Friday, November 20, 2015

16th Street vs Marie's Donuts

Robert is an 8 year old PACT student. Last week, mom wrote about using donuts as a jumping off point for a student interest led unit. This week, it is Robert's turn.

Today’s focus is on donuts. I'm studying donuts because I want to open up a donut shop. To learn about donuts,  I went to a whole lot of  donut shops. When I went to the donut shops I got one specific  donut, the maple bar. 

My  favorite donut is the  maple bar .I got a maple bar from two different places to  try  to see which one is better so I can make the best maple bar.  I did this  with 16th Street and Marie's donuts. 16th street donuts looks like a big donut and had a large amount of ......of .....;of FROSTING. I couldn't see under the frosting. Marie’s  had less frosting and was smaller. On, Marie’s I could see through the frosting and see the donut.The donut from 16th street donuts was 66 grams heavier than Marie’s. 

When I tasted 16th street it was more eggy  and yummier than Marie’s which had flavor in it ,but not as good as 16 street donuts. 16 street had way more maple taste.

I tink 16th street’s was best. I learned that you should add more egg and maple stuff to it. I will put LOTS OF FROSTING!!! and topping on donuts in my shop because more people will come and eat them. It would make my shop the most popular because of the best maple bar. Some day come to my shop called  No Nuts donuts  for a maple bar. 

You can find Robert's data here. Robert carefully took measurements of each donut and took a blind taste test. He also explored the attributes of yeast. His next step is to create his own perfect maple donut.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Experience in Student Interest Led Learning or Why I Let the Kid Eat Donuts EVERY Day this Week

Marie's Doughnuts in East Sac
I try to honor the entrepenuer in my kiddo.  Last week he announced he wants to own a donut shop.

I was desperate. We have somehow gotten into the battle of him not wanting to do his work and me threatening to end his life if he doesn't get it done. NOT why I started homeschooling. "Fine, you want donuts, I will give you donuts."

We started the week of work on Saturday at Donut Madness. I was eager to start this magical journey....he refused to get off of his ipad to engage. Entered Dad's lecture on how lucky he is that Mom is willing to take tons of time to create  a whole week of lessons around something he wanted to do. I sat in the car upset and secretly plotted to drop him off at the local elementary school on Monday.

Reason won out and I left my week of Donut Exploration  intact. The plan?

Throughout the week learn about donuts and the donut business from several sources PLUS introduce him to lots of academic and business vocabulary. This is in addition to his enrichment workshops at PACT , daily spelling, math flashcards, grammar work, and his daily online math class.

We are going to

  • read Can Money Be Made in the Doughnut Business
  • watch The History of Doughnuts
  • read The History of Doughnuts and answer the accompanying questions
  • use this chart to organize our sensory details about the doughnuts that we taste.
  • use Journeys Writer's Notebook to explore the parts of descriptive paragraphs and practice writing our own. 
  • read recipes of doughnuts
  • make grocery lists
  • bake doughnuts
  • research different doughnuts shops, read Yelp reviews, and navigate to a doughnut shop every day.
  • visit a different doughnut shop every day and make observations about taste, price, recipes, flavors, ect. After each visit, we record Robert's first reactions and analysis.
Yes, I said every day. Don't worry! He doesn't eat every doughnut that we buy. We purchase 1-2 (or four) and he takes a few bites. This is after a very nutritious breakfast of protein. I have to admit, I have taken a bite or two or three....but it always makes me sick. Robert has informed me that  it is because," You eat too many vegetables."

So far we have discussed overhead, why some older shops may have lower overhead than new shops, what a franchise is, types of doughnuts, sensory details, how Oak Park (where we live) became separated from the rest of Sacramento due to Highway 50 being built and the impact of that on the community, the relationship between doughnuts and war, and why some stores either do not allow people to use credit cards, charge people to use them or have minimum purchases.

He can also now navigate from our house to Broadway Doughnuts without the use of GPS. Not sure I should be bragging about that.

So, yeah. Lots of talking and videoing and eating. The verdict is still out on if this experience will reduce the complaining or result in something long term. For now, he is still planning on making and selling doughnuts. He has suggested selling them out front with lemonade. But this definately feels more like what I intended to do from the beginning.