Can you guess how many seeds are in our pumpkin?

We had a few pumpkins in our class this year.
The large one, which we chose on our trip to the Pumpkin Patch a few weeks back, was carved just before Halloween.
We also had some small gourds at the Discovery Table as well as a pie pumpkin.
The other day I cut open the pie pumpkin and students began to see what was inside.
They were so surprised at how many seeds they could see!
A few students scooped out the seeds and wanted to wash them to get a better look.
I asked the students how many seeds they thought there were:

M.D.:  Maybe 100.
M.R.:  I think there are more than 1000!

We set off to count the seeds.
The students quickly realized that counting each seed was taking a long time and they easily lost track of which ones they already counted in the container.
So I asked if they could think of a better way to count the seeds.
S.B.:  We can look up how many there are in a book!
A.T.:  Maybe the computer will tell us how many there are supposed to be.
M.D.:  We can put them in piles and each count some.
Our students are familiar with using the 5-frame mats at our math centre since we have been using them for a few weeks.  My Senior Kindergarten students are also familiar with using a 10-frame mat since they would have remembered how to use one from last year.
So the students quickly began to place the seeds on the 10-frame mat as "counting by 10's is faster to get to 100" (M.D.).

The children began placing the seeds down on the table but soon realized that they were running out of room.  So they began using the floor (after an announcement was made to the rest of the class to please be careful around the work on the floor).
This was a big project that started yesterday and took most of this morning!
Once the children set aside 10 mats (of 10 seeds each) they understood that there were 100 seeds - they couldn't believe they counted out 100 seeds!
I asked them to place the seeds in a jar and label it for the rest of the class to see.
But there were still more seeds to count!
So we used our 10-frame mats once again and continued counting.
We reached another 100 seeds and placed them in a jar.
By the time we were finished, we had 4 jars labelled (3 of them had 100 seeds and the last had 27).
We added the numbers together to get a total of 327 seeds!
The rest of the class couldn't believe there were that many inside!
This was a fun, hands-on and meaningful activity that we all enjoyed!
Here are some great books that you might like to keep displayed near your pumpkin for the students to enjoy:

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