e-Learning for Educators
Course Information

Pre-K Science for Educators
Course Description

Pre-K Science, a 7 week course, has been specifically designed for early childhood Pre-K educators, teacher assistants and lead teachers.

1. Characteristics of a High Quality Science Program
2. Life Science
3. Physical Science
4. Earth Science
5. Making Connections
6. Family and Community

This professional development is designed to assist Pre-K educators to recognize and implement appropriate environmental and instructional strategies that support early learning development integration of appropriate early learning experiences. Content will cover current theory, expectations of young children, teaching strategies, and the correlation to formative assessment and personalized learning. Upon completion of the course, educators will be able to select, plan, implement, observe, and evaluate appropriate early learning strategies that are standards-based and aligned to the early learning standards.

Course Syllabus

By the end of this course, participants will

  • gain an understanding of developmentally appropriate science experiences for pre-k children,
  • learn strategies that support the characteristics of a high quality science program,
  • gain an understanding of life science/nature and how it pertains to the preschool classroom, 
  • learn strategies to support scientific thinking and inquiry through play,
  • understand and intentionally teach the WV ELSF standard(s), cluster(s) and objectives specific to life science,
  • gain an understanding of physical science and how it pertains to the preschool classroom,
  • learn strategies to assess student physical science interests and intentionally plan lessons and set up classroom centers to accommodate students, goals, standards, and needed assessments
  • understand and intentionally assess student understanding of WV ELSF Science Standard(s), Cluster(s) and Objective(s) specific to physical science,
  • gain an understanding of earth science and how it pertains to the preschool classroom,
  • learn strategies to further support the development of scientific inquiry,
  • understand and intentionally teach the WV ELSF Earth Science Standards, Cluster(s) and Objectives,
  • gain an understanding of how to incorporate science throughout the preschool learning environment,
  • learn strategies and use resources to create learning experiences that incorporate other content areas, with an emphasis on science,
  • understand and intentionally teach WV ELSF Content Area: Science Standards, Clusters and Objectives through integration with other content areas,
  • develop an understanding of the roles that teachers, parents and caregivers play in encouraging and supporting their children's science understanding at home, in school and throughout the community,
  • review a diverse number of pre-k science resources that support their students' science understanding at home, in school and throughout the community, and
  • create a science family activity pack that supports their children's science understanding at home, in school and throughout the community with respect to the WV ELSF Content Area: Science Standards, Clusters and Objectives.
Course Organization

This course includes several different activity components, all of which are described below. During each session, you will participate in a unique collection of these activity components, depending on the particular focus of that session.

When you see this icon you will be reading relevant articles, resources, and instructional materials that will help inform your online course development process.

When you see this icon you will be completing activity-based curriculum and inputting various components of your course content into a course project.

When you see this icon you will be using the online discussion board to share ideas, resources, and thoughtful conversation with your fellow course participants and facilitator.

Early childhood educators, lead teacher and teacher assistants currently working full-time in West Virginia Universal Pre-K have the opportunity to participate in e-Learning courses specifically designed for them. 



The Pre-K Science course also addresses science:

Scientific thinking builds on children’s prior experiences, backgrounds, and early theories. Children’s fundamental math concepts support scientific experimentation, investigation, and inquiry, resulting in the development of new understandings of their world. Science and math concepts are best developed through active exploration of naturalistic, informal, and structured learning experiences. Expanding on children’s curiosity, encouraging them to pursue their questions and develop ideas in a risk-free environment helps children to refine their own understanding of the world around them. Documentation of children’s experiences and hypotheses allow them to share and discuss their theories with others. Scientific thinking is an approach to learning.

Course participants in ELSF Science course must have access to a digital camera or other device such as a tablet or smartphone capable of taking digital photos for inclusion in the project assignments for this course.

Microsoft Word is required in order to read, edit and/or create documents for this course. If you have a WVDE k12.wv.us email account, you have access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, etc. as part of Microsoft Office 365. You should see your school/county technology support person if you need help in using/installing Word and/or other Office applications. 

If you do not have a k12.wv.us email account, Word must be acquired through other means. One way to get access to Word Online at no charge is by Creating a Microsoft Outlook Account with Access to FREE Office Online.

Format and Requirements

This workshop is divided into twelve sessions, plus an Orientation, which each include readings, activities, and an online discussion among workshop participants. 

The outline for the workshop is as follows:

Session One Science: Characteristics of a High Quality Science Program
Session Two Science: Life Science/Nature
Session Three Science: Physical Science
Session Four Science: Earth Science
Session Five Science: Making Connections
Session SIx Science: Family and Community Involvement

This orientation session must be completed prior to the start of our course. It includes a participant survey; an introduction to the course website; and the opportunities to update your profile, email your facilitator, and introduce yourself to fellow participants as you experiment with the online discussion board.

Assignments and Project Assessment

Course participants will complete an orientation and then 6 course sessions that include readings, activities, session projects and online discussions. There will be a pre-workshop survey and a post-workshop survey. A quiz is scheduled during the Orientation. Participants are expected to score a minimum of 90% on the Orientation session. Participants will complete and submit weekly assignments and complete session projects throughout each course session. Participants will need to take and edit digital photos and upload them for the assignments in this course. To be successful, participants  should spend a minimum of 60 minutes per day completing courses readings, discussions and assignments.

Participants will upload their session assignments to the course discussion forum during Sessions 1-6 and receive Rubric Review feedback from their peers and then submit them to the Dropbox. The facilitator will assess the assignments and provide feedback according the the project rubrics. 

Discussion Participation

Participants will be evaluated weekly on the frequency and quality of their participation in the discussion forum. This course has dual discussion posting for each session. 

Participants are required to post a minimum of one substantial original posting each session in response to the discussion prompt for that session. They are to read all original messages by course participants and enough additional responses to make a total of 50% of the messages posted for that session. Participants are to respond thoughtfully to a minimum of two colleagues' original postings each session. Postings will be evaluated on their relevance, demonstrated understanding of course concepts, examples cited, and overall quality.

The guidelines for the discussions and how they will be evaluated are located in the Discussion Guidelines and the Checklist for Evaluating Discussion Postings. In certain discussions, participants will be asked to peer review others' projects using this Rubric Review Help Guide.

Course Grading Expectations

All grades in the course gradebook must be a "C" for successful course completion.  A grade of "C" indicates that all work has been completed and the work meets the expectations for that assignment.

Copyright and Plagiarism Information

All resources referenced during the course will be properly documented. 

Copyright guidelines are to be observed throughout the course project and all course activities.  All work associated with course projects, course assignments and course discussions will be original to each course participant. Fair use does not apply to the course project. 
Plagiarism, the reproduction of all or any part of another individual’s or organization’s work, by a course participant of work associated with the course project or other course assignments at any point during the course will result in no credit being awarded for the course  

Course projects are to be the work of an individual course participant. Group projects require special permission of the program coordinator, Donna Landin (dlandin@k12.wv.us).

Software Disclaimer

Participants are to seek assistance regarding the appropriate software programs to be downloaded when updating or installing new programs on their computers. Inappropriate downloads of software may result in malicious programs being installed on your computer.

Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of this course, WV ELSF Math and Science, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion documenting successful completion of the course requirements. Certificates are distributed to each qualifying participant by attachment to the course feedback in the Dropbox shortly after the completion of the course.

Content and Technology Standards

This workshop, WV ELSF Math and Science, will help participants meet the ISTE Educational Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for All Teachers (http://edtechleaders.org/documents/NETSAdminTeachers.pdf), especially Standards II, III, IV, and V.For more information about Technology Integration visit: http://www.iste.org

In addition, participants will identify specific WV Content Standards and Objectives (http://wvde.state.wv.us/csos/) as they engage in course content.

About this Course

This workshop was developed for the West Virginia Department of Education (http://wvde.state.wv.us