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Creative Investigations in Early Engineering and Technology

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This easy to use book is essential for the every early childhood classroom or childcare center. Each chapter clearly outlines developmentally appropriate engineering and technology lessons for young learners. Each of these highly engaging lessons can be delivered with just a bit of pre-planning yet support critical thinking, the acquisition of science content, and emergent literacy skills in important ways. For the teacher who is hesitant to teach engineering and technology due to a gap in their own knowledge, this book provides a clear explanation of the 'core ideas' and scientific principles, which are taught. The specific, real classroom examples included in each chapter bring the content to life. These well-planned lessons can be used as they are or as a springboard for other engineering and technology lessons.-- (03/05/2018) Thoughtfully crafted for teachers and caregivers who seek to observe, support, guide, and facilitate young children's explorations, playful engagement, and creativity in STEAM-based activities (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Mathematics), Dr. Angela Eckhoff shares design-thinking lessons that can be used in classrooms, care-based, and home-based settings. Referencing standards & recommended practices from national entities supporting young children (NAEYC), technology integration (ISTE), and science teaching (NextGen from National Academies Press), this book includes over 25 activities that support children's experiences with engineering design through focus on force/motion/movement, sound/light/shadow, and construction, as well as active engagement with technology for knowledge/innovation (e.g., coding explorations), and communication/collaboration (e.g., artistic creation, tinkering, storytelling). In each chapter, Dr. Eckhoff includes a quick overview of the STEAM content focus (e.g., force and motion), reviews basic scientific information, lists key concepts and guiding questions to share with young children and shares lesson activities and classroom examples. Large group, small group, paired, and individual activities are included, and each chapter ends with a brief list of related fiction and non-fiction children's literature, all of which could be used with preschoolers, or with slight modifications, for kindergarteners and first graders. Teachers and caregivers will appreciate the simple, hands-on, play-based activities can be quickly implemented to get children experimenting, problem-solving, and creating. Program directors and curriculum planners could also use this text as a resource in early childhood teacher trainings, offering teachers opportunities to engage in playful scientific experimentation, and then using those experiences to support teachers' further activity creations for students. This little gem of a book is a great resource to support children's play, creativity, and learning across STEAM topics. -- (03/26/2018)

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