Recording in a journal—video clips model using a science journal

Not having any “kids” at home these days, I have to make a special effort to learn about the programs my preschool students are watching on television. I like to know the opening songs so I can impress the children!

After spending some time on the Sid the Science Kid site I found these activities (with video clips demonstrating them) that are good basic suggestions of how to “do” science with young children.

The narrator is a little perky for this adult—I think children are suspicious anytime people try too hard to get them interested—but I suppose the marketing people know what kids like. The videos portray small groups of 5-6 children. In some clips the children seem to be in first grade, and younger in others, judging from their handwriting. What is wonderful is how, for every activity, the children Drawing a flower bulbdraw and write observations in their journals (spiral bound notebooks or drawing pads). Although the activities seem to be teacher structured, the children have very individual records in their journals. A nice feature is the variety of teacher voices, and teachers and children in the videos and the interesting activities. (I do question allowing the children to eat the fruit that they collectively dug out of a block of ice melting in a plastic tub. I would suggest freezing fruit that will be eaten into individual ice cubes, or freeze small toys or coins into a larger block for group exploration, not eating.)

A few resources about science notebooking:

Using Science Notebooks in Elementary Classrooms by Michael P. Klentschy (NSTA Press, 2008). “This book makes the case for using science notebooks strategically—promoting hands-on observing, recording, and reflecting—and demonstrates how best to do so…Connecting language arts to science through expository writing, the book presents proven techniques such as scaffolds, sentence starters, discussion starters, and other writing prompts to encourage students to build on current knowledge.”

Five Good Reasons to Use Science Notebooks by Joan Gilbert and Marleen Kotelman, an article in the November 2005 NSTA journal, Science and Children with a full discussion of how to use science notebooks.

November 2009 issue of the NAEYC journal, Young Children, explores science in the early years. See Science in the Air by Sherrie Bosse, Gera Jacobs, and Tara Lynn Anderson, for ideas on documenting science explorations and observations.

Science notebooking begins in early childhood wit h drawings.drawing a caterpillar Your students might enjoy watching some others do science in the Sid the Science Kid clips. Perhaps they would even like to make their own video!

Peggy

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One Comment

  1. Posted August 18, 2010 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    This is a very good suggestion. As a father of 2 children, I noticed that they always draw and write some of what they see at home or at school. At a very young age, children are very observant. It would be really great if teachers incorporate this activity in classroom.

    Regards,

    D.D.

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