Open Discussion Forum

  • 1.  How does your use of "science notebooks" change?

    Posted 05-03-2017 03:57 PM

    I'm wondering how much the four-year-olds in my care, and in programs I mentor, should be drawing and writing when we do a science exploration. How does your use of a "science notebook" change over the school year, and from grade-to-grade (preK-grade 3)?

    Peggy Ashbrook
    Early childhood science teacher
    Alexandria, VA
    NSTA The Early Years columnist, Science and Children
    Early Years blogger,
    Author: Science Learning in the Early Years, and
    Science Is Simple

  • 2.  RE: How does your use of "science notebooks" change?

    Posted 05-03-2017 06:08 PM
    I use science notebooks with plain unlined paper with my mixed-age class of preschoolers to draw what they are observing, whether it's plants, worms, or a building that they made. I date each of their pages so I can see how their ability to draw from observation (and their fine-motor skills!) progress over the year. Of course, how well they draw depends on their developmental levels and some of the three-year-olds drawings are mostly scribbles. But they can still tell me what the different parts of their drawing represent and by talking to them about their drawings I can tell what part of the experience was most interesting to them. I love my four-year-olds drawings of worms with big grins on their faces!

    Sandy Chilton
    Austin, TX

  • 3.  RE: How does your use of "science notebooks" change?

    Posted 05-04-2017 11:19 AM
    Sandy, I greatly appreciate the idea of using unlined paper so children can draw.  I would expand upon your reasons for using such tools as they not only help the teacher, but the process also supports the children's learning.  By drawing and reflecting, the children are actually engaged in deeper learning (metacognition) and....because my work is in spiritual development, the children are also developing relationships and connections to the world that hopefully leads to biophilia (a love of life and the living world).  This interconnection of learning is valuable so please continue offering your young students those plank pages and next time you write about the value in the process, think also about what is occurring for the children.  Hope you find these thoughts inspiring.

    Deborah Schein
    Minneapolis MN