January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

CSTA Region 1 – February 2016 Update

Posted: Monday, February 8th, 2016

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Here we are a month into the new year – how are your resolutions holding up? I recently had a wonderful conversation on this topic with a very thoughtful science education colleague. She shared a science education idea for a resolution. I decided to give it a try as well as share the idea here.

In the past, she recounted, she would take teachings from a book like “Good to Great” or “The Speed of Trust”, etc. and focus her efforts for a year on one of the themes for self improvement. This year she decided to focus on NGSS! Her resolution is to look for and make use of Crosscutting Concepts.

We thought about that together, and while some CCC’s like Patterns are easily found and used from years of practice teaching science, others like Structure and Function seem worthy of more careful consideration. I am a month into this and finding my awareness of CCC’s all around me has increased. I am able to consider them as driving themes for the way the world works and then use certain DCI’s, from a variety of disciplines, as examples of what a given CCC “looks” like. Funny thing – that translates pretty quickly into good conversations at work about how to design NGSS learning experiences without always starting from a discipline specific topic. Give it try – if you have not already – and maybe resolve to look more deeply at NGSS as a way to see the world. After all, that is what we are all working to help our students learn to do.

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Those of you within reach of Sonoma to Monterey counties should check out the Science Schmooze February calendar of events. It is a fabulous resource for teachers and gives opportunities for weekend family fun centered around science.  Check out events from Moss Beach Low Tide Walks to Coastal Paleontology at Point Reyes this month.

Those of you in the southern range of Region 1, especially in smaller schools where you may teach both math and science, might like to know about how to teach to the increased rigor, and certainly application to science, of 6-8 statistics.

Making Statistical Connections in Middle School: Facilitator Training

The most recent California Mathematics Content Standards have incorporated statistics and probability standards in grades 6-8. The California Mathematics Project (CMP), in partnership with the California Mathematics Council (CMC) and the California Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (CAMTE), has developed a series of modules for middle school teachers to support the teaching and learning of statistics and probability. This facilitator training will take a close look at the modules, instructional guides for facilitators, and the materials available for use with teachers, focusing specifically on grades 6-8. The training will be held on February 29-March 1, 2016 in Fresno. Participants will receive access to the statistics modules in iBook or PDF format, as well as Facilitator Notes and Teacher Resources.

To register online, go to http://ucla.in/1Qwgjiu.

For more information, visit https://sites.google.com/a/cmpso.org/statistics/

Contact Ann Park with any questions: apark@gseis.ucla.edu

Also from Region 1 this month, the Center for Mathematics and Science Educationat CalState Sacramento has a series of workshops.  To find out more: http://www.csus.edu/mase/sem_inst/sirc.htm

Written by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw is the student services director at Siskiyou County Office of Education and is CSTA’s Region 1 Director and chair of CSTA’s Policy Committee.

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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.

Learn More…

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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.