Saturday, March 20, 2010

Periodic Table of Elements ~ Sourdough Bread Recipes

Chemistry~Periodic Table of Elements:

A perennial favorite around here is the Periodic Table of Elements work. I got two identical posters of the Periodic Table from a teacher store. They actually had to order the specific one I wanted because the one they had in stock was too complicated for what I needed. It's been years but I think each poster only cost about $2. I laminated them. Then I cut one up and left one intact. The cut up one went into a little tackle box in the "Chemistry Box" on the shelf (picture is below and you can see it in front of the box) and the poster either hangs low on the wall where they can take it down (and see it often) or is tucked by my little filing cabinet where they can easily pull it out. I chose the Trend poster T-38193 at the time. I really like the primary periodic table by Teresa Bondora (see link below).
To do the work they simply lay the intact poster on the floor and lay the cut up one on top. As they get more familiar with it they can move to having the poster visible and making the layout with the cards only on the floor. As they are ready they can make the layout on the floor without the poster visible and use the poster just for self-correction. They don't have to know all of the information to do this work. They are becoming familiar with the table and learning as they engage with the material over time. That's part of the beauty of Montessori works: you teach the child to use the materials and the materials teach the concept instead of just using materials to demonstrate a concept that you are relaying to the child. Brilliant! I think the Earth shifted on its axis when my brain made that paradigm shift :).

One of my favorite inspirations for this and other ideas is How to Teach Science []. Teresa is on fire about teaching chemistry to youngsters. Once I had a question and she gave me the most awesome atom/electron lesson over the phone! You can sign up for a newsletter which has teaching ideas for a specific element. She has an elements coloring book coming out soon.
I've wanted to make an Elements Box for years. The sad thing is that so far I only have carbon officially introduced and gathered. Here Teresa talks about an Elements Basket. I would probably use a tackle box.

Here are some Periodic Table links. Some are interactive:

What's Cookin'?
Sourdough Bread Recipes:

Here is my all-time favorite sourdough recipe that I used for about a year (?). I especially like it because you don't have to be specific about rising times and because it uses the bread machine. I would put it in the bread machine at breakfast and turn it on the dough cycle. At lunch I would grease the pan and punch it down in the pan. At dinner I would bake it. Easy! Of course, the thing about sourdough is that you have to keep your starter alive [I killed mine last fall when I attempted to work and haven't kept one since then]. Since it goes about 8 hours before baking the phytic acid is gone, it is more easily digested, and it's a true sourdough bread. This recipe slices easily for sandwiches. Oh, one thing though, the sponge (she calls it starter) that you make the night before of 1 C sourdough starter, 1 C water, and 1 C flour is actually enough for 2 loaves. I would do what I said above and then at lunch when I would empty the bread machine I would put the next loaf in (which I would put in the pan at dinner and bake at bedtime). If it's cold you can let it rise in the oven with the oven light on.

Here are some more recipes (some I haven't tried so I can't vouch for all of them):
[Nice and simple!]

[I *think* the one I tried from here was My Weekly Bread Routine - scroll down for it but the beginning is a very interesting read]

One thing that I miss since avoiding trans fats, soy, and high fructose corn syrup is English Muffins. I didn't have them often but sure enjoyed them when I did. Here are a few sourdough English Muffin recipes that I haven't tried yet. If you get to them before I do let me know how it goes.

What's Gardenin'?

We're having a freeze tonight. After 70F weather. Again. The peach tree has blossoms. Sigh. Last spring a late freeze messed up the local pear crop :(. I was really hoping to find a U-Pick place for pears and pit fruits this year. I don't know that I could be a farmer dependent upon the weather for my livelihood. I really respect you out there! [update: Dh helped me cover our little peach tree with a sheet and the small beds with a tarp. I found 3 frozen bees on the peach blossoms. Good thing we covered the plants. Not only did it freeze - it snowed! - and will freeze again tonight.]


  1. If there is going to be a freeze you might want to look into giving everything a good hose down..I know it sounds so weird, but thick ice will actually insulate the blossoms...another science thing that I SO do not understand but! I'm going to try your sourdough bread machine recipe. I've a do you get a starter/start a starter?


  2. Thank you so much for the great Science links and what awesome periodic table work!

  3. Honey,

    Thanks. I had heard about watering them, but not getting it all wet. I took off the sheet after the danger was past and it looks okay. This will (maybe) be the first year we're letting it produce.

    Regarding the sourdough starter... let me do a separate post for you soon. You can order but I've always just started from scratch.

  4. Gigi,

    Thanks so much for your comment! As I was checking the links for the post I got caught up in some of the games :).