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Elementary Science

The Early Years: Investigable Questions

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Imani Spicer Imani Spicer 4265 Points

Curiosity in children is innate and teachers should build a space where question-asking is allowed and valued. Children learn from direct evidence and when what they expected to happen does not happen. The cute example the article used was when children are unable to blow a bubble and automatically start blowing harder or dipping into the solution faster without understanding. Teachers have the ability to turn “Can I” questions into “How can I” questions. This leads to learning without measuring, a culture that appreciates and encourages simple questions. We as teachers can transform their basic questions into more complex inquiries with inclusive spaces for their curiousity. 

Jennifer Bryant Jennifer Bryant 1890 Points

I really like how you said 'teachers have the ability to turn Can I questions into How Can I questions'. Teachers should encourage students to ask questions and help them to have the tools to find answers to their questions. As students become more comfortable questioning more complex questions and inquiries. 

Hailey Traver Hailey Traver 2010 Points

Children are curious by nature, which is why it's so important to give students opportunities to explore the world around them, and ask questions. Teachers can use student questions to create a more student-centered learning environment. I've had many experiences in early elementary classrooms where the teacher responds to a student question by posing another question. The teacher then takes a step back, and lets the students reason through the concept. Students can then do the explaining, rather than a teacher-centered environment where the teacher does all the explaining. 

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92316 Points

Hi Hailey, Imani, and Jennifer,

Hailey, I love that you titled your initial post 'The Early Years' - I happen to enjoy reading the monthly articles written in the Science and Children NSTA journal by the same name - The Early Years. Peggy Ashbrook shares some insights and inquiry lessons for our youngest budding scientists.  In the February 2020 journal, Peggy shared an engineering design and open exploration where the question centered around how to build a better bubble maker. A new twist was included in the lesson design where students drew and described a bubble blower wand that they would want someone else to make. Children then pulled a design out of a container and went about to create the bubble blower wand for their 'new' client using the client's description.  You can check it out at: https://common.nsta.org/resource/?id=10.2505/4/sc08_046_03_14

I hope your summers are going well.  It is nice to have a bit of breathing space to spend time thinking about how to incorporate new, creative ideas into our science curricula for the fall.

Best,

Carolyn Mohr, Science Methods Instructor

Dominican University, River Forest, IL and

Southern Illinois University/Carbondale

 

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