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Science and Children’s editor shares thoughts regarding the current issue.
Education should start with school years and formal education, but research on early childhood learning provides a perspective of the understanding, capabilities, and knowledge children acquire long before they enter the classroom setting. From molecules to organisms provides an example of how the progression of learning can be constructed. During Pre-K to 2nd grade students are given the opportunity to be able to explain and observe. Most students start out with plants because it gives them something hands on that they can gather information easily and build knowledge about their needs, structures, and growth. With students being able to experience this themselves they can come up with patterns of their parents' behaviors and how offspring can relate to different animals. In grades 3-5 students begin to learn life cycles of living things which helps the students understand patterns of life and supports making predictions. Providing the base early and reinforcing practices with the introduction of new core ideas and crosscutting concepts provides a structure upon which children can build understanding.
I really enjoyed this article; I will be able to use it in my classroom. I never thought about simple just starting science with plants. Plants open so many different types of science, I didn’t realize by simple observing plants they would be able to go into offspring, parents and even genetics of the flowers. There are many different lessons you can do with this. One that I know I would do is the offspring and genetics. I would put plants together and see what color other plants they would make to let the students see what can happen. I also like how you can use these for life cycles, I feel that plants are a good one to start with for students to see how life cycles work. Life cycles are important for the students to learn and understand just so they simply know how life works. I did realize that introducing something so simple in a classroom could be such a big impact and have many different things to teach and learn about that topic.