• academic language: words about specific topics and subjects that children must learn in order to be successful in school
  • engineering: the process of designing tools, systems, and structures that help humans meet their needs or solve problems
  • mathematics: the study of quantities (how many or how much), structures (shapes), space (angles and distances), and change
  • open-ended questions: questions that require critical thinking, invite opinion or explanation, and result in more than a one-word answer
  • science: the process of finding out about the world and how it works by exploring, gathering data, looking for relationships and patterns, and generating explanations and ideas using evidence
  • STEM: an interdisciplinary approach to learning where students learn and apply concepts in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
  • STEM vocabulary: words that relate to the processes of science, technology, engineering, and math (e.g., categorize, change, classify, collaborate, communicate, compare, construct, count, describe, design, discover, discuss, draw, experiment, explain, graph, identify, investigate, listen, measure, notice, observe, plan, predict, problem-solve, question, record, share, sort, use senses, watch)
  • technology: the tools that have been designed to meet human needs, such as balance scales to compare weights, lenses to look closely at living things, and digital tools like computers and tablets

Wrap Up

Now you're ready to implement the best practices you’ve learned with the children in your program. Complete the second half of the Self-Assessment to discover how much your skills may have improved.

Congratulations! Whether your progress was subtle or dramatic, you've undoubtedly increased your understanding and strengthened your skills. But this is just the beginning—there are many ways to improve and support your children’s learning experience. Look for more informative self-paced tutorials in the Professional Development section of this website.

For a summary of best practices, download the Best Practices (PDF). To see the standards this module correlates to, download the Standards (PDF).

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