–How are they using the basters and squirt bottles?
–How are they filling them with water?
• How are they combining the materials?
• Do they notice bubbles and how they move? Do they notice
where bubbles come from?
• What kind of play are children engaged in?
–Exploratory: trying out the materials to see what they do.
–Dramatic: using the materials as part of a dramatic play sce-
nario such as “hospital.”
–Constructive: using the materials to build something, such as a
fountain. For example, are the children using the materials to
invent a game to see how far they can squirt water?
Use your photographs, sketches, and notes about children’s experi-
ences and ideas to create a documentation panel. The documentation
panel communicates to children and adults how children have been
using materials at the water table and at the water center(s) to explore
water.See guidelines for creating documentation panels on p. 115.
The panel can be used during an upcoming science talk and as a way
to talk with parents about children’s science inquiry.
Acknowledge children’s ongoing explorations.
As you observechildren’sexplorations, acknowledge their work with
descriptions of the effects their use of the materials have on water.For
example, you might make comments like these:
• When you squeezed the baster into the tube, water came out this end.
• You made bubbles when you squeezed the squirt bottle under water.
If children engage you in conversation, ask questions that focus on
the water they are moving:
• Where is it going?
• What’s happening to the bubbles?
• What areyou using the funnel, baster,or tubing for?
Offer interested children clipboards, paper, and pencils or markers so
they can draw their experiences. Children who see you making
sketches of their exploration will be more likely to want to try sketch-
Encourage all children to participate.
Use strategies such as the following to be sure all children have oppor-
tunities to explorewater with these materials. Their common experi-
ences build the foundation upon which focused explorations are built.
• Assign reluctant children to the water table or the water center
with a few enthusiastic explorers during choice time.
32 Exploring Water with Young Children
Teacher note: Today was the
first day children noticed bubbles
at the water table. They asked
me if I’d put soap in the water.
When I told them I hadn’t, they
started mixing the water around
with their hands and created
more bubbles. I’m going to remind
them of their experience and
facilitate a science talk focused
on their ideas about bubbles!
Teacher note: Valda was fasci-
nated by the bubbles escaping
from the funnel she’d inverted
and placed in the tub of water.
When I asked her whereshe
thought the bubbles were coming
from, she lifted up the funnel a
pinch and looked under it. “Can
you make more?” I asked. She
proceeded to repeatedly lift the
funnel up and down, and Nina
called it a bubble machine.