Bell Bites satisfies a technology craving

Thanks to a grant from the Chappaqua School Foundation that provided mobile production studios (Elizabeth co-wrote the grant and shares the equipment and professional development with Library Media Specialist, Sharon Wiggins, and Art teacher, Amanda McDonough) the students are experimenting with new technology and food preparation in an authentic way by incorporating collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving skills. 

Seventh-grade students start by brainstorming categories and choosing a specific type of food to create, from healthy desserts to vegan options. Students research recipes, making sure they fit nutritional guidelines and then create a grocery list, a shoot list, a cooking plan and storyboard their segments, which include a cooking tip.

Photo Slideshow

Student teams videotape their cooking and then edit their segments serving in the traditional roles of director, cameraperson, writer and producers. Just like a real TV show, the students confer with the executive producer to work through the various iterations of their segment. Finally, the completed 1-minute video segment airs on Bellevision so the entire school can learn how to create the delicious recipe. 

Bon Appetit!

Family and Consumer Sciences
The Family and Consumer Sciences curriculum is designed to prepare individuals to be competent, confident and caring in managing their personal, family and career lives. In grades 6-8, Chappaqua’s middle school students are also learning the practical life-skills needed to help them meet their present and future responsibilities as family members, consumers, and wage earners.

For example, during kitchen safety and food preparation units, students learn about nutrition, healthy cooking, food-borne illnesses, injury prevention, and reading food labels. Units on consumerism include instruction on how to manage money, how credit cards can create debt, how to write a check, how to balance a check register, and how to live within a budget. Finally, career exploration units help students to identify what career choices will fit their personality/interests/talents, how to write a cover letter and resume, and how to navigate the job application process by practicing interview techniques.

Kitchen Safety and Sanitation/Cooking Healthy Foods
Students will apply safe food handling procedures and practice basic food preparation techniques while preparing healthy foods in our kitchens. Sixth-grade recipes include healthy baked chicken nuggets with roasted garlic broccoli, cheese omelets with sweet potato fries and homemade salad dressing. Ginger chicken stir fry, pizza with sauce from scratch, and guacamole are some of the meals prepared by 7th graders.

  • Analyze and apply science principles while preparing food.
  • Develop cutting skills while applying knife safety
  • Prepare healthy meals and international foods. 

Students will analyze food labels and identify practical techniques for optimal daily nutrition.

  • Analyze food labels of commonly eaten food products: Which item is healthier?
  • Understand the functions of the six essential nutrients.
  • Examine the food plate and the importance of eating healthy fats and whole grains.
  • Analyze personal eating habits using nutrition analysis computer program.
  • Apply nutritional guidelines in revamping eating habits.
  • Analyze the sugar and salt content of processed foods and examine the health implications.
  • Students will conduct a detailed analysis of their personal eating habits using a nutrition computer program. Students will learn which vitamins, minerals, and foods are healthier and should be part of their daily diets.

Money Management
Students will make budgeting choices, learn the perils of credit card debt and examine the stock market. Students will act out advertising techniques and analyze the risks and benefits of various financial accounts.

  • Examine how banks, credit cards, and different financial accounts work.
  • Understand advertising techniques and identify tactics in all media.
  • Develop budgeting skills and learn to make educated decisions regarding purchase choices while role-playing with the average income in Westchester.
  • Write a check and balance a check register.

World of Work
Students will explore the interview process; they will experience a real-life interview with a school administrator, and complete a job application and compose a cover letter for a position in the class company. (Thanks to a generous grant from the Chappaqua School Foundation, Bell’s students are using new video cameras to self-critique their interviewing strengths and weaknesses.) Students will also investigate New York State teenage labor laws as part of this learning experience.

Students will develop team-building skills in a student-directed class company. Students will apply for a job, develop a product, and then create a marketing strategy around the product to target the entire middle school. Students will be appointed to management positions and experience typical business issues including an examination of business ethics and strategies for teamwork.

Students will examine the process and techniques for determining career options. They will understand how values, personality traits, and skills play a vital role when making career decisions. 8th graders use Career Cruising, a password-protected online database that provides students with unprecedented levels of differentiation in their career research. Students examine their interests and values and investigate jobs related to their favorite academic subjects.  Students also study educational options, scrutinize typical career trajectories within a chosen field, and delve into "A Day in the Life" scenarios. Student learning is personalized with meaningful feedback, and the database is a powerful resource for identifying and researching job options for future career development. 

Personal Relationships and Family Communication
Students will identify and apply problem-solving strategies to resolve conflicts, including role-playing assertiveness techniques for bullying prevention.