October 19-23

This week the kindergarteners learned all about pumpkins.  We started with learning about their life cycle all the way from a seed to a big pumpkin.  Next, it was time to look inside a pumpkin, but before we could do that we had to do a little measuring and guessing.  With a partner, we made some predictions about what our pumpkin would look like inside and how many seeds it might have.  Finally, it was time to cut it open and clean it out.  As we cleaned it, we had to separate the seeds so we could count them later.  Our pumpkins had between 292 and 753 seeds.  After counting all of the seeds, we got to roast and eat them as a special treat.  We also made pumpkin pie pudding.  We combined vanilla pudding, pumpkin pie filling, pumpkin spices, whipped topping, and vanilla graham crackers.  MMMmmm.... it was good.  Just like pumpkin pie! Finally, we wrote descriptive words about a Jack-o-Lantern we drew.  Then we turned our pumpkins into Jack-o-Lanterns. 


In reading, we were introduced to a new letter and letter sound, Ii. After reviewing all of our letter sounds and letters, we sang our letter I song and completed our letter Ii sorting worksheet. Then we listened to the story, Pumpkin Day! At the end, we were able to determine the setting, characters, and details from the beginning, middle and end of the story.

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkins… It is finally pumpkin week. We found 6 pumpkins in our classroom when we got there this morning. We started off with a little exploration with a real pumpkin. Ms. Torborg divided us into groups of two. Each group got a pumpkin to work with. First, we drew a picture of what our pumpkin looks like on the outside and answer the question “How big is your pumpkin?” by circling the correct answer. Then we made some predictions. We had to answer each of the questions with our best guess.

How many lines does your pumpkin have?

How tall is your pumpkin? (using cubes)

How wide is your pumpkin? (using links)

Will your pumpkin sink or float?

How many seeds are in your pumpkin?

Then we had to answer each of the questions by completing the measuring and counting activity. We left two questions blank that we are going to complete later. Draw what the inside of your pumpkin looks like and How many seeds are in your pumpkin?

In the afternoon, we went back to our pumpkins. Ms. Torborg cut the tops off our pumpkins and we had to clean out the “guts” or pulp. When the inside of our pumpkin was cleaned, we separated the seeds from the pulp.

In religion, we talked about the loving others as God loves you. We listened to the story of the poor women who showed her love for God. We also talked about different ways we can show love for God by loving others.


In reading, we worked on identifying the difference between letters, words, and sentences. We watched a short video that helped explain the difference. Then Ms. Torborg wrote different items on the chart paper and we had to figure out if they were letters, words, or sentences. After talking about the differences, we completed a worksheet. We had to sort the squares out into different categories, letters, words, or sentences. We were also introduced to our two new sight words, a & an. Ms. Torborg used each of the words in sentences before we tried to create a sentence. Then we found our new word in our new emergent book, The Life Cycle of a Pumpkin. The first time we went through our story, we counted the number of words in each sentence. The second time we worked together to read the words. The third time we went through the story, we colored the pictures to match the words. Since we were unsure what color the pumpkin flowers should be, we decided to look it up in a book. Ms. Torborg read us two books called Pumpkins. Even though they had the same name, they were written by different authors so they were different. Each book described the life cycle of a pumpkin, but they didn’t answer our question. So we read another story, A Day at the Pumpkin Patch. In this story, we learned all about visiting a pumpkin patch along with the pumpkin life cycle. Plus it answered our question. Pumpkin blossoms are yellow.

Yesterday we made some predictions about our pumpkins including how many seeds were in our pumpkin. Today we got to see if we were right. We had to count all of the seeds in our pumpkin. First, we read the story, How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? In the story, they had three different size pumpkins. Everyone thought that the biggest pumpkin had the most seeds. We took a look at our pumpkins and tried to figure out which pumpkin had the most seeds.

Then it was time to count them. To make it a little easier, we used hundreds charts. Working as a group, we had to fill the hundreds chart in by placing one seed in each square. Once the chart was filled, we could get another one. When all the seeds were in on a hundreds chart, Ms. Torborg helped us figure out how many we had.

Pumpkin 1: 292

Pumpkin 2: 623

Pumpkin 3: 753

Pumpkin 4: 327

Pumpkin 5: 711

That’s a total of seeds!

At the end of our story, How many Seeds in a Pumpkin?, we found out that the smallest pumpkin had the most seeds. Mr. Tiffin’s class looked closely at their pumpkins. They noticed that the smallest one was a darker shade of orange. Plus it had more lines around it. Mr. Tiffin told them that was because it was on the vine the longest. We took a look at our pumpkins. We noticed that some were a darker shade of orange too. We counted the lines on two pumpkins that looked to be almost the same size. One had 19 lines and the other one had 26 lines. We compared the number of seeds and noticed the one with more lines had more seeds.


We started our day off with the story, I’m Not Scared…I'm Prepared again. This is the story about the sheep, the shepherd, and the Wolf. The shepherd makes sure the sheep are safe from the wolf with ALICE. We talked about the evacuation procedures we practiced last week. That was the E in ALICE. Today we practiced the L in ALICE, Lockdown, again. We located several different spots in our room where we can hide and still jump up if we need too. Once we get in our spot, we find something we can throw at the intruder if they get in our room.

In reading, we reviewed our letters and letter sounds. Then we watched 2 short letter I video. Next, we created a list of words that begin with the short i sound and a list that began with the long i sound. We also completed our letter I worksheet. Next, we listened to the story, How Big Could your Pumpkin Grow? two times. The first time we listened for the meaning. We found out that pumpkins can grow really big. The second time, we tried to identify some of the “big” we didn’t know. We found that all of these words were describing words.

We started math by matching a group of objects to a number. Ms. Torborg put a group of objects in a pocket. We had to count the objects as they were going in and then show the number card to match the number of objects in the pocket. Then we worked on identifying one more and one less. Ms. Torborg put a group of objects in the pocket. Then she put either one more in the pocket or took one out of the pocket. We had to identify the number of objects left in the pocket.

After lunch, we reviewed the pumpkin life cycle. To help us remember the different steps, we colored a picture of each of the steps. Then we cut them out, put them in order, and glued them on a pumpkin. We also created another class book. This time our book was about a jack-o-lantern. First, we defined a jack-o-lantern as a carved pumpkin. Then we talked about all the different ways a carved pumpkin can look. Next, we drew and colored a picture of a jack-o-lantern on our paper. Our last step was to write 2 descriptive words about our jack-o-lantern. If we didn’t finish writing our words today, we will finish it tomorrow. While we were drawing our picture Ms. Torborg started a cooking project for us. As a treat, we roasted/toasted the pumpkins seeds we counted yesterday. Ms. Torborg really did the roasting in an electric fry pan. We got to try the pumpkin seeds before we went to computers. We divided the seeds into two groups. The first group was salted. The second group was cinnamon and sugar. More people liked the seeds cinnamon and sugar than the salt. We got to have seconds and even thirds if we wanted to.

Today we started our Olweus program. On Wednesdays throughout the year, we take time out of our day to talk about Bullying Prevention with the Olweus program. As part of the program, we use the color orange as a sign of a Bully Free Zone. Everyone is encouraged to wear orange on Wednesdays as a reminder to be kind and considerate to everyone. After reading the story, Howard B Wigglebottom Learns About Bullies, we talked about the importance of your name. We talked about how we feel like we belong or that we matter when people greet us by name.


Say Cheese! It was picture day. Everyone had their picture taken.

Ms. Torborg greeted us in the morning, but then had to leave. Mrs. Dingman was our sub for the day.

In reading, we worked on with the -at word family. After watching a short video, we created a list of words that belonged in the -at family. Then we created an at word family flip book. We also listened to a pumpkin story. Together we identified the characters and setting of the story.

Today we were introduced to another saints, St. Pope John Paul II. His feast day was last Sunday, October 22nd. He thought it was so important to make sure the young people especially teenagers connected with the Catholic church. He is the patron saint of World Youth Day. We watched a short video as we colored his picture in our Saint Book.

During music, we heard the air horn go off (our signal of a lockdown or wolf). That was our signal to STOP-LOOK-LISTEN. Ms. Zeiss told us to hide, so we found a spot and grabbed an object to throw. We did a great job finding a spot and sitting quietly.

In math, we worked on sorting objects. We started as a whole class. Ms. Torborg gave us a bowl full of domino pieces. We had to figure out different ways to sort them. We started by sorting them by color. Next, we tried sorting them by dots. All of the dominos that had 4 dots on one side and 2 dots on the other side were in a pile and so on. Then we tried sorting them by the number the dots equal. All the dots that equal 8 were on one pile and so one. Since we were getting good at sorting together, we broke up into groups. Each group was given a different bowl full of objects to sort. We sorted a bunch of writing supplies, buttons, and stickers. We had to figure out at least 2 different ways to sort them.


We started out our morning by finishing our Jack-o-lantern book from Wednesday. We each met with Ms. Torborg for help writing 2 words that describe our pumpkin. We also worked on coloring a pumpkin worksheet. We had to color the pumpkins according to the color word underneath it. If we didn’t know the word, we had to match the letters to the color words on the wall. Then we had Mass at the church, snack, recess and Spanish. After Spanish, we did quick calendar before we went to lunch.

We started our afternoon with a pumpkin puzzle. After cutting apart the strips, we had to put the numbers in order to create a picture. Then we glued them on a sheet of paper and colored them.

After Library, we had a special treat. We made pumpkin pie pudding. We started by talking about pumpkins. We described the life cycle, identified the parts of the pumpkin we eat, and created a list of items we can make out of pumpkins. Finally it was time to start mixing. First, Ms. Torborg mix pumpkin (from a can) and pumpkin pie spices together. Then it was our turn. We had to put the pudding from our pudding cup in a cup and mix in a scoop of pumpkin mix. Next, we crushed up a graham cracker and sprinkled it on top. It is kind of like a crust. Finally, Ms. Torborg added a dollop of cool whip. No pumpkin pie is complete without whipped topping. Finally, it was time to eat. And mmmm... it was delicious!

We ended our day by reading the book and then watching the movie Spookley the Square Pumpkin. We got to carved our pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns. Everyone got a chance to cut out a shape/facial feature. Before we did any cutting, Ms. Torborg helped us draw our shapes. We had to work with our partners to agree upon what we wanted it to look like. Then using the safety pumpkins carving knives, we each got a chance to cut out an eye, the nose, or part of the mouth.