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Developmentally appropriate content for young scientists

New curriculum and activities offer flexible implementation options

Published March 4, 2021

Additional elementary articles:

By Aubrey Vance, Educational Services Manager

Science knowledge and skills don’t just magically start to develop when students start third grade. In fact, we at Pitsco Education recognize that it should start much, much earlier. Because of this, we have partnered with TTS to create rich content for products that are developmentally appropriate to encourage your young scientists. In every activity guide you will find:

  • Alignment to standards: Even at a young age, students are expected to develop specific skills that prepare them to become deeper thinkers and problem solvers. Our guides not only align to science standards but also offer opportunities to practice ELA and math standards. Because, as we know, practice makes perfect!
  • Flexible implementation: We get it – we all have different needs in the classroom. Our students are at many different ability levels. Our schedules are constantly being rearranged. With that in mind, we added a few accommodations to these activities.
    • Differentiation: Every activity guide is geared toward students in Grades PreK-2. However, anyone who has taught those ages understands there’s a LOT of development that happens during those years. The activity guides are written so you can tailor the lesson and activities to the abilities of your students. From class discussions to worksheets for different ability levels, we’ve got you covered!
    • Group size: With early childhood learning, there are a variety of settings where you can teach to a small group. But there are times when you have the whole class. The activity guides are flexible. Whether as whole class, in small groups, or even individually, students can access the information and develop their knowledge. Plus, we provide additional ideas to take these activities and place them in a center. That’s because learning doesn’t end when the lesson ends.
    • Time frames: Speaking of flexible, sometimes you are left with small pockets of time to fill in your classroom. These activity guides can be broken down into smaller chunks, allowing you to utilize every minute in your classroom!
  • Real-world application: The beauty of STEM is understanding that what we learn at school is used in the real world. With that in mind, every guide includes an engineering challenge with a real-world application. Students are presented with a scenario that happens in our lives and identify the problem as well as develop an answer. All this connects back to the knowledge that they’ve built during the lessons.
  • Career integration: It’s never too early to start helping children understand that school has a purpose, that learning can lead us to careers we are passionate about. Every activity guide provides you with four specific careers that pertain to the lessons. Plus, we discuss how you can introduce these careers to your students.
  • Practice the 4Cs: Communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity are integral parts of STEM activities. Each lesson in the activity guides includes opportunities for the students to practice these skills. Your students’ future teachers will thank you.
  • Hands on: It wouldn’t be Pitsco without hands on, right? #handsonmindson! Every lesson is filled with opportunities to explore, question, and discuss. Plus, we give tips for successful implementation so the hands-on learning becomes a positive experience for everyone.
  • Vocabulary: Introducing scientific vocabulary to early learners can help lay a foundation for academic language. By breaking down these advanced concepts into simple definitions and associated illustrations, students are better able to integrate the language into their conversation. With that in mind, we’ve included vocabulary words, definitions, and illustrations – ready to post on your Word Wall and to help your scientists expand their vocabulary.

“Young learners benefit from the quality of Pitsco products. The straw rockets, tape measure racers, bridges, KaZoon Kites, as well as straw structure activities allow them to question, explore, wonder, create, and investigate while learning.”

– Rena Mincks, first-grade teacher, Jefferson Elementary, Pullam, Washington

We enable young learners to develop the mind-set, skill set, and tool set needed for future success.

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