Tag Archives: activity ideas

Big learning from short observations of birds: February 17-20, 2017






Walk outside with your children, watch and count birds for 15 minutes while recording the names of those you know, and report your bird count to be part of a world-wide citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds, creating an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds. On any or all of these four […]

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Science education “trifecta”






I’m looking for creative ways for students to share what they know, other than traditional written reports or essays.  —K., Michigan The creative process in science involves novel ways of thinking, problem solving, and communicating. When students are given the opportunity, encouragement, and support, their creativity can be astounding. I found reworking information and/or experiences […]

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Big Data, Small Devices: Investigating the Natural World Using Real-Time Data






Many students nowadays are dependent on electronic devices. In fact, it’s sometimes hard to separate them from their smartphones and tablets. As Donna Governor, Michael Bowen, and Eric Brunsell—the authors of Big Data, Small Devices—point out, “Today’s students see technology as an integral part of their world and find technology solutions for almost every need.” […]

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Lab debriefing options






My ninth grade students enjoy doing labs. But afterward, most do not participate in the debriefing. How can I improve this? —A., Washington You could try an alternative to teacher-led discussions. Here’s one that worked with my students. Instead of you asking questions, assign one team of students to present their results to the class […]

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Citizen science + Photos of signs in public spaces = literacy and spatial awareness






If you and the children need to be active to stay warm outdoors in cold temperatures, consider walking fast on a walking field trip to locate and document signs around your community. In the September 2011 issue of Science and Children I wrote about helping children understand what models are by taking a walking field trip to […]

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Seeing the Real Me: Using Loose Parts from Nature to Create Self Portraits






  Guest bloggers Stacey Francois MS, and Hannah Goble presented a poster session at the national conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. I was delighted to be able to talk with them about their work and am pleased to share it here. Welcome Stacey and Hannah! Stacey Francois MS, and […]

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Noticing natural phenomena






This week friends who live on opposite sides of the country messaged me to go look at the Moon and a bright “star” in the southern skies, the planet Venus. The Geminid meteor shower is also happening but the urban light pollution in my area plus the full Moon makes seeing a meteor unlikely. Still I […]

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Preparing to plant in Spring






The seasonal decline in the amount of direct sunlight in North America is bringing an end to my garden growing season. The leaves of deciduous trees in my region are mostly off the trees now. Children have been helping rake them into big piles to jump into. We sort out the sticks so no one gets […]

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Four New Books for Young Scientists






Studies show that science is students’ favorite subject when they enter school for the first time. Why? Kids are curious and creative. They love asking questions based on their observations. They love discovering everything. When kids are young, the world is wonderful, magical, and full of possibilities. NSTA Kids, a division of NSTA Press, recently […]

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Science and the Star Wars Universe






When Rogue One: A Star Wars Story debuts next month, science teachers who use the Star Wars films in their classrooms will have another tool not just for teaching science, but also for integrating it with other subjects.






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