Posted in Non-Fiction, Uncategorized

Hands-On Science and Math makes learning fun!

9780876596500_a5605Hands-On Science and Math – Fun, Fascinating Activities for Young Children, by Beth R. Davis (July 2015, Gryphon House), $14.95, ISBN: 9780876596500

Recommended for educators and parents of preschoolers-age 8

I’m always on the lookout for books that have fun, easy activities for my younger patrons. Being a librarian in an urban, lower community  made up largely of working class and working poor families, I’ve got a lot of parents concerned about their kids’ progress in math and science. One thing I’ve been working on putting together is a series of science workshops for my younger patrons. I’m a bit clueless in this area, so I’ve been getting some help from my colleague at our Children’s Library and Discovery Center in Jamaica (seriously, go to this library and prepare to be amazed); I also keep an eye out for blogs, websites, and books that offer some ideas. Hands-On Science and Math is one of those books.

Loaded with experiments and ideas for kids from preschool to roughly third grade (you can skew older or younger, with easy tweaks on these experiments), Hands-On Science and Math gets kids thinking and using their five senses to explore the world around them. Each experiment comes with an explanation of the scientific concepts behind the experiment, STEM lessons to be gained from the experiments, and ways to link to the math and literacy in each one. I’ve already created a few sessions for the kids in my library, including using a Matchbox car, cardboard, a pile of books, and a measuring stick to learn about simple machines; examining the world around them using a magnifying glass, and the almighty baking soda volcano (I’ll be doing that one solo, but I’ll give them instructions they can try at home). I’ll be trying these out over the winter break!

Parents and educators can recreate these experiments on a small budget: most of the ingredients and objects can be found at dollar stores or are already in your home. There’s an appendix on graphing topics, a popular math and literacy link here, including questions with concrete answers you can use to graph results. Further resources are available for anyone who wants to read more about STEM activities and young children.

Author Beth R. Davis, EdS, NBCT, holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education; a master’s degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages, or TESOL; and an education specialist degree in computer education. She is the director of Kids 4 Kids Academy preschool in Miami, Florida. I’m thrilled that she’s got experience in working with speakers of other languages; this talent comes through in her experimentation, and allows me to create these programs with my multicultural families. She offers more science activities for kids on her website, where you can also sign up to join her mailing list.
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Author:

I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading (http://whatchareading.com). I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (http://www.onwednesdays.net/), where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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