Tag Archives: misconceptions

The Power of Children’s Ideas: Thoughts about Science Learning and Teaching in the Early Years

Guest post by Cindy Hoisington, with thanks to Karen Worth and other dear colleagues for their inspiration Welcome guest blogger Cindy Hoisington, an early childhood science educator at Education Development Center Inc. (EDC) in Waltham, Massachusetts. A preschool teacher for many years, Cindy now works with early childhood teachers, coaches, and administrators in various settings to […]

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ECE galore in January 2016 Science and Children!

Writing about my science teaching for early childhood educators means thinking about a potential community that spans geographic distance and different biomes, seasons, cultures, educational backgrounds, ethnicities, and teaching careers, among other differences. How we are the same is in our desire to be a teacher of science who helps all children build their understandings […]

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Expanding understanding, resources for discussions about gender

Young children’s imaginative play often includes creating family groups with toy animals or dolls, and role-playing with housekeeping and dress-up materials. They recreate the relationships they experience or know of from books and other media. As a “mother dog,” a child will tell the “puppies” to follow her. Children who behave out of character, such […]

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What Are Very Young Students’ Ideas About Science? Page Keeley Can Help You Find Out

When I wrote about Uncovering Student Ideas recently, I didn’t know that a new volume was in the works specifically designed for K-2 students. What a marvelous idea! The eighth book in the series, Uncovering Student Ideas in Primary Science: 25 New Formative Assessment Probes for Grades K-2 is the first one that exclusively targets young children’s ideas. The […]

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Early learning experiences build toward understanding concepts that are hard to teach

We all have seen how children begin making sense of the world before they have any formal or informal teaching about a concept or topic…discovering through exploration that the world has textures, some things are for eating and some are not, objects can be moved and some appear to move by themselves, light comes and […]

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Addressing misconceptions in science

A significant challenge that science teachers face is how to help students successfully navigate the bridge from their existing ideas about science concepts to scientifically accepted views. A teacher who uncovers students’ preconceptions about key concepts can use that knowledge to provide learning experiences that support students as they develop richer conceptual understanding. The March […]

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“Can It Reflect Light?” and other probing questions

Can it reflect light? Is it a plant? Is it made of cells? These questions are among more than 100 formative assessment probes developed by Page Keeley and her colleagues to help teachers elicit information about what students think about key science concepts. A capacity crowd at Keeley’s Seattle conference session turned out to learn […]

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What do students already know?

Last year, I started giving pretests at the beginning of each unit. The students were upset because they didn’t know many of the answers, even though I explained I didn’t expect them to know everything and the pretest wouldn’t count as a grade. Are there other ways to find out what students know about a […]

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Overcoming misconceptions

Along with notebooks and pencils, students bring some common misconceptions to science class. It’s hard to tell where students learn these misconceptions: from their friends, parents, television, movies, the Internet, or other media. They may not realize that their ideas are incorrect, and simply telling the students that their ideas are wrong won’t help them […]

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Autumn bits and pieces

Yesterday afternoon was one of those beautiful fall days here in the Northeast—clear blue skies, low humidity, a cool breeze, and leaves starting to change color. So what was I doing? I was logged in to a webinar that was a joint presentation by NSTA and ISTE: Planning for Technology Integration in the Science Classroom […]

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