Tag Archives: activity ideas

Resources from previous NSTA conferences

Have you revisited the sessions from previous NSTA conference to check out the resources posted by presenters? Begin with the 2017 Elementary Extravaganza that has 27 resources listed, both documents and webpages. It was held on Friday, March 31 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. My table had a parade of adults and children whipping […]

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Discovery bottles: Learning moments for children and adults

“Discovery bottles” are one way to allow children to use small objects without putting them in their mouths. These bottles for open-ended exploration can be constructed to relate to many different science concepts and topics. Other bottles are made expressly for helping children calm themselves as needed. See the Early Years blog post of September […]

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A Tree is Nice—Exploring seasonal changes WHEN the season changes

In regions where trees drop their leaves in fall, this big change draws children’s attention to the existence of seasonal changes. More subtle changes and incremental changes, such as more or less rain and slowly dropping or rising air temperatures may not be noticed unless we support children’s awareness by having them make and record […]

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Fall leaves, props for learning

If you live in an area of the world where leaves change color during Autumn you and the children might be looking for “The Most Beautiful Leaf” among the many fallen leaves. You can draw children’s attention to leaves at any time of the year by using them as play materials—a large leaf makes a […]

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Figuring out what seeds need to sprout

Do seeds need soil to sprout? Many people would say yes. Preschool children may know, or at least are able to recite, that plants need “dirt,” water, and sunshine to grow. Left out is plants’ need for air—a developmentally appropriate omission. Although young children feel and use air, it isn’t until 5th grade that they are […]

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Intersection and integration of play and science learning

I was at a conference proudly wearing my tee shirt that says “Play” when I was given a chance to reflect on what I meant by an esteemed colleague and mentor who asked, “Ah yes, but what kind of play?” My reflection continues as I continue to work with children and other educators in early […]

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Toward High School Biology: A New Curriculum for Your Middle School Students

Would you like to challenge your middle school students to explain a range of phenomena—from how nylon thread can form from two clear, colorless liquids to how a snake that eats only eggs can make body structures that don’t look anything like an egg? Would your students enjoy building molecular models with Legos to understand […]

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Documenting science investigations in preschool: Solar eclipse and butterfly metamorphosis

Thank you to the director, Sandra Redmore, and the teachers of Clarendon Child Care Center, Andria Shelton, Barbara Foster, and Sarah Abu-El-Hawa, for sharing their teaching practices and science explorations! Viewing a solar eclipse and watching a newly emerged butterfly use its wings are two ways young children at the Clarendon Child Care Center engaged […]

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Early-in-the-school-year science experiences to support later explorations

When children and teachers are just getting used to being at school and with each other, open-ended experiences can help bring joy to what may be a stressful time. Simple science experiences involve open exploration and build foundations for later science inquiries into natural phenomena, such as, weather events or organism life cycles. Here are […]

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Eclipse report from preschool

While some elementary, middle, and high schools required all students to remain indoors with window blinds drawn so no light could enter during the August 21 solar eclipse, other schools planned science experiences to safely view the solar eclipse and at least one district secured “eclipse glasses” for all students and staff and had over […]

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