Author Archives: Peggy Ashbrook

Fall leaves, props for learning

If you live in an area of the world where leaves change color during Autumn you and the children might be looking for “The Most Beautiful Leaf” among the many fallen leaves. You can draw children’s attention to leaves at any time of the year by using them as play materials—a large leaf makes a […]

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Figuring out what seeds need to sprout

Do seeds need soil to sprout? Many people would say yes. Preschool children may know, or at least are able to recite, that plants need “dirt,” water, and sunshine to grow. Left out is plants’ need for air—a developmentally appropriate omission. Although young children feel and use air, it isn’t until 5th grade that they are […]

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Intersection and integration of play and science learning

I was at a conference proudly wearing my tee shirt that says “Play” when I was given a chance to reflect on what I meant by an esteemed colleague and mentor who asked, “Ah yes, but what kind of play?” My reflection continues as I continue to work with children and other educators in early […]

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Documenting science investigations in preschool: Solar eclipse and butterfly metamorphosis

Thank you to the director, Sandra Redmore, and the teachers of Clarendon Child Care Center, Andria Shelton, Barbara Foster, and Sarah Abu-El-Hawa, for sharing their teaching practices and science explorations! Viewing a solar eclipse and watching a newly emerged butterfly use its wings are two ways young children at the Clarendon Child Care Center engaged […]

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Natural phenomena: awe inspiring and trauma inducing

Guest blogger Carrie Lynne Draper joins me in writing this post about supporting children affected by natural disasters. Carrie Lynne Draper, M.Ed, is the Executive Director of Readiness Learning Associates, a STEM Readiness organization, in Pasadena, CA,  growing children’s learning processes using science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Focusing on the development of scientific dispositions through […]

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Early-in-the-school-year science experiences to support later explorations

When children and teachers are just getting used to being at school and with each other, open-ended experiences can help bring joy to what may be a stressful time. Simple science experiences involve open exploration and build foundations for later science inquiries into natural phenomena, such as, weather events or organism life cycles. Here are […]

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Eclipse report from preschool

While some elementary, middle, and high schools required all students to remain indoors with window blinds drawn so no light could enter during the August 21 solar eclipse, other schools planned science experiences to safely view the solar eclipse and at least one district secured “eclipse glasses” for all students and staff and had over […]

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Art and motion: moving toward STEM

Camp is not school. Like school, camp is play and camp is a learning environment, but the time together may not be long enough to build a community that effectively investigates together. In a half-day, five-day camp program with 15 minutes for snack and 30 minutes for recess, my class of eight children (grades K-2) had […]

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Total Solar Eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017!

If you haven’t heard about what is known as the Great American Eclipse by now, it is not too late. This August 21, 2017 natural phenomena promises to be well worth “attending” or stepping outdoors for at least a few minutes approaching the moment when most of the Sun is covered by the Moon in […]

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Math is integral to early childhood STEM learning

July has brought my happy place (where the worlds of early childhood education and science education overlap) to my mailbox in the form of the 2017 summer journals from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC): Science and Children and Young Children. Both issues of these journals […]

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