Tag Archives: early childhood

Building with blocks, building skills and memories






I still have the wooden unit blocks that were central to many of my childhood play scenarios. The wooden blocks did not stick or snap together so we had to consider balance and how to make a sturdy base to support our structures. They were the materials we used to make models—building beds and shelter […]

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Career of the Month: Evolutionary Psychologist






Evolutionary psychologists analyze human behavior for traits that evolved to increase the odds of survival and reproduction. They may then apply this knowledge to redesign aspects of today’s cultural institutions and practices—such as schools, workplaces, and child rearing—in ways that better align with human nature. Peter Gray is an evolutionary psychologist affiliated with Boston College. […]

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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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An ECSTEM conference experience






An early childhood education conference is an opportunity to meet others who share a passion for improving our science teaching practice, meet our education mentors and gain new insights into why certain educational practices are effective. It’s a privilege to be able to attend, and fun to experience. It’s also a time to hear about […]

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Weather watching and phenology support using evidence to state a claim






Noticing changes in the growth and habit of plants is part of the science of phenology. We do this casually when we comment on the buds swelling on the maple tree (yay! not as many branches are dead as I feared) or the daffodil leaves sprouting above the soil ( yay! they survived the winter). […]

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A love note to education conferences






In my suitcase I have a collapsible jug, tube, funnel, glitter, pebbles, foam hearts, sea shells, and empty plastic bottles—all part of the materials I need for a presentation at the 2017 ECSTEM conference (February 3-4), organized by The Children’s Center at Caltech, in collaboration with THINK Together. An education conference is a joyful place […]

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Children use technology to send messages






Children like to share their work and tell their families what they do at school or at other times when they are not together. While babysitting for a friend, I appreciated her 2-year-old child’s excitement when she discovered that a toy firetruck had a button to push to turn on (and off) a siren. “Tell […]

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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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