Category Archives: Early Years

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

Gardening: with limitations and some success

children transplanting pea plants






When the preschool moved, the new location presented many obstacles to gardening with children: Sloping ground. Mature trees shading much of the area. English ivy covered portions of the available area. The play area had not yet been constructed so the choice of “where” could not be made. I turned to the resources of the […]

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Reading aloud, asking questions and engaging in discussion






“Do you remember Moomintroll?” my sister asked me recently. Moomintroll, a beloved Finnish character from the works of artist and author Tove Jansson, was introduced to us in an unusual picture book sent to our family by our aunt Kitty. The Book about Moomin, Mymble and Little My had a differently shaped hole cut in each […]

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Beetles before butterflies






To prepare children to be close observers of the small animals that will be more easily seen in spring, I bring a container-habitat of beetles into the classroom during winter months. These Tenebrio beetles and larvae (widely known as “mealworms” although they are not worms) will live in the container, not colonize your classroom. Beetles […]

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Connecting with families






I write a weekly note home to the families to accompany some photos for families to look at together and reflect on the week’s explorations with their preschool child. Sending a note home to families is part of an early childhood program’s way to strengthen the home-school connection to support families’ important work as part […]

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ECE galore in January 2016 Science and Children!






Writing about my science teaching for early childhood educators means thinking about a potential community that spans geographic distance and different biomes, seasons, cultures, educational backgrounds, ethnicities, and teaching careers, among other differences. How we are the same is in our desire to be a teacher of science who helps all children build their understandings […]

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Positive classroom environments support teaching science






Science teaching is only a part of the work of early childhood science educators. Supporting children’s development of social-emotional skills and executive function are foremost in every activity we engage children in. When children feel safe in the class is when they can exercise their curiosity and ask questions that lead to looking for answers […]

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Rich source for lesson plans?






Do you “Pin?” Early childhood preservice teachers on the NSTA Learning Center forums are recommending Pinterest as a source for lesson plans and activities: “Dig into pinterest!!!! It has been my best friend as a student teacher this year!” How can educators looking for science explorations or science content knowledge find resources that are supported by […]

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A “Spring” in December






The unusually warm December weather has brought out flowers in some of the plants that usually bloom in Spring in my area. Citizen scientists who participate in phrenology are documenting these observations. Phenology is an important subject to study, because it helps us understand the health of species and ecosystems.   Studying the timing of life […]

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The Science of Art by guest blogger Carrie Heflin






Welcome to guest blogger Carrie Heflin! Carrie was a pre-k classroom educator at the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center for four years. With everyday access to the museums on the National Mall, she developed her students’ understanding of art concepts. Her teaching put attention on the connections between artwork and science concepts. She is now the […]

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Shadow formation and natural or electric light






At mid-December the children’s morning shadows are recognizably long. Over time, through repeated observations made formally or just in casual comments, children begin to notice that the position of the sun in the sky changes during the day. Kindergartners may notice that the sun also changes position during the year, depending on how often they […]

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