Early Childhood Institute Castleton July 2019

Resources from course:
Institute Syllabus 2019
STEM books and materials
Expectations for course credit

What is Action Research? (for college credit)
Castleton course credit timesheet

Math vocabulary
Science words to use with young children
How Does Force Affect Motion
Encouraging Preschoolers’ Emerging Math Skills

Sample Action Research Project: Documentation Panels
Sample Action Research Project: Block Corner
Note: These are excerpts from the full projects.

Data Collection and Graphic Representation (pdf)

Introduction to Science (reformatted from VELS)
Vermont Child Personas (Birth to Grade 3)
Media and Young Minds (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Source for Keva® planks

Living and Non-Living Template (pdf)
Animal Cards (pdf)

Asking Open-Ended Questions
Why Use Picture Books to Explore STEM With Young Children?

Vermont Early Learning Standards (2019)

Picture Book Bibliographies

Building and Engineering bibliography
Force and Motion bibliography

Physical Science Teacher’s Guide (MESS)
Engineering is Elementary (Boston Museum of Science)

NCAA Guide to Inquiry Science (download)
Inquiry science is all about exploring and thinking.  This 50-page guide has suggestions of what adults can do to help children (birth to 5) make sense of the world around them. Good planning and talking points for all programs. Produced by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCAA).​

Force and Motion activities
Move It! Rolling Balls
Move It! Ready, Set, Roll
Move It! Roll or Slide
Move It! Ramps and Balls
Move It! Tubes and Balls

Sound Explorations

Building activities
Building With Boxes and other resources (pdf)
Building with Boxes activities including Innovative Preschool STEM Experiences, Focus on Science, alignment to Massachusetts STE standards, an d links to Internet Resources, Great Places to Inspire Children’s Curiosity and A Message to Families.

Building Things and Other Resources (pdf)
Building Things: STEM information and activities about planning and building.  Although this aligns with Massachusetts preK standards, the experiences and investigations will engage young children in STEM learning.  Includes suggested books and web resources

Western Carolina University: Preschool Engineering (pdf)
Preschool engineering: Information, resources, engineering challenges, suggested materials, and a sample letter to families.

Boston Children’s Museum STEM Guide (pdf)
The goal of STEM Sprouts is to assist preschool educators in focusing and refining the naturally inquisitive behaviors of 3-5 year-olds on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Start With a Book: Builders and Buildings
Includes booklists, links to hands-on activities, websites and mobile apps.

Natural Start Alliance: Engaging Children in STEM Early
Building a foundation, teaching STEM to early learners.

For school-age children
American Society of Civil Engineers (explorations)
School Age explorations selected by the American Society of Civil Engineers.  Among the building suggestions are links to sites with explicit instructions for children’s  building of bridges and towers.

Articles and useful links
Unleashing the Power of Science-Zero to Three (pdf)
STEM Starts Early (pdf)
Guiding Preschool Learning in Science and Technology/Engineering (UMass)
Grades Pre-K-2 Overview of Science and Engineering Practices (Mass.)
The Power of Documentation in the Early Childhood Classroom (NAEYC)

Early Childhood Science Education: NSTA Position Statement 
This National Teachers Association (NSTA) document focuses primarily on children from age 3 through preschool and identifies the key principles to guide the leaning of science among young children. Essential information for program development and interactions with children, parents and other care givers.

Next Generation Science Standards
Within the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), there are three distinct and equally important dimensions to learning science. These dimensions are combined to form each standard—or performance expectation—and each dimension works with the other two to help students build a cohesive understanding of science over time. The three dimensions are: Cross-Cutting Concepts, Science and Engineering Practices and Disciplinary Core Ideas.

Science in the Preschool Classroom (NAEYC)
Explores inquiry science and young children with an emphasis on language and literacy development.

Science in Early Childhood Classrooms: Content and Process (Karen Worth)
This paper address the question of what the nature of science teaching and learning in the for young children. It proposes four basic ideas: (1) doing science is a natural and critical part of children’s early learning; (2) children’s curiosity about the natural world is a powerful catalyst for their work and play; (3) with the appropriate guidance, this natural curiosity and need to make sense of the world become the foundation for beginning to use skills of inquiry to explore basic phenomena and materials of the world surrounding children; and (4) this early science exploration can be a rich context in which children can use and develop other important skills, including working with one another, basic large- and small-motor control, language, and early mathematical understanding. The paper describes a structure for learning through inquiry and criteria for the selection of appropriate content for young children. d representation, and the teacher’s role.

Bryn Mawr College, Serendip Studio: Science Inquiry in the Preschool Classroom
Developing the Process of Scientific Inquiry.  An overview of the inquiry process with specific activities and connections to standards.

ALA’s Great Websites for Kids (Science Websites)
This section of ALA’s Great Websites for Kids has the best list for science sites appropriate for young children (connects to Peep and the Big World, Lawrence Hall of Science, etc.)

Supporting Scientific Thinking and Inquiry of Toddlers and Preschoolers Through Play (NAEYC)
An article from the National Association of Young Children (NAEYC) Young Children.

Preschoolers Learning Science: Myth or Reality (download)
A scholarly paper including: “Can preschoolers learn about scientific facts?”  and “Can preschoolers learn to generate science knowledge?”  Thought provoking information.

“Inquiring Minds” (Book Links download)
Book strategies to help encourage inquiry skills while sharpening children’s language and literacy skills. Although these are Classroom Connections for grades 3 to 7, the information and annotated bibliographies will be helpful for programming and collection development.

“Connecting Science and Poetry” (Book Links download)
(Classroom Connections, Preschool to Grade 8).  Excellent information about using poetry to connect with science learning. Also, an annotated bibliography and Common Core Connections. Includes Cynthia Cotten’s inquiry science poem “Scientific Steps.”