Category Archives: Early Years

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

Isopods—your favorite animal? Children are fascinated

What you call these small animals probably depends on where you grew up. Pillbug, sowbug, roly-poly, woodlice, potato bug, cochinilla, slater, and Armadillidium vulgare are some of the names I’ve heard for my favorite animal, the isopod. What kind of animal is it? To answer this question begin by making close observations, taking comfort in […]

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

Ephemeral art exploring properties of matter, natural materials

I had fun this summer spending 4 days over 2 weeks “enriching” preschool teachers and children in their program by collaboratively exploring ephemeral art projects. Good discussion about when children’s making becomes art was part of our work together. Does mixing up a colorful mud-grass-flower-water “stew” or chopping (sculpting?) a rotting log with plastic trowels […]

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

Seasonal Connections to Nature in the Outdoor Environment

I love to ask teachers, “Who are our best scientists?” You can see them shuffling through the list of outstanding scientists in their minds. But, quickly their faces light up and they enthusiastically respond with “Kids are!” And, they are right! Children are great at asking questions, designing investigations with “What if…?” questions, collecting data […]

Posted in Early Years | Leave a comment

Myths about Science, with an early childhood focus

The National Science Teachers Association website has a section for families titled, “Help Your Child Explore Science.” Here’s my adaptation  of the “Myths about Science” page in that section, giving it an early childhood focus.  Myths about Science, with an early childhood focus Myth #1: Science teaching is better left to the teacher. Your child has […]

Posted in Early Years | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Responses

Moving water involves using the practices of science and engineering 

Sometimes the discovery of materials on a play area inspires children’s exploration and use of the NGSS science and engineering practices.  In this example a long length of bark from a tree branch became a trough for investigating water flow. At first the 5 year old simply put the curved length of bark at an […]

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

Science and Children: an August issue?!!! 

Did you know that there is an August issue of Science and Children? Yes!!!! (fist pump, happy dance, big smile). Getting the next issue in August before planning the first month of school rather than during the first week will help me do what I had planned to do at the end of the school […]

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

“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 […]

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

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 […]

Posted in Early Years | Tagged , | 1 Response

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 […]

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

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 […]

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