September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

May 2014: Upcoming Events in the South

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

The southern part of the state is full of professional development opportunities for educators to learn more about Earth and Ocean Sciences, physics, as well as the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards. Field tests of the new Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessments are well underway in the region. The Smarter Balanced practice tests are an opportunity for schools and districts to become familiar with the format and testing procedures inherent with the shifts in the Smarter Balanced Assessments. With this in mind, there is much anticipation for what the future of assessment will look like for the sciences. (more…)

Spring Break is Here!

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

Spring has sprung in Region 4! As a result, teachers are honing classroom management strategies and preparations for spring CAASPP pilot testing are in full swing.  There is also much anticipation of the impending changes to curriculum as teachers shift instructional practices to meet the requirements of NGSS and the CCS.

In order to hone instructional practice, educators from across Region 4 met on March 1st at Grossmont College in San Diego for the 23rd annual San Diego Science Educators Association Conference (SDSEA).  (more…)

Making Life Science and/or Chemistry Instruction Understandable and Accessible for All

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

by Jeanine Wulfenstein, in collaboration with Michael Arroyo

Being a life science or chemistry instructor isn’t always easy.  This is especially true when concepts are abstract and novel vocabulary terms are abundant.  I have been fortunate to work with a team of teachers at the middle school level who are devoted to the task, from teaching our most gifted students to instructing our students with learning challenges.  (more…)

Increasing Technology and Engineering Practices School-wide and in the Science Classroom

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

Our science classrooms are in a state of transition as we move closer toward the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core Standards.  A major part of this shift is the integration of technology and engineering practices that is infused throughout the new standards.  As part of this change it is vital that we educate students to be proficient and build the 21st century skills they are going to need to be successful. Now is the time for educators to review and refine current instructional practices to ensure proficiency not only in core science content, but also in overarching skills required to be part of a technologically literate society.  (more…)

Highlights and Happenings – March 2014

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

Across the region, the month of March is full of science professional development opportunities in anticipation of NGSS implementation, shifts in assessment, STEM education initiatives, infusion of technology into the curriculum and the migration to the Common Core Standards. For those of you in the San Diego that I was able to connect with at the March 1 Science Trek hosted by the San Diego Science Educators Association, it was great to connect with you in person and I hope I will see you at future events. I encourage all educators in region 4 to take advantage of these opportunities for professional growth and learning.

Teachers in Riverside County interested in implementing Common Core literacy standards in the elementary science setting will want to attend a one-day workshop hosted by the Riverside County Office of Education on March 12th(more…)

Region 4: Highlights and Happenings – February 2014

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

Across the region, the month of February is full of science professional development opportunities in anticipation of NGSS implementation, shifts in assessment, STEM education initiatives, and the migration to the Common Core Standards. I encourage all educators in region 4 to take advantage of these opportunities for professional growth and learning.

For Riverside County science leaders interested in learning more about science assessment, data, grants, instructional materials, research-based strategies, and California Department of Education updates, The Riverside County Office of Education is hosting a District Science Leadership Network Meeting on February 18, 2014 from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at the Riverside County Office of Education Conference Center. (more…)

Learning for All Ages Through Informal Science!

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

Region 4 is full of opportunities for local informal science education experiences. Whether you are a resident of region 4 or visiting the region on vacation, a multitude of learning opportunities await. I encourage you to broaden your horizon with new content and enjoy some of the best educational institutions in the nation. (more…)

Region 4 News and Events: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

The holiday season has arrived! Region 4 is bustling with activity as students prepare for the final crunch of the semester and families prepare for holiday celebrations. The weather has turned cold and students are hunkered down in their studies in an effort to solidify their semester grades. Teachers across the region are making connections for student learning and assessing student progress on the science standards.

Throughout the month of December, there are professional development opportunities available for teachers to continue to hone their science skills. For teachers looking for a better way to teach your students about the Milky Way, UCSD is hosting a hands-on workshop from 10:00 to 4:00 on Saturday December 7th highlighting the “Galaxy Garden” which uses living plants (built to scale) to help students visualize the vastness of our galaxy. For more information contact http://sdsa.org/resources/science-alliance-e-news/2013/attachments/galaxy-garden-flyer(more…)

Teaching STEM with Little to No Budget

Monday, November 4th, 2013

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

Have you found yourself being asked to implement STEM practices into your curriculum with little to no funding?  Are you confused about what STEM is, or what teaching STEM really means?  You are not alone!  Many teachers across California and the nation are being asked to teach STEM without much background, support, training, or funding.   (more…)

Region 4 Is All Shaken Up!

Friday, November 1st, 2013

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

In October, schools across region 4 practiced their earthquake preparedness strategies.  In order to practice for the next large earthquake, “The Great California Shake Out” was held on October 17th, 2013 at 10:17 am.  Educational professionals joined students and community members to practice recommended earthquake safety actions including dropping to the ground, taking cover under a sturdy desk or table, and holding onto their shelter until the shaking stops.   Everyone was reminded that a crawling position is the best way to protect your vital organs and to be prepared to move if and when necessary.  Through practice, our schools and community are one step closer to effectively managing this type of emergency situation.

Region 4 fall spirit is also alive and well at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana. Along with Cal State Fullerton, the Center is hosting a free Pumpkin Launch family event on November 2nd.  The day promises to be filled with entertainment, hands-on activities, and of course, flying pumpkins!  Scheduled activities include Marshmallow mayhem, Archimedes floating lab, a catapult shoot-out, reaction rockets, medieval battle camp, and Da Vinci’s flight school.  The fun starts at 10:00 a.m. will run until approximately 1:30 p.m.  Be sure to bring your lawn chair and a carved pumpkin for the pumpkin carving contest.  An array of gourmet food trucks will also be there to please your palate. Other upcoming events at the Discovery Science Center include: (more…)

Region 4 News and Events: Fall is Here!

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

The weather in region four has become crisp and cool… the winds are picking up… fall is here! Teachers and students across the region are settled into classrooms and are hunkering down with their curriculum. Educators are busy analyzing best practices for the implementation of the Common Core Standards and the impact the standards have on science instruction. CSTA, along with several county office of education in region 4, have hosted events to engage educators in the dialog about the newly adopted Next Generation Science Standards and what that means for instruction. (more…)

The School Year Is Quickly Approaching!

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

The summer has gone by quickly and soon classrooms across Region 4 will be bustling with energy and excitement in preparation for the upcoming 2013-2014 school year.  With the onset of the new school year, there are new opportunities for personal and professional growth.  For example, much has transpired over the summer with the state board discussion regarding the proposed adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards for California.  As it now stands, the dialog will continue into at least September.  This will allow for exciting and robust discussion forums (Pasadena and Orange County) and increased staff development opportunities in the months to come. (more…)

Region 4 – News and Events

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

As the school year winds to an end, teachers around the region are reflecting on classroom practice and preparing for summer relaxation and personal enrichment.  It has been a busy month in region 4, with teacher training for implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and forethought as to curriculum shifts and refinement with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  Here’s a brief summary of what’s been happening in region 4: (more…)

Be at the Forefront of Science Education!

Monday, April 1st, 2013

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

If you want to be at the forefront of science education, AND receive a tax write off,  join us for the 2013 California Science Education Conference in Palm Springs on Oct. 25-27.  Not only is the CSTA fall conference an outstanding opportunity to dialog with colleagues and gain new ideas, insights, and strategies to use in the classroom, but it is also an opportunity to remain current with what is transpiring at the state and national levels.   As science educators, we know that keeping current with pedagogy and educational shifts is vital to science education as a whole and to the overall success of the students in our classrooms. (more…)

What’s Happening in Region 4?

Friday, March 1st, 2013

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

Region 4 is buzzing with anticipation of the NGSS and the roll out of the Common Core Standards and districts in the region continue to strategize to determine the best manner for standards implementation in their classrooms. The Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) has been offering a series of professional development opportunities to familiarize teachers with the Common Core State Standards and the anticipated changes in assessements.  The RCOE professional development calendar lists upcoming Common Core training opportunities.  For more information, access http://rcoe.k12oms.org/index.php. (more…)

Regional Update: Region 4 – Welcome, 2013!

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

With the start of the New Year, Region 4 is bustling with preparations in anticipation of the next draft release of the NGSS and the impending implementation of Common Core Standards and Smarter Balanced Assessments.  This shift in pedagogy and emphasis will mean changes in the way we do business in the classroom.  (more…)

California Girls (CalGirlS) in STEM Collaborative

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

California has a rich and vigorous STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) culture.  However, the existing trend is that girls and other underserved populations appear to be under-represented in these disciplines.  For this reason, there is a lack of diversity and equality in higher STEM educational fields and in the current STEM workforce.  (more…)

Region 4 Fall Update

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

I hope that you are feeling renewed and invigorated after attending this year’s CSTA California Science Education Conference in San Jose!  The conference was full of information about the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the K-12 Science Framework, best instructional practices, informal science education, environmental education and STEM curriculum. Not to mention the numerous opportunities for networking with science colleagues… there truly was something for everyone! (more…)

Region 4 News and Events

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

Across CSTA region 4, educators are returning to classrooms rested and inspired to motivate students to reach new heights in science education. While this year will be a challenge for educators with looming budget uncertainties, the implementation of the common core standards, and preparing for the next generation science standards, it is also exciting with the onset of change and opportunities for inspiring learning in new ways. The districts in region 4 (Imperial, Inyo, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties), as well as CSTA, have been busily preparing educators to meet the demands of these changing times.   (more…)

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