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3 Key Factors for Laying a Foundation for Rich Science Inquiry Multi-Lingual Children

In a world where we depend on science to protect the well-being of our planet and build a better tomorrow for the future of our children. Some children simply have not found a foundation for rich science due to langue barriers, but there are some solutions that can start to improve their love of rich science for those children.

1. Commit to Hands-on/Minds-on, Engaging Science

High-quality science instruction introduces children to big science ideas, engages them in actively doing science, and provides a rich context for language development. Here’s what you can do to commit to active, inclusive learning with science:

Engage children with interesting phenomena that they are motivated to explore and talk about. For example, teach about forces and motion by facilitating ramp explorations using a variety of balls, blocks, and ramps made from easy-to-find materials like cardboard, cove molding, or pipe insulation. 2. Establish an Inclusive Climate for Science Inquiry

When evaluating your classroom climate for effective STEM teaching and learning with multilingual learners, consider the following reflective questions: How do children and adults interact and communicate with each other during science activities and discussions? Who does the talking and who does the listening? Are all children actively engaged and participating? Here are some ideas for creating and maintaining an inclusive climate:

Don’t equate what students know or can do in science with what they are able to express in English. Be aware of how you position yourself, how you move about the classroom, and how you interact with students during science activities. Are there any patterns in how individual students’ contributions are requested, recognized, or reinforced? Are you reinforcing the strong message that everyone is a member of the classroom science learning community? Take time to answer these questions for yourself.

3. Break Down the Silos Between Science, Language, and Literacy

In spite of the research indicating that science and literacy are better together, a whole host of factors can stand in the way of children’s access to more integrated science-language-literacy experiences in classrooms. Here’s what you can do to break down these silos:

Plan for, introduce, and repeatedly use words that are fundamental to the group’s investigations, that can be used in everyday situations, and that build on children’s current vocabularies. In a worm study, for example, these might be words such as long, soft, head, tail, crawl, wiggle, burrow, or environment, depending on children’s language levels and where you are in the worm study. Send home a list of target words and ask families to use them in the home language with their children in relevant contexts. Get your child involved with other multilingual children at CAM EDU. CAM EDU Summer Camp focuses on STEM, Mandarin Chinese, academics, and technology. Campers will explore our ten awesome weekly themes throughout the summer as they combine work with play, including Super Mario Bros, space exploration, and wild adventure, among others.

Our campers will avoid the summer learning slide with our highly experienced instructors at the head. Learn more today.

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