waffles

3 cups flour

2 Tbs baking powder

1-2 Tbs sugar (optional)

1/2 tsp. salt

3 1/3 cups rice milkIMG_20130820_104826.293

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

cooking spray or cooking oil

Preheat waffle maker (if you’re using a Waring Pro, set it between 4 or 5).

In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients until smooth. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray or lightly brush with oil. Pour batter onto waffle iron and cook until golden brown. Serve plain or garnish with fresh fruit and syrup.

Common Core science requirements for elementary school students are intentionally kind of vague.  Everything young kids do is science learning and it was interesting picking out all the different ways we were scientists in this process. We are looking forward to doing this again and again.  This week it’s pancakes!