Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pumpkin Day!

Hi there!  
It's Andi's sister, Auntie Jill, to share about Pumpkin Day!

Do you do "Pumpkin Day"?  So many versions and variety of fun.  
I have had some sort of Pumpkin day since I started teaching in 199hmm, .... scary.

BUT this year is the FIRST TIME EVER that I had my chart done BEFORE the day of :)
Pitiful, I know.  I do get the tubs and supplies ready, but that chart is always last on my list.  And, Ironically, it's my favorite part - sharing!
Over the years I have added and molded activities, 
but here's a quick run down of our morning for this year (we are doing this on Monday the 28th).
I group 3-4 students per parent (depending on who signs up) and say "Good Luck"
OK, no, I give them SPECIFIC instructions.  They are to follow them step by step 
(and not go too fast or else you are stuck with these kids until lunch)
  The kit comes with supplies to investigate the pumpkin.  Each group leader gets a big book and students get their own copy.  The discuss shape and colors found on the pumpkin. They make predictions and then record observations of the number of ridges, circumference and weight of the pumpkin.  I encourage the parents to weigh and measure the kids too and use language such as bigger/smaller, more/fewer, "you weigh the same as 5 pumpkins", "how close was your estimate?" ...
Then, we get to the good stuff of scooping out the pumpkin guts and counting seeds. Each year I'm amazed that I teach adults to angle cut and make a notch for the lid. ??
I love to walk around and cut off some pumpkin flesh to taste.  I find my brave few who will take a taste with me.  It doesn't taste bad and I love their little squishy faces!
Then the counting seeds where I get to learn who has endurance.  
I have them make piles of 10 on a paper grid.  They get tired after 200!
(This when I see which parents keep counting and who hide extra seeds! It's true!)
I have them talk about shapes and the students design the jack-o-lantern face.  The parents then help the kids carve out the face.  They love this part.  Sometimes the parents have to go hand over hand, but they love feeling big and helping out.  Each year when the supplies go on clearance, I get more for the following year.  The scoopers are sturdy, but the blades bend and break fairly easy.
As they finish up, Each group records their results on our class graph.  While they take turns, each group also has a copy of my favorite book - Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jean Titherington to read.  Each child then also saves 6 seeds and make a little paper pumpkin with poem to share at home with their families.

So after, I pawn off some seeds to the moms to who have the yummiest recipe for roasting, we read through our chart and compare the results.
Fun morning for all. Mmmmm, I hope they remember the nutmeg!

So, what so do you do for your "Pumpkin Day"?

And, yes, the cutest, little Pumpkin has arrived... 
but I will let Andi tell you about that.
Stay tuned :)