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    Sunday, January 8, 2023

    Cooking in the Special Education Classroom

    Each week in my special education classroom we do cooking and craft extension activities related to our thematic unit. We have had a lot of fun over the years with all of our different projects!

    Each week, we use a visual recipe for students to follow along. On the front, are icons for all of the ingredients and supplies. On the back, are picture-supported directions for each step of the recipe. 

    Are you interested in implementing some thematic cooking activities in your classroom? My Visual Recipes for the Entire Year resource has 50 different visual recipes that can be printed and ready to go each week! 

    My paraprofessionals are in charge of planning our thematic cooking and craft activities each week. This gives me an awesome opportunity to be on "the other side of the table" assisting students and seeing how they all do with group activities without the stress of managing the group as a whole. I love switching it up like this and giving my paras something special that they enjoy coordinating each week. 

    Each week I choose students to be the Head Chef and Head Artist who will assist my paras during the group. These two jobs are hands-down the class favorites. I think it is basically because they get to do so many of the "teacher" jobs (passing out supplies, modeling the activity, calling on students) and sit in the coveted "teacher" chair at the kidney table.

    Each Monday, we go over who gets to do the head jobs. I like talking about it on Monday because it give the kids something to look forward to and for those kids that need the extra behavior motivation it helps also. I place the students' names under these cute signs (click the link below the picture to print!)

    Head Jobs Signs

    To make the job even more special I made these adorable aprons for the kids to wear. They love them! I even had a little guy that didn't really understand that the jobs were assigned each week and for a couple weeks after his turn he went over to the apron at cooking time and tried to put it on! Thankfully, he was a great sport. 

    These aprons were super easy to make and very affordable. I bought two children's aprons at Michael's and some puffy paint at Walmart. First, I drew the pictures using pencil. I was able to do it free hand but you could look at clip art images if you needed some inspiration! Then, I filled in the pencil drawings with puffy paint (I used small paint brushes to spread). After the paint dried, I used a black Sharpie to draw the outlines. Finally, I added a few details with the puffy paint. 

    I made these last year and they had to be washed a lot this year. I was impressed with how well they held up! At the end of the year, I just retouched a few of the areas with puffy paint. The lettering seemed to be peeling the most. I think this is partially from little fingers picking at it :). 

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