Author Archives: Peggy Ashbrook

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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

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

Recess: Outdoors and sometimes indoors

When the children and I leave the school building for playground time or recess, I feel a sense of relaxation and heightened awareness. We can see farther and the input from the surrounding environment to our senses changes every minute as the wind blows, the sun moves across the sky, and we cross paths with […]

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

Taking a nature walk

Upon reflection on last year’s practice of taking children on “nature walks” outside, I see how much they enjoyed nature, made gains in vocabulary and became familiar with diversity in plants. In June, at the end of the school year, I had the occasion to write to the school families about their children’s nature learning from experiences in the […]

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

Manipulating Contents & Containers, and representing 3-D objects in block play

It is so fascinating how obvious it is that children have different prior experiences, different developmental ages, and different interests when we teachers present them with a set of materials and don’t ask them to use them in a particular way! This post is a reflection on how two different sets of objects are used […]

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

Wooden unit blocks and representing their use in early childhood education

Working with and reading about the work of other educators is inspiring. While observing or mentoring in different programs I am given an education and opportunity to reflect on my own practice. The teachers in the Clarendon Child Care Center had been closely observing children’s block play and discussing it. The director introduced the Thinking […]

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