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Throughout this course, we will study the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and how they relate singly and combined to preschool curriculum planning. We will explore readings, resources, articles, websites, videos, planning resources and supplemental resources provided in the individual course units. These resources replace a textbook and are current materials written by professionals in the field. They present life experiences that can give real input into your studies.
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In each of the three units where there is this reflection assignment, you will select one resource in the unit and give a response to the four questions provided. Before you make your resource selection, read all the resources and visit all the links provided in the unit. Some readings will reflect knowledge you already have which will be further solidified. Some material will stretch your thinking and give you a new perspective on a strategy. This coursework is intended to inform, extend your thinking, invite you to query, and reflect on and refine your practices. You will create new knowledge and define your teaching practices with each reflection assignment.
Articles, Websites, and Videos:
This resource demonstrates the benefits of using familiar stories in the picture books genre to help children understand engineering. The authors provide a complete example of a planned curriculum including classroom activity, materials lists, and a community event project culmination.
- Bradley, B. A., Thomas, K., & Bradley Jr., A. A. (2019). A home for three little pigs: Preschool children learn about engineering through designing and testing homes. Science & Children, 57(3), 40–48.
In this article, children discuss a real dilemma when the greenhouse faucet is broken. The classroom teachers guide the children in developing and following clear steps to explore, create, improve, and document their problem-solving process.
- Mano, H., Molina, K., Lange, A., & Nayfeld, I. (2019). Planting the seeds of engineering: Preschoolers think about, talk about, and solve a real problem in the garden. Science & Children, 57(2), 80–84.
This article demonstrates that children engage in science when involved in tinkering and making. As children learn to tinker with materials, they discover the properties of these materials and use them in different problem-solving experiences.
- Bevan, B., Petrich, M., & Wilkinson, K. (2014). Tinkering is serious play. Educational Leadership, 72(4), 28–33.
This resource emphasizes the importance of using authentic problems in the classroom and explores the “seven learning practices of making”.
- Bresson, L., King, M., Brahms, L., & Wardrip, P. S. (2017). Create problems for your preschoolers, don’t solve them! Teaching Young Children, 10(4), 12–15.
Using the book, Eggbert, the Slightly Cracked Egg, the authors present an “egg challenge”. Focusing on the egg packages that protect eggs, children are guided to use “Ask, Imagine, Try, and Try again” prompts.
- Lottero-Perdue, P., Bowditch, M., Kagan, M., Robinson-Cheek, L., Webb, T., Meller, M., & Nosek, T. (2016). An engineering design process for early childhood. Science & Children, 54(3), 70–77.
Using children’s books can help connect and expand early learning experiences. Engineering concepts presented in Pamela Allen’s book, Who Sank the Boat, are brought to life in the boat engineering video.