March 2015 – Vol. 27 No. 7

NGSS Town Hall Meeting

Posted: Monday, July 29th, 2013

When:
August 22, 2013 @ 11:00 pm – August 23, 2013 @ 1:00 am GMT0
2013-08-22T23:00:00+00:00
2013-08-23T01:00:00+00:00
Where:
Orange County Department of Education
200 Kalmus Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
USA
Cost:
Free

The Orange County Department of Education invites Principals and K-12 Science Teachers to a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the architecture and key issues related to the pending approval of the Next Generation Science Standards for California.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

  • K-12 Principals
  • K-12 Teachers of Science, specifically middle school teachers
  • Curriculum Leaders

WHAT IS THE COST? Free
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED OUTCOMES?

  • Learn to read the standards and supporting architecture
  • Understand the rationale and “storyline” used by the Science Expert Panel (SEP) to designate specific performance expectations for Grades 6, 7, and 8 to be recommended to State Superintendent Torlakson
  • Gain awareness of NGSS implementation timeline and statewide assessment
  • Opportunity for Q & A’s
  • Opportunity to share perspectives

HOW DO YOU PARTICIPATE?

Register online at: http://ocde.k12oms.org/1248-73708

The Orange County Department of Education, Office of Academic Content, may take photographs of participants at the event. These photographs will be used to document the event, promote events in written materials, post on the OCDE website and on the World Wide Web, and on the digital frame in the entry to the OCDE offices. Individuals with disabilities in need of auxiliary aides and services may request assistance by contacting Sandra Pradyanata at (714) 966-4470.

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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California State Board of Education Approves Suspension of State’s Accountability Measurement System

Posted: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

When:
August 22, 2013 @ 11:00 pm – August 23, 2013 @ 1:00 am GMT0
2013-08-22T23:00:00+00:00
2013-08-23T01:00:00+00:00
Where:
Orange County Department of Education
200 Kalmus Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
USA
Cost:
Free

SACRAMENTO— State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that the State Board of Education voted unanimously to suspend the Academic Performance Index (API) for the 2014-15 school year 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.

Engineering Brings It All Together

Posted: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

When:
August 22, 2013 @ 11:00 pm – August 23, 2013 @ 1:00 am GMT0
2013-08-22T23:00:00+00:00
2013-08-23T01:00:00+00:00
Where:
Orange County Department of Education
200 Kalmus Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
USA
Cost:
Free

by Peter A’Hearn

P.Ahearn_Photo_1

I am really enjoying the creativity that NGSS is awakening in teachers. Those who want to create are taking the standards (and the freedom that comes from the lack of a test) and really exploring what engages their students. I found though, that even when trying our best to match up to the expectations of NGSS, there is a feeling that we missed something. Did we remember the crosscutting concepts? Did the students engage in the practices at the level that NGSS expects? Did we get to the engineering? How about the Nature of Science? Was the content deep enough to really teach the DCI to the point where it could be applied to a new situation? Was it engaging? About a real world phenomenon or problem? Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the K-12 science specialist in the Palm Springs Unified School District, Co-Chair of the 2013 Conference Committee, and a member of CSTA.

Meaningful Thinking in 140 Characters or Fewer

Posted: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

When:
August 22, 2013 @ 11:00 pm – August 23, 2013 @ 1:00 am GMT0
2013-08-22T23:00:00+00:00
2013-08-23T01:00:00+00:00
Where:
Orange County Department of Education
200 Kalmus Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
USA
Cost:
Free

by Jill Grace

I’ve learned the hard way that I will get “huffs”, eye-rolls, grunts, and the occasional nuclear meltdown from students if I ask them to summarize their learning in, dare I say it, a paragraph. It’s as though paragraph is a bad word and how shocking that I would ask for one in science class! I even get slammed with questions: “How many sentences to I have to write?” (why are we still asking that question in middle school?), “Do I have to use complete sentences?”, and “Do I really have to write a whole paragraph?” *teacher sigh*

First and foremost, I am a huge advocate of having students produce writing in a science class. I will also admit that this can be a challenge, and so the year that I decided to make the shift to an interactive science notebook it was glaring at me. I would be asking students for writing as a vehicle to share their thinking (in what we refer to as “outputs” in the notebook) all the time. Although we wouldn’t be able to avoid the writing, sometimes I may want to ask my students to share their thinking in a way that will avoid the drama that asking for a paragraph can sometimes generate. (Incidentally, this was all prior to implementation of the Common Core Standards – where anecdotally, in just one year, I’ve seen a big shift in student acceptance of writing outside of language arts.) Learn More…

Written by Jill Grace

Jill Grace

Jill Grace teaches 7th grade science at Palos Verdes Intermediate School and is the Middle School/Jr. High Director for CSTA.

State Board to Vote on Suspension of API for 2014-2015

Posted: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

When:
August 22, 2013 @ 11:00 pm – August 23, 2013 @ 1:00 am GMT0
2013-08-22T23:00:00+00:00
2013-08-23T01:00:00+00:00
Where:
Orange County Department of Education
200 Kalmus Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
USA
Cost:
Free

The California State Board of Education will vote on the Public School Accountability Act (PSAA) Committee’s recommendation to suspend the calculation of the Academic Performance Index (API) for a second year 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.

Exploring the Ecosystem That Is Your Classroom

Posted: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

When:
August 22, 2013 @ 11:00 pm – August 23, 2013 @ 1:00 am GMT0
2013-08-22T23:00:00+00:00
2013-08-23T01:00:00+00:00
Where:
Orange County Department of Education
200 Kalmus Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
USA
Cost:
Free

by Laura Henriques

As you read through this month’s CCS you’ll find articles about biology, professional learning, NGSS implementation tales, and finding a job. I find the juxtaposition of the articles works. When we look for a job we need to have a good fit – we need to fill a niche in the school’s ecosystem and our needs must be met. When we look at our professional learning needs we are doing a self-assessment, finding out our own needs and meeting them

Earlier this year John Speigel, Anthony Quan and Yami Shimojyo wrote an article for CCS which discussed a pathway from NGSS awareness to implementation. If we use their awareness-transition-implementation matrix to mark our efforts we can start making changes to our instruction and have a mechanism to note progress. So let’s think of our classroom as its own teaching/learning ecosystem and start modifying the system to see what positive changes we can make to student engagement and student learning. Learn More…

Written by Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques is a professor of science education at CSU Long Beach and president of CSTA.