Author Archives: Peggy Ashbrook

Conferences as professional development

Professional development—learning that will develop our professionalism, make us better teachers, and expand our content knowledge—aims to be delivered at just the right moment with an insight that changes you forever. Attending PD sessions builds up our store of such learning that we can draw on in challenging moments, those times when we wish a […]

Posted in Early Years | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Resources from previous NSTA conferences

Have you revisited the sessions from previous NSTA conference to check out the resources posted by presenters? Begin with the 2017 Elementary Extravaganza that has 27 resources listed, both documents and webpages. It was held on Friday, March 31 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. My table had a parade of adults and children whipping […]

Posted in Conferences, Early Years | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Discovery bottles: Learning moments for children and adults

“Discovery bottles” are one way to allow children to use small objects without putting them in their mouths. These bottles for open-ended exploration can be constructed to relate to many different science concepts and topics. Other bottles are made expressly for helping children calm themselves as needed. See the Early Years blog post of September […]

Posted in Early Years | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Response

A Tree is Nice—Exploring seasonal changes WHEN the season changes

In regions where trees drop their leaves in fall, this big change draws children’s attention to the existence of seasonal changes. More subtle changes and incremental changes, such as more or less rain and slowly dropping or rising air temperatures may not be noticed unless we support children’s awareness by having them make and record […]

Posted in Early Years | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spiders and ants and bees, oh wow!

Spiders, ants, bees, cockroaches, cicada killers, house centipedes, and roly-polies are among the many small animals children may encounter at home or at school presenting moments to learn about the diversity of living organisms if the moment is calm enough. If the moment is not calm, returning to the subject at a later time will […]

Posted in Early Years | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Responses

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 […]

Posted in Early Years | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Responses

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 […]

Posted in Early Years | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 […]

Posted in Early Years | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Responses

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 […]

Posted in Early Years | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Responses

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 […]

Posted in Early Years | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Responses