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Class is rolling in the dough

Sixth-graders bake cinnamon rolls, learn practical skills

Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2005

 

  Chad Hampton and Caty Reid, sixth-graders at Nikiski North Star Elementary, work together to make cinnamon rolls for their school fund raiser. The students are trying to raise money so they can go on a science trip across the bay to learn about marine biology. Photo by Sara Barnes

Chad Hampton and Caty Reid, sixth-graders at Nikiski North Star Elementary, work together to make cinnamon rolls for their school fund raiser. The students are trying to raise money so they can go on a science trip across the bay to learn about marine biology.

Photo by Sara Barnes

Fresh cinnamon rolls, made from scratch, would be good on any cold morning. To be made by students at Nikiski North Star Elementary makes it even better.

Sixth-grade teacher Sherry Matson has her room looking like a real cinnamon roll factory.

Each year, the students make cinnamon rolls as a fund-raising project for field trips. This year the funds are being used for a science field trip across the inlet to learn more about marine biology.

The students worked on socialization, math, writing, research and work skills. The skills were used in measuring the ingredients, division of the dough, calculating how many to make and how much they will charge. All of these skills will come in handy for the future and at the moment will help the students to work together, Matson said.

The idea of cinnamon rolls came to Matson over time, after she tried other food items. Over the years, cinnamon rolls stuck. Not only were they good, but also after making them the first time, there was a customer demand.

"We have more volunteers, the community has become more involved, and even Superintendent Donna Peterson buys at least two dozen," said Principal Lori Manion.

The classroom, as you enter, is set up to make the rolls. The students are in groups of three to six. Each group of three has a batch going and is assigned two jobs. The jobs include a gofer — the only one allowed to go from table to table and get the ingredients; the reader, who reads the recipe and makes sure the ingredients are put in right; the measurement specialist, who helps put in the

correctly measured ingredients; the health inspector, who makes sure their other members wash their hands and are not putting hands or things where they were not supposed to; employee relations makes sure group members are working; and quality control makes sure the final product is worth selling.

Matson has the students follow the guidelines set by the USDA, which are found in any bakery. The goal is for the students to learn the skills they will use from now on. The other goal, after three full days of making and baking, is to come out with at least 80 dozen cinnamon rolls.

"I like eating the first one," said student Karissa Godfrey.

"Putting in the eggs and mixing all the other ingredients are my favorite things to do," said student Tommy Cadle.

Zachariah Clark added, "I like to roll out the dough."

The students worked together, enjoyed making the rolls and had fun, they said.

"I think it's great that they're practicing practical life skills," said volunteer Robin Bennett. "I also like that they're learning to cook."



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