April 2014 – Vol. 26 No. 8

Events in Region 1

Posted: Saturday, February 26th, 2011

March 5, 2011
Humboldt County, CA
Project WET Workshop

The City of Eureka Stormwater Division, North Coast CREEC Network; Humboldt County 4-H, and Sequoia Park Zoo invite you to a Project WET workshop focused on the issue of stormwater. Participants will walk away with a great overview of local stormwater issues, a better understanding of local examples of stormwater best management practices and a Project WET guide. CEU credit is available. To register, please contact Amber Neilson at: education@sequoiaparkzoo.net–or- (707) 441-4217.

March 11, 2011
Berkeley, CA
Seeing Radiation: Nuclear Science Experiments

American Nuclear Society will be presenting a free workshop for high school science teachers. Participants will receive a cloud chamber kit, Geiger counter, workbooks and classroom curriculum. It will include a tour of the Advanced Light Source or Cyclotron. Space is limited, so don’t delay. Click for more information.

March 12 and May 7, 2011
Woodland, CA
2011 Teacher Institute: “Best Practices of Environmental Education and Stewardship”

The California Environmental Education Foundation, in partnership with Yolo County Office of Education (YCOE), invites Northern California educators (Regions 1-6), who teach students of grades K-12, with preference given to grades 4-8, to participate in a unique Three-Saturday Teacher Institute [January 15; March 12; May 7] utilizing an Action Research model to maximize collaborative learning in environmental education and place-based stewardship. Primary fund support for the Institute comes from the Saxton Family Foundation and the state Department of Water Resources. The Institute will be held at YCOE Conference Center, 1280 Santa Anita Court, Suite 120, Woodland, CA 95776. Click for more information. An application is available at:http://www.creec.org/stories/storyReader$39
Application Deadline: December 15, 2010.

March 18-19, 2011
Sacramento, CA
Sacramento Regional Science & Engineering Fair

The annual Sacramento Regional Science & Engineering Fair showcases students in the greater Sacramento region who will become our future scientists, technology experts, engineers, and mathematicians. This regional competition celebrates achievement by middle and high school students, supported by devoted parents, teachers, and other mentors.

For more information visit: http://www.srsefair.org/

March 22, 2011 &
April 12, 2011
Sacramento, CA
Science in the River City

Science in the River City is an outstanding standards-based professional development program for 3rd to 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, inquiry-based labs and activities) and provide innovative ideas, lessons and strategies for teachers to use in their classrooms. The workshops are taught by university faculty or teacher leaders from the Sacramento Area Science Project.

For more information or to register on-line visit:http://www.csus.edu/mase/sem_inst/sirc.htm

March 23, 2011
Focus on Grades K-5

March 24, 2011
Focus on Grades 6-12

4:00-6:00 p.m.

Far Northern California counties via video-conference

Strategic Science Teaching Workshop Building Content Literacy Through Literature

Learn to make use of Strategic Science Teaching, Grades K-12: A Sampler of Science Lessons Connecting Literature with the California Standards. During this workshop you will: • Enhance your science program with literature selections* aligned with grade level science standards. • Utilize fiction and non-fiction literature selections to launch a science investigation and feature literacy strategies. • Collaborate with teachers at your grade span on identifying student outcomes for science learning. Each workshop participant will receive a grade-specific literature selection, grade level science lesson masters, and practice with the literacy strategies that are emphasized for each literature selection. All workshops are provided via videoconference to a county office near you. Register at: K-5 Science (March 23)— or — Grades 6-12 Science (March 24). TheStrategic Science Teaching book is now available FREE online in PDF format at http://www.ccsesa.org/index/committees.cfm?cid=7. After February 4, contact Marian Murphy-Shaw at mshaw@siskiyoucoe.net.

March 25, 2011
Redding, CA
Map It, Manage It, Sustain It

The Forest Foundation is sponsoring a field trip opportunity for teachers and students. The one day event will be held at Shasta College in Redding and will be focused around introducing teachers and students to Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Send your RSVP ASAP to ensure a space for your school. For more information please e-mail mdunaetz@shastacollege.edu or call 530-410-4836.

April 23, 2011
Redding, CA
Whole Earth and Watershed Festival

Thousands of people are expected to attend this year’s festival to learn how they can live a healthier lifestyle, save money and energy, protect natural resources and discover how the work of many local groups help make our region’s communities better places to live. We are excited about the variety of “green” ways to get to the Festival this year! It’s a great day to dust off your bike, get on a RABA bus, carpool, walk, or run to the 2011 Whole Earth and Watershed Festival and join in the celebration of Earth Day (April 22nd) and Watershed Awareness Month (May). It’s sure to be an experience you and your family will not want to miss! More information is available at: http://wholeearthandwatershedfestival.org/homemain.html.

April 29, 2011
Incline Village, NV
Project WET Workshop

The California Project WET program in partnership with the Tahoe Center for Environmental Research, Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships, Nevada and Hawaii Project WET programs, and the Association for Experiential Education invite you to register for this action-packed, pre-conference water education workshop at the Tahoe Center for Environmental Research. The workshop will be focused on the use of Project WET activities to integrate knowledge of local water resources and issues, as well as methods to bring experiential education into the classroom. All participants will receive lunch and walk away with their own Project WET guide. Registration details will be available after February 1, 2011 at: http://west.aee.org/conferences.

Written by Valerie Joyner

Valerie Joyner

Valerie Joyner is a retired elementary science educator and is CSTA’s Primary Director.

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LATEST POST

EQuIP Rubric for Science Released

Posted: Monday, April 14th, 2014

The Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products (EQuIP) Rubric for Lessons & Units: Science was released April 11, 2014. The Rubric provides criteria by which to measure the alignment and overall quality of lessons and units with respect to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The purpose of the Rubric is to (1) provide constructive criterion-based feedback to developers; (2) review existing instructional materials to determine what revisions are needed; and (3) identify exemplars/models for teachers’ use within and across states.

This document was developed in response to the recognition among educators that while curriculum and instruction will need to shift with the adoption of the NGSS, there is currently a lack of high-quality, NGSS-aligned materials. The power of the rubric is in the feedback it provides curriculum developers and in the productive conversations educators can have while evaluating materials.  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.

CSTA Member Phil Lafontaine Retires from State Service

Posted: Monday, April 14th, 2014

by Jessica Sawko

On Thursday, April 10, 2014 CDE Staff, friends, and colleagues of CSTA member Phil Lafontaine gathered to celebrate his incredible career as a science educator and state employee of the California Department of Education, and to wish him an enjoyable retirement. There were many CSTA members in attendance to celebrate Phil and his contributions to education, and science education in particular. Phil was presented with several retirement gifts, including a customized San Francisco Giants jersey, and a Senate Resolution honoring his career and service. 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.

Next Generation Science Standards State Rollout Symposium Dates and Locations Announced

Posted: Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Updated April 8, 2014

K-12 Alliance/WestEd, California Science Project, California Science Teachers Association, Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee, and the California Department of Education Presents: Next Generation Science Standards State Rollout Symposium #1.

Join science leaders at the first of a series of statewide professional learning symposia exploring the philosophy, design, and initial implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). 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.

What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate: Evaluating Negotiation in an Elementary Science Classroom

Posted: Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

by Mason Kuhn

Engaging students in negotiation with their peers is considered a central motivation for recent national policy recommendations (National Research Council, 2011) and has been a focus of much scholarship in science education (e.g. Bergland and Reiser, 2009 & Hand, 2008). In the Next Generation Science Standards under the heading “Science and Engineering Practices,” the term “Engaging in Argument From Evidence” appears in almost every standard. However, most literature on negotiation focuses on theory, where little focuses on the topic of negotiation as related to science teaching and learning. 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.

NGSS Implementation Rollout – Seeking Teams of Teacher Leaders and Administrators

Posted: Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

by Laura Henriques
Updated April 8, 2014

This month’s issue of CCS focuses on biology and chemistry. Articles in this issue highlight some of the challenges around teaching these topics as we move towards Common Core and NGSS implementation. Jeanine Wulfenstein points out that the ideas are often abstract and difficult for students to grasp. These topics include a large number of vocabulary words that can get in the way of understanding, especially for English learners and students with special needs. Barbara Woods points out how discrepant events can be used to motivate and engage students by including the wow factor.  Both articles provide us with teaching strategies that engage and support students while incorporating aspects of NGSS and Common Core.

I do not think any of us could teach chemistry (or other abstract topics) without using models (one of the NGSS science and engineering practices). A discrepant event or surprising moment causes us to ask questions (another of the science and engineering practices). These questions are followed by investigations, tentative explanations and more investigations as students and teachers try to make sense of natural phenomena (even more science and engineering practices!). This approach puts the student-developed models to the test. Adjustments need to be made and the model gets refined. As they explain relationships, cause and effect, and try to make sense of the science they are seeing, they are meeting Common Core standards and science standards. Learn More…

Written by Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques

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