Tag Archives: activity ideas

Ideas and inspiration from NSTA’s September 2018 K-12 journals

Whether you’re looking for ideas on systems thinking, adding strategies to your teaching repertoire, or creativity in science, this month’s K-12 journals have it all. Regardless of what grade level or subject you teach, check out all three journals. As you skim through the article titles and description, you may find ideas for lessons that […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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“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 […]

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Ideas and inspiration from NSTA’s July 2018 K-12 journals

Regardless of what grade level or subject are you teach, as you skim through the article titles, you may find ideas for lessons that would be interesting your students or the inspiration to adapt/create/share your own. Special thanks to Linda Froschauer (My Last Editor’s Note)! Under her leadership as editor of Science & Children she […]

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The power of phenomenon based learning

Guest blogger Anne Lowry teaches preschool in Reno, Nevada. She has been teaching for over twenty years, drawing on her undergraduate background in archeology and geology, and her masters in early childhood education, to create a classroom full of inquiry. Welcome Anne! This past school year has been an amazing example of the power of […]

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“Is it summer yet?”

Your children may have declared, “It’s summer!” if they have noticed the rising air temperatures as measured with a thermometer or as sensed in a relative way (freezing-cold-chilly-cool-warm-warmer-hot-really really hot). Planting in an outside garden or pot is another marker of summer, as is the opening of outdoor public swimming pools the weekend before Memorial […]

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The ‘M’ in STEM

Preschool children using a balance in a sensory table with coffee beans.

“Mathematics is a tool that is key to understanding science.” NGSS Lead States. 2013. Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. How many? How soon? How big? How much more? These questions are of vital importance in young children’s lives and may be part of their science explorations […]

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Is a seed alive? Is a seed magic? Where does a seed come from?

Understanding the complex lives and lifecycles of plants is a lifetime’s worth of work that can begin in early childhood as children feel the texture of seeds dotting a strawberry, watch a maple seed twirling down, or open a sugar snap pea pod to count the seeds inside. In John McCutcheon’s song, “Kindergarten Wall,” a seed-planting […]

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