Showing posts with label pumpkins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pumpkins. Show all posts
The wonderful thing about doing a little preschool at home with my toddler is getting to do school in our pajamas!

This is the last week of our October Break, so we busted out a little mini-pumpkin unit for "school time" this week!  Here's a look at the unit!

1.  Pumpkin Observations

The first day, we "observed" the outside of our pumpkin and talked about what we noticed that our little pumpkin had...

We observed a "boo-boo" on the bottom...
 a stem...

And I helped him notice the bumps on the outside...

My Pumpkin Book of Observations

We wrote our observations in our pumpkin book.  {{side note...forgive some of my printouts as my printer ran out of black ink and I couldn't get more in time to finish this week! BOO!}}

We read the sentence together and then Cooper found the picture to match the text in our book.
We glued the picture in our book...

And traced the words with our very, very special "pumpkin pen."  My little has problems using enough pressure to write with crayon, so I decided to try the special pen so he wouldn't have to use as much pressure...I wanted him to be able to see what he was writing and the pen helped with that!

Adding dots under the words of our books really helps Cooper with his pointing, so I added tiny pumpkins under each word to help his like a charm!

2. Pumpkin Letter Match

After we worked on our book, we matched upper and lowercase letters.  Even though my pumpkin packet has all of the letters, I decided to only match 6 letters at a time to make it less overwhelming for Coop.  Plus, since my printer was out of black ink, it probably wouldn't have helped to print all of them out this week! ;)

 He loved finding matches!  We even played the "real" way with the cards turned upside down.  This was a little harder for him to do because he tried to turn over two capitals to match...easy fix for this next time we play {or when you play with your toddler} is that I'll add a sticker to the back of the color for the capitals and one color for the lowercase so he can easily tell to match one from each color!

3. Pumpkin Insides

The second day, we worked on observing the inside of our pumpkin.  We took this project outside since we would have a bit of a mess!  We did most of our work in the large plastic tub to help with clean up, which worked great!

Sweet Cooper does not like messes at all...which has its perks, but the down side is he refuses to stick his hand in a pumpkin!  So, I made him come up with another way to get the seeds and pulp out.  Little stinker is a creative thing!

We talked about the vocabulary words "seeds" and "pulp" and I had him show me each one...poor stem broke off of our pumpkin!

Then, we took turns filling our tiny pumpkin with dirt...
 planted the seeds...
 added some water...
and found a special spot in the sun for our pumpkin planter.... {how cute is the underwear peeking out!}

Years ago, before our animal unit was moved to the fall, I did pumpkin projects with my firsties and we planted seeds in our big "class" pumpkin....but I loved using this mini-pumpkin for Cooper.  It was the perfect size for my little tot! :)

As we talked about our vocabulary words during our observations, we added our vocab cards to our "pumpkin word wall" upstairs at our school station!  We added pumpkin and stem on day one, seeds and pulp on day two when we cut the pumpkin open, and then added sprout and vine after we planted the seeds so Cooper would know what we were watching for!

4. Pumpkin Counting Collections

Then, we came inside and washed our seeds to count!  I just slipped the page for counting in a ziploc bag to protect it from the slimy seeds.
When we do pumpkins in first grade, we count our seeds counting collection style...but for my little tot, I wanted him to just work on building sets of seeds to match numbers.  He had a blast doing this!  I even saved the seeds after we toasted them so that he can use them over and over!

5. Pumpkin Cookies

We finished up this unit by making these amazing pumpkin cookies together so that Cooper could try out a little pumpkin! Pinterest for the win again!

Cooper had so much fun with this unit!  And mommy had fun making memories and learning all wrapped up in one!
Last year, I was a part of a leadership math team that received professional development from a measurement guru, Rich Lehrer.  This linear measurement unit is from his research and writing team.

One of the many things I love about Rich's measurement units is the intentional planning for mistakes.  In many ways, his units set kids up to make mistakes...which is sometimes opposite of what we think we should do as teachers.  But, I've learned that kids have to make mistakes in measurement to learn why their mistake is a problem.  And those mistakes make for some very lively and deep math conversations about what is actually important when we measure!

No mistakes means kids are just copying our "how to measure steps" and that makes it hard to transfer that measuring skill to a new object or with a different unit.

Pumpkin Attributes

Our math practice goal for this unit was "#6: I can attend to precision."  We referred back to this word and why it's important that we are precise when measuring throughout the whole unit.

We looked at one of our pumpkins and answered the question: "How can I describe this pumpkin?"  As we got responses, we charted them.  If my first grader said, "It's bumpy," then I answered with, "Yes, bumpy describes its feel.  One attribute of objects I can describe is feel."  I wanted to chart the attributes, not the adjectives.

After we charted, we discussed which attributes are measurable.  For example, I cannot accurately measure color, but I can measure weight.  I then told students we would be measuring height and circumference of our pumpkins.  I added the pumpkin stickers to those words to help us remember since we would be working on this project for a few days.

Measuring Pumpkin Circumference

I had 4 pumpkins as the unit recommended, and put kids in groups of 6.  Each person in the group had a job: pumpkin holder, streamer holder (2), cutter, labeler, taper.  {Side note: 4 pumpkins was not enough in my opinion....the groups were too big and caused some management issues....I would recommend 6 pumpkins so the groups are only 3-4 kids.}

Some groups measured the circumference just fine...

Other groups measured the circumference around the bottom.
{And other groups, not pictured, measured a vertical circumference instead of a horizontal circumference.}  All of these mistakes were fine by me because it gave us some things to discuss during our share time.

Planning for Mistake #1: Measuring the circumference of a pumpkin is difficult because the roundness of the pumpkin varies from top to bottom.  Using a sphere shape for this activity was important because it meant kids would make this mistake...and then we would be able to talk about where circumference is measured (at the point where the object is the biggest around)....that wouldn't have meant anything to kids if we didn't have this problem to start with!

Once the streamer was cut to measure the circumference, the labeler wrote the pumpkin number on the streamer.

The groups had about 2 minutes at each pumpkin station.  Then, the groups were to use the streamers from each pumpkin station and large construction paper to order the circumference lengths in a display.  The taper taped the streamers on with tape so they would be easier to come on and off during share time.

During share time, we looked at all of the circumference streamer from pumpkin number 1 and discussed these questions:

Did each group measure the same circumference?  Are they all the same length?

Why aren't they the same length?  What mistakes did we make that may have caused our measurements to not be precise?

What is important when we measure so that we don't make these mistakes?

Measuring Pumpkin Height

The next day, we repeated the same steps as Day 2, but with height instead of circumference...

Planning for Mistake #2: Measuring the height of a round object is difficult to you follow the curve of the pumpkin or measure a straight line up for the height?  I had groups that did each of these...which made for a very important conversation about why length and height must be measured in a straight line.

Measurement Anchor Chart

During share time, we discussed the same questions and continued to chart them...

We referred to this chart all year long during our measurement math talks.  Not everything on this chart was added the first day, or even by the end of this unit.  In fact, last year's group didn't add "no gaps" to this list until our second measurement unit...because using streamers solves the problem of gaps.  It wasn't until we started measuring with paperclips that we had issues with gaps! {Planning for mistake #3}  And even though they had added "no overlaps" they continued to make mistakes and overlap when measuring with new this was an ongoing discussion.  And we reread through our "measurement rules" before each measurement activity during the year.

While I would change a few things like I mentioned earlier, this unit is a fantastic way to get kids excited about measurement and it's perfect for making kids make mistakes when they measure so that we have something to discuss and learn from!
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