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Cooking with Ruby at UMC Fall Conference

| Cathy Bachman |

Our own Ruby Chouldjian presented Cooking in the Montessori Classroom at the UMC Fall Conference this past weekend. Sharing her love of cooking, Ruby set up multiple stations to engage her audience: pancake, smoothie, and slicing were a few of the stations.

Practical Life: Practical Life is one of the areas in a Montessori classroom. The works are applicable for all ages, even infants, and vary depending on what the child can do at each stage of development. The work can start with something as simple as pulling up pants or washing hands and can as complicated as baking a dessert, or even planning for a Montessori Market in the elementary or middle school years. These exciting everyday tasks that are visibly part of the human world are empowering for students to master.

Food Preparation: Food preparation and cooking are fun works/activities in a Montessori environment. The Guide can choose to create group or individualized food stations. The children may choose to work on their own or invite a friend to work with.  Examples of works: transferring with tools, setting up, grading, pressing, washing, spreading, and slicing.

Benefits of food preparation.The food preparation tasks, which increase in complexity as a child ages, help children practice motor skills, such as pouring, twisting, and squeezing as well as help develop their pincer grip, coordination, and finger and hand strength.

Benefits of cooking with children:  Lessons, problem solving, independence, order, sequence, coordination, cognitive development, creativity, cultural studies, science, math, language, sensorial, healthy eating habits, grace, and courtesy. It also allows children the opportunity to socialize, communicate, and most of all have fun!