Upon completion of this class students will be able to:
1. Develop, demonstrate, and assess math and science activities for young children utilizing constructivist teaching strategies.
2. Define and evaluate developmentally appropriate math and science curriculum for young children.
3. Create environments that support math and science learning for young children.
4. Identify foundational knowledge and skills necessary for learning math.
5. Develop awareness of how gender and racial bias may affect children's achievement in math and science, and incorporate teaching methods that are bias-free.
6. Foster and support children's natural curiosity about the world around them.
7. Assess the possibilities of "loose parts," including those occurring in nature, for use in the creation of science and math projects.
I. Constructivist Theories of Cognitive Development
3. Current theories of promoting hands-on learning
4. Brain development research
B. Developmentally appropriate practices
II. Development and Assessment of Quality Math and Science Experiences
A. Identifying and building on children's experiences
B. Developing activities and units of study
1. Using an integrated curriculum
2. Active involvement and hands-on curriculum techniques
3. Promoting questioning strategies on the part of both children and teachers
4. Modifying activities for developmental stages
C. Creating inviting and interesting math and science environments
1. Classroom learning centers
2. Creating nature displays
3. Developmentally appropriate curriculum and materials
D. Establishing a foundation for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning
E. Using assessment tools
1. Using the Desired Results Developmental Profiles (DRDP) observation tool in math and science
2. Using environmental assessment tools to assess your science and math curriculum
III. Survey of Math Concepts and Related Activities
A. Matching, patterning
B. Number, counting, sets
D. Ordering, sequence, etc.
E. Comparing, classification, graphing
F. Space, shapes
G. Parts and wholes
IV. Survey of Science Concepts and Related Activities
A. Scientific Method with young children
B. Physical knowledge
1. Sensory experiences
2. Movement and physical science
3. Cause and effect
4. Transformations and change processes
C. Children and nature
1. Outdoor education
2. Activities related to nature and the seasons
3. Plants and gardening
V. Resources for Teaching Math and Science
A. "Loose parts"
B. Natural objects and materials
C. Recycled materials
D. Appropriate games, toys and learning materials
E. Teacher resources, including web- based materials, curriculum kits and books
F. California Preschool Learning Foundations and Framework
VI. Children's Math and Science Library
A. Books and other media for children
B. Books and other media for teachers
VII. Equity Issues in Teaching Science and Math
A. Understanding bias in teaching math and science
B. Creating strategies for an inclusive curriculum
Assignments may include:
1. Activity reports: Written assessments of math and science activities, approximately eight assignments of 1-3 pages each.
2. Group and individual curriculum activities: development and oral presentation of 3-4 math and science activities, including age-appropriate use of materials and incorporation of attractive, inviting environments.
3. Reading of text and handouts, approximately 20 pages per week.
4. Written observation and assessment of math and science curriculum in an early childhood setting, approximately one to two assignments of 3-5 pages each.
5. Written responses to reading, approximately four papers of 2-3 pages each.
Worms, Shadows, and Whirlpools: Science in the Early Childhood Classroom by Karen Worth and Sharon Grollman, NAEYC (2003 - a classic)
Spotlight on Young Children: Exploring Math by Teaching Young Children editors, NAEYC (2016)
Exploring Math and Science in Preschool by Teaching Young Children editors, NAEYC (2015)
California Preschool Learning Foundations and Framework, Volume 1 (Math); Volume 3 (Science), California Department of Education (2014)