Saturday, November 15, 2014

NAEYC 2014 annual conference wrap-up and next steps

The Early Childhood Interest Forum (ECSIF), one of the NAEYC interest forums, contributed to the annual conference in Dallas with dialogue, group discussion, and attending and presenting sessions. It was a fun time (see the NAEYC YouTubewrap-up video) and a productive one.

The ECSIF members who went to the 2014 NAEYC conference in Dallas were connected to those who did not—we had the social media venues to link us. The Facebook page is the most active so go there if you want to join in the conversations from afar. This blog and the NAEYC interest forum pages are other places to find information, including the email address of the ECSIF.

Conference sessions by ECSIF members included:
·         Breaking new ground in early childhood science: Best practices in action illustrate a new National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) position statement—issued this year by the NSTA and endorsed by NAEYC.
·         Introducing the physical sciences with rocks
·         Scientific inquiry: Independent activities for science centers in early childhood classrooms
·         Integrating science and literacy in early childhood: Hands-on scientific investigations and literacy strategies for teachers
·         Children celebrate nature by finding the power of poetry
·         Integrating science, technology, and engineering in pre-K: Step up your practice by transforming common “good start” preschool activities into intellectually rigorous, developmentally appropriate experiences

If yours is not listed, please comment below to add your session! You can find sessions and check for uploaded handouts by following these steps:
1.      Visit this page:
2.      Enter the presenter's name, the session topic, or keyword and search.
3.      Click on the session title.
4.      Scroll to the bottom of the session description page that pops up. If handouts are available for your selected session, they will be listed there.

The annual meeting brought new and continuing members together for networking about our shared interest in science education. We also viewed video clips of children problem-solving and teachers engaging children in "minds-on" inquiry, and discussed children's capacity, teacher facilitation that supports inquiry and reflection, and the language/conceptual development in connection with science explorations. Sixty minutes wasn’t long enough! Members shared the accomplishments of the past year—presentations provided and attended, articles written, a new column in Science and Children reviewing early childhood science resources of all kinds, and the new NSTA position statement on Early Childhood ScienceEducation which was endorsed by NAEYC.

What we didn’t do was to talk about the structure and function of the ECSIF, how we want to contribute to the work of the ECSIF and what our next steps will be. We were so engaged in the vigorous discussion, sharing viewpoints and enjoying the actions of the children as they worked to solve problems and reflected on their work!

Upcoming early childhood science education events happening nationally or in your neighborhood can be posted in comments below or on the ECSIF Facebook page. What should our next steps be?

If you took notes at the ECSIF annual meeting, please add updates as a comment. The group enjoys ourselves as we talk about our passion for science education and learn from each other--you should join!