October 17, 2013
Pumpkins played center stage in Co-op last Thursday.  Math, drama, art, writing…  learning is so fun with a pumpkin!  Christopher Columbus also made several appearances~ even as a lego!  Although attendance was down due to illness and life happenings, our group kept the magic going!  This group truly works as a team.
For electron math we went over math facts while bouncing a basketball.   I got the idea from this site about reinforcing facts with physical activity.  We used the ball instead of the hula hoop since hooping is difficult for many people.  One child read the facts off while another bounced and answered.  We used addition and some multiplication facts for those that wanted more of a challenge.  Then Mr. C suggested adding a timing to add a little competition.  The kids seemed into it!  We also had a mini dance party in the beginning.
Math Games      How many pumpkin seeds in a pumpkin?   The neutrons put their guesses in and then went to work to find out.  We divided the seeds into groups of ten.  Once we had ten tens, we put them together to form a group of one hundred.  This was done to each of our four pumpkins until every seed was counted. (minus the many that ended up on the floor!)  So it turns out that, though we had four pumpkins of various sizes, they all contained approximately 500 seeds. (give or take a fifty 🙂 It was messy work, but that didn’t stop the neutrons! And now we can all sleep better knowing that there will be plenty of pumpkin seeds for roasting after we carve jack-o-lanterns this Halloween!

Drama      We started our class playing a variety of games. Mirror, Mirror was played standing up to increase the range of motion. They played telephone with some funny results. Zip, zap, zop was played while clapping and they had to concentrate to see if it was their turn. Since Columbus Day had passed, we did a play about his trouble getting people to support his theory the world was round and to fund his expedition. They play then focused on his voyage and his struggle with his men. I read them lines and asked them to deliver them. This allowed them to be immersed in Christopher Columbus’ world.


We continued our discussion of Christopher Columbus and what contributions he made with his voyages. I read them a book about pumpkin seeds he brought from America. Then we did another lego build with these questions in mind:
1. What do you think is the most important thing that Columbus found in the New World?
2. What kinds of dangers did Columbus face when he crossed the ocean?
The kids used team work to build: a horse jail containing many horses, a space ship for the future Christopher Columbuses, a diamond mine, a ship where he discovered bats and seahorses, and star wars figures who had protective gear.
Drama    We started our time together with some rhymic speaking and leg tapping.  Everyone had the opportunity to, “Look at Ms. Deanne and do what I do” or “Look at Ronan and do what he does” (in a four count rhythm).  The kids were energetic and creative with their leadership!  Then we talked about emotions and how to express them with facial expressions (i.e. angry, sad, happy, etc.).  Taking the idea of emotions, the kids had the opportunity to create their own paper pumpkin.  Using black paper for facial pieces, they cut and pasted/taped the black pieces the way they wanted their pumpkin to feel.  Lastly, the kids performed to the audience of their peers with the pumpkin that they created by expressing feelings or telling a funny story.  They did a fantastic job!
Want to practice hula hoops times tables?   Click here
Pumpkins, Columbus, and Legos