Michael's Birthday Committee
This week, Luke, Remy, and Saul have been spending time each day preparing for Michael's birthday celebration.
Michael requested chocolate chip pancakes as his special birthday meal.
I love them so much because them sweet. - Michael
Approaching the committee work first began primarily as a solitary process.
Each child initially chose their own cookbook to look through independently in search of pancake recipes and each child also chose to create their own pancake representation to be used as a part of Michael's table setting decor.
Even when working independently, children continued to demonstrate selfless and empathetic qualities while making sure that celebrating Michael remained as the intention of their work.
It was quickly noted that perhaps working independently would not produce the best results for the committee. Finding recipes was a bit challenging to do alone, but as Remy and Luke began looking through one book together they quickly found a banana pancake recipe that they believed could work for us.
Remy: I found one!
Sam: Oh, great. This one says it’s for banana pancakes. What type of pancakes did Michael say he likes?
Luke: Chocolate pancakes.
Remy: Chocolate chips.
Sam: Do you think this recipe would work for Michael’s pancakes?
Remy: Yes, we just skip the bananas. At the banana part we just put chocolate chips, right?
Luke: Yeah. That's good.
With the recipe chosen and our "fake" pancake decorations started, the committee was then ready to move onto creating a grocery list with all the ingredients we would need to make our pancake recipe.
Throughout this part of the committee process, it was again clearly observed that collaboration and teamwork proved to not only be helpful, but at times necessary in order to achieve the goals the children set for themselves.
Sam: Could you help me make a grocery list so that I remember what we need from the store?
Remy: By writing it and asking you what letters we need?
Sam: Is there a way you could make a list without writing letters?
Remy: It’s so easy for me. I could help them. (*referring to helping Saul and Luke)
Luke: I like to draw.
Saul: I like to draw too!
Sam: I could take your drawings and your words to the grocery store with me so that I have a list for the ingredients.
Remy: Yeah because sometimes drawings aren't always the same as the things. So you need to write for a grownup to read. And this is more like a kid conversation. (*referring to drawings)
Then grownups can know what they are. (*grownups read written words)
Teamwork, Collaboration, Synergy
Exploring together, learning from one another, and having many opportunities to support each other is one of the great joys of being involved in small group project work such as a birthday committee experience.
Throughout the week, "teamwork" continued to be in the forefront of the committee's thought processes.
Luke, Remy, and Saul search the pantry together to find both ingredients and equipment required for the pancake recipe.
Sam: I know yesterday we had some friends suggest some toppings we might want to include with our pancakes. Can you remember any of their ideas?
Remy: Michael wanted rainbow.
Saul: He wanted all the different colors.
Remy: But we need to cook them at different times so they don’t turn brown. (*we can’t mix all the colors together)
Sam: Can you remember any other topping suggestions?
Luke: Whip cream
Sam: I remember Michael suggested something sticky and sweet that he likes on his pancakes, but it wasn’t syrup.
Luke: Honey. You need to get bee honey.
Sam: Someone else did suggest banana and strawberries. Should we have those too?
Remy: Wilder said banana. Because people choose that. Like Michael. But what if the birthday committee doesn’t choose it? That might get sad for Wilder. And he’s also my friend. Ugh, I just wanna go hug him so tight.
Sam: It sounds like Remy is saying that we should think about other people when we make our choices.
Remy: I can draw whipped cream. I need a black piece of paper and I’ll go get a white pencil. Sometimes there’s a bottle you can squirt in your mouth and it’s really good. It’s like a dessert.
Saul: I think that Remy should help because she really likes cutting.
Remy: Yes! That’s my favorite thing to do
Saul: Remy, I really like your cutting.
Remy: Guys, can I help? We’re a team. We need to help each other.
In addition to the many cognitive skills involved with cooking, experiencing this together also requires strong communication and collaboration between the children involved as well as provides an excellent opportunity to strengthen our relationships with each other.
Cooking together also means that we get to taste test our food!
It's really good! - Luke
Yeah, really good! - Remy
They taste like chocolate. - Saully
Now, we patiently wait until tomorrow to celebrate our friend Michael!
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