Back to School Ideas, FACS Image Shake Up, For the Love of FACS, Techno FACS

How I Spent My Summer Vacation :-)

Before I get started writing about today’s topic, I want to share another resource I’ve discovered related to my last post, a lesson based on decorating a school locker.   Students can virtually design a dream locker on this site.  Very cool! 

Locker design

We had one of the busiest summers ever since starting Fresh FACS!  We traveled roughly 4000 miles to participate in one national FACS conference and four state FACS conferences!  Phew!  We literally wore the wheels off one of our suitcases!  No joke!  The wheels just fell apart!  All that travel was definitely hectic and tiring, but it was so much fun getting to meet and exchange ideas with so many of our FACS friends!  Once again, I came away firmly convinced that attending professional development conferences and workshops is one of the best ways to stay up to date on all things FACS and to maintain enthusiasm that is so important to success in the classroom. 

One of my favorite things to do at a conference (besides exhibiting and presenting workshops) is to visit the vendor booths in the exhibit hall.  There are so many great ideas and products out there that you might never know about without this experience.  Just in case your summer plans did not include a conference experience, I’d like to share a few of the products and resources I discovered during my summer travels.  FYI—We do not sell any of these products!  I just think they’re worth sharing with you!

Bake For Good from King Arthur Flour is a free program that teaches kids to make bread from scratch.  Kids use math, science, baking techniques, reading and following directions, time management and more through this great program.  King Arthur even supplies the ingredients for the activities!  Awesome!  Learn more at

bake for good

I love the recipes in this Team Nutrition cookbook available free from the USDA.  The recipes were all submitted by kids as part of the Recipes For Healthy Kids Competition.  You can request a free copy of print a copy from the website.  You can also download individual recipes from the cookbook. 

recipe for healthy kids cookbook

I mentioned this product on our Facebook page after attending the IFCSE conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  If your students are issued tablets and you’ve been looking for a creative way to use them in your classroom, you should definitely check this out.  So clever!


If you teach food safety, you’re probably already familiar with this website, but I encourage you to check it out again.  I picked up a packet of great new resources from Fight Bac!  Go to the website to request yours today!

fight bac

Sugar seems to have been labeled the nutritional boogey man of the moment by the news media so I was very interested in the materials I picked up from the Sugar Association.  You can request free materials from their website.  The movie Fed Up movie can also be viewed from the website.  Might be interesting to view the movie with your students and discuss the role of sugar in the American diet.


This post is getting a little long so I think I’ll wrap it up for today.  I’ll have more products and websites to share later this week.  Hope you find some of these resources useful!


FACS Image Shake Up, For the Love of FACS, Reading in the FACS Classroom, Save FACS

May Day!

daisy chain quote gold bgThis quote from comedian Steve Martin is one of my favorites!  In my opinion, it’s also a mandate for what FACS professionals need to do to improve and expand programs across the board.  This quote will always appear as part of the blog posts in this new series and I hope it will serve as a reminder of our need to constantly be striving to make our programs better and stronger.  I hope that the information in this post will be useful in helping you all do just that.

The month of May has been designated as:

National Barbecue Month

National Strawberry Month

National Egg Month 

National Beef Month

National Hamburger Month

National Salad Month

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

National Asparagus Month


A Brief History of the Hamburger

1763—First reference to a hamburger sausage is mad in English book Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy.

1885—Charlie Nagreen places a meatball between two slices of bread at a county fair in Wisconsin.

1916—Walter Anderson opens the first White Castle.

1948—The McDonalds brothers cut the entrees on their menu down to just burgers.

1952—George Stephen invents the Weber Kettle Gas Grill, key to the outdoor burger craze.

1984–"Where’s the beef?" Wildly successful Wendy’s advertising campaign.  The catch phrase was used in every venue from burgers to politics.  The commercial is a classic!

2006—The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas added a $6,000 burger to their menu.  The restaurant threw in an ultra-rare 24-year-old bottle of Bordeaux.

FACS By the Numbers

Since May is National Physical Fitness and Sport Month, let’s take a look at how far you’d need to walk to burn the calories in a few common fast food menu items.

Money Talks—What Items go on Sale in May?

credit cards

  • Cookware
  • Electronics
  • Mattresses
  • Televisions
  • Vacuum cleaners

Facs word of the day

Commis:  The apprentice at a food service operation following the kitchen brigade system.

I selected this word because it’s a term that I learned while reading Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous.  Thought if it was new to me, it might also be new to some of you.

I’d love some feedback on the new format!  Please let me know what you think!  FYI—Today was heavily skewed toward food and nutrition.  I plan to include all content areas in upcoming posts.

FACS Image Shake Up, For the Love of FACS

Fresh Start, New Direction

Our website image I’ve been posting to this blog for over five years and each entry has been written with great thought and consideration.  However, after several years of sharing, I think it’s time to try a new format.  Beginning tomorrow, I hope to make this blog a kind of news broadcast for the busy FACS professional who’s looking for information, ideas and resources to freshen up and revitalize their existing FACS program.  Here’s a sampling of the kind of information you can expect to find in upcoming posts:

  • Links to useful and cutting edge websites
  • Quick historical FACS facts.
  • FACS Word of the Day
  • Tables, charts and other quick references
  • FACS applicable apps
  • Quick quizzes
  • Quick-to-prepare recipes
  • Useful health and nutrition tips
  • FACS in the news mentions
  • Lesson suggestions
  • Holiday and special occasion ideas for your FACS classes

I am committed to making each post quick to read, useful and specifically geared to the needs and interests of FACS teachers.  I hope you’ll follow along as we chart a new direction together.