Tag Archive for Student Work 2014-2015

Mathematical Problem Solving using Pumpkin Seeds

In order to build academic language and record the students’ thinking around math, I challenged my beginner English language learners to a math problem involving pumpkin seeds and snack time.

Pumpkin seeds are a good snack.  If a handful of pumpkin seeds is a snack for one person, how many people can have a pumpkin seed snack with one small pumpkin?

Math Pumpkin Problem Solving from AISB EAL on Vimeo.

My reflection: This was definitely a guided inquiry and it gave some really good information on what the students can do in terms of counting, estimating/predicting, and using mental math.  The students were engaged and used lots of language to show their thinking.


  • It was clear that the students are still independently counting by 1’s.  When we initially counted how many seeds were in a handful, Ziv counted by 1’s.  She got an answer of 106.  I asked how we could check her answer and Sipan suggested we re-count (by 1’s).  I suggested we make groups of 10.  They applied this strategy when they counted the small pumpkin’s seeds.
  • The students are not using division to problem solve. In the final step of the problem, they needed teacher support to answer the original question. They used multiplication.
  • They can count by 10’s with visual support (the numbers written linearly on the whiteboard).
  • They understand and can use the following mathematical academic language: predict, count, plus, time, equals, problem, how many, number, and groups of …,
  • The students need support with 30 versus 40.

Math Pumpkin Problem Solving from AISB EAL on Vimeo.

An Inquiry into the Past Tense

After reading “I Looked Everywhere”, fourth grade English language learners inquired into how to form the past tense for regular verbs.

An Inquiry into the Past Tense from AISB EAL on Vimeo.

Connor McGovern Jersey