Supporting Children’s Science Learning

NAEYC Families recently posted 10 Tips to Support Children’s Science Learning, and these tips fit nicely with the work teachers do in Georgia PreK classrooms.  Two of their tips…

Invite curiosity.  Science learning begins with curiosity. Observations and questions can create a climate of discovery – key to scientific learning. Children can learn a lot about science even at bath time. Let your child ask her own questions but you can also stimulate curiosity. For instance, when seeing a rubber duck float in the water, invite her to think by saying, “I wonder if the soap will also float?” See what questions she asks and what experiments she tries.

Encourage children to record their observations. Writing, drawing, or taking photographs are all ways to record observations – an important scientific skill. Such records allow children to keep track of what they saw, heard, questioned, or discovered. When you notice your child is interested in something (like the moon, leaves changing on the trees, or the growth of a plant) you can suggest ways for them to record what they have observed. “Do you want to draw that?” or “Do you want to take photos?” or “Do you want me to help you write down what you noticed?”

Science literacy later in life depends on early experiences with science.  When I was a classroom teacher, I made lots of time for experiments and activities.  Looking back, I may not have provided enough time for my students to make sense of their experiences.  I should have provided more opportunities for them to reflect on and record their observations.

To read all the tips: 10 Tips to Support Children’s Science Learning

How do you support students’ science learning in your classroom?  Share your ideas in the comments.

Possible GELDS Connections:
PDM1.4c Consistently follows basic safety rules and anticipates consequences of not following safety rules.
PDM1.4d Communicates the importance of safety rules.
APL1.4a Takes initiative to learn new concepts and try new experiences. Initiates and completes new tasks by himself/herself.
APL2.4a Demonstrates eagerness to learn about and discuss new topics, ideas and tasks.
APL2.4b Asks questions and seeks new information. With assistance, looks for new information and wants to know more.
CD-SC1.4a Uses senses to observe, classify and learn about objects and environment.
CD-SC1.4b Uses simple tools correctly to experiment, observe and increase understanding.
CD-SC1.4c Records observations through dictating to an adult and drawing pictures or using other forms of writing.
CD-SC1.4d Experiments, compares and formulates hypotheses related to scientific properties.
CD-CP1.4a Recognizes cause- and- effect relationships.
CD-CP1.4b Explains why simple events occur using reasoning skills.
CD-CP1.4c Draws conclusions based on facts and evidence.
CD-CP2.4a Explains how to use objects in new situations.
CD-CP2.4b Uses observation and imitation to transfer knowledge to new experiences.
CD-CP2.4c Uses information gained about familiar objects and people, and can apply to a new situation.
CD-CP2.4d Makes, checks and verifies predictions.
CD-CP2.4e Explains how an activity is built on or uses past knowledge.
CD-CP3.4a Makes statements and appropriately answers questions about how objects/materials can be used to solve problems.
CD-CP3.4b Uses both familiar and new strategies to solve a problem.
CD-CP3.4c With adult guidance and questioning determines and evaluates solutions prior to attempting to solve a problem.

About

I train Georgia PreK teachers and dabble a bit in the art of blogging. Have an idea for a blog post? Email me at bestpractices@gsu.edu. On the web: www.bestpractices.gsu.edu Facebook: www.facebook.com/bestpracticespk Twitter: @bestpracticespk

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