One of the greatest benefits of pre-k in our school is the creative freedom the teacher has over the curriculum. I do have a set agenda going into the day, but depending on where my students’ interest takes them, it could change at anytime. It’s pre-k! We can afford to put something off to allow for exploration and discovery. Our pre-k students do not receive any sort of official science instruction, so it’s up to the teacher to integrate it into the curriculum.
Last year, my students were deprived of a science center to explore, observe, and come up with conclusions of how things work in the world. This year, I decided to do my best and work on opening a science center so my students wouldn't miss out. I felt guilty of depriving my previous students from science. Therefore, this year I implemented a science center as a choice center option. In the beginning of the school year, our science center was lacking. There were rocks, marbles, sea shells, and magnets. I wasn’t confident enough to give it as a choice. Whenever I did, my students flocked to it because of their natural curiosity. They made the best of what they had and it was a sign that I needed to add to it to promote their curiosity and interest in science. I relied on donorschoose to help me obtain resources for our science center.
For those who do not know, donorschoose is a fantastic organization where teachers are able to post projects and request materials. Generous donors ranging from individuals to large companies can read through the projects and decide to help fund the project by donating to it. I posted a project requesting science materials that would make great addition to our science center. The project was successfully funded and we received great materials.
As the materials came in, I introduced them one by one and worked with students who chose science and got to work. A lot of our materials were plants. Before going into centers, we took time to read books about seeds and how they turn into plants.
“I love science! Can I go to science center?” A student would say. Students who normally didn’t seem to be interested in anything were gravitating to our science center. This was the exact response I was hoping to receive. I want my students to develop a love and passion for science. It was a subject I was weak in when I was in school and always had low confidence in when I attended class. I don’t want my students to feel that way, ever. I want their interest in science to grow after the school year is over and I’ll leave the rest to our wonderful science teachers in our school.
Neil deGrasse Tyson said, "Scientific inquiry shouldn't stop just because a reasonable explanation has apparently been found." There are many things we can teach by simply telling students how something works. Science is something they can explore and make their own reasons of how the world works.
Currently in my fifth year of teaching Pre-K at a early childhood elementary school.