ICS Early Years Center Blog

Inter-Community School Zurich, Switzerland

March 24, 2013
by Rajeshree Rao
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Maths and Science Provocation

As a teacher at times you have a plan, an intention. On this occasion my intention was a maths experience. I used snow, weighing scales, funnels and measuring jars as a provocation, to spark an interest in the children. After preparing the materials, I then stood back and watched how the children would use them. The children started by weighing the snow, making connections between the scale going up and down and the weight of the snow. The children came up with the conclusion, if the snow is heavy, the scale goes down. As they were doing this there were measuring volume, seeing how much snow they could put into the scale, balance was the goal!
One child began to put snow into the funnel, the question was asked, ‘Why doesn’t the snow come down the funnel?’ The children persisted in their efforts to get the snow through the funnel, until eventually the snow started melting. A ha! A discovery! The children were excited to report to the teachers that ‘If it is water it will come through, but it is something hard it won’t come through the funnel!’
I am continually impressed by the ability of my students to experiment and come up with their own theories. In this case the maths intention turned into additional learning about science concepts. Solids, liquids, theories and experiments all in a morning in EY2 Red.

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