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I Want 2 Essay

1- Reflect on your past experiences with science concepts and activities in school. Which were the most exciting or boring? Why were they exciting or boring? Based on what you know, what did your teacher do (or not do) to help these experiences stay with you?Discussion Rubric for additional instructions for composing your response.    


Children’s Literature Related to Math

Directions: Select four (4)  children’s literature books (not math workbooks) that relate to math areas or strands for young children (infant through third grade).  After selecting the book you will write a paper that addresses the following for each book:

  • You will list the title and the author of each book.
  • What age group  would you read the book to?
  • During what part of the day would read the book to the children?  
  • Which math areas or strands does each book support?   
  • Give a short synopsis of the book.
  • What extended activities could do with the children after reading the book? 

Note: If you have children’s books of your own that will meet the criteria for this assignment, you can use your books.  If not, you will need to find books.  With social distancing still being a part of our lives, the library or book store in your area may not be open at this time; however, there are several websites that you can view and listen to children’s books.  In some cases, you can download them. If you Google Free Children’s Literature Online, you can find these sites, or you can look on the sites that I have listed below. For some of these sites, you can download the book.  Due to COVID-19, many of these sites are free at this time.  See the list of websites below.  

Rubric for Library or Bookstore Visit Assignment Fall 2020.pdf

EPIC Digital Library for Kids 12 & Under


Children’s Storybooks Online – http://www.magickeys.com/books/

All You Can Books


MagicBlox Children’s Book Library | Read Kid’s Books Online  – https://magicblox.com/

Children’s Bookstore – https://www.childrensbookstore.com/

Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/

Wordery – https://wordery.com/search?interestAge%5B0%5D=3-5+years

We Are Teachers – https://www.weareteachers.com/picture-books-about-math/

Development and Research in Early Math Education (DREAM)


The Best Children’s Books – https://www.the-best-childrens-books.org/math-for-kids.html



Math is the way people understand and organize relationships between objects, people, and events in terms of:

  • Logic -same/different; now/later
  • Space -near/far; big/little–short/tall; open/closed; behind/in front
  • Quantity (number) – more/less; many/few

In early childhood programs, math is important because it relates to later math achievement. Young children have an informal knowledge of math. Children begin learning the foundational math concepts: matching, classification, comparison, and ordering early in life. Children first understand math in relation to how it affects them.

A toddler might put up two fingers (sometimes it is three) to show how old they are. A three-year-old shows you how tall their block building is, while four years old sing a number song.

As children learn the names of shapes, words for quality, position, and relationship, they are developing their mathematical language. Language is important in learning mathematics. Having the opportunity to learn the language of mathematics connects the informal math knowledge to abstract school math. Mathematics is truly everywhere. It is through play and everyday activities that children learn math concepts. During play, math opportunities occur when children engage in:

  • Block building which contributes to knowledge of geometry
  • Sociodramatic play which contributes to the development of self-regulation and executive function in children
  • Exploration and practice which allows children to master skills
  • Games which develop numerical knowledge
  • Table toys/manipulatives which enhances geometric and spatial thinking
  • Book reading which often integrates math into other areas of the curriculum.

Even the routines of the classroom are a part of the process of math learning. Routines and schedules follow a consistent sequence (yes, there are those days that you can find yourself off schedule), and sequencing is used in basic number patterns. The goals of early childhood math are to:

  • To help children construct a foundation for mathematical thinking.
  • To help children think of themselves as part of the community of people who use the number to communicate about their world.

To teach math, teachers must first create a climate in which children can ask questions and explore. Another thing you need to address is math anxiety. Do you experience this? If you do, then you could pass this on to the children you work with. To help you overcome this, you need to remember that you use math every day (pay bills, cook, and manage many tasks that relate to math) and acknowledge your own competence. Also, realize that a family member or teacher might have taught you that you do poorly at math. Children tend to believe the things that influential people (parents, teachers) tell them about themselves. This results in a self-fulfilling prophecy (2020). Once you realize that you are more competent than you taught, you will be able to present math activities with more ease and enjoy it. To promote math skills, teachers you will need to:

  • Create learning environments that encourage exploration by children
  • Use number songs, books, rhymes, and rhythm
  • Support math learning and problem-solving.
  • Provide math activities across the curriculum (e.g., art, cooking, science, language).
  • Focus on process, not “correct” answer.
  • Discover together and observe what children say.
  • Answer questions and asked questions.
  • Begin with simple concepts before moving to more complex concepts.
  • Provide words and resources to scaffold learning.
  • Provide hands-on materials.
    • Bingo cards
    • Calculators
    • Geoboards
    • Magnetic boards
    • Objects to count, sort, classify, make patterns
    • Table games
    • Table blocks

Children have a natural interest in math and problem-solving. Teachers must tap into this, and also take advantage of teachable moments during play and routines to promote math learning. Although math learning can occur spontaneously while children play, planned activities need to be also provided. Planning math begins with observing children. What are they interested in and what math questions they are asking should be worked into the activities you offer.

Kristen, C., Kogan, I., Gentrup, S., Lorenz, G. (2020). Self-fulfilling prophecies in the classroom: Teacher expectations, teacher feedback and student achievement. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S095947521930177X


When you think of science, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Did visions of formulas pop in your head? Or did a boring lecture or textbook facts you needed to memorize for tests come to mind? I am happy to say when thinking about young children and science; it is about letting children explore their environment. When it comes to science and young children is a combination of process skills (how children learn) and content (what children learn). Process skills (also known as inquiry skills) allow children to process new information through hands-on (concrete) experiences. Observation is at the core of science. Children start with observations and use additional investigation skills such as comparing, classifying, measuring, inferring, and predicting. Children use these skills and their senses to discover, think about their experiences, and to talk about what they have seen and done. One of your roles as a teacher is to encourage the child’s reflections and them sharing their ideas and thoughts with you and their peers. When responding to the child, connect their experience to scientific concepts (e.g., size, shape, texture, cause, and effect) and vocabulary (e.g., measure, compare, contrast, classify, test).

“Young children are natural scientists. They have a compelling curiosity to figure out why and how the world works” (Feeney, Moravcik & Nolte, 2018). You want to support and model exploration and curiosity. Although you can introduce activities to expand on science topics, science is all around us as we go through our daily living.

The early childhood science curriculum should relate to young children’s interests, and as much as possible, and should also be child-directed and child-centered. As mention above, when teaching science, you must:

  • Be curious and interested in the world.
  • Realize that children learn science through play as well as planned activities.
  • Know that science is discovery and not memorization.
  • Understand the process of scientific inquiry

Children must be allowed to explore, and we must give them time. Remember, children are learning science while doing science. Whether plan or unplanned the following topic can be explored inside the classroom and outside:

  • Life science – People, Plants, Animals
  • Physical science – Physics, and Chemistry
  • Earth and space science – Geology, Meteorology
  • Ecology – Relationship between living things and their environment

Whereas reading, viewing a video, or listening to a teacher talk about a science subject works well with older children, science is, for the most part, hands-on experience for young children. Inside the classroom, it is good to set up an area (some refer to the area as a science center or discovery center) for children to engage in science activities. You want to have low open shelves so children can use their senses to explore. Materials in the area can be recycled, donated, and purchased. Usually, when I have visited preschool programs, the science area is where I see the classroom pets (e.g., fish, hamsters, and guinea pigs), plants (usually around Mother’s Day), and different collections (e.g., rocks, insects, shells). The children in the classroom take turns tending to the pets and plants, but many other things can be added to that area. Some items you might want to have in the environment are scales, pulleys, magnets, magnifying glasses, funnels, rulers, binoculars, books, cups, jars, and graph paper notebooks to record findings. Table 10.2 gives you a list of scientific tools you can have in the area (inside and outside), and Table 10.3 gives you a list of open-ended materials you can use (inside and outside). Some years ago, I taught a workshop entitled “Kitchen Science.” I realized that teaching science did not have to cost a lot of money, and for many of the activities that I wanted to do with the children, I could find the ingredients right in my kitchen (some of my go-to items are vinegar, baking soda, food coloring, liquid dish soap, pepper, flour, and milk). Simple items can teach so many things. Make sure that any items being used are not only safe but also age-appropriate.

Along with having a designated area in the room for science, it is important that we recognized that science does occur in other parts of the classroom. When children help to make playdough, they are experiencing chemistry. In the art area, children learn about colors and how they change when you mix them. In the block area as a child stack blocks, they are learning about balance. Let’s not forget the value of the sensory table or sensory activities in general. The importance of sensory activities for young children cannot be stressed enough. Children learn best when they can touch, see, smell, taste, hear, and manipulate the materials. When setting up for sensory activities, remember to schedule enough time for children to select sensory play. The role of the teacher is to guide and encouraged children to notice sensations as they play and to compare and contrast the sensations that are perceived. As always, be open to curiosity so children can explore.

As mention before, science is all around us, and with that said, although you want to have a discovery/science center inside, being outdoors (back yard, playground, walk in the neighborhood) allows children to experience the natural world. The outdoor environment has plants, dirt, trees, grass, and the animals and insects living there. Life science and ecology always seem to be the two topics that teachers gravitate to outdoor and inside. In a lot of early childhood programs, Earth Day (April 22) is celebrated, but way wait until then to observing and discussing the environment. Gardening can happen year-round as well as making a compost pile. The children can create a system for catching rainwater and then use that water in the garden. If out on a walking field trip, this would be an appropriate time to reinforce not littering as the class observe the area to see if they see trash and if there are recyclable bins in the area. As children, swing, slide ride bikes or hit a ball, they are also experiencing science concepts related to force, gravity, leverage, and friction. Field trips to parks, farms, zoos, or museums can promote more science learning if children have the time to explore and discuss their experiences. Other science exploration that can occur outside include the opportunity to:

  • Discover rainbows on a sunny day by spraying water across the sun’s rays with a garden hose or spray bottle
  • Explore shadows when on a nature walk
  • Focus on nature as you go on a walk and collect leaves, pinecones, or rocks

Children explore and investigative to learn about everything in their environment. Children learn as they play by themselves, and when they play with others. As a child’s knowledge increases, they test their ideas and make discoveries and re-examine their previous ideas. The more we encourage children to notice what happens, the more they will investigate and explore. As children make discoveries, they become more confident and want to learn more.

Feeney, S., Moravcik, E., Nolte, S. (2013). Meaningful curriculum for young children. New York: Pearson Education.

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