Tag Archives: Tali Biale

Baking Math Into Cakes

Today Grade 5 students had the opportunity to bake a cake and learn about fractions as part of the process.

Students began by completing various math problems in order to determine the quantity of an ingredient required for their specific cake.


Ingredient 1:

Bennett had 1 & 1/12 hours to play. He walked to the park for 1/2 of an hour. He played at the park for 1/3 of an hour. He ran to a friend’s house for 1/6 of an hour. What fraction of an hour does he have to play at his friend’s if it takes him 1/4 of an hour to walk home from his friend’s house?

The answer (to the above problem) provides the amount of vegetable oil needed for the cake.

Students completed a series of math questions, unlocking the ingredient amounts needed to make a successful cake.

The girls then answered questions related to their recipes, followed a procedure, while also making a couple of hypotheses about the project.

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Visiting Slide Ranch

Last week, Grade 4 students visited Slide Ranch as part of our Table to Farm Program.

Table-to-Farm field trips give Hamlin girls a chance to get their hands in the dirt and experience the process of growing food, tying in conversations about food justice, environmental sustainability, and the role of women, immigrants, and young farmers in the changing face of agriculture.

Highlights included:

-Milking a goat named Sweet Pea and tasting the milk

-Gathering leaves and plants, then feeding them to the goats

-Petting sheep

-Picking lettuce, chives, mint, and sorrel from the garden; then eating those plants in rice paper rolls

-Sifting compost to make potting soil

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Chef’s Table at Hamlin

Created by our Food Manager, Tali Biale, middle school students from The Hamlin School are participating in Chef’s Table, where 15 girls meet in the afternoon, using fresh ingredients to prepare delicious dishes.

Today, students prepared Vietnamese spring rolls using mint, cilantro, basil, beets, avocados, onions, tofu, carrots, peppers, and a variety of other ingredients and sauces.

Ms. Biale states:

The vision is to have girls create their own food, be part of the process, and build community around collaborative cooking.

A Hamlin student shared:

Being a teen in San Francisco you usually rely on take out food or your parents cooking. Food tastes better because you know exactly what went into it and how it was made. It was a fun learning experience with friends.

Keep an eye out for the next Chef’s Table taking place in February in the East Dining Room.


Table To Farm Food Program

On October 24, kindergarteners visited McClelland’s organic farm in Petaluma. The field trip was part of our new Table to Farm food program. Prior to visiting the farm, students were introduced to pumpkins and various types of squash by our food program manager, Tali Biale. In Ms. Biale’s lesson she had girls identify foods that contain pumpkins and squash, then coordinated with Acre Gourmet (our food provider) to have delicious dishes appear in the lunchroom derived from those autumnal favorites. As part of the field experience, students had the opportunity to: select a pumpkin to take home, pet baby cows, and witness the milking process.

After the lesson and field trip, one kindergartener said, I’m very interested in squash now.

Ms. Biale, a Bay Area native, has worked with food in a plethora of ways, including: in a kitchen, on a farm, at farmers’ markets, and in after school programs. She seeks to show students how food connects to all these places and more.

We learn about food in the classroom, then taste it in the lunchroom. Food is a thread that connects all of us; it is a way to talk about culture and identity, as well as nutrition and the environment.

-Tali Biale

As part of her thoughtful work, Ms. Biale asked middle school students to share ways that our food program relates to The Hamlin School creed. Below is one response.

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