Tag Archives: observation

Relating weather watching to periodic nature events

Two-years-olds may be too young to remember the seasonal changes that happened in the last year but they are not too young to understand and talk about the natural changes that happen on a shorter time scale—the cycle of day and night. Looking for the Moon can be a nighttime or daytime activity. Older children remember […]

Posted in Early Years | Also tagged , , | 4 Responses

Garden observations and questions

Gardening with children may turn up questions voiced by the children or suggested by their behavior. As you observe children in the garden or a natural area, take a few notes about what they look at or touch. Model how you wonder about a phenomenon in the garden by saying it aloud, such as, “Is […]

Posted in Early Years | Also tagged , , , , | 2 Responses

Observe. Everything. Young children, Science Friday and walks in nature

“Observation is that first step to discovery,” noted Ariel Zych, Science Friday Education Manager, in a audio segment about Science Friday’s Science Club citizen science challenge, #ObserveEverything. Science Club notes that scientists such as Galileo, Darwin and Curie made careful observations which led to their discoveries. As individuals or as groups or a class, we […]

Posted in Early Years | Also tagged , , , , | 3 Responses

When are children old enough to smell a flower, touch an earthworm, or talk about the Nature of Science (NOS)?

When are children old enough to begin exploring the natural world? Can a three-year-old touch a crawling beetle? Can a two-year-old smell a flower; can a one-year-old? Can a 3-month-old feel a leaf? This question was raised in a recent training session about helping young children learn more about the small animals they are curious […]

Posted in Early Years | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do children in your program have direct access to nature?

Being outside under the sky is different from being inside under a roof. The experiences that can happen in either place are not necessarily better than the other place, but they are different. We know that children can learn about distant places and the living organisms in those places by using non-fiction books and videos, […]

Posted in Early Years | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

On observing animals

Do you remember the book Play With Me, (Viking Press, 1955), written and illustrated by Marie Hall Ets about a child observing wildlife? Including Play With Me, five of her book are Caldecott Honor books. I also love her book, Gilberto and the Wind. In Play With Me, a young child seeks to play with animals […]

Posted in Early Years | Also tagged , , | 3 Responses

Children’s drawings reflect their observations—and their thoughts

Here’s what I love about the early childhood education community: the communication, sharing thoughts and wonderings! In the November 2010 Early Years column in NSTA’s elementary school journal, Science and Children, I wrote about how children’s drawings, discussions and writings document their work. I heard additional thoughts back from two educators. I wrote that, “A child’s […]

Posted in Early Years | Also tagged , | 3 Responses

Observing closely—bubbles!

Bubble blowing is a favorite activity of young children. Two-year-olds, who often have difficulty blowing a stream of air, may have more success by waving a bubble wand. The process is moderately difficult for 3 and 4 year olds and can be made more challenging for older children by providing a variety of bubble “wands” […]

Posted in Early Years | Also tagged , , | 1 Response

Educated observations

I’m a new teacher, and my principal informed me she’s going to do a formal “observation.” She’s been in and out of my lab on weekly walkthroughs, but this time she’ll be in the room for the whole class. This is my first observation and I’m getting nervous—how should I prepare? —Kate, Elizabeth, New Jersey […]

Posted in Ask a Mentor | Also tagged | 1 Response

Power of observation

The articles in this issue focus on one of the fundamental processes of science: observation. How big? What happened? What changed? How does it feel? Students enjoy observing and using tools such as magnifiers, lenses, rulers, and scales. Inferencing, however, is a more complex process, as several articles point out. Log into SciLinks and use […]

Posted in SciLinks | Also tagged , | Leave a comment