Preschoolers who explore science not only develop a rich knowledge base about the everyday world around them, but they sharpen skills in reasoning, language, literacy, and math. Kids love to explore at this age—they’re sponges for the world around them—and science is their No. 1 favorite way to do that.
This is what drives the daily classroom activities in the ScienceStart! curriculum. Now, working off the same principles, ScienceStart! has introduced a weekly framework for teachers who want to weave in more science and math without changing out of their current curriculum.
Friday Afternoon Science offers the same depth of exploration and integrated approach to learning found in ScienceStart!. It’s a deep dive for children to become scientific explorers of their everyday world.
A science cycle guides each investigation. Here’s how it looks:
Reflect & Ask: The teacher leads a discussion of what the children already know about the day’s topic. After reading aloud a children’s book, more discussion follows, prompting further inquiry. “What do you think could happen if…?”
Plan & Predict: With the teacher’s support, children plan an investigation to answer their questions. They talk about how to carry out the activity and what materials they’ll need. They make predictions about the outcome of the activity. All answers are recorded on the easel paper. “Let’s see what happens!”
Act & Observe: Children carry out the activity. Sometimes the teacher models it during group time, and adults can offer support, but every child does the activity. There are lots of ways this portion of the science cycle may unfold.
Report and Reflect: After they talk about what they observed and learned, the teacher and children document the day’s investigation. Some ways to do this:
- A chart or graph summarizing the results
- A poster with photos
- A classroom book that combines photos, drawings, children’s dictation
- A group contribution to the teacher’s letter home about the day’s activities.
Friday Afternoon Science has been developed in collaboration with preschool teachers, and it’s based on sound research and theory. Best of all, it’s been tested by preschool explorers—and they love it.
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