August 2016 – Vol. 28 No. 12

New Resource: Second Release of NGSS Example Bundles

The Example Bundles (formerly known as the Model Content Frameworks for Science) will show samples of ways to bundle the NGSS within a school year. “Bundling” is an important strategy for implementing standards, as it brings coherence to instruction and greatly reduces the amount of instructional time necessary.

In June, Achieve released the first set of Example Bundles which featured the following resources:

  • Kindergarten Bundles (Thematic Model and Topics Model)
  • Middle School Course I Models (Phenomenon and Topics Model)
  • High School Course I Models (Conceptual Progressions Model and Domains Model – Chemistry)
  • NGSS Example Bundles Guide

Learn More…

Sensemaking Notebooks: Making Thinking Visible for Both Students and Teachers!

by Karen Cerwin

“Students can’t yet write independently without basic sentence frames.  Their thoughts are usually bigger than what they can put on paper.” – Kindergarten Teacher

This quote works for everyone; our thoughts are usually bigger than what anyone can put on paper! Yet, our job as educators is to help students learn to communicate their thinking in meaningful ways. One strategy is to use science notebooks in the classroom in a way that aligns with how scientists use their notebooks in their daily work.

Scientists use notebooks as a “thinking journal” in which they record observations, and thoughts about a phenomenon they are investigating. They propose ideas, research how others have thought about the phenomenon, do original investigations, edit and refine their thinking as they gather more data, generate more questions for further study. Scientist notebooks are living documents that reflect the author’s thinking.  Thus their notebooks are unique and individual to that scientist’s ideas. Learn More…

Engaging in Collaboration & The Two-Year College Option

by Marcus Tessier

For many of our students, two-year colleges offer an important option for transitioning from K-12 to four-year colleges. And for other students, two-year colleges provide important coursework for career trajectories. I’ve attended three community colleges throughout my academic tenure and certainly will affirm the value of coursework that led to a teaching career in science.

Nearly all educators will support the value of student access to content rich learning environments. We pursue education because most of us see ourselves making a difference for others and being an active participant in having a positive impact on the lives of others. For those of us who share a love for science, we see possibilities. These possibilities lead to career options, perhaps in STEM, or maybe we simply understand the importance of supporting a world where STEM literacy creates a better world for all of us. Though we all have different perspectives on how to create these outcomes, we might, however, all agree that these outcomes are worth pursuing. Learn More…

Preparing for New School Year: Supporting High School Students’ Science Motivation

by Sandra Simpkins and Yangyang Liu

When science teachers prepare for a new school year, they often think about how they can teach their students science concepts and principles in an interesting way. Not only is it important to spark students’ initial interest in science, but is also key to help maintain students’ interest in science. Without that continued support, students who were once interested in science run the risk of losing that interest (Renninger & Hidi, 2016). In fact, 45% of 10th grade students interested in pursuing a STEM career (that is, a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics career) lost that interest by the end of high school (Aschbacher, Li, & Roth, 2010) – making high school a critical time for science. High school is often the first time when students can opt out of science coursework as most states require less than four years of science coursework to graduate. When students lose interest in science, they are less likely to take elective science courses – which hinders their college science prospects. Learn More…

Student Experiments to See the Edge of Space

by Joanne Michael

A view of Southern California from 90,000 feet.

A view of Southern California from 90,000 feet.
Click image for a larger view.

Three years ago, I had a dream- I wanted to work with my students to send a weather balloon with experiments into the edge of space. I had colleagues around the country that had done it with their schools, and I was loving every moment of their stories. Their students were coming up with the experiments, talking with scientists, spending months learning about meteorology, weather patterns, calculating the speed and trajectory- all things that I wanted to have my students experience. Not knowing how to fund it, or really how to do it in the first place, I tried writing grants, getting sponsors, talking to aerospace companies, but came up empty-handed. My school district is located in a very financially wealthy area, and so we do not qualify for many grants. In addition, I teach elementary school (I’m a hands-on science educator, teaching the entire K-5 school), and the majority of grants that my area would allow my to apply for were for middle and high school teachers- not elementary. Learn More…

Why Students with Special Needs Need Science in Your Classroom

by Scott Campbell

I am a resource-level special education teacher. Like you, I teach students. As in most classrooms, my students’ skill levels run the gamut from very low to approaching grade level. Unlike you, I do not specifically teach science. Students in my resource program do not qualify for services in science. They qualify for services in the specific areas of reading, writing, math, listening, and speaking. They are pulled out of the regular education classroom for those services. I do my best to schedule these services so there is minimal disruption to you, but the number of students to be seen and the number of minutes available to me limits me. I want us to be partners in the education of our students and I need you to know that my students need to have science in your classroom. Learn More…

Finding New Resources in a Changing Science Education Landscape

by Amity Sandage

Field studies at Santa Cruz County Outdoor Science School

Field studies at Santa Cruz County Outdoor Science School

After two decades in education, I still love the natural rhythm of the school year. It is the teacher’s turn in the learning cycle. Reflections at the end of each school year spark new ideas that then flow and percolate throughout the summer. And I know come August I always find myself excited and apprehensive in equal measure. Excited to improve and try new approaches, and apprehensive because I need some concrete resources to accomplish the goals that began as visions floating around in my head and morphed and settled over summer into real plans. But where and how to find these resources when fall is fast approaching and NGSS is changing the landscape? Learn More…

Celestial Highlights, August 2016

by Robert C. Victor. Twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller. Graph of evening planet setting times by Dr. Jeffrey L. Hunt

August 2016 has rare gifts for skywatchers — for most of the month, all five naked-eye planets can be seen during evening twilight, and they participate in beautiful pairings and groupings! From a site with an unobstructed view of the western horizon, begin within half an hour after sunset, to catch Venus before it sinks too low. Use our evening twilight chart and diagrams selected from the Abrams Planetarium Sky Calendar to guide you.

Venus at mag. –3.8 will be visible with unaided eye. (It will get higher in coming months, setting in a dark sky starting in October, climbing highest in January 2017, and reaching spectacular brilliance at mag. –4.8 in February, before quickly departing from the evening sky in late March.) Links to graphs of planet setting times in 2016-2017: [SoCal] [NorCal]
Learn More…

Everybody In! Using Cultural Awareness to Support Diverse Classrooms

by Emily Schoerning

California science teachers work with some of the most diverse student populations in the country. Finding ways to help students from all sorts of backgrounds achieve in the science classroom can be a real challenge. Learning science often means learning a lot of vocabulary, but it also means learning how to present scientific arguments and utilize the scientific method. By recognizing the intense language and cultural demands of classroom science, we can help to build inclusive environments where diverse students can succeed. Learn More…

Next Generation Science Standards, STEAM, and the Use of Virtual Reality (VR)

by Anne Mangahas. Ed.D.

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) with its interdisciplinary approach, is much like the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in building a cohesive understanding of the process of science. Studies show that the Arts use right brain thinking to foster creativity, a quality essential to innovation and problem solving. This new paradigm within STEAM offers students the best opportunities in developing the skills necessary to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Virtual Reality Technology has been shown to enhance student comprehension of complex topics and is beneficial for children with variances in cognitive ability. The interaction involved in virtual reality engages learners by creating a holistic medium that incorporates kinesthetic, cognitive, and affective domains. This experience-heavy quality of VR environments is crucial to the learning process as it provides vibrant contexts. Learn More…

Are You Prepared to Participate in the Discussions?

by Lisa Hegdahl

I recently found myself a participant in two separate conversations regarding topics of which all California teachers of Science should be knowledgeable.  One was in regards to the current status of the California Standards Tests (CSTs) and the other was in regards to High School course structures in light of the new California assessment for Science.  As many of us will attend district, school, and department meetings in preparation for the new school year, updating our knowledge about the most recent decisions that will affect California Science education will be time well spent. Learn More…

Conference_Side_Column_Register-Early

New Conference Website, 700+ Registrations, and Featured Speakers Galore

by Jessica Sawko

It is with great excitement that I began this post…700+ registrations for the 2016 California Science Education Conference, and we are not even at the end of August! We have not seen conference numbers this high since 2007, so I can tell already that this is going to be a big conference. I can understand why as well. Not only is implementation of California’s new science standards starting to receive some attention at schools and districts all over the state – but this year’s 2016 conference has undergone a transformation that is sure to provide attendees with the content, experience, resources, connections, and information they are looking for. In order to help you navigate all of the wonderful components of the 2016 California Science Education Conference CSTA has launched a brand new conference website.

With this many advance registrations, ticketed events are starting to fill. So if you haven’t already registered – I recommend you do so today. Not sure your principal or supervisor will approve or fund your participation? CSTA has developed a letter targeting leaders/administrators as well as complied useful information on how to fund your conference participation and a conference expense planner. You can find all three onlineLearn More…

Science & Engineering Practices for Science Fairs Infographic

Infographic

Click to download a PDF of the infographic

The non-profit Synopsys Silicon Valley Science & Technology Outreach Foundation enables students and teachers developing science projects at more than 750 California schools each year. As teachers process methods to implement Next Generation Science Standards, we suggest that hands-on science projects and science fair competitions are the perfect vehicles for implementing NGSS. Learn More…

California Health Education Framework Focus Groups – Call for Volunteers

The California Department of Education, State Board of Education, and Instructional Quality Commission are just beginning the three-year process of revising the Health Framework.

Please apply for appointment to a Focus Group to provide input regarding what guidance and information should be included in the revised framework to support the implementation of the Health Education Content Standards.

Completed applications are due September 15, 2016.

Application forms are available online at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/he/cf/. Learn More…

State Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson Announces Launch of #GoOpen Initiative and Collaboration in Common Professional Learning Community

SACRAMENTO—California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced the launch of both a new statewide #GoOpen initiative and Collaboration in Common, an online professional learning community and resource exchange platform for all California educators.

In joining the #GoOpen initiative, California becomes the sixteenth state recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for its commitment to support school districts and educators transitioning to the use of high-quality, openly licensed educational resources. Learn More…

Upcoming Events

Sep
7
Wed
2016
8:00 am Next Generation Science Standard... @ California State University, East Bay (New University Union)
Next Generation Science Standard... @ California State University, East Bay (New University Union)
Sep 7 @ 8:00 am – Sep 8 @ 4:30 pm
Rollout #3 Agenda Day 1  7:30 – 8:00 Registering and Continental Breakfast 8:00 – 8:30 Plenary Session, Welcome, and Set-up for the 2 Days 8:30-9:15 CA NGSS Assessment Update 9:15-9:30 Environmental Principles and Concepts 9:45-12:15[...]
Sep
8
Thu
2016
8:00 am Project WET Workshop: Tehachapi
Project WET Workshop: Tehachapi
Sep 8 @ 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
TEHACHAPI USD EDUCATORS! The Tehachapi-Cummings County Water District and Tehachapi Unified School District invite you to join us for this FREE water education workshop, which will include hands-on experience with the activities of Project WET[...]
Sep
10
Sat
2016
7:30 am TECH SUMMIT 2016 @ SJCOE/Wentworth Education Center
TECH SUMMIT 2016 @ SJCOE/Wentworth Education Center
Sep 10 @ 7:30 am – 3:30 pm
When:  Saturday, September 10th 7:30am-3:30pm Where:  SJCOE/Wentworth Education Center 2707 Transworld Drive, Stockton What to Bring:  Your Sched itinerary.  Your own device. Who Will Be There:  Educators, Administrators, Curriculum Leaders, IT Staff Members are all welcome to come. Are you[...]
Sep
13
Tue
2016
8:00 am Intro to NGSS and 3-D Learning (... @ San Diego County Office of Education, Room 401/402
Intro to NGSS and 3-D Learning (... @ San Diego County Office of Education, Room 401/402
Sep 13 @ 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Implementation Stage 1 A one-day experience where teachers learn about the vision, goals, and instructional shifts of NGSS. They explore grade level standards and are introduced to the CA Science Framework that guides NGSS curriculum,[...]
Sep
14
Wed
2016
9:00 am Science Leadership & Professiona... @ San Diego County Office of Education, Room 306
Science Leadership & Professiona... @ San Diego County Office of Education, Room 306
Sep 14 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
On-going network designed to bring leaders of science reform and professional development together with the goal of building capacity of all stakeholders to effectively implement the Next Generation Science Standards in the region
Sep
24
Sat
2016
9:00 am Introduction to the NGSS (grades... @ California Academy of Sciences
Introduction to the NGSS (grades... @ California Academy of Sciences
Sep 24 @ 9:00 am – 3:30 pm
Introduction to the NGSS (grades K - 12) @ California Academy of Sciences | San Francisco | California | United States
Demystify the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in this beginner’s-level workshop. Register now How will science education be transformed by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)? Join us to explore the principles underlying the NGSS.[...]
Oct
1
Sat
2016
8:00 am Understanding Climate Change in ...
Understanding Climate Change in ...
Oct 1 @ 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
BAY AREA EDUCATORS! Climate change is having a profound impact on California water resources, as evidenced by changes in snowpack, sea level and river flows. Join the Department of Water Resources (DWR) Climate Change team[...]
Oct
9
Sun
2016
12:00 am 2016 California STEM Symposium @ Anaheim Convention Center
2016 California STEM Symposium @ Anaheim Convention Center
Oct 9 @ 12:00 am – Oct 11 @ 3:00 pm
We are returning to the Anaheim Convention Center for the 2016 California STEM Symposium! We are excited to welcome old friends and new comers to what has become the largest annual gathering of STEM educators[...]
Oct
13
Thu
2016
8:00 am Next Generation Science Standard... @ Raddison Hotel - Fresno
Next Generation Science Standard... @ Raddison Hotel - Fresno
Oct 13 @ 8:00 am – Oct 14 @ 4:30 pm
Rollout #3 Agenda Day 1  7:30 – 8:00 Registering and Continental Breakfast 8:00 – 8:30 Plenary Session, Welcome, and Set-up for the 2 Days 8:30-9:15 CA NGSS Assessment Update 9:15-9:30 Environmental Principles and Concepts 9:45-12:15[...]
Oct
20
Thu
2016
8:00 am ONWARD: Leading the NGSS Impleme... @ Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel
ONWARD: Leading the NGSS Impleme... @ Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel
Oct 20 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
A Pre-Conference Event for District-Level Science Coaches and TOSAs Join us and your colleagues for an in-depth NGSS event before the 2016 CSTA conference begins. The cost for this event is $85 per person with[...]
Oct
21
Fri
2016
8:00 am 2016 California Science Educatio... @ Palm Springs Convention Center
2016 California Science Educatio... @ Palm Springs Convention Center
Oct 21 @ 8:00 am – Oct 23 @ 1:00 pm
2016 California Science Education Conference @ Palm Springs Convention Center | Palm Springs | California | United States
You’re Invited – Register Today! 2016 will be an exciting year for science education in California. Implementation of the California NGSS will be in year three, theCalifornia Science Curriculum Framework will be released for a[...]
Oct
23
Sun
2016
8:00 am Intro to NGSS and 3-D Learning (... @ San Diego County Office of Education, Annex B
Intro to NGSS and 3-D Learning (... @ San Diego County Office of Education, Annex B
Oct 23 @ 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Implementation Stage 1 A one-day experience where teachers learn about the vision, goals, and instructional shifts of NGSS. They explore grade level standards and are introduced to the CA Science Framework that guides NGSS curriculum,[...]
Oct
25
Tue
2016
4:00 pm Get Techie with Weebly @ Sacramento County Office of Education, Computer Lab
Get Techie with Weebly @ Sacramento County Office of Education, Computer Lab
Oct 25 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Plan, design, and publish your own free website or blog for your classroom. Building a site has never been easier with Weebly. Learn more about this website builder to create powerful, professional websites without any[...]
Oct
26
Wed
2016
9:00 am Science Leadership & Professiona... @ San Diego County Office of Education, Room 306
Science Leadership & Professiona... @ San Diego County Office of Education, Room 306
Oct 26 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
On-going network designed to bring leaders of science reform and professional development together with the goal of building capacity of all stakeholders to effectively implement the Next Generation Science Standards in the region
Nov
4
Fri
2016
8:00 am Understanding Climate Change in ...
Understanding Climate Change in ...
Nov 4 @ 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
BAY AREA EDUCATORS! Climate change is having a profound impact on California water resources, as evidenced by changes in snowpack, sea level and river flows. Join the Department of Water Resources (DWR) Climate Change team[...]
Nov
7
Mon
2016
8:00 am Next Generation Science Standard... @ Santa Clara County Office of Education
Next Generation Science Standard... @ Santa Clara County Office of Education
Nov 7 @ 8:00 am – Nov 8 @ 4:30 pm
Rollout #3 Agenda Day 1  7:30 – 8:00 Registering and Continental Breakfast 8:00 – 8:30 Plenary Session, Welcome, and Set-up for the 2 Days 8:30-9:15 CA NGSS Assessment Update 9:15-9:30 Environmental Principles and Concepts 9:45-12:15[...]
Nov
8
Tue
2016
8:00 am Biology in the NGSS @ San Diego County Office of Education
Biology in the NGSS @ San Diego County Office of Education
Nov 8 @ 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
A one-day exploration of the different biology course models outlined in the CA Science Framework. Participants will analyze each model and discuss implications for teaching and learning.
4:00 pm Get Techie with Google @ Sacramento County Office of Education, Computer Lab
Get Techie with Google @ Sacramento County Office of Education, Computer Lab
Nov 8 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
In this course, you will learn about Google Drive and how to use: • Google Docs to create and format text documents and collaborate with other people in real time. • Google Forms to make[...]

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