Preschool & Science Reunited
As Deborah Stewart so eloquently describes, often times, "preschool teachers shy away from planning science in the preschool classroom because they are under the impression that science is all about formal experiments and chemical reactions". As a preschool teacher and experienced authority in matters of early childhood education, Stewart maintains that the act of encouraging students to ask questions, nurturing a desire to explore and order the world around them, and even making predictions about everyday occurrences sets the stage for future encounters with science! Stewart has a few suggestions for approaching science in the preschool classroom.
- Plan your lesson around a specific question (e.g. What is inside a pumpkin? What do caterpillars eat?)
- Prepare relevant vocabulary words. Words like sink, float, fast, slow, etc. can help children describe and order the world around them.
- Strive to use natural elements. Take nature walks around the school yard or bring nature indoors.
- Use stimulating visuals. The use of graphs and charts is helpful at this stage.
For more tips, explanations, and ideas, check out the rest of Stewart's post at her professional development blog, Excellence in Early Childhood Education.