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Friday, October 31, 2014

Pumpkin Day

I look forward to this day every year.  I do this on Halloween. It keeps the children engaged on what otherwise could be an excitement-distraction kind of day.    

We start our Pumpkin Day (Oct. 31st) activities with the story Too Many Pumpkins, by Linda White.  Discussion and activity pages follow.  The final project for the story is making 3-d pumpkins that we display altogether like it is at the end of the story.

Our 3-D pumpkins start out as 3 identical pieces -- 2 orange and one green.  I have a parent cut them out, keep them together as a trio, and then make a fold in the middle. It helps if the bottom is flat so the children know which side is up/down. 

It can be a little tricky putting them together, so I have some adult helping hands for a few.

Our pumpkin activities continue with real pumpkins!  I have 5 groups with an adult leader for each group.  Each group has their own pumpkin.  We estimate everything, then count the lines, measure the height and diameter, weigh on a scale, cut open and scoop (ooohy, gooey) seeds.  

This year I added a new step --figuring out the weight using tens and ones.  First we weighed the pumpkin and 'holder' together,  made that number with 10 rods and units, then weighed the 'holder' without the pumpkin, and finally subtracted to get our pumpkin weight.  I wasn't sure how it would go, but we had worked with place value and Smart Tens a lot, and they did a great job figuring it out!

                                                                     Scooping seeds.....some loved it....others, 'Oooooh, yuck!"

                                                                         We counted and counted and counted....putting our seeds in groups of ten.   Four of our pumpkins averaged 450 seeds.  Our total for 5 pumpkins was 2,700 !    A parent took them home and roasted them for a yummy treat the next day.

Our final step was deciding how to carve the face.  It was a cooperative decision for each group. 

Then of course we took pictures.  I wish I could post the pictures of my First Grade cuties with their pumpkins, but you'll have to take my word for it!
Smile......say 'Seeds!

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