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Sunday, September 28, 2014

My Favorite Math Activity- Just in time for October

Hello buddies-

This blog post (believe it or not I remember how to do this it has been soooooooo long) is about my favorite Math activity- PUMPKIN MATH. 

Pumpkin Math is something my students arrive in my class wondering about and has become a 5th grade rites in passage at my school. During Pumpkin Math the kids apply a variety of Math strategies and skills around finding what make sup the average pumpkin. 

In the day the students examine their pumpkin, write about it, find the height, weight, and diameter among many other Math skills. I give my kids a variety of supplies including, but not limited to:
-rulers
-yarn
-popcubes
-scissors
-etc. 

They use whatever materials they think are necessary to find the appropriate Math data. 


Students working with pop cubes and rulers to find the diameter of their pumpkin. 

Collecting data on the "old" Pumpkin Math form. 

I borrow the scale from the Nurse's Office to have my students weigh their pumpkins. I "fib" and tell them that the pumpkin is too light to go on the scale alone and that they must come up with another strategy to find the weight. Eventually, they figure out to weigh a member of their group with the pumpkin and without
the pumpkin and find the difference. SEE, Math everywhere!


On Day 2 of our project we all get a little messy. It's time to cut open the pumpkin and count the number of seeds. I usually have a table-clothed every aspect of the room as possible and warn the littles to dress to get messy. We collect our data on a group data sheet to use later. 


I precut the pumpkin tops before school so we are ready to dive in.  Although I
love the educational pieces, this is MY FAVORITE PART. 
This group of smarties decided to build groups of ten to work more efficiently. 

Here is a shot of my room during day 2 of Pumpkin Math.


By this point in the day the smell of pumpkin is EVERYWHERE! and we are
COVERED in Pumpkin guts. 
The final day, usually planned for the morning of Halloween is for data collection and analysis. Since it's Halloween there is little chance they would focus on much else, so Pumpkin Math calculations is the best way to spend the morning. I also take the seeds home, bake and salt them, and bring them in for a data time snack. 
Data Analysis gets serious! 
Depending ont he year we take a little time to create jack o'lanterns
from our emptied pumpkins. 



PRODUCT PREVIEW: 











I ABSOLUTELY LOVE Pumpkin Math and would love to share it with you.  You can get it here, at my TPT Store. It's a great way to apply your Math skills and have fun all at the same time. A 5th Grade tradition at my building and hopefully you can bring it to yours as well. 

Happy (almost) October, 
Damien