I’ve been working diligently the past several months trying to tie in 21st Century Skills with the early childhood classroom. The 21st Century skills provide a bridge between the academic skills and the social and emotional skills children will need to meet the challenges of the future. The amazing thing is that what we have always done naturally and well in early childhood is the very thing promoted by the 21st Century Skills. Centers, field trips, providing children with choices, working in small groups, multi-sensory learning, discovery based learning, authentic play activities, multi-cultural education, oral language, connecting emotionally with the child… sound familiar? Visit drjean.org to find activities for these topics:
• Critical thinkers
• Problem solvers
• Good communicators
• Information and technology
• Flexibility and adaptability
• Innovative and creative
• Globally competent
• Self-direction and social responsibility
• Financially responsible
• Healthy me
My daughter wrote a song several years ago to introduce children to the scientific process. It provides a great framework for problem solvers of all ages, and you can get a free download this month on my website!
I Know a Scientist
(Tune: “I Had a Little Turtle”)
I know a scientist, (Hold up index finger.)
And you can be one, too! (Point with index finger.)
Here’s the scientific method
So you’ll know what to do.
First you find a question. (Hold up one finger.)
Just take a look around. (Pretend to look around.)
What is it that you want to know?
Now you write it down.
Next you make a guess— (Hold up two fingers.)
It’s called a hypothesis—
About what will happen
When you do your tests.
Now experiment, (Hold up three fingers)
Observe it, write it, too. (Hold up four fingers.)
You’ll need lots of data
To show your guess is true.
Draw your conclusions. (Hold up five fingers.)
Look into any doubts.
Then tell everybody
What you’ve found out!
*Have children recall the scientific process by asking, “What do scientists do?” Whenever children ask questions, experiment, record information, etc. remind them that they are scientists, too!