Don’t Fear the Pumpkins Are Here!
When pumpkin season rolls around a classroom is starting to settle into the familiar rhythm of the academic calendar. Students, parents, and staff have gotten to know each other and the task of learning can begin in earnest.
What better way to celebrate than having a Great Pumpkin Challenge. Second grade and our transitional kindergarten invited parents and lots of innocent pumpkins to find an answer to one of life’s great mysteries: how many seeds are in a pumpkin?
Second grade is learning how to capture small moments by using sensory details in their writing. Carving pumpkins and counting seeds is a perfect vehicle to explore our senses. The kids helped scrape, cut, and tear out the pumpkin guts. They noted how squishy and slimy the inside of a pumpkin can be. The stem turned out to be rather prickly. We better not describe the smell, some of the pumpkins got sick. Always wash your hands before carving!
How do you count pumpkin seeds? Do you group the seeds by 1s, 2s, 5s, or 10s? There is no wrong way to count! Students explored and shared their mathematical thinking while having fun. You might have heard about cognitively guided instruction (CGI) and counting collections if you would like to learn more click right here.
The Pumpkin King
The winner of our counting challenge came down with an impressive 540 seeds. The range was 101 to 540 seeds. The mode turned out to be around 455, which also was the median! Maybe most pumpkins have around 455 seeds? We also learned that a pumpkin’s seed count can be predicted by how many lines the pumpkin has on the outside (Shhh! Don’t tell the first graders).
The students now got to carve the pumpkins. Just like there is no wrong way to count, there is no wrong way to carve a pumpkin. The masterpieces turned out as varied as the many characters that make up our diverse school community. Have no fear the pumpkins are here!