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In the Preschool Classroom Real Science. 2 Objectives Participants will be able to: –State the six components of the Preschool Scientific Method (PSM).

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Presentation on theme: "In the Preschool Classroom Real Science. 2 Objectives Participants will be able to: –State the six components of the Preschool Scientific Method (PSM)."— Presentation transcript:

1 In the Preschool Classroom Real Science

2 2 Objectives Participants will be able to: –State the six components of the Preschool Scientific Method (PSM). –Use interaction strategies to support children’s science learning

3 3 People Poll Reflections In what ways were you scientists? Did you have to purchase "science kits" from a catalog to be scientists? Did you have to get things from a special "science table?"

4 4 Consider This… “Science processes occur in all parts of the classroom and outdoors, not just at a science table.” Ritz et al., 1998

5 5 5 Ingredients of Active Learning Materials Manipulation Choice Child thought and language Adult scaffolding (support)

6 6 Preschool Science Much of the research addressing very young children’s need to explore will describe them as “born scientists.” Early science development is a natural process by which young children make sense of how the world and everything in it works. Children want science to be something they DO, not something that is done to them.

7 7 Preschool Scientific Method As young children explore their world, they use many of the techniques that adult “scientists” use. These 6 components define the wide- ranging scope of “science” in the early years.

8 8 Preschool Scientific Method (PSM) Observing Classifying Experimenting Predicting Drawing conclusions Communicating ideas

9 9 Observing

10 10 Observing Definition: Observing is paying attention to something to learn about its properties.

11 11 Observing When children observe, they are gathering data to add to their knowledge of the physical world, nature, how things work, the limits of things. As observers, children use ALL their senses and their WHOLE body.

12 Can you find the math?







19 19 Classifying

20 20 Classifying Definition: Classifying is a way of grouping like things together and in doing so, results in the recognition of relationships between things.

21 21 Classifying Young children figure out ways to organize the knowledge they have acquired, PLUS think of additional ways to incorporate new discoveries into those categories.

22 22 Experimenting

23 23 Experimenting Definition: Experimenting is testing an idea to see if it is true or trying a solution to see if it works.

24 24 Experimenting? Not at the preschool level!

25 25 Instead, Preschool Experimenting is… KDI: Solving problems encountered in play COR Item B: Solving problems with materials

26 26 More on Experimenting When we support children in their efforts to answer their own questions or solve their own (non-conflict) problems, we give them the confidence to test their ideas. While science invites the use of questions like, “I wonder…” and “What do you think will happen if…,” using how and why questions will encourage children’s higher level thinking skills.

27 27 How and Why In table groups, discuss why you think how and why questions might work particularly well with experimenters.

28 28 Important Tip: Expect that children can solve problems that arise as they carry out their initiatives, and encourage them to generate alternative strategies when one idea doesn’t work.

29 29 Predicting When I pour the water in the tube, it only dribbles out the end… …but if I blow into the tube, the water comes bursting out like a fountain!!!

30 30 Predicting Definition: To predict is to foretell something.

31 31 Predicting Children consider the information they have, think ahead and then make a speculation about what might happen. Although children do no always verbalize their predictions, they are occurring nevertheless! Predictions are different from guesses, because they are lessons learned from experience and experimentation, including trial and error.

32 32 Drawing Conclusions If I run fast, I’ll beat the ball to the bottom of the ramp!

33 33 Drawing Conclusions Definition: Drawing conclusions is the process of explaining what one has observed, and then fitting it into one’s existing system of knowledge and understanding.

34 34 Drawing Conclusions Children construct knowledge in their own way. They collect information that allows them to form their own theories about how the world works. Children make generalizations based on their prior experiences.

35 35 Communicating Ideas

36 36 Communicating Ideas Definition: Communicating ideas means sharing one’s questions, observations, predications, and conclusions with others.

37 37 Communicating Ideas As children lead explorations, they conduct investigations and generate theories about how and why things happen. They are excited to share their results! The communication may take many forms; pointing, telling, drawing, or simply a fleeting comment.

38 38 Preschool Scientific Method (PSM) Observing Classifying Experimenting Predicting Drawing conclusions Communicating ideas At an adult level, scientists apply the scientific method in this order. At the preschool level, this is not necessarily the case. Preschool children engage in their investigations in a random and spontaneous fashion.

39 39 Interaction Strategies to Support Science Learning Studies of the relationship between teacher’s interaction styles and positive outcomes for children support an interaction style that emphasizes shared control. It is through such interactions that we demonstrate our knowledge of the curriculum content (science in this case), our familiarity with the different ways science reveals itself in children play, and how that play is affected by the children’s level of development. As a partner in children’s play, you are in a prime position to observe and listen to what children are saying about what they are doing, and thus to support and extend their play.

40 40 Specific Science Interaction Strategies Play alongside children. Take directions from children. Make comments on what you see children doing. Use language appropriate to science (i.e., the KDI or COR science items). State a problem in a different way so children can continue to explore solutions. Introduce a new tool or idea that might help children move forward with their idea. Use how and why questions to help children synthesize their science learning.

41 41 Scenarios 1.Read the scenarios. 2.Make a list of the ways you could support and/or extend the science learning in each. Be sure to identify specific interaction strategies!

42 42 A Peek Ahead After lunch, you will use your science senses are you identify the parts of the Preschool Scientific Method occurring in different interest areas. You will also develop a science-related small-group time using ideas from the book.

43 43 Objectives Participants will be able to: Identify and support the parts of the PSM as they occur in each area of the classroom. Plan a small-group time with science learning in mind.

44 44 Preschool Scientific Method (PSM) Observing Classifying Experimenting Predicting Drawing conclusions Communicating ideas

45 45 The Classroom as Laboratory Digging for bugs, making goop, racing cars down block ramps, and countless other naturally occurring, “scientific” events that happen all over the classroom and throughout the day, offer a different way of engaging children as they “do” science.


47 47 Discover Your Science Senses Step 1:With your partner, complete the activity at your station. Step 2:After you complete the activity, brainstorm other ways children could be engaged in the PSM in that interest area. Step 3:Jot down your thoughts in your Participant Guide. Step 4: Move to the next interest area station.

48 48 Science Senses Discussion Observing Classifying Experimenting Predicting Drawing conclusions Communicating ideas Discussion Points: Were you able to recognize the different parts of the PSM? Were some parts harder/easier to identify than others?

49 49 Science Learning During SGT Children “do” science throughout the classroom. If you observe children, you will find plenty of ideas for “science” small-group times!

50 50 Avoid the “WOW” Factor The WOW factor may turn up as an exciting demonstration at a conference or as colorful pages in catalogs. Many of the materials and “experiments” can be great learning experiences for elementary school-aged children. Not for preschoolers! It usually ends up as a “magic show,” with the teacher adding the water (or other active ingredient) to the mystery powder. The children are momentarily entertained by the “magic” --- but were they doing science? Will they take away any information they can use? Instead, we want to support REAL science learning, by supporting experiences with the PSM!

51 51 Planning a SGT with Science in Mind Read through the 10 SGTs for both of your assigned areas. Select 3 that you would like to look at in more detail. For each of the 3, identify the parts of the PSM that children might use during this activity. –Be specific: Predicting – If I add more dirt, it makes the mud harder. Reminder: Children do not have to experience all six parts of the PSM at one time, nor should they be expected to do them in any particular order.

52 Same Small- Group….

53 2 different experiences!

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