May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Do You Have a Growth Mindset?

Posted: Monday, October 19th, 2015

By Lisa Hegdahl

As our administration shared with us the traits of people who don’t give up in the face of challenges, my mind could not help but think of the parallels to teachers implementing NGSS. Coincidentally, I had spent the day at a Technical Assistance meeting for the Core Leadership team for our district’s CA NGSS Early Implementation group. As Early Implementers, we have had struggles, successes, and more struggles, all the while learning and growing as educators. Giving ourselves permission to fail and not be perfect, all Growth Mindset qualities, are critical to the process of learning how to provide NGSS 3-dimensional learning experiences for our students.

What Kind of Mind Do You Have?

Cool graphic, isn’t it? It appeared at the top of the agenda provided at my school’s September Leadership Committee meeting. Our district enjoys being on the cutting edge of California education, so this image was a reminder to us to persevere as we struggle productively. Created and used with permission by Reid Wilson @wayfaringpath icon from thenounproject.com

Growth Mindset – Trying NGSS in Your Classroom

You don’t have to be a teacher in a CA NGSS Early Implementation district to be, as Kathy DiRanna, statewide director for the K-12 Alliance, said in a September 2, 2015 EdSource article, “…bleeding on the cutting edge..” of NGSS. Many teachers have already begun to try components of NGSS in their classrooms with varying success.  These teachers want to challenge themselves and know that as they struggle, they learn. As they learn, they come to believe even more strongly that they can do anything. Mastering the teaching of NGSS is just a matter of time.

Growth Mindset – Attending NGSS Professional Development

If you attended the California Science Education Conference in Sacramento during the first weekend of October, it is a good bet that you have the Growth Mindset. You attended workshops, field courses and listened to focus speakers because you believe that you can accomplish anything, including NGSS Implementation, if you persevere.

This year’s annual California Science Education Conference may be over, but CSTA continues to provide California educators with opportunities to grow in their understanding of NGSS. In addition, each month CSTA publishes professional development opportunities across the state in California Classroom Science.

Upcoming Opportunities to Increase Your Understanding of NGSS

  1. Dates & Locations for the remaining NGSS Transition Phase, Rollout II
  • Fresno Workshop: October 15-16, 2015
  • San Marcos Workshop: October 22-23, 2015
  • Red Bluff Workshop: November 2-3, 2015
  • San Jose Workshop: November 9-10, 2015
  • Camarillo Workshop, December 8-9, 2015
  1. Look for the CA NGSS Rollout #3 Workshops coming in 2016!
  1. California Science Education Conference, Palm Springs, October 21-23, 2016

Growth Mindset by Reviewing the California Science Framework

The Science Framework Public Review sessions are coming! The Science Framework for California Public Schools: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve (Science Framework) will go into its first public review period November 17 – January 19. I encourage you to attend one of the CSTA hosted Science Framework review sessions being offered throughout the state or consider hosting your own CA Science Framework Review Session in your area. For details, keep an eye on the CSTA website, California Classroom Science and the Science page of the California Department of Education website. The Framework provides in depth information about NGSS and its practical application in the classroom.

No matter your role in science education, having the Growth Mindset will prepare you for the many challenges that lie ahead as California Implements NGSS.  Embracing the traits such as perseverance, learning from failure, and challenging oneself can make the difference in succeeding with moving implementation forward or making little progress. Regular collaboration with colleagues through professional development and CSTA membership will help to make the task less challenging.

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Written by Lisa Hegdahl

Lisa Hegdahl

Lisa Hegdahl is an 8th-grade science teacher at McCaffrey Middle School in Galt, CA and is Past-President of CSTA.

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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.