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Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Dramatic science, and a calendar too!

September 29, 2010

There's always good stuff going on behind the scenes here at Reading Rockets. For example, right now we're working on a series of new Ed Extras.

Wait! You don't know what an Ed Extras is? Ed Extras are free monthly information sheets written for parents. They can be used in parent newsletters, as handouts or reading materials for parent conferences, or to help you talk with parents about a specific aspect of reading. The one page articles are available as a formatted PDF or Word document, in both English and Spanish. We have over 60 articles ready for use, archived by category.

Our newest series of Ed Extras will have a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). What is STEM? What does it look like at my child's school? How can I foster STEM skills at home? Those questions and many more will be answered through the new series. We'll have one-pagers on fostering observational skills, discussing patterns and categories, solving problems and more. We'll describe the scientific process, fact vs. hypothesis, and how to explore science in your backyard. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

In gathering materials for our new series, I came across Early Years, a great blog that was new to me. It's one of the blogs from the National Science Teachers Association and it's full of tips and classroom resources for early childhood school science educators. Through reading that and browsing the NSTA site, I read this fun article called Dramatic Science about using acting techniques "to develop science process skills and passion for science." The authors describe eight dramatic science strategies (for example, freeze frame, hot seating, and miming movements) and themes to develop process skills like formulating questions, observing and inferring and predicting. I also found this fun science calendar for October that comes from the NSTA publication Science & Children.

Enjoy those resources, and look for many more coming soon!

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"Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. " — Neil Gaiman