Category Archives: Early Years

Tips and classroom resources for early childhood school science educators. Click on a headline to read the entire post.

Science of ice, brief explanation

For all those who are experiencing the solid form of water or teaching about it, here is a cool video from the National Science Foundation (NSF) about the science of ice. In this short video, athletes J.R. Celski, Britanny Bowe, and Gracie Gold talk about the ice they like and mathematician Ken Golden of the [...]

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Learning about shapes, with tips from a special education teacher

Working in a school with teachers who have a different expertise than I have means I have access to an informal professional learning community’s broader depth of knowledge. Early childhood teachers represent a wide variety of cultures, ages and educational backgrounds. This variety is a strength when we learn from each other. Sara Fritel Johnson [...]

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Cooking as science

On the winter solstice I took a walk through the yard and thought about the amount of sunlight that it receives throughout the year. Much less these days as the silver maple has grown many feet since the year my son made and tested a solar cooker as his science class project. After he was [...]

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Sensory table explorations of matter

Experiences are the beginning of understanding science and engineering concepts. When two-year-olds explore materials and make a mixture, they are learning about the properties of “matter.” Water is a favorite kind of matter for many children and adults. In warm weather, programs often make large amounts of water available for children to work with and [...]

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Recognition and awards for science teaching in K-grade 6

Do elementary school teachers teach “real” science? Of course they do—reading just a few articles from Science and Children  is evidence of this rigorous teaching that builds on earlier experiences and is the foundation for later learning. Teachers of Kindergarten through Grade 2 are expected to, and do, teach science but they are underrepresented in [...]

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Draft Early Childhood Science Education Position Statement—comment please!

When children compare a wet cloth to a dry cloth, is this teaching a science concept? What role do adults have in preschool science learning? Should teachers discuss science facts with preschoolers or only engage them in hands-on experiences? You may have many more questions about science education for three to five year olds. Read [...]

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Science in Washington, DC at the NAEYC 2013 annual conference

Meeting to plan the ECSIF annual meeting. Early childhood educators meet to discuss science teaching at the annual meeting of the ECSIF. I had such a good time at the NAEYC 2013 annual conference—personally enjoyable and professionally productive! The handouts at the Early Childhood Science Interest Forum table at the IF Café were picked up [...]

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NAEYC conference this week in Washington, DC. See you there!

Wednesday through Saturday I’ll be attending sessions at the annual conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). I love that the worlds of science teaching and early childhood teaching overlap! This is made very clear by the number of sessions about teaching science concepts and science practices. The NAEYC Early [...]

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Problem solving and investigating the properties of materials

Does the way a child approaches finger-painting or eating a somewhat messy snack tell us anything about how she or he will approach building with blocks or participating in a science activity? There are problem-solving tasks in all of these activities. If we tell children how to do a task, they may not discover other [...]

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Fall changes in trees bring science and art together

The colors of the autumn leaves in my area call out to me for attention and to bring inside in a basket for the kitchen table. Outside I arrange them into patterns pleasing to myself. While making this ephemeral art with natural materials, artists may notice details about the materials that we might otherwise overlook—the [...]

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