Author Archives: Peggy Ashbrook

Dreaming of spring and preparing to garden with young children

Before the weather really warms up in your area, take children for a nature walk and together document through drawing or photography the plants that are beginning to bud out with leaves or flowers. Spring doesn’t begin at the moment the first daffodil blooms—the flowers of a maple tree may be budding months before. The […]

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Engaging Young Learners in the Practices of Science – Starting with Questions about Earthworms

Welcome to guest blogger Margaret Egan who has dual roles at Tuckahoe Elementary School in Arlington, VA: Outdoor Learning Coordinator and S.T.E.A.M. Teacher. She is a National Board Certified teacher with master’s degrees in both science and education, and has worked as a naturalist and environmental scientist before becoming a teacher. This background facilitates her efforts […]

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Why We Shouldn’t Keep “Bugs” in a Drawer

Guest blogger Monica Dolan is the STEM Curriculum Coordinator at The Children’s Center at CalTech where she works as a liaison between the administration and the teaching staff to ensure curriculum plans are consistent with the center’s conceptual STEM based approach. This early childhood program sponsors an annual Early Childhood STEM conference, ECSTEM. Monica also works closely […]

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Engineering in early childhood continues

Engineering was celebrated last week but it continues to happen spontaneously, and with teachers’ support, in early childhood settings. Engineering happens when young children try to solve a problem by designing and testing a solution. They use a stick to dig and sculpt a hole, maneuver a block to stand on to reach a desired […]

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Sensory play for science learning

Children and people of all ages continually explore and learn through their senses. Prior experiences that build understanding of how we use our senses to learn about the world are the foundation for understanding the Next Generation Science Standards Disciplinary Core Ideas. Some children seek out specific experiences such as the two-year-old who would enthusiastically […]

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Too cold? Observing animals in winter

With very cold weather settling into many areas, children’s outdoor time may be restricted due to temperature and wind chill limits set relative to the temperature ranges normally experienced in their area. ChildCare Aware of North Dakota’s guidelines include: Outdoor play is recommended when temperature/wind chill is 15 degrees F or above. Use caution when […]

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Rolling from Inquiry into Engineering Design

Guest blogger Jill Jensen began her 24th year as a science educator this fall. For the past twelve years she has been an Inquiry, Design, Engineering, Art & Science (IDEAS) Coach at Glacier Hills Elementary School of Arts and Science in Eagan, MN. Her current role allows her to partner with classroom teachers to extend […]

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Supportive communities for teaching science in the early childhood years

There are times when educators miss opportunities to support young children’s interest in exploring and  learning about natural phenomena. We might be otherwise engaged, too focused on the next activity, or uncomfortable with what is happening. We might be talking with one child while another eagerly tries to tell us about a bird flying by, […]

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First week back resources

When you have a moment to plan for teaching in January, reach for the 2018 November/December issue of Science and Children for inspiration. With a focus on visual literacy the activities discussed in the columns and articles promote helping children learn from and use images and models to understand science concepts.  In The Early Years […]

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Light, shadow, and literacy: Stories inspired by shadow play

Materials thoughtfully provided or set up by teachers often inspires children’s open exploration of a phenomenon. Much learning happens during this period of using their senses and tools to make observations of what intrigues them as they try things out, following up on their ideas and trying new things rather than making observations based on […]

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