September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

CSTA Region 1 – What’s New?

Posted: Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

As a county office Educational Services Director I get to work with many districts, teachers and site leaders on a variety topics, including science. I have the good fortune to be embarking on a new project as part of a team formed by the California State University, Chico – Project ESTEEM.

CSU Chico recruited teams of elementary teachers and their principals to participate in Project ESTEEM, Elementary Science Teachers, Educating, Elevating, and Meliorating; a two-year professional learning grant secured last winter by the University.

The grant aims to improve instructional practice and leadership in elementary science in northeastern California through the development of locally focused standards-aligned curriculum. It also aims to create partnerships among schools, the University, and science and technology resources in the region such as those in industry and agriculture.

Project ESTEEM is funded through the California Department of Education’s Mathematics and Science Professional Learning Initiative, and is a part of the department’s Improving Teacher Quality program.

Educators participating in Project ESTEEM will learn

  • the California Next Generation Science Standards;
  • techniques for science curriculum development that include Project-Based Interdisciplinary Instruction and Universal Design for Learning;
  • how to integrate Common Core content literacy and reading comprehension with science;
  • how to meet the science learning needs of English-language learners;
  • how to apply the action research-based Collective Instructional Leadership System developed at CSU, Chico for continuous improvement in education; and
  • the science and technology resources and expertise available in northeastern California that include agriculture, industry, museums, natural areas and higher education.

Principals will also learn strategies for supporting teacher growth and high-quality, standards-aligned elementary science education.

Collaboration and teamwork are essential in Project ESTEEM. Grade-level teams who work across districts within the region will develop innovative elementary science curriculum units.

Project co-directors are CSU, Chico School of Education professors Michael Kotar and Ben Seipel. Supporting school districts are the Red Bluff Union Elementary District, and the Paradise Unified School District. Expertise in science education and content literacy is being supported by a range of local classroom teacher-leaders, county offices of education, and CSU faculty and partners.


creecIn case you want to know who your CREEC coordinator is, and they are based on CA Superintendents Regions 1-11 (not CSTA Regions 1-4) you can go to the CREEC webpage – which is just finishing a remodel – or reach out to them… there are some new names! You can subscribe to get emails and newsletters about events being offered in your region. Join the Email List!  Don’t miss a thing!

CSTA Region 1
Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba Counties

Region 1
Allison Poklemba
Humboldt State University
1 Harpst Street
Arcata, CA 99521   707-826-4479 x3

Region 2
Nathan Fairchild
1644 Magnolia Avenue
Redding, CA     96001
530-225-0214

Region 3
Deborah Bruns
Yolo County Office of Education
1280 Santa Anita Court, Suite 100
Woodland, CA 95776-6127
530-668-3781

Region 6
Conni Bock
San Joaquin County Office of Education
PO Box 213030
Stockton, CA 95213-9030
209-468-9119

or

Colleen Whitlock
175 Fairview Lane
Sonora, CA 95370
(209) 536-2075

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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State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces 2017 Finalists for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Posted: Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today nominated eight exceptional secondary mathematics and science teachers as California finalists for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

“These teachers are dedicated and accomplished individuals whose innovative teaching styles prepare our students for 21st century careers and college and develop them into the designers and inventors of the future,” Torlakson said. “They rank among the finest in their profession and also serve as wonderful mentors and role models.”

The California Department of Education (CDE) partners annually with the California Science Teachers Association and the California Mathematics Council to recruit and select nominees for the PAEMST program—the highest recognition in the nation for a mathematics or science teacher. The Science Finalists will be recognized at the CSTA Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 14, 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.

Thriving in a Time of Change

Posted: Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

by Jill Grace

By the time this message is posted online, most schools across California will have been in session for at least a month (if not longer, and hat tip to that bunch!). Long enough to get a good sense of who the kids in your classroom are and to get into that groove and momentum of the daily flow of teaching. It’s also very likely that for many of you who weren’t a part of a large grant initiative or in a district that set wheels in motion sooner, this is the first year you will really try to shift instruction to align to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a challenging year – change is hard. Change is even harder when there’s not a playbook to go by.  But as someone who has had the very great privilege of walking alongside teachers going through that change for the past two years and being able to glimpse at what this looks like for different demographics across that state, there are three things I hope you will hold on to. These are things I have come to learn will overshadow the challenge: a growth mindset will get you far, one is a very powerful number, and it’s about the kids. Learn More…

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Written by Jill Grace

Jill Grace

Jill Grace is a Regional Director for the K-12 Alliance and is President of CSTA.

If You Are Not Teaching Science Then You Are Not Teaching Common Core

Posted: Thursday, August 31st, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn 

“Science and Social Studies can be taught for the last half hour of the day on Fridays”

– Elementary school principal

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

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

Tools for Creating NGSS Standards Based Lessons

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Elizabeth Cooke

Think back on your own experiences with learning science in school. Were you required to memorize disjointed facts without understanding the concepts?

Science Education Background

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Written by Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke teaches TK-5 science at Markham Elementary in the Oakland Unified School District, is an NGSS Early Implementer, and is CSTA’s Secretary.

News and Happenings in CSTA’s Region 1 – Fall 2017

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Cal

This month I was fortunate enough to hear about some new topics to share with our entire region. Some of you may access the online or newsletter options, others may attend events in person that are nearer to you. Long time CSTA member and environmental science educator Mike Roa is well known to North Bay Area teachers for his volunteer work sharing events and resources. In this month’s Region 1 updates I am happy to make a few of the options Mike offers available to our region. Learn More…

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.