Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Preschool Science 110

I admit that the sciences were not my favorite in high school and college but I love teaching the sciences to our preschoolers! I attended a science workshop many years ago. The presenter was Sue Kerr. She developed a science lesson for each letter of the alphabet for her kindergarten class. The results of her efforts were published in the book "Science through the Alphabet" and it is still in print.

I had to alter all of the lessons for preschoolers but it was well worth it. I now have a file full of science and math activities. Materials are stored in large zip-loc bags in a storage tub. In addition to Sue's lessons, I have developed lots of science and math activities over the years. The time spent means easy access to some fun science and math lessons for our preschoolers.

The science activities are only used for our MWF classes. The science center is about discovery and exploration-not being right or wrong. We introduce lots of vocabulary-experiment, dissolve, chemistry, balance, etc. through our science center. The science activities are usually a one or two person center that the children can choose. Almost all children use the science center but not everyone. They are also allowed to experiment again and again. It is not a one time try for each child but they must take turns.

Two fun lessons were kitchen chemistry experiments. During the letter D, we asked 'Does It Dissolve?' The children were to choose an item (salt, sprinkles, beans, sugar, flour, rice, etc.) and stir it into the water to see if it dissolved.

Magic Potions is finding the right combination to create magic! We put out four magic powders and four magic liquids and only the right combination will create 'magic'. This is always fun around Halloween.

Powders are sugar, salt, cornstarch and of course baking soda. Liquids are soda, water, vegetable oil
and the magic liquid, vinegar. The powders and liquids are color coded. A few children will use logic to try to figure out which creates the magic. Ususally, it's luck. It has never failed. Some time during the week, a child happens to get the right combination. The look on their face is priceless. The next step is to tell all their friend the right combination!

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