September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

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

Posted: Wednesday, September 20th, 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 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

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 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

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 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

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 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

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 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.