January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

California Has Adopted a New Science Curriculum Framework – Now What …?

Posted: Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

by Lisa Hegdahl

On November 3, 2016, the California State Board of Education (SBE) accepted the recommendation of the California Department of Education (CDE) and the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) to adopt the draft Science Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (CA Science Framework) with the IQC recommended edits from the second 60-day public review period (a pre-publication version of the Framework with the edits incorporated is expected to be released in the early part of 2017). California science educators have waited for this document since 2013 when the SBE adopted the California Next Generation Science Standards. However, now that the Framework is here, many are not sure how to use it effectively.

While members of the IQC, Science Curriculum Frameworks and Evaluation Criteria Committee (Science CFCC), and many members of the CDE and SBE have read the entire CA Science Framework, few others will read it cover to cover. Understanding the structure of the Framework and its intent will help readers get the most out of the document.

The CA Science Framework provides guidance on the implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA-NGSS) to teachers, administrators, parents, and other educational stakeholders. It also provides guidance for the integration of the CA-NGSS with other state adopted standards. It is important to note, however, that the CA Science Framework is not the last word on CA-NGSS implementation. The Framework does not replace high-quality professional development, such as the California NGSS Rollout Symposia, that provide in-depth understanding of the CA-NGSS and the shifts that are necessary for teachers and students in the classroom.  

Whether your role in CA Science education is as a teacher, coach, or administrator; whether you consider yourself a novice or expert in CA-NGSS, you should read Chapter One: Overview of the California Next Generation Science Standards. This chapter provides context for all the other Framework chapters by explaining not only the architecture of CA-NGSS, but the key instructional shifts. The Overview Chapter is essential for setting the stage for the those that follow.

The grade-level and grade-span chapters emphasize the key instructional shifts as well as the three-dimensional learning that is emphasized in the CA-NGSS. New features of the CA Science Framework include the use of snapshots and vignettes in all chapters to demonstrate the implementation of standards in the classroom. When reading grade-level and grade-span chapters, readers will notice that Performance Expectations (PEs) are bundled into coherent instructional segments. These bundles are not the same as those found on the Nextgenscience.org website and many do not match those that are being used by the CA-NGSS Early Implementer districts. The message is this: as professionals, teachers will decide how to bundle PEs, Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), or Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs) in any way that makes sense to them and to their unique student populations. The bundles shown in CA Science Framework are simply meant to be examples.  

Once the grade level or grade span chapter is read, two other chapters will be immediately useful when implementing CA-NGSS – Chapter 7: Assessment of Student Learning and Chapter 9: Instructional Strategies for the Next Generation Science Standards for California Public Schools Kindergarten through Grade Twelve Teaching and Learning in the Twenty-First Century. The assessment chapter provides ideas for assessing students three-dimensionally while the strategies chapter provides information on sequencing lessons, engaging student thinking, teaching the nature of science, incorporating engineering and more.  

Other Framework Chapters explore Equity and Access, Instructional Resources, and Implementing High-Quality Science Instruction. There are also five supporting appendices, two glossaries, and a Science Resources section. This link will take you to all the CA Science Framework Chapters and Appendices.

Resources:

SBE November 2016 Meeting Agenda – Item 9

CDE Framework Presentation

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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STEM Conference Hosted by CMSESMC

Posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2017

The Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County will be hosting the 41st annual STEM Conference this February 4, 2017 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. This STEM Conference is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a variety of exhibitors that provide participants with a wide range of practical and realistic ideas and resources to use in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Pre-K to grade 12. With California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring that we prepare our teachers to take on these educational policies.

Teachers, administrators, and parents are invited to explore the many exciting aspects of STEM education and learn about and discuss the latest news, information, and issues. This is also an opportunity to network with colleagues who can assist you in building your programs and meet new friends that share your interests and love of teaching. Register online today!

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.

Submit Your NGSS Lessons and Units Today!

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

Achieve has launched and is facilitating an EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science–a group of expert reviewers who will evaluate the quality and alignment of lessons and units to the standards–in an effort to identify and shine a spotlight on emerging high-quality lesson and unit plans designed for the NGSS.

If you or your state, district, school, or organization has designed NGSS-aligned instructional materials, please consider submitting these in order to help provide educators across the country with various models and templates of high-quality lesson and unit plans. 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.

Opportunity for High School Students – Los Angeles County

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

An upcoming Perry Outreach Program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, CA. The Perry Outreach Program is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for high school and college-aged women who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. 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.

Science Education Policy Update

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

January 2017 has proven to be a very busy month for science education policy and CA NGSS implementation activities. CSTA has been and will be there every step of the way, seeking and enacting all options to support high-quality science education and the successful implementation of CA NGSS.

California Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education Science Double-Testing Waiver Hearing

The year started with California Department of Education’s (CDE) hearing with the U.S. Department of Education conducted via WebEx on January 6, 2017. This hearing was the final step in California’s efforts to secure a waiver from the federal government in order to discontinue administration of the old CST and suspension of the reporting of student test scores on a science assessment for two years. As reported by EdSource, the U.S. Department of Education representative, Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary John King Jr., committed to making her final ruling “very shortly.” Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley presented on behalf of CDE during the hearing and did an excellent job describing the broad-based support for this waiver in California, the rationale for the waiver, and California’s commitment to the successful implementation of a new high-quality science assessment. As previously reported, California is moving forward with its plans to administer a census pilot assessments this spring. The testing window is set to open on March 20, 2017. For more information visit New CA Science Test: What You Should Know.

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.

NSTA Los Angeles Conference Features Many CA Science Leaders

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

The early-bird registration rates for the 65th NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Los Angeles is just days away (ends Feb. 3). And as the early-registration deadline approaches excitement is building for what is anticipated to be the largest gathering of science educators (both California and nationwide) – with attendance expected to reach 10,000 or more. If you have never had the pleasure of attending the NSTA National Conference, I recommend you visit their website with tips for newcomers that describe the various components of the event. A conference preview is also available for download. Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.