Author Archives: Peggy Ashbrook

Exploring the properties of clay






Finding bits of clay pottery made and discarded by people hundreds of years ago reminds me of how this useful material can be a valuable addition to a preschooler’s experience. Of the earth but not commonly found on playgrounds, clay could be regularly provided in a bin for sensory experiences or building material. It can […]

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

Garden observations and questions






Gardening with children may turn up questions voiced by the children or suggested by their behavior. As you observe children in the garden or a natural area, take a few notes about what they look at or touch. Model how you wonder about a phenomenon in the garden by saying it aloud, such as, “Is […]

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

Ecosystem experiences away from home

For children who visit the ocean beach or shore this summer, the experience of visiting a very different ecosystem can inspire interest in animals that inhabit it, and wonder about “how did it get this way?” Children who experience the beach and shore ecosystems frequently may have a similar reaction when visiting other ecosystems. How […]

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

Systems: “Science Areas” and lining-up for transitions






Organizing systems for materials and people are necessary for a productive day in school. If they are held in common by the school or classroom community they operate smoothly. Sometimes changes made by an individual interrupt the flow. In those moments we can re-consider our systems and decide whether to keep the changes or return […]

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

Webinars for K-5 on teaching the NGSS: making sense of phenomena using evidence






The National Science Teachers Association’s Web Seminars are free, 90-minute, live professional development experiences. Next Generation Science Standards (K-12)(NGSS) were written to include early childhood, beginning in Kindergarten. To learn more about aspects of the NGSS such as, constructing explanations from evidence, making meaning through discourse, and planning a coherent storyline that guides both the teacher […]

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

Building with Blocks: Exploring stability and change in systems






In my neighborhood, flowing rainwater from rooftops and yards is making a small gully in the hillside before it runs into the street and goes into the storm sewer. The hillside used to be just a grassy slope. As the original bare patch deepened, roots and rocks became visible in the soil. I wondered what […]

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

Ideas from visiting another classroom






Visiting other schools always makes me think about classroom organization, I get new ideas about how to document children’s learning, and gets me thinking about changes I want to implement in my teaching. Changes in weather often lead to changes in activities and we begin favorite spring investigations and look for new ways to explore […]

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

Webinar Wednesday for the Week of the Young Child, April 12-18






Are you celebrating the Week of the Young Child (WOYC)? Music Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Work Together Wednesday, Artsy Thursday and Family Friday are the daily themes set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) to inspire us to “focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to […]

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

Materials, safety, life science–Resources in “Science and Children”






 Children I work with on a weekly basis have been exploring different types of materials as they work with them. Painting with thick or thin consistency paint (see the March 2015 Early Years column), running their hands through a pile of small stones before sending them through a tube, working with ceramic clay formulated for children’s […]

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

Following children’s interests–following a caterpillar over winter






It’s always interesting to hear how other early childhood educators make the most of children’s curiosity to teach science concepts. Guest blogger Maggie Posey is a mom to a curious two year old and preschool teacher to eight eager learners. She blogs about both athttp://www.mamasuerte.blogspot.com. In this guest post she writes about how her preschool students’ […]

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