May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Achieve Announces Launch of EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science – Apply Today!

Posted: Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Achieve is excited to announce the creation of the EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science.

The goal of the EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science will be to identify high-quality lessons and units that are designed for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Building on the work of the EQuIP peer review panels for mathematics and English Language Arts, the science peer reviewers will evaluate lessons and units in their area of expertise and, collectively, will cover grades K-12. Any lessons and units that are determined to be of high quality will be publicly shared via www.nextgenscience.org so that educators and curriculum developers across all states and districts can benefit from these materials. 

APPLICATION PROCESS

  1. Interested persons must complete this online application. (Application period is Sept. 6 – Sept. 23, 2016)
  2. Applicants will receive an email containing two grade-banded science lessons to review and one copy of the new EQuIP Rubric for Science (Version 3) to use as they evaluate both science lessons.
  3. Applicants must submit their completed EQuIP rubric reviews for consideration. (Due no later than Sept. 23, 2016)
  4. Accepted applicants will be notified of their selection as a peer reviewer. (By Oct. 21, 2016)
  5. Selected peer reviewers must confirm their commitment and interest. (No later than Oct. 25, 2016)

SELECTION PROCESS

While all interested persons are encouraged to apply, the application process is designed to evaluate applicant’s ability to apply the EQuIP Rubric for Science (Version 3.0) and reveal their understanding of A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the NGSS. Applicants will be selected based on their ability to make consistent, criterion-based evaluations using the latest version of the EQuIP Rubric for Science.

Please note that the EQuIP Rubric for Lessons & Units: Science (Version 2.0) has been updated and looking ahead, selected peer reviewers will only use the new EQuIP Rubric (Version 3.0) to evaluate lessons for quality and alignment to the NGSSThe latest tool, Version 3.0, will be released to applicants (and available on www.nextgenscience.org).

THE COMMITMENT

The responsibilities of the peer reviewers will include:

  1. Convening in person at least once each calendar year, starting with a mandatory two-day Kickoff Meeting during November 15-16, 2016.
  2. Committing up to twelve days of service during the inaugural one-year term, through a combination of in-person and virtual meetings, as well as time spent independently reviewing collections.
  3. Completing a quality review process for a minimum of ten assigned reviews per year, including submitting written, criterion-based feedback in a timely manner.

While peer reviewers are committing to a one-year term, the work will be ongoing and there will be opportunities to extend their involvement. A full list of responsibilities will be provided to selected peer reviewers on October 21, 2016.

For answers to common questions, check out the FAQ: EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Achieve thanks Alcoa Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and Pisces Foundation for their generous support of EQuIP for Science and for working to ensure all students have access to a quality science education.

Please contact ngss@achieve.org for additional questions or comments.

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

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CSTA Annual Conference Early Bird Rates End July 14

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

Teachers engaged in workshop activity

Teachers engaging in hands-on learning during a workshop at the 2016 CSTA conference.

Don’t miss your chance to register at the early bird rate for the 2017 CSTA Conference – the early-bird rate closes July 14. Need ideas on how to secure funding for your participation? Visit our website for suggestions, a budget planning tool, and downloadable justification letter to share with your admin. Want to take advantage of the early rate – but know your district will pay eventually? Register online today and CSTA will reimburse you when we receive payment from your district/employer. (For more information on how that works contact Zi Stair in the office for details – 916-979-7004 or zi@cascience.org.)

New Information Now Available On-line:

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Goodbye Outgoing and Welcome Incoming CSTA Board Members

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Jill Grace

Jill Grace, CSTA President, 2017-2019

On July 1, 2017 five CSTA members concluded their service and four new board members joined the ranks of the CSTA Board of Directors. CSTA is so grateful for all the volunteer board of directors who contribute hours upon hours of time and energy to advance the work of the association. At the June 3 board meeting, CSTA was able to say goodbye to the outgoing board members and welcome the incoming members.

This new year also brings with it a new president for CSTA. As of July 1, 2017 Jill Grace is the president of the California Science Teachers Association. Jill is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, a former middle school science teacher, and is currently a Regional Director with the K-12 Alliance @ WestEd where she works with California NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative districts and charter networks in the San Diego area.

Outgoing Board Members

  • Laura Henriques (President-Elect: 2011 – 2013, President: 2013 – 2015, Past President: 2015 – 2017)
  • Valerie Joyner (Region 1 Director: 2009 – 2013, Primary Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Mary Whaley (Informal Science Education Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Sue Campbell (Middle School/Jr. High Director: 2015 – 2017)
  • Marcus Tessier (2-Year College Director: 2015 – 2017)

Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Finding My Student’s Motivation of Learning Through Engineering Tasks

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Huda Ali Gubary and Susheela Nath

It’s 8:02 and the bell rings. My students’ walk in and pick up an entry ticket based on yesterday’s lesson and homework. My countdown starts for students to begin…3, 2, 1. Ten students are on task and diligently completing the work, twenty are off task with behaviors ranging from talking up a storm with their neighbors to silently staring off into space. This was the start of my classes, more often than not. My students rarely showed the enthusiasm for a class that I had eagerly prepared for. I spent so much time searching for ways to get my students excited about the concepts they were learning. I wanted them to feel a connection to the lessons and come into my class motivated about what they were going to learn next. I would ask myself how I could make my class memorable where the kids were in the driver’s seat of learning. Incorporating engineering made this possible. Learn More…

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Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the California NGSS k-8 Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Unveils Updated Recommended Literature List

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled an addition of 285 award-winning titles to the Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list.

“The books our students read help broaden their perspectives, enhance their knowledge, and fire their imaginations,” Torlakson said. “The addition of these award-winning titles represents the state’s continued commitment to the interests and engagement of California’s young readers.”

The Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list is a collection of more than 8,000 titles of recommended reading for children and adolescents. Reflecting contemporary and classic titles, including California authors, this online list provides an exciting range of literature that students should be reading at school and for pleasure. Works include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama to provide for a variety of tastes, interests, and abilities. Learn More…

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.

Teaching Science in the Time of Alternative Facts – Why NGSS Can Help (somewhat)

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn

The father of one of my students gave me a book: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Walt Brown, Ph. D. He had heard that I was teaching Plate Tectonics and wanted me to consider another perspective. The book offered the idea that the evidence for plate tectonics could be better understood if we considered the idea that beneath the continent of Pangaea was a huge underground layer of water that suddenly burst forth from a rift between the now continents of Africa and South America. The waters shot up and the continents hydroplaned apart on the water layer to their current positions. The force of the movement pushed up great mountain ranges which are still settling to this day, resulting in earthquakes along the margins of continents. This had happened about 6,000 years ago and created a great worldwide flood. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the Region 4 Director for CSTA.