July/August 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 8

Super SIRC – Science in the River City

Posted: Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

When:
May 13, 2017 @ 8:30 am – 4:45 pm
2017-05-13T08:30:00-07:00
2017-05-13T16:45:00-07:00
Where:
CSUS - University Union
Hornet Athletic Center
6000 J St, Sacramento, CA 95819
USA
Cost:
$100
Contact:
Debbie Dennick
916-278-4497

Join us for our fifth annual super-sized SIRC!
Register and attend your choice two 1-hour NGSS workshops and two 2-hour hands-on Science workshops.
Each workshop is led by some of our most popular instructors. See below for more details on each workshop.

Science in the River City (SIRC) is an outstanding, standards-based, professional development program for Kindergarten through 12th-grade science teachers. SIRC is held approximately once a month at Sacramento State during the academic year. The program is designed to deepen teachers’ understanding of science (through hands-on, minds-on labs and activities) and to provide innovative ideas, lessons, and strategies for teachers to use in their classrooms.

K-2nd Grade Science Series

  • Exploring Properties
    Instructor: Judi Kusnick, California State University Sacramento, Geology
    One of the basics of science is understanding that materials have particular properties that make them useful. In this workshop, we will explore the properties of solids and liquids, and will conduct an investigation to determine the usefulness of properties for a specific purpose.

  • Biodiversity in the Schoolyard: Discovering Patterns in Ordinary Plants
    Instructor: Lorie Hammond, Peregrine School and Deb Bruns, Yolo County Office of Education
    In this workshop, common plants are used as a basis for honing observation skills, discovering patterns, and constructing explanations. Teachers will explore standard 1-LS3-1, inheritance and variation, by showing how plants from the same species are alike but not exactly like their parents. We will also explore 1-LS1a- which focuses on how different plant parts help them to survive and grow. Our goal is to show how students can use common leaves and plants to explore similarities and differences in living things, and to begin to construct explanations of patterns in nature.
    NGSS: 1-LS3-1, 1-LS1a

3rd-5th Grade Science Series

  • Engineering Pollinators
    Instructor: Robert Sherriff, Churchill Middle School
    Solve a plant sex problem with an engineering solution, it’s all G rated so no parent signature is required.
    NGSS: 3-LS1-1, 4-LS1-1, 3-5-ETS1-1, 3-5-ETS1-2 and 3-5-ETS1-3

  • Questioning, Planning, and Carrying Out Investigations
    Instructor: Ingrid Salim, Sacramento Area Science Project Teacher Leader
    Participants will explore the first three NGSS science practices: questioning, planning and carrying out investigations, and modeling. By working with one specific phenomenon, participants will experience a deep immersion into these three practices, with the intent that they can return to their classrooms and immediately implement a practice-based lesson.

Earth Science Series

  • Human Impacts on California’s Water Supply
    Instructor: Barb Munn, Sacramento State Geology
    Where does California’s water come from, what effect does California’s population have on its water supply, and what are some environmental effects of water consumption? Students use data to explore cause and effect relationships between human activity and fresh water in California.
    NGSS: MS-ESS3-4 and HS-ESS3-3, ESS3.C

  • How Stars Reveal Their Secrets
    Instructor: Rich Hedman, Sacramento Area Science Project
    The points of light we see in the night sky are amazingly far away from us. How do we know so much about them—even their distances? We will examine a variety of phenomena associated with stars, and will develop conceptual models to estimate stellar distances, composition, motion, and changes in stars over long periods of time.
    NGSS: HS-ESS1-3

Biology/Life Science Series

  • Making Sense of Traits in Populations Using Genetics: Population Genetics, Selection, and Other Mechanisms of Change in Frequencies Over Space and Time
    Instructor: Chris Griesemer, UC Davis and Megan McKenzie, Da Vinci Charter Academy
    We’ll immerse ourselves in a piece of 9th grade biology curriculum designed to follow student exploration of genetics. How might we use our understanding of the connections between genes and traits to inform ideas about differences among populations? We’ll use a variety of human traits to examine how patterns vary in space and over time. We will also briefly discuss the connection between divergence among populations and the process of speciation. Note: Middle school teachers are welcome to participate, but this particular piece of curriculum does not appropriately address the middle school standards around genetics or evolution and may be out-of-sequence for middle school life science classrooms.

  • Strategies for Facilitating the Development of Scientific Models
    Instructor: Candice Guy, UC Davis and Jason Fisk, Vacaville High School
    In this session, we will develop and use a model to explain phenomena related to cycles of matter and energy flow in ecosystems, while focusing on productive instructional moves that can facilitate student sensemaking. The strategies discussed will include some ways to encourage argumentation among students, facilitate group-talk, and how to press students for evidence-based explanations.
    NGSS: HS-LS2A, HS-LS2B, HS-LS2C

Physical Science Series

  • Momentum vs. Kinetic Energy: What’s the Difference?
    Instructor:Scott Richardson, Davis Senior High School
    The world around is full of things in motion. They have energy. Or is it momentum? Is there really a difference between the two concepts? Does it matter? Using hands-on activities and key questioning strategies, this session will (1) explore the essence of momentum and kinetic energy, (2) show how they are similar and yet distinct concepts, and (3) show the critical role each concept plays in how our universe works.

  • Interactions with Energy
    Instructor:Arthur Beauchamp, Professional Learning System and Laura Shafer, Sacramento Area Science Project (SASP)
    Develop and use evidence based models to show relationships in systems. Explore transfers of energy in systems and the outcomes of those transfers.
    NGSS: HS-PS3-4

Next Generation Science Series Workshops

  • NGSS Fundamental (Morning Session Only)
    Instructor:Rich Hedman, Sacramento Area Science Project (SASP)
    During this workshop, you will learn the basic architecture of NGSS (how NGSS is organized around 3-dimensions, connections to Common Core, etc.) and you will be introduced to the instructional shifts necessary for NGSS implementation. This workshop is intended for people that are new to NGSS and have never attended Super SIRC before (the same workshop was offered last year).

  • NGSS Intermediate: Exploring phenomena through the lens of multiple cross-cutting concepts
    Instructor:Judi Kusnick, Sacramento State Geology and Laura Shafer, Sacramento Area Science Project (SASP)
    In this workshop you will closely examine the NGSS crosscutting concepts to build a greater understanding of how to integrate them into your classroom instruction. In particular, you will use crosscutting concepts as tools to develop explanations for phenomena. This workshop is intended for people that have already attended the Fundamental science and engineering practices workshops and the fundamental crosscutting concept workshop. (note: this is different Intermediate workshop than was offered last year).

  • Engineering in the Next Generation Science Standards
    Instructor:Ben Fell, Sacramento State Engineering
    Presentation will provide context for the engineering design process for use in primary and secondary education toward the development of an informed population. NGSS Practices are discussed from an engineering perspective with an emphasis on contrasting science and engineering. General schemes are provided with guided break-out discussions to brainstorm how to incorporate engineering into a science-based curriculum. Note: similar material presented in the iSEE program by Dr. Fell.

  • Anatomy of an NGSS Lesson Sequence: Examining Model-Based Learning in Action
    Instructor:Cindy Passmore, UC Davis School of Education
    Together we will take a peek into classrooms that are aligned to the three-dimensions of NGSS and examine how to bring the science and engineering practices to life. We’ll consider three important questions: what kinds of curricular supports do we need, how do we orchestrate and manage NGSS-aligned lessons, and what does it look like when it goes well?

  • Phenomena, Questions, and Models
    Instructor:Arthur Beauchamp, REEd Center
    Explore how to identify and describe phenomena, develop productive questions, and understand or assemble models. This workshop would be appropriate for all 6 – 12 teachers of science.

  • Choosing and Using Phenomena (Afternoon Session Only)
    Instructor:Kelli Quan, Elk Grove Unified School District
    What is a phenomenon? Why do we need one? How do I know if it is a good one? Let’s explore the meaning of phenomena, in terms of the NGSS, and see how we can effectively use them to engage students in sense-making.

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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CTC Seeking Educators for Science Standard Setting Conference

Posted: Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

When:
May 13, 2017 @ 8:30 am – 4:45 pm
2017-05-13T08:30:00-07:00
2017-05-13T16:45:00-07:00
Where:
CSUS - University Union
Hornet Athletic Center
6000 J St, Sacramento, CA 95819
USA
Cost:
$100
Contact:
Debbie Dennick
916-278-4497

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and Evaluation Systems group of Pearson are currently seeking California science educators to participate in a Science Standard Setting Conference for the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) program. Each standard setting panel is scheduled to meet for one-day, in Sacramento, California. The fields and dates are listed below:

Multiple Subjects Subtest II (Science), Monday, October 2, 2017
Science Subtest II: Physics, Monday, October 2, 2017
Science Subtest II: Chemistry, Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Science Subtest II: Life Sciences, Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Science Subtest II: Earth and Space Sciences, Thursday, October 5, 2017
Science Subtest I: General Science, Friday, October 6, 2017

The purpose of the conference is for panel members to make recommendations that will be used, in part, by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) in setting the passing standard, for each field, in support of the updated California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET).

Click here to nominate educators. If you are interested in participating yourself, complete an application here for consideration.

Eligibility:

Public school educators who are:

• Certified in California
• Currently practicing (or have practiced within the last school year) in one or more of the fields listed above. 

College faculty who are:

• Teacher preparation personnel (including education faculty and arts and sciences faculty)
• Practicing (or have practiced within the last school year) in one or more of the fields listed above, and
• Preparing teacher candidates in an approved California teacher preparation program.

 Benefits of Participation Include:
• Receive substitute reimbursement for their school (public school educators only),
• Have the opportunity to make a difference in California teacher development and performance,
• Have the opportunity for professional growth and collaboration with educators in their field,
• Be reimbursed for their travel and meal expenses, and
• Be provided with hotel accommodations, if necessary.

For more information, visit their website at www.carecruit.nesinc.com/cset/index.asp

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.

CSTA Annual Conference Early Bird Rates End July 14

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

When:
May 13, 2017 @ 8:30 am – 4:45 pm
2017-05-13T08:30:00-07:00
2017-05-13T16:45:00-07:00
Where:
CSUS - University Union
Hornet Athletic Center
6000 J St, Sacramento, CA 95819
USA
Cost:
$100
Contact:
Debbie Dennick
916-278-4497

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

When:
May 13, 2017 @ 8:30 am – 4:45 pm
2017-05-13T08:30:00-07:00
2017-05-13T16:45:00-07:00
Where:
CSUS - University Union
Hornet Athletic Center
6000 J St, Sacramento, CA 95819
USA
Cost:
$100
Contact:
Debbie Dennick
916-278-4497
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

When:
May 13, 2017 @ 8:30 am – 4:45 pm
2017-05-13T08:30:00-07:00
2017-05-13T16:45:00-07:00
Where:
CSUS - University Union
Hornet Athletic Center
6000 J St, Sacramento, CA 95819
USA
Cost:
$100
Contact:
Debbie Dennick
916-278-4497

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

When:
May 13, 2017 @ 8:30 am – 4:45 pm
2017-05-13T08:30:00-07:00
2017-05-13T16:45:00-07:00
Where:
CSUS - University Union
Hornet Athletic Center
6000 J St, Sacramento, CA 95819
USA
Cost:
$100
Contact:
Debbie Dennick
916-278-4497

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.