Author Archives: Peggy Ashbrook

Play—outdoor, in-door recess, and science

Children move eagerly to get their winter wear gear, stream out the door, across the street and onto the playground. This 45 minute period, the second of the day, is a time for children’s gross motor activity on a new … Continue reading

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Book clubs, professional learning communities, and resources on equity

One of my favorite professional learning opportunities was an informal Professional Learning Community (PLC) organized by a colleague before the term “PLC” came into common usage. A small group of early childhood educators met weekly for about 8 weeks to … Continue reading

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100 days of school–weather watching and documenting plant growth

Just as numerals marking the number of in-school days are sometimes posted in one long line stretching across walls of the classroom, weather data can be collected and posted throughout the year. Using symbols that both children and scientists recognize, … Continue reading

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Intentionally providing materials to sort

In addition to providing materials for children, we can ask ourselves, “What is my role as an educator when I provide materials for sorting?” If we were picking through lentils to sort out any wee stones before cooking, our job … Continue reading

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When a construction site is next door

Street closures and high noise levels from construction on or near school grounds or other early childhood programs may disrupt the daily routine. Using the engineering habit of mind of optimism, defined as “a world view in which possibilities and … Continue reading

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What happens in your block area?

When playing and building with blocks, children experience the way the properties of matter, shape, weight, and proportionality affect balance, stability, and position within their structures. Beginning with open exploration, children measure as they build with blocks (Chalufour and all). … Continue reading

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Fostering children’s capacity to design and construct

In the October 2019 Early Years column in Science and Children, Anne Lowry, a preK teacher at Aleph Academy in Reno, Nevada, and I wrote about problem-solving experiences that took place in our classrooms. Engineering design opportunities in early childhood … Continue reading

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Media literacy week, October 21-25, 2019

A shared reading experience is one of the most powerful strategies for building children’s literacy skills according to the International Library Association (ILA pg 3) and in my experience as a reader, educator, and parent. Once a week I am … Continue reading

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An image gallery of ideas for learning centers

Setting up science learning centers for young children in early childhood programs sometimes means just grabbing what you have at hand because your teaching partners have been out sick all week, and the materials you ordered haven’t arrived yet, and … Continue reading

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Connecting with the education community online to find resources

To support my science teaching practice I look for information about teaching young children, and about the science content I think is important for the young children in my program. I have a lot of questions about both these areas: … Continue reading

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