Archive for April, 2012

Week of the Young Child April 22nd-28th, 2012

on April 25, 2012 in Teacher Training Workshops, What Makes A Great Teacher? Comments Off on Week of the Young Child April 22nd-28th, 2012

This week all across the globe, we celebrate Week of the Young Child. What I’d really like to see take place this week is for early childhood teachers to put away the lesson plans, and take their students outside for a nature walk. There is so much we can all learn from observing the natural wonders of our environment. Teachers can provide the young child with paper and crayons to draw what they see, magnifying lenses to observe nature up close, and an easy to handle container to place objects collected from nature in. When students have had sufficient time to explore the outdoors find a shaded area on the school yard, and ask students to share their observations as well as their drawings, and the objects they collected while outdoors. The video below is of a young girl exploring her neighborhood, she shares her observations, and knowledge of nature. For more information about Week of the Young Child check out the National Association for the Education of  Young Children (NAEYC). 

Can you imagine 80 parents of middle-school girls partaking in exciting hands-on-minds-on STEM investigations with their peers? Well check out the video below it includes highlights of the two investigations parents took part in during a STEM workshop I presented at the Expanding Your Horizons Conference held at UCF in February of this year. Parents conducted investigations with super-absorbing polymers, and also took part in the Marshmallow Challenge. I have found the Marshmallow Challenge to be an excellent exercise to use during STEM workshops. Participants must use critical thinking skills, collaborate and communicate with group members if they are to succeed in building the tallest free-standing structure in 18 minutes with only 20 spaghetti sticks, one yard of string, one yard of tape, and one large marshmallow. The parents had a fantastic time, and so did I.


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