Author Archives: Peggy Ashbrook

Preparing to plant in Spring






The seasonal decline in the amount of direct sunlight in North America is bringing an end to my garden growing season. The leaves of deciduous trees in my region are mostly off the trees now. Children have been helping rake them into big piles to jump into. We sort out the sticks so no one gets […]

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Positive environments: Early childhood education conferences






Two early childhood conferences I attended this month, a national conference and a local regional conference, were awash with sessions on science, STEM, and STEAM education. Although science education is my main focus, I enjoy attending conferences because in addition to the terrific learning experience, it always lifts my spirits. Something about large numbers of […]

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Equity in Science Education Begins in Prek






Welcome to my colleague Lauren Allen who co-authored this blog post.  Lauren Allen is currently an administrator focused on STEM Integration in the District of Columbia. While originally from South Carolina, she earned a BS in Biology with an emphasis in Molecular Biology from Hampton University and a MS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from […]

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Learning about the landscape around you






  Flying across the country to the conference for the National Association for the Education of Young Children brought many different landscapes into view through the plane window. I saw ridges, meandering rivers and river-carved canyons, heavily wooded areas, hills, mirror-like lakes, flat regions that went on and on, and sharp snow covered peaks. Human […]

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Investigating water with Early Childhood educators






“At what age can a child begin science learning?” asked one participant at an early childhood education workshop on investigating the properties of water in a fun, scientific way using observation, documentation and reflecting on that work. The group answered the question, “As infants,” “My babies do,” and “At any age,” just as I put […]

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Weather watching






As Hurricane Matthew traveled across the Caribbean and into the Atlantic, I think of how children who live in its path and those at a distance will make sense of the force of this extreme weather event. Science education can sometimes mean talking about scary or tragic events. Be sensitive to fears and stress by […]

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Chasing bubbles






As the weather turns colder with the changing season, some children come to school without enough layers to be warm during outside playtime. Games and engaging activities can keep children moving, warming them as they stay active. Blowing and chasing bubbles encourages children to stay in motion. If the bubble solution you bought last summer […]

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Safety, risk and hazards






As preschool and child care continue and a new school year begins, it’s a good time to refresh our memories about safety practices. Goggles are not common in early childhood programs but they should be. Children love to dress up and goggles add to the “realness” of their science exploration. We use goggles when we […]

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Teaching about farms






With the fall harvest season coming up, planning begins for family and class fieldtrips to local farms and farm markets. People who live in farming communities have a much different understanding of what a farm can be than those who live in urban or suburban communities. The Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation, Inc. explains why we […]

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The Power of Children’s Ideas: Thoughts about Science Learning and Teaching in the Early Years






Guest post by Cindy Hoisington, with thanks to Karen Worth and other dear colleagues for their inspiration Welcome guest blogger Cindy Hoisington, an early childhood science educator at Education Development Center Inc. (EDC) in Waltham, Massachusetts. A preschool teacher for many years, Cindy now works with early childhood teachers, coaches, and administrators in various settings to […]

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