Okay, so two years ago at this time I promised I would teach more science in my preschool. And it didn’t really happen. I went to a science workshop for early childhood teachers this week and thought back to figure out where I went wrong.
- I just haven’t felt comfortable or knowledgeable enough to do it. It’s not that I don’t like science or find it interesting; I just couldn’t figure out how to add it to my classroom in a thoughtful, thorough way.
- Last year I focused my energies on learning how to do writer’s workshop in preschool. It was a great, intellectually stimulating challenge, and it turned out, I was good at teaching writing. My kids all started to write, and a lot of my teaching energy went to writing and reading.
- Actually, a lot of my teaching TIME went to writing and reading. It’s really hard to fit everything into two and a half hours. I didn’t have the time or the energy to figure out where science was going to go.
- My classroom is so tiny I couldn’t figure out where to put a science center. Then I finally figured out a space, and couldn’t figure out what to put there!
But THIS year, I really will do it. Our workshop, mostly based on the book Exploring Water with Young Children, with some time spent on Exploring Nature with Young Children, was pretty terrific. (I went home and said to my husband, “so that was not a waste of my time,” which is a huge compliment when it comes to our school district and staff development.)
Miss Mellow was at the workshop, also, and we thought that maybe this year we would do a long exploration of water in the fall, and of nature in the spring. We have a sand table which we can empty and turn into a water table, and we have ideas about where to go to get funnels, tubes, eye droppers, and turkey basters.
So we’ll see how it goes. I look forward to launching science exploration this fall — I want my students to have a sense of wonder about the world around them, to have the opportunities to become absorbed in exploring, wondering, testing, and talking about science.