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Early Childhood

Science at Home

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Ashleigh Duclos Ashleigh Duclos 455 Points

Since there is limited time to teach science during the school day, I wanted to encourage science instruction in the home by means of fun family acitivies. Does anyone have any ideas on how they have been able to get families to participate in science activities at home? What are some easy science experiments/activities families can do that require minimum supplies/materials?

Kyli Bumbray Kyli Bumbray 1708 Points

Hell Ashleigh,

I am a pre-service teacher so I have not had this experience yet but I do know that in most classrooms there is such a small fraction of time that allows for science instruction. I think it is a wonderful idea to try and get science done at home so the students are gaining as much knowledge as they can. I think the best thing to do would be for you to send the activities home with the kids including the directions as well as expereiments. I think this would be the best bet because it might be hard for parents to not only have to do the activities but also be responsible for buying them. One small science activity that could be done is a mini water cycle and the best part is that it can be used/monitered everyday. Just draw a scene on the bag (simple like a sun and cloud) and fill it partially with colored water. Use something to attach it to the window and everyday you can see the water changing (evaporating, freezing, etc.)

 

I hope this is a start

Lisa Lang Lisa Lang 1703 Points

Candy experiments are fun and easy to do at home. I've done the Sour Candy Color Test with my own kids for a science fair and the judges loved it for its simplicity.  You can use the color in purple cabbage to detect the acid in sour candy (Lemonheads, sweetarts, sour gummies, warheads).

1.  Make a purple cabbage indicator. Rip or chop enough purple cabbage to fill about 1 cup and soak it in 1 cup of hot water until the water is purple. This solution is your cabbage indicator.

2. Fill a bowl with the cabbage indicator.

3. Add a piece of the candy and let it dissolve. You can stir the water to help it dissolve.

4. If the cabbage indicator turns pink, the candy is acidic.

The students could do this at home with parents and then discuss as a class the next day.

Have fun!

Lisa 

Tamera Davis Tamera Davis 415 Points

I love your idea of including the parents within the science learning lessons. I've heard that creating little science journals for your students to take home may be helpful. You could do an activity in class were you set up 10-12 small science experiments whether it be the 5 senses, water properties, or the animal kingdom; you could then have each students pick 5-6 experiments they like and have them complete them throughout the school year whether for extra credit of just for participation points. 

Lauren Lara Lauren Lara 3640 Points

I think it's a great idea to include parents in science instruction. It's very beneficial when content students are learning in school is reinforced at home. One activity that can help involve parents in the science-learning of their children is proposing nature walks. It is an idea that one of my elementary teachers proposed. Have students create a science journal for these nature walks. They can collect leaves, study insects, or learn about the features of an ecosystem. A simple walk in the park can increase a student's observation skills. With the support of their parents, they're able to identify the various elements of the nature around them. It was an activity I very much enjoyed, especially during fall or spring!

Anne Lowry Anne Lowry 8763 Points

My class includes a family science activity in our weekly reflection.  These activities are tied to the current exploration.  Here's an example from our animals in the ecosystem study

make a list of all non-pet animals you see / hear over the weekend

The kids came back with lists of animals, which we then used in discussing of data gathering and data analysis before we visualised the data through maps and graphs

The families seem to like it; several have actually suggested additional activities

The key for me is how to make the families feel welcome.  Whether it's mode of communication, preferred language, style of activity, time of activity, etc. I always work at learning my families and adjusting my family involvement to fit them, rather than trying to make them fit me.  (bearing in mind that we do all have to fit each other, of course).  I have found that time spent this way at the beginning of the year / students time in my class makes the rest of the year so much easier and the parents so much more interested in what we do in the class, so for me it's worth the initial time committment

Anne

 

Anne

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