Tag Archives: early childhood

Supportive communities for teaching science in the early childhood years

There are times when educators miss opportunities to support young children’s interest in exploring and  learning about natural phenomena. We might be otherwise engaged, too focused on the next activity, or uncomfortable with what is happening. We might be talking with one child while another eagerly tries to tell us about a bird flying by, […]

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Light, shadow, and literacy: Stories inspired by shadow play

Materials thoughtfully provided or set up by teachers often inspires children’s open exploration of a phenomenon. Much learning happens during this period of using their senses and tools to make observations of what intrigues them as they try things out, following up on their ideas and trying new things rather than making observations based on […]

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Ideas for elementary lessons

NSTA’s Discussion Forums and List Server groups often have questions from teachers looking for lesson ideas. Whether they are student teachers or beginning teachers looking to begin their library of science lessons, or experienced teachers looking for new ideas, NSTA’s K-12 journals have many articles that could be helpful. Much of this interest seems to […]

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Engineering in early childhood

In early childhood settings both educators and young children solve problems using available materials and an engineering design process. The process is not step-by-step because it looks different depending on the age of the children, the time available, and their engagement with adults helping them reflect on their work and process. A quick internet search […]

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Early childhood science education at conferences 

  When a conference has plenty of sessions about science and engineering learning in early childhood—so many that each time slot has 2 or more such sessions—it shows that preschool, kindergarten, and first and second grade teachers are interested in teaching science. Some might not understand much about science yet, or have taken few science […]

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Evidence, claims, and Media Literacy Week

As the author of the NSTA Press book Exemplary Evidence: Scientists and Their Data, elementary science educator and guest blogger Jessica Fries-Gaither has an excellent understanding of how scientists identify ideas that are supported by evidence. Exemplary Evidence describes the wide variety of what counts as data–from observations to measurements to lab results–and the many different ways […]

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Acorns for fun in science

This fall there are an abundance of acorns falling from the oak trees in my area. Scientists study oak trees to understand possible reasons why some years larger amounts of acorns are produced than others.  Acorns are free material for early childhood science explorations, with permission from the landowners. A nature walk among trees exposes […]

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Spiders and other small creatures—do we want children to be afraid?

Huge anatomically incorrect ‘spiders’ with legs as long as a Daddy Longlegs’ took over the neighborhood these past weeks, crawling up webs ‘spun’ on the sides of houses. Dropping out of trees are others with more fuzzy hair than a troll doll. Halloween is a time to delight in shivers from confronting fantastical images when […]

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Pumpkins inspire investigations

Although astronomical fall for the northern hemisphere begins when the autumnal equinox occurs on or around September 22,   meteorological seasons vary geographically. October may be when your area “really feels like fall.” Does your school or program mark the season by harvesting from your own garden or by visiting a “pumpkin patch”? Pumpkins are an excuse […]

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Reggio Emilia inspiration in Science and Children

The October 2018 issue of Science and Children has a concentration of articles on early childhood science learning inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. (This emergent curriculum approach is described on page 37 and further explained in each article.) Children’s work described in this issue includes explorations of magnetism, solids and liquids, using heat to make […]

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