by Erika Chapman, Grade 1 Teacher
Grade 1 at Hisar has been busy investigating pumpkins during the month of October! After estimating how many seeds a pumpkin contains (ranging from 1 big seed to 2000) we began the slimy process of scraping out the seeds. The next question… How do we count the seeds? The students started counting by 1s, but found this too difficult as they kept losing track of the number. After trying with groups of five with not much more success, one student suggested groups of 10. This got the ball rolling! Ten frames were used to keep the numbers organized. To make counting easier, they placed two groups of ten on each of the numbers on the floor. One student taught the others to count by 20s (“It’s like counting by 2s!” she exclaimed) to make a group of 100!
Suddenly why we learn times tables made more sense!
A glue stick was used to mark each group of 100. As they got closer to the end, they problem-solved how many more numbers they needed to make to fit in the remaining seeds. The final result was 587 seeds!!
Because the task was so practical (and a lot of fun) the children showed incredible persistence and accuracy during this Math exploration.
In addition, students estimated the height of the pumpkin and used non-standard measurement. Based on one unifix cube, they were able to make very close guesses to the actual height.
Lastly came the most intriguing question of all… Does a pumpkin float or sink? Most guessed that it would sink as it was so heavy. When we put it the blue basin, it sunk! (this was a little disconcerting as I knew that theoretically it should float!) We went over to a bigger basin and tried it there and it barely floated… so we were all left very puzzled especially me as the teacher! Thank you Mr. Kipmen, one of our science experts in secondary for offering to skype in with us to help solve this floating/sinking mystery!