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Exploring Science in the Early Grades with Ms. Louis


Exploring Science in the Early Grades with Ms. Louis

Early Childhood Science teacher Alexa Louis has a passion for inquiry and exploration of the natural world. While she also works with Nursery and Pre-Kindergarten students, her time with Lower School students in Kindergarten and Grade 1 in our newly renovated Science Labs and the Garden & Outdoor Learning Space provides children with venues in which they can see themselves as scientists and thinkers. 

Ms. Louis trains students to become observers, notice details, and describe what they experience. She places particular emphasis on students’ relationship with the natural world. She says young children have a natural affinity for plants and animals, so she asks questions such as “How can we support plants and animals in getting what they need?” Ms. Louis says, “I am amazed by the empathy that young children show for the natural world. Treating nature with respect is where we want everyone to start in science. Plus, even at a young age, you can teach children to expand from their observations about the natural world into more abstract concepts. I am honored to help guide them into caring more about the outdoors.” 

In Science class, students investigate, observe, record, predict, and test as they apply skills learned in reading and writing as well as knowledge built during social studies lessons. This interdisciplinary philosophy is a hallmark of Ms. Louis’ teaching. Students develop critical thinking skills, building on schema they established outside the Science Lab to make connections about scientific topics. For example, noticing patterns and grouping shapes in a geometry lesson may build the framework Kindergarten students need to understand animal families and differentiate between the traits of reptiles and amphibians. In Grade 1, students apply their nonfiction reading skills to learn about planets, their cores, and specific features that make the planets distinct from one another. 

We are grateful to Ms. Louis for bringing her expertise and enthusiasm to shaping our youngest scientific minds in the Lower School. 

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