Volume 5, Issue 5
In This Issue
Early Childhood Science Curriculum
Hands-On Science for Young Children
Look, Think, Discover: Adding the Wonder of Science to the Early Childhood Classroom
CCEI News - 300,000 Professional Development Course Completions
Alumni Profile - Traci Ling
Professional Development - Individual Annual Subscriptions only $99 per year
Certificate Programs - CDA, Director's Certificate, FCCPC and more
Dates to Remember
Welcome to the ChildCare Education Institute May Newsletter!
This month, CCEI Discusses Early Childhood Science Curriculum!
 
A good science curriculum in the early childhood environment should focus on two things:
    
1. Promoting children's interest in the  natural world
2. Building children's skills in observation, classification, and communication
 
Natural Interest
Children are naturally curious. If that curiosity is directed toward their environment, then children will naturally begin to ask questions and seek answers. One way to catch children's interest is to show them that you, the teacher, are interested in the natural world (as well as the world of technology and invention). Do you enjoy stargazing? Do you enjoy taking walks in the woods or gardening? Do you think it's amazing that the lights turn on when you flip that switch on the wall? Your interests can easily become children's interests, and from there they are likely to develop interests of their own.
 
Don't let your curriculum get stale. Bring new materials and opportunities for exploration as much as possible. And when children show interest in something, run with it! Be ready to change your daily or weekly plans in order to accommodate their interests.
 
Observation
Go outside and observe the natural world, including plants, animals, weather, and seasonal changes. See what spiders are doing in classroom corners. Raise awareness of the human body's processes and signals in the form of hunger, thirst, pain, ticklishness, itches, yawns, sneezes, runny noses, etc.
 
Aside from observing the natural processes and life cycles in their environments, young children gain tremendous knowledge through engaging in the simplest of experiments. For example, a teacher can get a lot of mileage by conducting dissolving experiments using water and basic materials like sugar, salt, sand, soap, and dirt. Which materials dissolve fastest? Which do not dissolve at all? Is there a way to make them dissolve faster?
 
Classification
Classification activities encourage children to use their senses, study details, make guesses, and draw conclusions. Everything in the natural world can be classified into multiple categories according to its characteristics. Present children with collections of safe materials, including photos of animals and plants, and offer various sorting and classifying challenges. Any collection of random materials can be sorted by color, texture, size, weight, and other characteristics.
 
Communication
Observation and classification provide limited educational benefit if children are not encouraged to talk about what they see and do! Vocabulary development is a crucial goal in early childhood science education. Science exploration provides the perfect platform from which children can learn to express complex ideas using descriptive, sensory language. This, in turn, paves the way to strong reading and communication skills
 
Teachers should help and encourage children to:
  • Find descriptive words to describe their observations
  • Explain why they think something belongs in a specific category
  • Compare and contrast differing ideas about why something happened
  • Ask questions and search for answers
Science should be viewed as an ongoing exchange of ideas and observations. Sometimes the exchange takes place in laboratories; sometimes it takes place in books and journals; and sometimes it takes places in casual, everyday conversations. Whatever the case, the quest for scientific knowledge and understanding is endless and young children should be encouraged to join that quest! 
 
What simple materials have you used in the classroom to engage children in science? Is there an experiment that garnered wonder and excitement from the children in your classroom? Log in to the CCEI Discussion Thread and share how science has enhanced the curriculum in your classroom!
Hands-On Science for Young Children
By: Tanya Eggers
Do you know a child who is not completely full of questions? As educators and parents, it's easy to tune out the barrage of inquiries-but wait-could we be missing valuable teaching moments full of motivated learners? The resounding answer is, YES! What may be a never-ending supply of trivial questions may, in fact, be a complex science investigation. "Teachers can stimulate curiosity by asking questions themselves, and by responding with warmth and enthusiasm to children's inquiries"
 (Trawick-Smith, p. 205).
Read Article
Article Courtesy of Early Childhood News
Look, Think, Discover: Adding the Wonder of Science to the Early Childhood Classroom By: Margaret Allen, Ph.D.
Exploring science is an exciting and wondrous part of early childhood. Innately curious, young children seek to investigate and discover "how their world works." They question; they look; they listen; they talk about their findings. They investigate the passage of light through various materials; how insects crawl on the ground; and what sinks, what floats, and why!

Read Article
Article Courtesy of Early Childhood News
CCEI Professional Development Course Completions Exceed 300,000
CCEI is proud to announce that CCEI students have completed over 300,000 professional development courses.
 
Traci Ling, Houston, Texas  
After working for six years in the legal field, Traci was searching for a career that allowed her to be creative. Inspired by her mother, who is a teacher, Traci decided to pursue a career in early childhood education. She is a graduate from CCEI's Online Self Study CDA program and earned her CDA Credential in December 2009. She plans to continue her education and pursue teaching certifications that allow her to teach children of all ages.
 
In the classroom, Traci enjoys interacting at circle time with the children and witnessing their learning experiences. The children enjoy playing games while developing their motor skills. Traci is motivated by the children's desires to learn and looks for teachable moments throughout the day. In her spare time, Traci enjoys reading, baking and running. She has recently added twins to her family!
 
Congratulations Traci! Thank you for the care and education you provide to young children!
Annual, Unlimited Professional Development Subscriptions, Only $99!
CCEI offers over 100 online, IACET CEU awarded professional development courses that meet continuing education requirements. CCEI has course offerings in English and Spanish and courses are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year from any computer with Internet access.
CCEI has articulation agreements with Ashford University and Concordia University that give CCEI students the opportunity to articulate completed CCEI coursework for credit into their early childhood degree programs. For more information, visit the Partner section of the CCEI website.

Center-Based Subscriptions
Directors: Center-Based Subscriptions are a great way to manage and administer continuing education for your staff. CCEI's Center-Based Subscriptions, available for 20 and 50 users, allow you to provide training for as little as $20 per teacher for the entire year!
 
For more information, contact Admissions at 800.499.9907 or click here to enroll online.
Complete CDA Coursework Online with CCEI!
CCEI's Online CDA Certificate programs meet the clock-hour training requirement of The Council for Professional Recognition, which is needed in order to apply for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. CCEI's CDA Certificate programs focus on the six CDA Competency Standards established by The Council and contain the required hours in each of the eight specified content areas. Each hour of completed coursework is awarded 0.1 IACET CEU.
 
CCEI offers three CDA programs. The CCEI Online Self Study CDA is designed for students who are comfortable with an online learning environment and can successfully complete work independently. The Online Instructor Supported CDA Certificate, available in English and Spanish, provides students with extra support from a CCEI Education Coach (EC). Each EC is an early childhood specialist with previous experience working in a child care center or school. Students seeking college credit should enroll in the College Credit Eligible CDA Certificate program for the opportunity to earn credits at Kendall College.
 
Online Director's Certificate
CCEI offers an Online Director's Certificate that provides professional development for early childhood professionals seeking to further their skills and knowledge in the management of a child care center. The program is composed of nine instructional units that focus on the core areas of competency required to manage a child care center. Each student in the Online Director's Certificate receives support from an Education Coach.

Click here to enroll online.

 
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