Science – it’s what drives me as an educator. There is an interesting game on Facebook where you answer questions and it pumps out the career you are most suited for. It’s not the first time I have been told I should work in the sciences. My pre-college assessments pointed in the same direction. When I couldn’t get a teaching job right after college in the glutted market, I went back to school to become an LPN. The field felt right at home for me.
It is no surprise that now that I am nestled in the field of education that my focus is shared with the sciences. Marrying the two fields has helped me make sense of the way I need to operate in educating young children. Not only can I think, talk, and otherwise share my passion for science but I can integrate it nicely into the other domains for learning.
The past year’s science based curriculum was very rewarding. Now I want to take the next step in the journey, making the learning even more inquiry based. You can read a lot on the subject here at Science For All and here from Purdue.
Where is the change from what I have done in the past? It is in the importance of pulling the areas of study from the children. I have a full spreadsheet of topics and activities that you may be able to view here. What I want to do though is to find out what and how the children want to explore and share the generation of learning activities and projects from that learning path. It will be rather easy to guide them into areas I have lots of prep done already but I want to be more open to new thinking, new questions, and new science in action. As a logical-mathematical learner, I see patterns all over. That is what makes it easier to use what we can do now in creating new activities and explorations. Math and science play into patterns beautifully.
At the end of this past school year, we had time for one more project. After much discussion, the students and I decided to create a unit on Space. It may have been the richest experience of the year with tons of sharing between students. The materials available online and in the school library are tremendous!
So let’s see how this year rolls out. We can start the year under the umbrella of studying seasons and apples but where that study takes us might be quite different. Inquiring minds want to know… well, we want to know everything!