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Help for Kindergarten teacher struggling with the NextGen Science Standards

  • 1.  Help for Kindergarten teacher struggling with the NextGen Science Standards

    Posted 05-09-2017 04:15 PM
    My colleague teaches Kindergarten in a state that has adopted the NGSS K-12 and she has a lot of questions. She is struggling to figure out if her kindergarteners can meet the standard about making observations and determining the effects of sunlight on Earth's surface, and using tools and materials to design and build a structure to reduce the warming effect of Earth's surface. She wants to know, if her students can't use a thermometer yet, how can they determine the effect of sunlight? And, what materials that are commonly found in classrooms can be used to make a structure? A further question: Should she make a model for the students to copy?

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    Peggy Ashbrook
    Early childhood science teacher
    Alexandria, VA
    NSTA The Early Years columnist, Science and Children
    Early Years blogger, www.nsta.org/earlyyears
    Author: Science Learning in the Early Years, and
    Science Is Simple
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  • 2.  RE: Help for Kindergarten teacher struggling with the NextGen Science Standards

    Posted 05-10-2017 10:44 AM
    Hi, Peggy.  Here are a couple of ideas for your friend.

    1) Place various objects on sun sensitive paper and put it in the sun.  This is pretty quick and easy and really demonstrates the effects of the sun.
    2)  She could make raisins in the sun by putting out grapes on a tray, covered with cheesecloth to keep the bugs out, and watching the grapes turn into raisins.
    3)  If the kids cannot yet read thermometers, they can compare the length of the red lines on two large thermometers - one in the shade and one in direct sunlight.  The kids can make a cardboard box shelter to create the shade.

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    Dianne Miller Nielsen
    Rockport TX
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  • 3.  RE: Help for Kindergarten teacher struggling with the NextGen Science Standards

    Posted 05-10-2017 11:08 AM
    Hi, I have 3 and 4 year olds that can use/understand a simple thermometer. Plastic Student Thermometer
    Homesciencetools remove preview
    Plastic Student Thermometer
    This thermometer has a range of -20 to 50°C and -20 to 120°F. Readability is 2°C or 2°F. It has a red alcohol filled glass tube mounted to a plastic back. It is useful for measuring air temperature.
    View this on Homesciencetools >
    and then have them put it in a (in a plastic bag) glass of ice water, then a glass of warm/hot water etc...they can chart what they see. This can be accompanied by the following experiment:FDINETGSmamzlozElKnQ_experiment.jpeg

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    Karin King
    Trumbull CT
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  • 4.  RE: Help for Kindergarten teacher struggling with the NextGen Science Standards

    Posted 05-10-2017 11:13 AM
    Part 2...how great the discussion will be when the children brainstorm about building a structure. The children's ideas often surpass what we adults could ever imagine....I am assuming that there is no actual requirement that they "build" the structure.

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    Karin King
    Trumbull CT
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  • 5.  RE: Help for Kindergarten teacher struggling with the NextGen Science Standards

    Posted 05-10-2017 11:15 AM
    Part 3 LOL...NEVER make a model...let the children create, invent, brainstorm...a little "prompting" might be needed but do not impose our "adultness" on their creative process!

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    Karin King
    Trumbull CT
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  • 6.  RE: Help for Kindergarten teacher struggling with the NextGen Science Standards

    Posted 05-10-2017 11:21 AM
    Here is the "standard"

    Kindergarten
    The performance expectations in kindergarten help students formulate answers to questions
    such as: "What happens if you push or pull an object harder?
    Where do animals live and why
    do they live there?
    What is the weather like today and how is it different from yesterday?"
    Kindergarten performance expectations include PS2, PS3, LS1, ESS2, ESS3
    , and ETS1
    Disciplinary Core Ideas from the
    NRC Framework
    . Students are expected to develop
    understanding of patterns and variations in local weather and the purpose of weather
    forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather. Students are able to apply an
    understanding of the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on
    the motion of an object to analyze a design solution. Students are also expected to develop
    understanding of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive and the
    relationship between their needs and where they live. The crosscutting concepts of patterns;
    cause and effect; systems and system models; interdependence of science, engineering, and
    technology; and influence of engineering, technology, and science on society and the natural
    world are called out as organizing concepts for these disciplinary core ideas. In the kindergarten
    performance expectations, students are expected to demonstrate grade-appropriate proficiency
    in asking questions, developing and using models, planning and carrying out investigations,
    analyzing and interpreting data, designing solutions, engaging in argument from evidence, and
    obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information. Students are expected to use these
    practices to demonstrate understanding of the core ideas.


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    Karin King
    Trumbull CT
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  • 7.  RE: Help for Kindergarten teacher struggling with the NextGen Science Standards

    Posted 05-10-2017 12:26 PM
    You can easily create a little shade structure, with foil or dark paper or white paper for that matter...in fact all three. Using popsicle sticks and tape. Include a 'control' which would be a sprouted seed without cover. Then sprout some easy to sprout seeds, like peas or radish, and put them either in a window with sun, or outside if they will be undisturbed. Then have the children predict what will happen. Water them all the same, note the volume of water. Then see which ones thrive, or dry out, or observe whatever they observe. This shows the effect of sunlight on a living thing.
    She could just draw, or make one, as a demo. But the children can do this on their own. They may even use Leggos for the columns supporting the shad material. This can be a very LOW tech way to understand a very complex and important fact. The effects of sunlight on the earth's surface.

    Katy Jordan
    Enrollment Administrator
    Bing Nursery School
    Stanford University
    850 Escondido Road
    Stanford, CA 94305
    650-723-4965








  • 8.  RE: Help for Kindergarten teacher struggling with the NextGen Science Standards

    Posted 05-10-2017 12:36 PM
    First of all the effects of sunlight on the earth's surface is a broad topic, therefore it has to be broken down into the various life science contents. Such as; How does sunlight effect plants? How does the sunlight effect water? How does the sunlight effect animals? There are so many variables in this one topic I can understand why your colleague has a lot of questions. In addressing the issue of using tools to design and build a structure to reduce the warming effects of the Earth's surface I feel there needs to be some dialogue with the student's first as to what is causing the earth's surface to warm. Again this is a broad topic and in my opinion has to be addressed in a manner that kindergarten children can understand.

    Please feel free to contact me at KLCollins@KlevaKids.com or call me at 845-522-3155 to discuss this further. I would love to assist your colleague with this challenging issue.

    Kindest regards,
    Kellian L. Collins, EdD

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    Dr. Kellian L. Collins
    CEO
    KlevaKids
    Cornwall on Hudson New York
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  • 9.  RE: Help for Kindergarten teacher struggling with the NextGen Science Standards

    Posted 05-11-2017 06:45 AM
    Greetings:
    Take heart Early Childhood Teachers.  Science Standards may be intimidating to us, but they are kind to our children.  My understanding is that the science standards for Kindergarten have two purposes. First, they are meant to stimulate scientific thinking and second, scientific content.  Another understanding is that they are meant to depict what the child knows and can do at the end of the school year.  In other words, you have a whole 10 months to get there.

    The standards as I have read them do not require children to actually read a thermometer.  In their clarification statement of K-PS3-1, it states: "Examples of Earth's surface could include sand, soil, rocks, water.  Assessment of temperature is limited to relative measures such as warmer/cooler."  But a teacher can have a school thermometer in the classroom and refer to it and teach it as a writer has shown in a previous post.

    In the matter of building a structure: The standard K-PS3-2 also has a clarification statement: "Examples of structures could include umbrellas, canopies, and tents that minimize the warming effects of the sun.

    In the standards, the words that keep popping up are "ask questions".   I recall many years ago, a 3 year old with a sweet articulation issue who came up to me on a very hot June day and said, "It too tunny foa me."  Had I the knowledge about science thinking and questioning, I might have said, "What do you think you can do to be cooler?" Or "where can you go to get out of the sun?" But alas I just brought her to a place near the building that had some shade.  A bit of learning about K-PS3-1 was lost.

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    J. Joseph

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  • 10.  RE: Help for Kindergarten teacher struggling with the NextGen Science Standards

    Posted 05-11-2017 08:13 AM
    I hope your colleague is finding. Many helping ideas such as placing various colors of old, peeled crayons (especially shavings that the children could do wile peelers) onto paper placed outside in the sun - or even experiment by placing some inside by a sunny window AND outside! Or try to grow a cake pan of grass seed - 1 in the shade and 1 in the sun.  Watch icicles on a sunny, cold day.  The best influence about NGSS is seeing the child's thinking, wondering, and discovery through the lens of science. Rather than teach it - bring their ideas forward as investigstions, problem-solving - then predict, hypothesize, test.  Invite their ideas - "What are some ideas about we could try to learn more about the sun, who has an idea?"

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    Marilyn Brink
    Saint Charles IL
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  • 11.  RE: Help for Kindergarten teacher struggling with the NextGen Science Standards

    Posted 05-16-2017 05:59 PM
    I've been reading through the previous posts. Such great ideas! It's also a good idea to review the Science & Engineering Practices and the Crosscutting Concepts, along with the DCI for a particular grade level.

    Here's a link to the Crosscutting Concepts:
    https://www.nextgenscience.org/sites/default/files/Appendix%20G%20-%20Crosscutting%20Concepts%20FINAL%20edited%204.10.13.pdf

    And a great resource on the Science & Engineering Practices:
    http://nstahosted.org/pdfs/ngss/resources/201112_Framework-Bybee.pdf

    I'm wondering if your colleague is in a city with an active STEM-learning Ecosystem. The national ecosystem movement is a great way for teachers to access community resources beyond their school/district. Here's a link: STEM Ecosystems  I'm on the executive leadership team of the San Diego STEM EcosySTEM. The movement is a great way to support classroom teachers implementing NGSS.

    Ida Rose Florez



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    Ida Rose Florez
    San Diego CA
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  • 12.  RE: Help for Kindergarten teacher struggling with the NextGen Science Standards

    Posted 05-19-2017 08:07 AM
    Thanks all for the ideas for extending Kindergartners' understanding of how sunlight affects the surface of the earth--the specific activities and the links to resources! Although the NGSS performance expectation uses relative measurement, I agree with Karin that the movement of the "red line" in a thermometer is understood by many 3-6 years old children. Marie Faust Evitt's Thinking BIG Learning BIG has several activities about weather and water that use both relative measurements and those made with a thermometer.

    I've attached a photo of how one preK teacher uses color coding to help children collect thermometer data before they can read numerals.

    I love the NSTA (NAEYC endorsed) position statement on early childhood science education and recommend it for sharing with administrators and parents who need research that supports science education in preschool.

    Thanks again for the support--I look forward to this thread continuing!

    Thermometer has blocks of colors for every 20*F in temperature.


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    Peggy Ashbrook
    Early childhood science teacher
    Alexandria, VA
    NSTA The Early Years columnist, Science and Children
    Early Years blogger, www.nsta.org/earlyyears
    Author: Science Learning in the Early Years, and
    Science Is Simple
    ------------------------------