“Guest Chef” activity used to surprise, educate, and inspire kindergarten students

Last week in Marilyn Reynolds’ Kindergarten class, a mystery was afoot. The students were reading clues to figure out who would be this week’s “Guest Chef”.

“Her favorite color is black,” Mrs. Reynolds read to the students from the whiteboard. “She likes crossfit, and she has a law degree from Lebanon. Who is it?”

“Guest chef is always a surprise,” Mrs. Reynolds said later. “They send me 3-4 clues about themselves that is written for students to help read, and then the students can make a ‘prediction’ about who they think is coming from the clues. We record all their predictions and review them when the guest chef comes.”

Last week’s guest chef was Lara Shamseddine’s mom, Sarah, along with her assistant Cameron Weaver’s mom, Crystal. The recipe of the day was homemade applesauce to go along with the theme of the week: APPLES!

“Mrs. Reynolds knew I owned an apple peeling machine, which had been my grandfather’s, and would make it really easy for the kids to help peel the apples,” said Crystal.

“I try to make education very interactive,” Mrs. Reynolds said. “The students help by peeling, chopping, stirring, measuring ingredients, helping read and follow directions, and of course the most important part — eating it all up!”

Mrs. Reynolds tries to cover every subject with the weekly theme. Even the homework is theme related. “For apples week, the students each brought in an apple which we graphed and measured (math), sunk, floated, and exploded and studied the life cycle (science), and studied the history of Johnny Appleseed (social science),” Mrs. Reynolds explained. “We also wrote about apples and our favorite kind and we researched where apples come from and how they get from the tree to the grocery store (reading and writing).”

All the work the students did studying apples led into the next theme which is garden and vegetables. “We are taking the apple seeds we counted and collected (math) and are planting them with other fruits and veggies in the Kindergarten garden outside of the PreK classroom.”

Since Mrs. Reynolds is also ASL certified, the students also learn sign language along the way.

“The parents sign up through an online sign up sheet,” said Mrs. Reynolds. “They are also able to be a mystery reader, a sign language buddy, and they are able to help out with a STEM activity.”

Earlier this month Ms. Grabowski, Assistant Principal of PreK-12th Grade, read Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes and taught the students how to bake cupcakes. She even sent them on a mystery hunt to find the missing cupcakes around campus. Later this month the students will be learning about arachnids and spiders and will even cook “edible spiders”. Later this year they will also be inviting their grandparents to a special stone soup cooking activity and meal. “It’s so much fun,” said Mrs. Reynolds, “the students really love it!”

Email Marilyn Reynolds at mreynolds@farragut.org if you would like to be a Guest Chef.