Category Archives: Early Years

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

“Art Lab” Camp

Camp has a culture that is different from school, partly due to the season and partly due to the temporary relationships as campers and teachers are together for shorter lengths of time. As the teacher of an “Art Lab” camp class for children in Kindergarten through 3rd grade I had the pleasure of introducing the […]

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Science centers—effective and engaging

While handling and examining objects from nature, such as sea shells, pinecones, rocks, and plant leaves, children may encounter patterns and experience properties of different materials. Without additional experiences with these objects children may not learn that structures grow in nature or develop an understanding of the complex relationships in nature—how a leaf grows from […]

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Digital Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom: When is a child ready?

Guest blogger Carrie Lynne Draper shares resources and discusses the use of digital technology in early childhood programs. 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 […]

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Media literacy in early childhood

Media literacy “Dinosaurs aren’t alive anymore” is a statement that may be spoken by young children as both a statement and a question. Do they really know that dinosaurs are no longer alive? Do they use evidence to support this idea? I asked small number of educators and parents to discuss with their children and […]

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The power of phenomenon based learning

Guest blogger Anne Lowry teaches preschool in Reno, Nevada. She has been teaching for over twenty years, drawing on her undergraduate background in archeology and geology, and her masters in early childhood education, to create a classroom full of inquiry. Welcome Anne! This past school year has been an amazing example of the power of […]

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“Is it summer yet?”

Your children may have declared, “It’s summer!” if they have noticed the rising air temperatures as measured with a thermometer or as sensed in a relative way (freezing-cold-chilly-cool-warm-warmer-hot-really really hot). Planting in an outside garden or pot is another marker of summer, as is the opening of outdoor public swimming pools the weekend before Memorial […]

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Learning through online presentations: STEM in 11 parts

Slide introducing Modules 10 and 11.

How does online learning through watching a webinar work for you? I am most engaged when I am able to participate in a live session where presenters might respond directly to my typed questions. But that means I have to be online at a set time so I often view the archived versions. Recorded sessions […]

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The ‘M’ in STEM

Preschool children using a balance in a sensory table with coffee beans.

“Mathematics is a tool that is key to understanding science.” NGSS Lead States. 2013. Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. How many? How soon? How big? How much more? These questions are of vital importance in young children’s lives and may be part of their science explorations […]

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Is a seed alive? Is a seed magic? Where does a seed come from?

Understanding the complex lives and lifecycles of plants is a lifetime’s worth of work that can begin in early childhood as children feel the texture of seeds dotting a strawberry, watch a maple seed twirling down, or open a sugar snap pea pod to count the seeds inside. In John McCutcheon’s song, “Kindergarten Wall,” a seed-planting […]

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Tinkering: How open-ended should it be in early childhood?

The easy answer to this question is “it depends.” It depends on the reason for providing the experience and the particular materials for young children to use. Of course children often set up their own tinkering experiences using materials at hand and may or may not have a goal in mind. I want all children […]

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