News You Can Use: Early Science Learning for Infants and Toddlers


Infants and toddlers are natural scientists. They are curious and they love to explore and learn. Adults can help infants and toddlers find answers to their questions and discover more about things that interest them. In this News You Can Use, we discuss ways teachers, home visitors, family child care providers, and families can be more intentional in how they support young children’s early science learning—and school readiness.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center, Early Head Start National Resource Center

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Teacher Time: Webinars for Head Start Preschool Teachers Beyond Sink and Float: Science for Preschool Children

Friday, Dec. 12, 2014
3–4 p.m. EST

The National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQTL) is pleased to present Teacher Time, the webinar for Head Start teachers. Each month Kristin Ainslie and Dawn Williams consult, learn from, and talk with a special guest, a Head Start teacher, or researcher in the field about the joys and challenges of teaching young children.

Join us Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, at 3 p.m. EST, to learn about simple, exciting ways to enhance science learning in your classroom with Beyond Sink and Float: Science for Preschool Children. Do the children in your classroom love to sink and float objects, stir, shovel, and yes, spill? When you ask them to describe what they’re doing—how does it feel, look, or smell?—you’re helping them take their first steps into science.

In this webinar, you’ll learn how to go further by giving children opportunities to gather information, ask questions, predict, and look for differences. We’ll also share the research and recommended practices for teaching science in early childhood. Come away with ideas you can use to help children explore and understand our fascinating world!

Topics for the webinar include:

  • Model asking questions and encourage children to pose their own questions
  • Incorporate play and nature-based science activities
  • Create simple investigations and collect information
  • Help children work together to learn

To see more on the topics, check out these resources:

Who Should Watch?

While anyone is welcome to participate in these webinars, they are specifically designed to meet the unique demands of Head Start teachers.

Viewing the Webinar

There is no need to pre-register. On the day of the webinar, select this link to join:

To review system requirements and for troubleshooting information, visit:

Stay Connected with #NCQTL

We encourage you to follow us on Twitter! If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can still follow the conversation at

We Want to Hear from You!

What are the children in your class doing? You can share ideas with other Head Start teachers across the country. Just email with a photo, lesson plan, or activity that you’d like us to include in a future Teacher Time webinar. Be sure not to include children or adults in the photos, for confidentiality reasons.


You may send your questions to or call (toll-free) 1-877-731-0764. Sign up to receive information and resources about quality teaching and learning.


NSTA Position Statement: Early Childhood Science Education

At an early age, all children have the capacity and propensity to observe, explore, and discover the world around them (NRC 2012). These are basic abilities for science learning that can and should be encouraged and supported among children in the earliest years of their lives. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) affirms that learning science and engineering practices in the early years can foster children’s curiosity and enjoyment in exploring the world around them and lay the foundation for a progression of science learning in K–12 settings and throughout their entire lives.

This statement focuses primarily on children from age 3 through preschool. NSTA recognizes, however, the importance of exploratory play and other forms of active engagement for younger children from birth to age 3 as they come to explore and understand the world around them. This document complements NSTA’s position statement on elementary school science (NSTA 2002) that focuses on science learning from kindergarten until students enter middle or junior high.

Source: National Science Teacher’s Association

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What ‘Sid the Science Kid’ Means for Adults


Last month I had the opportunity to write about one of my favorite preschool television shows, Sid the Science Kid.  The piece, “How Kids’ Television Inspires a Lifelong Love of Science,” is part of a special online report on Educating Americans for the 21st Century, published by Smithsonian magazine.*

What interests me most about Sid is not the use of 3-D animation or the endearing purple-haired four-year-old who plays the main character. Instead, it’s how the show has the potential to teach adults. Yes, you and me.

Source: New America Foundation

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Highlights for Teaching Children Who Are Dual Language Learners DLLs – Head Start

This resource highlights strategies discussed in the Head Start Science Teachers Guide that teaching teams may use to help children learn their home language in addition to English. Teachers are encouraged to focus on language and literacy skills as integral to the exploration of science topics in the natural world. Specific suggestions from the Guide provide evidence-based practices that are effective for working with dual language learners in Head Start programs.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

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SAVE THE DATE! Front Porch Series Broadcast Calls Why and How Can We Promote Science in Early Childhood

The National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning logoSAVE THE DATE!
Front Porch Series Broadcast Calls

Why and How Can We Promote Science in Early Childhood

Monday, November 28, 2011
1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. (EST)

The National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQTL) will be launching our Front Porch Series/Broadcast Calls. These calls, scheduled the fourth Monday of every month will provide an opportunity for you to hear from national experts in the field on current research and findings in early childhood.

Join NCQTL for the first broadcast call, Why and How Can We Promote Science in Early Childhood on November 28 at 10:00 a.m. (EST). Dr. Andrew Shouse and Dr. Ximena Dominguez will moderate the call to present an overview of young children’s ability to engage in inquiry, share insights on how early childhood teachers can foster children’s engagement in science practices, and highlight the benefits of early science teaching and learning. A question and answer session will follow their presentation.

Topics for the Broadcast Call Include:

  • Children’s ability to engage in inquiry
  • Fostering children’s engagement in science
  • Benefits of early science teaching and learning

Who Should Participate?
Everyone! Head Start program staff, Early Head Start and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start program staff, Alaska Native/American Indian Head Start program staff, Head Start parents, directors, managers, administrators, T/TA managers, T/TA providers, federal and Regional Office staff, State Collaboration Offices.

Participating in the Broadcast Call
The broadcast call will only be accessible via computer and not by telephone. Select this link to register for the broadcast call and to review system requirements for participation:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing additional instructions on how to join the broadcast. Space is limited to 500 participants. This call will be recorded for future viewing if you cannot join us on November 28.

You may send your questions to or call 877-731-0764.