The summer program at Learning Circle Preschool features an integrated science and arts curriculum. What does summer science look like?
There’s a way in which everything young children do is science. Using one’s senses to explore the environment, investigating how things work, expressing curiosity, asking questions, observing, and then integrating all that new information to make more, or new, sense of the world, are all central to how children learn and experience their world. Teachers can follow children’s lead, stimulate new thinking, encourage deeper considerations, offer new information and tools, suggest steps or approaches to try, and join in as children explore together.
Science might look like:
• Open-ended and child initiated explorations of materials and space in the environment, either individually or in small groups
• Discussions and investigations of materials, photos, or books brought to a group by teachers or children
• Use of tools to observe the environment, and then to document those observations to share with others or to compare with other related observations from day to day
• Questions posed to individual children or a small group with a problem to solve or a topic to consider:
– How can we make this pump work better?
– Can we make waves in the water table? What is making those waves bigger?
– What do you notice happening when we mix these ingredients in the “potion”?
– Let’s look at how this plant is changing day by day…
– What living things are we sharing space with when we use our playground?
– How can we see the wind?
– How can we move this ball faster (or more slowly) up or down the ramp system?
What do we know about….
• Collecting data and noting changes using documentation or charts and graphs over time
• Making predictions and guesses about what will happen when actions are taken
Teachers find the best topics by setting up a stimulating environment indoor and outdoors, and then engaging with children in that space, watching and listening carefully to collect information on what seem the most meaningful to children. Then we make sure the right tools and opportunities are available for children to pose questions, make predictions, observe, document, reflect, and share.
Science is everywhere!
Enjoy these photos of our first few weeks together.