Peas and Carrots Math

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A few days ago my 5-year old and I were busy picking peas in our vegetable garden. The 30 or so pea pods looked so delicious, that we decided to eat them right away. And since shelling pea pods takes some time, we had a moment or two for the all-about-peas math:

  • Each pod snaps into two halves length-wise. Let’s count how many peas are in each half?
  • How many peas are altogether in each pea pod? Let’s count them to make sure.
  • Can you see without counting how many peas are in each half?
  • Can you tell how many peas are in a pod without counting? (this can be done either with subitizing or by adding peas from the two halves)
  • Which half has more peas in it?
  • Does this pea pod have more peas in it than the one before?
  • Can you divide peas from this pod between the two of us so we both get the same number of peas? Why? Why not?
  • How many peas do you think will be in this pod? (keep track of this data; we found out that most of the time we had pea pods with 7 peas in it; 5 was also pretty common; only a few pods had 3 peas in them; just one had 8 peas; there were several pods that appeared to have 6 peas, but on closer examination we would always fine the 7th tiny pea at the tip of the pod)
  • Do you think we will get a pea pod with no peas in it? With 100 peas in it?
  • What do we find more often – pea pods with odd or even number of peas?

Now summer carrots are almost ready for picking. I’m thinking we might explore gradients (length, thickness, weight, taste), fractals (carrot leaves), measurements (including how tall are you measured in carrots).

Have you tried garden math? Share your story in the comments or link to your blog post.


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