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    "Pumpkin Seeds" and Place Value
    By Debra

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    On Halloween Day, my class had a pumpkin day. We spent the whole day with our pumpkins brought in the day (week) before. We measured (height, weight, circumference), graphed results, wrote descriptive paragraphs about our pumpkins, etc. PLACE VALUE part: I cut open three pumpkins the night before and cleaned the seeds allowing them to dry overnight. For this activity, I partnered with a 1st grade teacher who did the same thing, we grouped our students in twos (1 secondg grader, 1 first grader). Each group received a handful of seeds until all the seeds were handed out. The groups counted out seeds, seperated them in groups of ten. First, students were handed styrofoam cups to hold groups of ten, once they had filled 10 cups they transferred the tens to one (styrof.) bowl for 100's, students had to work together as a class to find enough 100's bowls to combine to fill a ziploc bag with 10 groups of 100's for the 1000's. Teachers carried the bags to make sure that students were counting by 100's as they filled the bags. Students would call out, "I have 3 hundreds. I need 7 more." and they would combine several group's seeds as they made the 1000's. It was a very busy, loud, exciting adventure in the world of counting!
    NOTE: We estimated the number of seeds in various size pumpkins before cutting them open to open. Students always pick the larger pumpkin to have the most seeds. BUT, the smaller pumpkins usually do because as the pumpkins grow they absorb the seeds. Its interesting.... DEBRA

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