Tag Archives: early childhood

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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Active or passive science?

One of my biggest questions is how to get the younger elementary students involved in science. Should we do more hands-on activities, having them participate in the environment or should we watch videos? —F., Texas “Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through […]

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Tinkering: How open-ended should it be in early childhood?

The easy answer to this question is “it depends.” It depends on the reason for providing the experience and the particular materials for young children to use. Of course children often set up their own tinkering experiences using materials at hand and may or may not have a goal in mind. I want all children […]

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April brings “real science,” Citizen Science Day, and Earth Day

Citizen Science Day is April 14, and these projects are a wonderful way for young children to continue their science learning by being part of a larger science effort doing “real science.”  (For the record, I think the observations and thinking young children do is real science, the beginning of making sense of natural phenomena.) One […]

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See photos and get resources from NSTA 2018 Atlanta

I feel recharged and activated after attending a conference and taking a few weeks to reflect and prepare to put the new understandings into practice. Whether or not you attended the 2018 NSTA national conference you can access files uploaded by presenters. Two sources provide information about the 2018 NSTA national conference sessions and presenters: […]

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Is “instant snow” a good model for actual snow?

Children often use ordinary objects to represent other objects—a block might become a phone, or a rock might become a cookie, during their play. This imaginative play means they understand that the “phone” and the “cookie” aren’t real but are chosen because they are very basic models of real objects, in that they have a […]

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Online community on learning science through play

Play may mean many things, but in early childhood education it can include learning science concepts. Looking for resources on “Learning Science Concepts Through Play“? Check the The NSTA Learning Center Early Childhood Forum, a community that includes early childhood educators in all roles in the profession and is free to all with registration.  Looking for resources […]

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What Parents Talk About When They Talk About Learning; A National Survey About Young Children and Science

Guest blogger Cindy Hoisington is an early childhood science educator at Education Development Center Inc. in Waltham, Massachusetts. She brings to her work more than 20 years of experience teaching young children, developing educational materials, and instructing and mentoring early childhood teachers. Cindy is a member of the EDC/SRI research team working on the CPB/PBS […]

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New Book Helps Teachers of Young Children Discover the Wonders of Science Exploration

Curiosity, joy, and wonder. Our youngest students possess an over-abundance of these qualities, and when their teachers successfully tap into them, they help nurture a lifelong love of science. But finding resources to help make science education relatable and engaging for three- to seven-year-olds can be challenging. That’s why educators will enthusiastically welcome William Straits’ […]

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Explore, investigate, experiment, and inquire: What do we call it when young children “do” science?

Learning about the natural and human built world begins at birth, if not before. The early childhood years, usually described as including children from birth through age eight, are a time when new experiences build brain connections that form the foundation for later connections.  The way we provide experiences for children may open or close […]

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