Tag Archives: activity ideas

Exploring the properties of clay






Finding bits of clay pottery made and discarded by people hundreds of years ago reminds me of how this useful material can be a valuable addition to a preschooler’s experience. Of the earth but not commonly found on playgrounds, clay could be regularly provided in a bin for sensory experiences or building material. It can […]

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What science teachers are reading June 2015






Here are the most-read books, e-books, and children’s trade books on NSTA’s website this month. Click over to the NSTA Science Store and catch up on what’s hot this June on science teachers’ reading tables and tablets. Most Popular NSTA Press Books Teaching Science Through Trade Books More Picture-Perfect Science Lessons: Using Children’s Books to […]

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Garden observations and questions






Gardening with children may turn up questions voiced by the children or suggested by their behavior. As you observe children in the garden or a natural area, take a few notes about what they look at or touch. Model how you wonder about a phenomenon in the garden by saying it aloud, such as, “Is […]

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Ecosystem experiences away from home

For children who visit the ocean beach or shore this summer, the experience of visiting a very different ecosystem can inspire interest in animals that inhabit it, and wonder about “how did it get this way?” Children who experience the beach and shore ecosystems frequently may have a similar reaction when visiting other ecosystems. How […]

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Building with Blocks: Exploring stability and change in systems






In my neighborhood, flowing rainwater from rooftops and yards is making a small gully in the hillside before it runs into the street and goes into the storm sewer. The hillside used to be just a grassy slope. As the original bare patch deepened, roots and rocks became visible in the soil. I wondered what […]

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Ideas from visiting another classroom






Visiting other schools always makes me think about classroom organization, I get new ideas about how to document children’s learning, and gets me thinking about changes I want to implement in my teaching. Changes in weather often lead to changes in activities and we begin favorite spring investigations and look for new ways to explore […]

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Help Your Students Achieve Earth Science Success






NSTA Press authors Catherine Oates-Bockenstedt and Michael Oates, a daughter-father team, have collaborated on a second edition of Earth Science Success: 55 Tablet-Ready, Notebook-Based Lessons. The book provides a one-year curriculum with 55 classroom-proven lessons designed to follow the disciplinary core ideas for middle school Earth and space science from the Next Generation Science Standards […]

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The Power of Questioning: Guiding Student Investigations






“Children are full of questions every day: “Why? How does that work? Why? How do you know?” The science classroom is the perfect place to take advantage of this natural curiosity. Questioning cultivates student engagement and drives instruction throughout the learning process.” This introduction to NSTA Press authors’, Julie McGough and Lisa Nyberg, new book […]

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Following children’s interests–following a caterpillar over winter






It’s always interesting to hear how other early childhood educators make the most of children’s curiosity to teach science concepts. Guest blogger Maggie Posey is a mom to a curious two year old and preschool teacher to eight eager learners. She blogs about both athttp://www.mamasuerte.blogspot.com. In this guest post she writes about how her preschool students’ […]

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Preschool experiences in a winter forest






Once a month each three-year-old and four-year-old class at the Arlington Unitarian Cooperative Preschool (AUCP) spends the morning on a fieldtrip at a local natural area. The lead nature teacher arrives and spreads out a large tarp and a few sleeping bags as a place for their morning meeting. On this occasion the ground is cold […]

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