Category Archives: Early Years

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

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Elementary Extravaganza, Ramps and pathways

The Elementary Extravaganza was pulsing with energy as educators from many settings rushed in at 8am to get personal attention from the hundreds of presenters who were ready to share their work. Thanks to the sponsors–, Delta Education, School Speciality, ScienceCompanion, and Carolina, as well as NSTA. The setting with presentations at round conference tables [...]

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NSTA National Conference in Boston–early childhood too!

I’m looking forward to learning, collaborating, meeting, laughing, learning, sharing, and getting a break from the usual schedule while attending the National Science Teachers Association’s conference in Boston. It’s one of several NSTA yearly conferences so if you aren’t attending this one, check the schedule –there might be an area conference or an expo near [...]

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Ecosystems outside the school door

Since it is now March and in my area we just had our 10th snow day, I am dreaming of planting seeds rather than actually planting them. What should the children plant in the raised bed school garden, a tiny sliver of ground that could not be incorporated into the play area because there is [...]

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Sylvia Shugrue Award winner 2013

As Director of Distance Learning for University of Minnesota’s Bell Museum of Natural history, each year Chris Tower created and provided professional development for more than 300 teachers throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin via two distance–learning, cross-curricular science programs: the JASON Project and BellLive. In his current position, he has established a service-learning water quality study [...]

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More snow? Counting and science in winter cold

If you still have snow in your region, you may be looking for new ideas on how to use it to develop children’s understanding of concepts such as the properties of water including freezing and melting, and measuring. Observing weather patterns over time, classifying different kinds of materials by their observable properties (including water as solid ice [...]

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Early childhood science in preschool—a conversation on Lab Out Loud

Listen in on a conversation between early childhood educator and researcher Karen Worth and the science teachers hosts of Lab Out Loud, Dale Basler and Brian Bartel, as they delve into the new NSTA Early Childhood Science Education position statement, in Episode 108: Science in Early Childhood Education. This conversation is a mini-course on what [...]

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DiscoverE brings us Engineers Week

Next week is Engineers Week, February 16-22, “a time to: Celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world Increase public dialogue about the need for engineers Bring engineering to life for kids, educators, and parents” DiscoverE website has  an excellent self-guided tutorial for volunteers and educators, with tips and advice on leading a hands-on engineering [...]

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What the new NSTA Early Childhood Science Education position statement means to me

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has adopted a new position statement, the Early Childhood Science Position Statement. This thoughtful document was inspired by the clamor of early childhood educators looking for guidance informed by research on how to approach science teaching in the preschool years (ages 3–5) before kindergarten. Drawing on research from the National [...]

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Concepts that cut across science disciplines

Patterns…cause and effect: mechanism and explanation…scale, proportion, and quantity…systems and system models…energy and matter: flows, cycles, and conservation…structure and function…stability and change… How does your science and engineering teaching involve concepts that cut across many science disciplines and are central to the K-12 Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)? These seven crosscutting concepts are presented in [...]

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Kindergarten teacher shares her class’ bird investigation

Talking with other early childhood educators enriches my understanding of how children learn and I often learn good ideas for teaching about particular science concepts. I had an online conversation with Mary Myron who I met at the 2013 annual conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Mary has held several [...]

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