Every year during the week of Thanksgiving the first grade team does special rotations. Teachers team up to do a specific activity and classes rotate through. This year we all felt too overwhelmed and too spread out around the school for it.
My rotation since moving to first grade has been making butter. I decided on Monday that I couldn't just skip it, I wanted to have my kids make butter. I invited one other teacher and her class to join us and it was wonderful.
It was crowded with about 40 kids in the room but they were fascinated. We talked about where we get butter when we want it and how that is different from the past. Then I poured the heavy whipping cream into the bottle and asked about how it is different from butter. This led us to a discussion about cream being a liquid and butter being a solid (thus including a social studies standard of past/present and a science standard about states of matter in just a few minutes).
We passed the bottle around so that everyone got a chance to shake it. The whole group counted by 5s to 100 as each kid shook the bottle. Thereby including math in our lesson.
There is simply nothing better than the smiles on all these faces. We also worked together to write the instructions for making butter (writing instructions being a type of writing we do in first grade) and created a VoiceThread about our experience.
The kids all said, "Ewwww" when they saw the butter but loved it when they tasted it. They even said, "Ewww" after tasting it when they saw it. They never cease to amaze and amuse me.