Science with Sid the Science Kid

I’m not a fan of pushing children academically,  But sometimes a child will push you to pursue some learning. This is the way it is with my 4y9m old daughter. She decides what she wants to learn next and takes off after it. I simply follow and facilitate. She makes it easy. She is a very verbal-linguistic child and also somewhat of a perfectionist. She takes in information but won’t attempt something until she feels that she will be reasonably successful. I have now figured this out and I don’t push her. But, she does push me. (She taught herself to read in spite of all my expertise in this area of education. Sigh.)
Recently she insisted that she should have a Science Journal as shown on Sid the Science Kid  and the other science tools, too. So, I grabbed her a spiral-bound notebook and she asked me to turn on the Super Science Tools episode (recorded on the DVR) and she recorded all the science tools with drawings on her first journal page. We then set about collecting the tools and created her science tray.

Science Tools: magnifying glass, chart, ruler, estimation jar, journal

Science Tools: magnifying glass, chart, ruler, estimation jar, journal

 

Science Tray w/journal, estimation jar & plates for counting items, ruler and magnifying glasses

Science Tray w/journal, estimation jar & plates for counting items, ruler and magnifying glasses.

With the science tray in place, she immediately wanted me to put some items into the estimation jar so that she could estimate as the characters demonstrate on the Enough With the Seashells episode. She followed an estimation  process modeled on that particular episode.  Here  is a description of that process.   The first time she counted buttons from her art collage collection and this second time that I documented below she counted corks that I had collected.
Using her Estimation Jar w/corks that she saw modeled on Sid the Science Kid

Using her Estimation Jar w/corks that she saw modeled on Sid the Science Kid

She adores this estimation jar activity and I think it is absolutely marvelous for developing concepts of quantity and volume.  And this is what I really hope to accomplish with her since she loves to count to 100 and I want to make sure she develops an understanding of quantity and not just a rote memorization of the numbers. So we will definitely be repeating it with new items at least weekly.  Hmmmm…she was collecting small rocks in the backyard yesterday so that might be a good thing to put into the jar next.
This PBS show has a wonderful list of cycles and activities to carry out in addition to watching the shows or the clips provided on their site!  She enjoys the songs in the episodes and often asks me to rewind and repeat them for her. She points out things she learned in real life.  For quite awhile she was obsessed with decaying things thanks to the Mushy Banana episode and we actually did complete the Decaying Pumpkin activity  last November. (Ick!) She still talks about that.
How nice to have my science lessons laid out for me and for this TV show to provide all the motivation needed for making these activities happen!  Next up is using charts and given my daughter’s obsession with the weather chart displayed on the morning news (see pic below), we will probably graph the weather. Creating and reading graphs is SUCH a valuable activity for this Prekindergarten age!
4 y.o.'s obsession with weather reports, maps and graphs of all sorts. Thankful for DVR so we can pause and discuss them on her demand.

4 y.o.'s obsession with weather reports, maps and graphs of all sorts. Thankful for DVR so we can pause and discuss them on her demand.

 Then we will move on to meaningful opportunties to use measurement and observation in this Tools & Measurement Cycle.  And as I look over the available cycles  in this program,  I’m thinking that the Transformation & Change cycle looks like another good unit to pursue as we enter the warm summer months and prepare to plant some seeds.  And the Backyard Science cycle would also be a good unit for our warmer months.  The Health and Simple Machines units might be nice for our cooler months when we spend more time inside. Of course, I can plan but we will see what ideas she has in her head driving her forward!  
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