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Engaging Young Engineers

Engaging Young Engineers

Teaching Problem-Solving Skills Through STEM
Authors: Angela Stone-MacDonald Ph.D., Kristen B. Wendell Ph.D., Anne Douglass Ph.D., Mary Lu Love M.S.   Foreword Author: Marilou Hyson Ph.D.

ISBN: 978-1-59857-653-5
Pages: 216
Copyright: 2015
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Size:  8.5 x 11.0
Stock Number:  76535
Format:  Paperback
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Help young children develop problem-solving skills, and you'll boost their kindergarten readiness and set them up for long-term success in STEM subjects. In this timely and practical book, you'll discover how to support the problem-solving skills of all young children by teaching them basic practices of engineering and five types of critical thinking skills (Curiosity, Persistence, Flexibility, Reflection, and Collaboration)— AND discover how to sharpen all these skills as a teacher! Using a clear instructional framework and fun activities tailored for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, you'll help children birth to 5 explore big ideas and develop new ways of thinking through engaging and challenging learning experiences. A must for teachers in inclusive early education classrooms, this comprehensive guide is your key to teaching the 21st-century skills children need for STEM learning and school success.

  • Support school readiness. The problem-solving framework in this book helps children work toward kindergarten Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Outcomes Framework.

  • Demystify and teach key engineering practices. Prepare kids for success in all STEM areas by teaching four essential engineering principles: think about it, try it, fix it, and share it.

  • Boost problem-solving skills with proven activities. All the suggested activities have been piloted and tested in classrooms and incorporate teacher feedback.

  • Plan effective lessons for all children. Discover how to use universal design for learning (UDL) to plan lessons that work for children with and without disabilities.

  • Start the learning early. Help even the youngest children develop problem-solving skills with activities tailored for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

  • Encourage language and literacy development. Get suggestions for weaving reading into problem-solving experiences, and discover how your use of language can prompt children's thinking skills.

  • Promote other skills needed for school success. With the framework and activities in this book, you'll also support development of social-emotional skills, self-regulation, and executive functioning.

PRACTICAL MATERIALS: Classroom activities that incorporate children's books, self-reflection checklists, practical strategies and modifications, Early Childhood UDL Planning Sheets, and blank Experience Planning Templates for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

See how this product helps strengthen Head Start program quality and school readiness.

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Review by: Susan Bethany
"Impressively well written, organized and presented, Engaging Young Engineers, is thoroughly ‘user friendly’ and very highly recommended for preschool and grade school classroom curriculum supplementation."
Review by: Betty Zan, University of Northern Iowa
“This delightful and eminently usable book addresses several areas of significant need in the early childhood STEM field, and in so doing, fills a neglected gap in early education...It belongs in every early childhood teacher’s collection of resources, and on every early childhood teacher educator’s bookshelf.”
Review by: Arthur Eisenkraft, University of Massachusetts Boston
“After Engaging Young Engineers, you will never read a book with a child in the same way…[This book] turns valuable reading time with children into engaging problem solving time as well.”
Review by: Chris Rogers, Tufts University
“This book is a wealth of information, ideas, suggestions, and reflections on how to help young children become effective problem solvers…I have met a number of parents and teachers who ask how to start young students down the STEM path, and this book addresses that question directly.”

About the Authors
Foreword Marilou Hyson, Ph.D.
A Note to the Reader

I. Why Engineering and Problem Solving are Important in Early Childhood Inclusive Classrooms
  1. Young Children are Natural Problem Solvers
  2. Universal Design for Learning in Inclusive Early Childhood Settings
II. Using the Problem-Solving Framework to Teach Thinking Skills in Inclusive Early Childhood Settings
  1. Curious Thinkers
  2. Persistent Thinkers
  3. Flexible Thinkers
  4. Reflective Thinkers
  5. Collaborative Thinkers
  6. Curious, Persistent, Flexible, Reflective, and Collaborative Teachers


Appendix A: Early Childhood UDL Planning Sheet—Infants
Appendix B: Early Childhood UDL Planning Sheet—Toddlers
Appendix C: Early Childhood UDL Planning Sheet—Preschool
Appendix D: Blank Early Childhood UDL Planning Sheet
Appendix E: Blank Infant Experience Planning Template
Appendix F: Blank Toddler Experience Planning Template
Appendix G: Blank Preschool Experience Planning Template


More than 30 great resources–from tip sheets and articles to webinars and video clips—designed to help you boost your students’ STEM skills with concrete examples and activities! Download the STEM toolkit here.

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Strategies to Promote the 5 Thinking Skills in Preschoolers

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How Our Early Childhood Products Help Strengthen Head Start Program Quality and School Readiness

Read an excerpt
Curious, Persistent, Flexible, Reflective, and Collaborative Teachers

Read the Inclusion Lab blog posts
5 Thinking Skills of Effective Teachers
QuickTips: Promotiong Critical Thinking Skills in Young Learners

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