Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Adventures in teaching Science!

How we teach Science in Pre-K and Kindergarten

   We had no set science curriculum for our PreK year. During this time we taught science in different hands-on experiences and everyday situations. One big aspect was talking about the weather and the different seasons each morning during our calendar time. We checked the weather each day and then found a matching picture card to hang. By doing this, we used a lot of science vocabulary words that Chickadee was hearing and learning. There were basic words like sunny, cloudy, rainy, hot, cold, but she was also introduced to other words not common of a 4 year old like foggy, cool, warm, partly cloudy, humid, sleet, hail, etc. We also discussed the differences between the four seasons and different weather we may find in each season. 
   We also did many hands-on activities like cooking, making homemade play-dough, making homemade moon sand, experiments, and observations. We took nature walks and discussed different things we saw or observed outside. One of my favorite things we did last year were observation sheets like this one from 2 teaching mommies' Ice Cream pack. Several of their printable packs have observation sheets in them which walks the young student through using each of their five senses to observe something. Chickadee enjoyed doing these as much as I enjoyed their educational content! We also did a variety of science activities included in printable packs found on the internet to go along with our weekly theme. 

  Again, we discuss the same science concepts during morning calendar time and I am hoping to get a large thermometer to place outside so we can start charting the daily temperatures. We also added Elemental Science's "Exploring Science" preschool series. I opted for the printed combo as I wanted to have it all bound and not worry about printing off weekly plans and student pages. It was worked out wonderfully! This program comes with a 2 or 5 day lesson plan which we have morphed into a 3 day/week plan. Chickadee's favorite thing about this science curriculum is that her Dad usually does it with her! The program is simple enough that most daily activities only take 20 minutes or so which allows us to wait to do this until my husband comes home in the afternoons to complete. I love the time they get to spend together learning and watching them interact together during the experiments. I usually pick up a few extra books from the library that pertain to the particular subject being taught each week and we read these throughout the week. Using this curriculum, we have also made a nature journal that we record in from our nature walks. 
Water Wonder Necklace from "Exploring Science"

   We also incorporate different science activities through our unit studies that we do. For example, this week we have begun our Fairy Tale unit. One of our activities will be to find 3 materials to build houses with (3 little pigs activity) and see which material will hold up best to "wind." Another way we learn science is through fun kits. For instance, this year, Chickadee received a "Bubble Experiment Kit" for Christmas from a family member. We can't wait until it warms up enough to get outside and try it out!

   We also use field trips to learn about science! Places we have gone where we are able to learn about science include: Local Science Museums (Children oriented), the Zoo, Nature Parks, State Parks, Camping Trips, 
Feeding the Birds

Petting Zoo

Pumpkin Patch... she discovered a caterpillar

Carefully Choosing a pumpkin

Something caught their eye in the tree...

Nature Walk

Nature Walk

Science is best learned through hands-on, fun activities and we make sure we do a lot of these! Thanks for reading! As always, questions/comments are welcome!

Until our next adventure,