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Welcome to ECHOS! The overall goal of the Early Childhood Hands-On Science (ECHOS) model is to increase teachers' ability to introduce basic science concepts to preschool children through the use of a guided inquiry-based curriculum.

Core elements of the ECHOS approach are the modeling of science process skills and the use of guided inquiry and exploration. Science lessons and integration activities are designed to build on children's existing knowledge base. Using concrete, hands-on materials and guided exploration directed by the sequenced lessons, teachers introduce the content and science process skills that help children build meaning over time. The lessons provide new experiences that will become the foundation for the development of more complex science concepts that will be introduced later in their schooling.

ECHOS consists of nine thematic units designed to be implemented over the course of a month. Each unit contains four guided science lessons that teachers introduce in 20-minute segments to four small groups of children on a weekly basis. The curriculum units are sequenced to present increasingly complex science process skills in the areas of Life, Earth, and Physical Sciences. The ECHOS model incorporates the tested E-I-E-I-O Learning Framework (Excite, Introduce, Explore, Interact, Outcomes), which guides the teacher to elicit children's prior knowledge about a concept and clarify or correct misconceptions. Lessons blend guided inquiry and direct instruction. They are scripted to provide teachers with the confidence to present science concepts accurately.

Integration card, or i-Card activities, are activities related to the science lessons and designed to help educators reinforce concepts in the domains of language/literacy, mathematics, and creative arts. The teacher and teacher assistant can deliver i-Cards with groups of up to ten children, or the activities can be facilitated by volunteers in the classroom or to extend learning at home. The language and literacy i-Cards include recommendations for Picture Walk and Read Aloud books that can be used during Whole Group time or Story Time to further reinforce the concepts presented in the lesson. Each unit also includes a science storybook written to reinforce the key concepts introduced in the science lessons. ECHOS integration cards are also available in Spanish.

At the conclusion of each science lesson, the teacher places hands-on materials, models, charts and books that were used in the lesson in the classroom Science Area, providing a rich collection of thematic educational materials that children can access during Free Choice Time or other center rotation to further help reinforce the science concepts. In addition, each unit provides a set of Ask-Me-About stickers designed to be used as a prompt for family to help children recall the science concepts they learned during the day.

E-I-E-I-O Learning Framework

To learn more about the framework, click on the video below.

Unit Overviews

The curriculum features the following life science, physical science and earth science units listed below. Each Unit Overview includes a short video clip from an ECHOS science lesson.

Rainy Weather
Unit Goal: Children explore where rain comes from, what it is, and where water goes after it rains.
Unit Overview
Beginning Botanist
Unit Goal: Children learn about the parts of plants and what plants need to live and grow.
Unit Overview
Feathered Friends
Unit Goal: Children discover that different types of birds have different types of beaks, feet and feathers to help them live in different habitats.
Unit Overview
Busy Buzzing Bees
Unit Goal: Children learn about the special features of honeybees and their important role in helping transfer pollen from one flower to another.
Unit Overview
Discovering Shells
Unit Goal: Children use multiple attributes to sort and categorize shells, and learn about their functions.
Unit Overview
Blocks Measure Up
Unit Goal: Children use blocks as an alternative measurement tool to compare the length and height of objects.
Unit Overview
Water Play
Unit Goal: Children will use science processes to investigate volume, water displacement and buoyancy.
Unit Overview
Astonishing Air
Unit Goal: Children engage in trial-and-error investigations that allow them to observe the presence of air and explore its properties.
Unit Overview
Magnificent Magnets
Unit Goal: Children engage in investigative activities that encourage them to explore how magnets interact with common magnetic and nonmagnetic objects.
Unit Overview

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Copyright © 2016 Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science