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  • Writer's pictureRachel Terlop

Shake, Shake, Shake

Have you ever tried to churn butter? Have you ever tried to shake a jar of whipping cream for 20 minutes? Have you ever orchestrated a class of 20+ eight year olds shaking glass mason jars for 20 minutes while making it relevant to the book of the week, Ma Dear's Aprons by Patricia McKissack? Today was the day all of these questions had the same answer - YES!

Our unit, Technology - Old vs. New, is in full swing and we are looking at different technological advances that have occurred in the home. I cannot imagine growing up without an air conditioner, a washing machine, or a hair dryer - but this week, we are going to roll up our sleeves and try some things out the hard way.

Ma Dear's Aprons by Patricia McKissack is a lovely story about a little boy, David Earl, who helps his mother do weekly chores. Now, Ma Dear has a variety of aprons - one for each day of the week, and each one more colorful than the next. Each colorful apron has a specific day and purpose, and David Earl always knows what is coming based on what Ma Dear is wearing.

On Saturday, Ma Dear bakes pies. Now, we can't bake pies in class, but we can make one of the ingredients. BUTTER!

1. Get some heavy whipping cream

2. Put it in a mason jar

3. Add salt (if you'd like)

4. Shake for 20 minutes

5. Enjoy!

We started shaking in our seats to music, ramped it up to a full on dance party on the carpet, and ended by slathering homemade butter on some delicious Wonder Bread. Every five minutes, we stopped to check in on our butter and check to see how it was progressing. Taking a break every five minutes kept us focused on the purpose of our work, and allowed us to document the process of transforming whipping cream into butter!

Literally, the best part of this lesson was at the end, as we are putting our jars of butter into the refrigerator, one of my students comes running and was like, "CAN WE DO STUFF LIKE THIS MORE OFTEN?!" and then orchestrated the class in singing the 'Thank You' song that I taught them in first grade.

People, I got a thank you, on a Monday. #bestdayever

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