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Learning Moments CD - The Young Child as Scientist

ITEM #: 5500349

These CDs can be used on PC or Mac platform.

Permission is granted for use of the CD by one individual program director, trainer, or college educator presenting the material in an in-person setting.

For use online or by multiple individuals in one organization (including large early childhood organizations, colleges, and other training institutions), please email requests to [email protected].

This Learning Moments CD (for use on a computer) presents 12 real-life video files that are the perfect compliment to workshops, lectures, and online courses on how young children spontaneously engage in scientific thinking and learning. We know of the young child's curiosity and we believe in the young child's creativity, but where do we see disciplined inquiry - the essence of scientific thinking? If we look closely at young children’s play we can identify what children do that is analogous to science.

The Paradoxical Shell
The shell has two contrasting sides, one convex, one concave; one smooth, the other ribbed. Truman uses a series of actions to actually compare the two sides. As Truman rotates, probes, and rubs the white shell, place this thinking both in terms of what he discovers that the shell is and what he determines the shell (or a side) is not. The emergence of the concept "not," as in "not smooth" serves as a foundation for even more abstract thinking.

Table of Contents:

  • The Paradoxical Shell
    Runtime: 2:07 minutes
    At age 1 year, Truman rotates, probes, and rubs a white shell. Let's try and figure out what he might be thinking. By reading his actions as high level thinking we reveal the incredible intelligence manifest during the first year of life.

  • Blake and Lou Move Like Tops
    Runtime: 1:53 minutes
    Young children often imitate an action that they see. This action could be an early form of representation; that is, making a symbol that "stands for" a referent that happened in the immediate past. By imitating the event, the child in a sense "puts a handle" on the event.

  • Representations that Imitate the Body
    Runtime: 1:00 minutes
    Luna has been invited to draw, using pastels over paper that has been placed on a ramp on the outside deck. Luna begins her work by moving her body up and down on the ramp, and in between the movement she makes marks on her paper.

  • Playground Physics
    Runtime: 2:17 minutes
    When children play outdoors, they are doing more than developing their gross motor skills and self-confidence. They are also experimenting with the physics of their bodies on swings, seesaws, and jungle gyms. Brayden experiments with a board that tilts, depending on which side holds more of his weight.

  • Testing and Representing by Owen
    Runtime: 0:56 minutes
    Imagine a child's joy at discovering a constant, localized wind, aka a fan. Watch Owen explore this controlled event to figure out the boundaries and intensity of its effects. He feels the wind on his face and realizes the source of this invisible force.

  • Balance Scale
    Runtime: 3:33 minutes
    The children in this video are exploring scales and balance. "It's even," Charlie exclaims after adding two similar rocks to either side of a scale. He continues to add one rock to each side and announces, "It's even" each time.

  • Wind Tunnel
    Runtime: 2:36 minutes
    Henry and Caleb watch how feathers and fabric behave differently in two wind tubes made from fans and Plexiglas. The fan on the right pushes less air than the one on the left. This provocation has many variables that present opportunities for discovery.

  • Sticky Paper Runtime: 2:45 minutes
    Four toddlers are walking on contact paper, sticky side up, taped to the floor. Most often such an activity is called "sensorial play" and justified with phrases such as "they are exploring their sense of touch."

  • The Importance of the "Not"
    Runtime: 2:59 minutes
    Tucker and Ayla place animals on a train going "to the office". George asks, "Well, so you don't want me to put it (horse) over here?" Ayla explains, "No, this goes right there. The horsie eats hay."

  • Mirror Ball
    Runtime: 1:07 minutes
    A faceted mirror ball sprays rays of light throughout the room, radiating outward from the ball, but only when the ball is placed in the path of sunlight coming through the window.

  • Reflecting on Process and Effect
    Runtime: 5:11 minutes
    Let's listen to how three girls talk "science" as they use eyedroppers to create colored liquids. The close proximity of the girls, each with her own eyedropper, making new colors that are under-lit by the overhead projector â€" all of these factors support thinking out loud.

  • Team Science
    Runtime: 7:29 minutes
    A total of 11 children work together to retrieve a plastic soda bottle from the other side of a chain link fence. They use fingers, feet, a rubber hose, but most essentially, their minds.

The Learning Moments Series is produced by Videatives, Inc.