Little Agile Bakers

Vector Art by Vecteezy!

I love to cook with my daughter.
And, it is Christmas season, which means Santa needed some cookies.

Have you ever cooked with your young kids?
It is lots of fun, but….it often takes more time and a more mess. Christmas is a busy time for my family, every minute counts. So, I was hoping to have more fun in less time with less mess.

So, I thought sprinkling a little Agile into our Christmas cookies might do the trick. We invited my daughter’s friend over to increase the fun….

Step 1: Plan The What

We wrote our bigger goals and made them visible on the Learning Canvas.  In Agile,  we “Start with the End in Mind”, so, our goals were:

1. Prep
2. Make
3. Eat
4. Clean up

Step 2: Plan The How

Reading a whole recipe can be overwhelming and hard to keep track of.  So I wrote each small step of the recipe on a sticky note. This clarity enables them to self-organize their own baking.
It also makes coordination super easy, since, my daughter and her friend could pull the next task on their own whenever they were ready. With Agile, you can actually can have lots of cooks in the kitchen!

The Chocolate Cookie Plan

Step 3: The Doing

I showed my little elves how to use the Learning Canvas. I said something like this…
“Take the top sticky note under Tasks and move it to Doing. This way we can keep track of what is left to do easily. We do one thing at a time. You do not need to ask permission,  just see what is next and start doing it.”.  You see, Agile Bakers pull their work, it is not pushed.

Little Agile Bakers pulling Tasks.

This was insanely wonderful. They just started pulling and baking. I was there to help them with measuring and getting them the right tools. It was also my job to clean up when they were done with a utensil. They flew through the tasks like Santa’s reindeers delivering presents.

Step 4: Adapting….

And, of course we did not think of everything, even with a recipe laid out for us. I did have to step in to show them how to space out the cookie dough on the baking sheet. The teacher steps back for sure, but, knows when to step back in.

In the middle of baking, they asked if they could have a sleep over. After talking with the other parents, we said yes. They then added to their goals to include their sleepover.

Sleep Over Goals

Step 5: Review and Reflect

Well, the cookies were perfect! It was not stressful, it was fun, and it was less mess and fuss. Most importantly, the girls felt empowered and learned more about baking than if I was just telling them what to do the whole time. I asked them what they thought of baking this way. Here is a video interview with our little agile bakers. 
I learned how important it is for them to write their own goals and tasks the way they want. I wrote most of them, but, noticed how much fun and ownership they had when they wrote their own. I’ll need to let go a little more next time, and get them involved in the beginning.
Oh, the cool thing is we can re-use the sticky notes we made next we bake some chocolate chip cookies!
I hope your holidays were as wonderful as ours. 
Happy Holidays!
John Miller | Agile Classrooms

1 Comment

  1. Mike Cohn on 12/29/2015 at 5:53 am


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