# More Pumpkin Projects

We had such a fun week with our pumpkins. We estimated the number of seeds and counted every one of them! We will wait a little longer before we tell you the exact number. You really need to submit your guess. Be bold and post it in a comment below.

We had a BLAST with the Mini Pumpkin Challenge. We each had to build a block structure as tall as we could but, it had to support a mini pumpkin on top. Lots of pictures are posted on our Shutterfly Site. I hope you are inspired to try this as a family challenge at home. If you don’t have small wooden blocks, try using something else. But everyone has to use the same type of materials. Have fun! Post a few pics so we can enjoy it with you.

# Pumpkin Math

Today, Mrs. Tweed brought a pumpkin to help us learn about making estimates. An estimate is a good guess. We estimated the number of lines on our pumpkin. Jalisia was exactly right with a guess of 20 lines. Some of our guesses were too few and some were too many.

We estimated the circumference of our pumpkin with yarn. Circumference is the distance all the way around the pumpkin. Makenzie’s yarn was exactly right. Several of our guesses were really close. Some estimates were too short and others were too long.

We also made estimates on the number of seeds inside the pumpkin. Tomorrow we will weigh our pumpkin, cut it open, scoop out the seeds and count them.

What is your estimate for the number of seeds? Leave your guess in a comment. We will let you know if you were close or not.

This is our last week on-track and it is full to the brim. We’ll be participating in a Mystery Number Google Hang-Out on Wednesday with a first grade class at Arlene Hein Elementary. We’ll test our number senses again on Thursday with a first grade class in Truckee. We will be asking and answering questions to find the Mystery Number. On Thursday and Friday, we will meet up with our Big Buddies to work in the garden. We have some weeding to do as well as sowing seeds for the next crop. What do you think we will be planting?

If you would like to participate with us, please let me know. We can always use another pair of hands. We would also welcome a donation of 2 bags of planting soil.:D

Picture Money is due now.
Monday: Homework and folders are due.
Wednesday: Library books are due.
Friday: Minimum Day- all Kindergartners come 7:45 AM – 11:16 AM
Orders for Dodo Bags are due.
April 6 to April 27: We are off-track.
Tuesday, April 28: Back to School!

We started writing addition sentences this week.  We are using the plus (+) symbol and the equal (=) symbol.  We have been using different strategies to solve the addition problems.  One way is to draw a picture. Another was is to act it out. Next week we will use models to show the solution. We have also been learning to explain how we group sets of dots in our minds.  It is interesting to hear how other students see them differently and still count correctly.

Another skill we are working on is writing numbers from 1- 30 (and beyond!).  It is still a challenge for many in the class to get past 20.  Please look over your student’s work and see where they need extra practice.  I will send a blank worksheet for you to copy and use at home.  I think a reasonable goal is for each child to be able to neatly write 1-30 on their own in 10-12 minutes. Try it at home and let me know how it goes.  If it is too frustrating, provide a sample for them to follow.

# Math Talk

The students know that when they instantly recognize how many objects there are, that’s called subitizing.  Now we are learning to explain what we can often see so quickly.  For example, dots arranged like this: OOO  OO  may be seen as 3 and 2 more make 5.  They may also recognize 5 objects if they are arranged like a 5 on a die.  It is important for students to extend their language capabilities so they can clearly explain their thinking, a dominant skill in Common Core State Standards.

We also are spending several lessons counting on from five.  We fill  a 5-frame with cubes and then add 1 more or 2 more, etc.  Students need practice to understand that they do not have to go back to 1 in order to count to the end each time we make a new number model.

Another skill we are working on is making different combinations of 10.  We start with a train of 10 cubes and then break it apart in different ways.  It takes a few tries before students realize that every combination still gives a total of 10.

I hope this background information will help you practice and extend  these skills at home.

# Terrific Math Videos!

I recently became aware of a special resource of math videos available online.  Go to  gomathacademy.com for really good lessons that are directly from our math curriculum.  The link is on the sidebar of this blog for future reference. In less than five minutes you can get the gist of the day’s lesson.  Check it out, you’ll be impressed.

Mrs. P

# Save the Date!

Mark your calendars for a special event coming soon:

Math Night for Parents on Thursday February 13th from 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM.  Each grade level will be sharing tips on mastering the new math standards..  Come learn where Common Core State Standards are leading us in math.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  Mrs. Deming and I will be sharing information for parents of second graders.  I hope to see you there.

Mrs. P.