September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

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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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

Anyone concerned with the teaching of science in elementary school is keenly aware of the problem of time. Kids need to learn to read, and learning to read takes time, nobody disputes that. So Common Core ELA can seem like the enemy of science. This was a big concern to me as I started looking at the curriculum that my district had adopted for Common Core ELA. I’ve been through those years where teachers are learning a new curriculum, and know first-hand how a new curriculum can become the focus of attention- sucking all the air out of the room. Learn More…

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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

In the past, science education focused on rote memorization and learning disjointed ideas. Elementary and secondary students in today’s science classes are fortunate now that science instruction has shifted from students demonstrating what they know to students demonstrating how they are able to apply their knowledge. Science education that reflects the Next Generation Science Standards challenges students to conduct investigations. As students explore phenomena and discrepant events they engage in academic discourse guided by focus questions from their teachers or student generated questions of that arise from analyzing data and creating and revising models that explain natural phenomena. Learn More…

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.

Is This a First: Young Female Teens Propose California Water Conservation Legislation?

Posted: Monday, August 28th, 2017

Meet the La Habra Water Guardians from the Optics of their Teacher Moderator, Dr. P.

by Susan M. Pritchard, Ph.D.

You have just won the 2016 Lexus Eco Challenge as one of four First Place Winners in the Middle School Category across the nation! Now, what are you going to do … go to Disneyland? No, not for four of the six La Habra Water Guardians, Disneyland is not in their future at this time. Although I think they would love a trip to Disneyland, (are you listening Mickey Mouse?), at this moment they are focused big time on one major thing … celebrating the passage of their proposed legislation: Assembly Bill 1343 Go Low Flow Water Conservation Partnership Bill and now promoting the enactment of this legislation. Learn More…

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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.