Wednesday, May 22, 2019

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Preschool Science Experiment: Bean Measuring Science Center

Today I am sharing a super awesome (and easy to set up) preschool science center that I created after taking the CCEI440: Sensational Science online course from ChildCare Education Institute. I loved watching my preschoolers create their own science experiments and talk about what they were learning as they explored sizes, relationships, and textures.

ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI)  provides high-quality, online training courses and programs that are applicable to anyone who works with young children, including preschools, daycares, parents, and more! CCEI has over 150 English and Spanish training courses and and is accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). You can read my review of their courses here and visit their website for more information:

I just took ChildCare Education Institute's CCEI440: Sensational Science course for preschoolers, and loved it! As someone with an advanced degree in science who is highly qualified to teach young children, I strongly recommend this course for any teachers or parents! The course explains the role of science education for preschoolers and toddlers, how they learn science, why it is important, and gives practical, hands-on ways to implement a meaningful science program.

Like CCEI's other courses, Sensational Science moves you through the information with slides that you can start and stop at your convenience:

There are 129 slides--the course is considered one clock hour and takes about one hour to complete.

As you move through the course there are occasional questions that you must answer correctly to continue. If you answer incorrectly, the course simply places you back several slides so you can review the information you need and try again.

At the end of the course there is an End of Course Exam with about 10 questions. After you pass it you can print a certificate of completion to use when reporting professional development IACET CEUs:

The interface is very user-friendly, and the course is full of current research-supported information and ideas that can inform and inspire your preschool science curriculum, whether formal or informal! I thoroughly enjoyed the course material--and my preschoolers loved the science station that I was inspired to set up as I worked through the course!

One of the types of science instruction the course discussed was "informal science," or the opportunity to explore, experiment, and invent with relatively few instructions. This kind of hands-on science gives children the opportunity to experience the scientific method while solving their own problems! One approach to introducing informal science is using a science center in your home or classroom.

The science center can have a variety of supplies that allow your children to create their own experiments. Since too many supplies is often overwhelming, you probably want to rotate out the supplies that you use.

As I went through the CCEI440: Sensational Science course, I made notes about what kinds of preschool science centers I would like to create. Then when I finished the course, I set this one up:

You can see that it is super simple: just a bin with dry beans and a couple shells, some beakers, a graduated cylinder, and some test tubes. (Most of the measuring tools came from {Amazon affiliate link:} this Science Lab Set, and then I added an extra beaker or two.)

My preschoolers loved it.

They literally spent an hour pouring, playing, measuring, and discussing what they the were doing.

Even my 8-year old came and joined in for a little while!

And that was just the first day.

On the second day, they spent another hour with these same exact supplies.

As I thought about what they were doing I realized several things the CCEI440: Sensational Science course pointed out:

1- They were creating their own challenges and problem-solving their way through them.

2- They were experiencing the scientific method and making it work for them.

3- They were practicing skills that would transfer into other parts of their life, like pouring a cup of water!

4- They were experiencing science concepts like gravity, force, velocity, inertia, momentum, and balance through hands-on experiments that they designed while they played!

5- They were also learning math concepts like relative size, capacity, and volume!

All while playing at a science center that took less than five minutes to set up.

I would LOVE to see you set up a bean measuring preschool science center too! Here are a few tips from what I observed:

1- Set it up somewhere where it can stay up for several days.

2- Set it up over a hard floor or on a table cloth to make cleaning easier.

That's it! So easy for you, but it does so much for them!

I also encourage you to look into CCEI's courses if you would like more ideas and information about teaching young children!  The courses are well-organized, easy to follow, come with activity suggestions you can implement as you take the course, a course handout, and loads of fantastic information. Their courses range from things like toddler tantrums and preschool behavior to how to teach science, language arts, and more! I have truly enjoyed and highly recommend every course I have taken from them!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI). Like always, my opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I  love to use myself!

Happy Educating,

Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!

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