Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Give'em a Sponge

Give'em a sponge and let them explore.  There you have it, science for the day!

Science in preschool does not look like it does in High School where you mix chemicals in beakers and light things on fire (obviously I have never been good at that kind of science).  The goal of science in preschool is to develop scientific reasoning.  Teach them how to ask questions and predict what might happen.  Make observations and experiment with the things around them.
Part of the Mother Goose Time lesson was to have them try to pick up sand, glitter or liquid with the dry sponge and then with a wet sponge.  I asked them first what might happen with the dry verses wet.  They weren't quite sure.  We don't have sponges around here.

It didn't pick up much until it was a little wet with the liquid water color I squirted on the tray. 
 Look Mom, it picked up some sand.
After this photo was taken I let Peter experiment with the tray and sponge in the kitchen sink.  I asked him to clean the tray off using only the sponge.  Then I pretty much walked away.  Yes I had to get towels to dry everything around him.  But he had so much fun experimenting with how much he could pick up and what happened when he put it under the water. 

I love this little clip.  I took it just after we finished our art project.  They used their new sponges for stenciling while we watched a video all about sea sponge.  First, you can hear Peter making observations about the color of the sponge.  I asked him what it was before, green (from the yellow paint) and he noticed that after rinsing it turned back to blue.  Then we talked about where the sponge came from, who made it and he made a sweet comment about real sea sponges.  He was so happy to find out we don't have to take them from the ocean anymore and you can see him express that here.  

Science in preschool certainly can be messy, but it's so worth it.  Sometimes they come to me with ideas based off their curiosities.  My first instinct is to say no.  But as often as I can, I try to pause, and say to myself in a little internal pep talk "can you figure out a way to say yes?" 

There are moments in everyday life when you just know the school curriculum you are using is working!  We had a loud thunderstorm roll over and we all sat in the big front window watching and listening.  As soon as the storm had passed both the boys ran to the dining room/school room and grabbed a paper and pen to document their observations.
 That's what science is all about, being curious and observant to the world around you. 

Lachlan continued his sponge science experiments by putting his wet sponge in the freezer.  We forgot about it until a week or so later when I stumbled across it and pulled it out.  I asked him to tell me the details of what he saw and felt.  These are things I don't think I would have done if not for the encouragement from Mother Goose Time.  They have these sort of prompts that go along with every lesson in their Teacher Guide.  That's how the lessons are planned out.  First you discuss, then you explore the tools or supplies and lastly you create or play. 
It's such a fun way to take on life, I hope they never lose their curiosity. 

No comments:

Post a Comment