January/February 2018 – Vol. 31 No. 2

Keeping the Inspiration Flowing

Posted: Monday, October 23rd, 2017

by Jill Grace

As I walk the floor of the conference, eyes still a bit blurry from lack of sleep and head fuzzy from reviewing speeches and message triangles, I pause. Looking around, I am aware of a sea of smiles, laughter, and very animated story-telling. Feelings of excitement are palpable. A conference hasn’t felt this exciting to me since I attended my first one when I was, as a friend would say, a “baby educator.”

Something in the air has changed.

I would like to think that it was all because of our wonderful CSTA staff who, along with the volunteer board and conference committee, planned a great conference. We’ve worked really hard on it the past couple years. A new vision for workshop times to accommodate deeper learning, requiring more of workshop and short course proposals to help us decipher quality, thoughtfully choosing speakers and partners to help bring a rich experience for participants. But there was something in addition to this that made this year’s conference feel different than in the past; the stage has finally been set for quality educator professional learning. A trifecta of planning on CSTA’s part, more educators from across the state ready to start shifting instruction, and a large group of pioneering educators ready to share have allowed for some sort of a learning, inspiration, and connecting sweet spot.

#1

The learning was extraordinary this year. We owe a lot to our pioneering educators – those that jumped on board a few years ago, ready to figure out what the NGSS would look like in classrooms without obvious step-by-step directions. In some cases, these educators had a supportive network of colleagues to march forward with. But there were also some who went at it alone. These pioneers were willing to lead the charge, try new things, taking it one step at a time, and are ready to now share what they learned. It was at this conference that I could clearly see the growth in these innovators and they wowed us all. Thank you pioneers, your hard work is encouraging others to move forward and to return home from the conference with a richer understanding of the potential of the NGSS.

#2

Times of great change can be difficult, but they also provide an opportunity for inspiration. As Albert Einstein once reflected, “In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.” It was clear there was much to inspire at the conference whether it was an idea gained from a workshop, seeing the world in a slightly different way while on a field course, or a new resource learned about in the exhibit hall. Hold on to these savory inspirational nuggets, they help carry you through the year and the day-to-day challenges of being an educator. You can also heed the advice of many of our pioneers who consistently echo the notion that one of the ways to continue fostering that inspiration is to also continue connecting.

#3

It was easy to see that one of the very great joys of attending the California Science Education Conference is connecting with others. Sharing in the experiences with our colleagues, sitting next to someone in a session who quickly becomes a new friend, or seeing that one wonderful person whom you haven’t seen in years. Those connections help us down the road when we need to keep the inspiration and learning moving forward. CSTA has made a concerted effort to foster the ability of our educators to keep connecting long after the conference through outlets such as California Classroom Science, our Facebook groups, and Twitter (@cascience). Being a part of CSTA as a member and utilizing these resources is how you can continue the inspiration and learning.#4

Check out the #CAScience17 Storify, a collection of over 500 tweets sharing inspiration from the October 2017 California Science Education Conference.

Thanks to all of you who made the 2017 California Science Education Conference such a great experience. I look forward to doing it all over again with you next year in Pasadena. We have some clever plans up our sleeves for continuing the learning, the inspiration, and connecting and, if you can believe it, ramping up the excitement!

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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.

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California Science Test Academy for Educators

Posted: Thursday, February 15th, 2018

California Science Test Academy for Educators

To support implementation of the California Science Test (CAST), the California Department of Education is partnering with Educational Testing Service and WestEd to offer a one-day CAST Academy for local educational agency (LEA) science educators, to be presented at three locations in California from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. As an alternative to traveling, LEA teams can participate virtually via WebEx on one of the dates listed below.

The dates and locations for the CAST Academy are as follows:

  • Monday, April 23, 2018—Sacramento
  • Wednesday, April 25, 2018—Fresno
  • Thursday, April 26, 2018—Irvine

The CAST Academy will help participants develop a deeper understanding of the assessment design and expectations of the CAST. The academy also will provide information and activities designed to assist educators in their implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards and three-dimensional learning to help them gain an understanding of how these new science assessment item types can inform teaching and learning. The CAST Academy dates above are intended for school and district science instructional leaders, including teacher leaders, teacher trainers, and instructional coaches. Additional trainings will be offered at a later date specifically for county staff. In addition, curriculum, professional development, and assessment leaders would benefit from this training.

A $100 registration fee will be charged for each person attending the in-person training. Each virtual team participating via WebEx will be charged $100 for up to 10 participants through one access point. Each workshop will have the capacity to accommodate a maximum of 50 virtual teams. Each virtual team will need to designate a lead, who is responsible for organizing the group locally. Registration and payment must be completed online at http://www.cvent.com/d/6tqg8k.

For more information regarding the CAST Academy, please contact Elizabeth Dilke, Program Coordinator, Educational Testing Service, by phone at 916-403-2407 or by e‑mail at caasppworkshops@ets.org.

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.

Accelerating into NGSS – A Statewide Rollout Series Now Accepting Registrations

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

Are you feeling behind on the implementation of NGSS? Then Accelerating into NGSS – the Statewide Rollout event – is right for you!

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
If you have not experienced Phases 1-4 of the Statewide Rollout, or are feeling behind with the implementation of NGSS, the Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout will provide you with the greatest hits from Phases 1-4!

OVERVIEW
Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout is a two-day training geared toward grade K-12 academic coaches, administrators, curriculum leads, and teacher leaders. Check-in for the two-day rollout begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by a continental breakfast. Sessions run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Day One and from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Day Two.

Cost of training is $250 per attendee. Fee includes all materials, continental breakfast, and lunch on both days. It is recommended that districts send teams of four to six, which include at least one administrator. Payment can be made by check or credit card. If paying by check, registration is NOT complete until payment has been received. All payments must be received prior to the Rollout location date you are attending. Paying by credit card secures your seat at time of registration. No purchase orders accepted. No participant cancellation refunds.

For questions or more information, please contact Amy Kennedy at akennedy@sjcoe.net or (209) 468-9027.

REGISTER

http://bit.ly/ACCELERATINGINTONGSS

DATES & LOCATIONS
MARCH 28-29, 2018
Host: San Mateo County Office of Education
Location: San Mateo County Office of Education, Redwood City

APRIL 10-11, 2018
Host: Orange County Office of Education
Location: Brandman University, Irvine

MAY 1-2, 2018
Host: Tulare County Office of Education
Location: Tulare County Office of Education, Visalia

MAY 3-4, 2018
Host: San Bernardino Superintendent of Schools
Location: West End Educational Service Center, Rancho Cucamonga

MAY 7-8, 2018
Host: Sacramento County Office of Education
Location: Sacramento County Office of Education Conference Center and David P. Meaney Education Center, Mather

JUNE 14-15, 2018
Host: Imperial County Office of Education
Location: Imperial Valley College, Imperial

Presented by the California Department of Education, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association/County Offices of Education, K-12 Alliance @WestEd, California Science Project, and the California Science Teachers Association.

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.

The Teaching and Learning Collaborative, Reflections from an Administrator

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

by Kelly Patchen

My name is Mrs. Kelly Patchen, and I am proud to be an elementary assistant principal working in the Tracy Unified School District (TUSD) at Louis Bohn and McKinley Elementary Schools. Each of the schools I support are Title I K-5 schools with about 450 students, a diverse student population, a high percentage of English Language Learners, and students living in poverty. We’re also lucky to be part of the CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative with the K-12 Alliance. 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.

2018 CSTA Conference Call for Proposals

Posted: Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

CSTA is pleased to announce that we are now accepting proposals for 90-minute workshops and three- and six-hour short courses for the 2018 California Science Education Conference. Workshops and short courses make up the bulk of the content and professional learning opportunities available at the conference. In recognition of their contribution, members who present a workshop or short course receive 50% off of their registration fees. Click for more information regarding proposals, or submit one today by following the links below.

Short Course Proposal

Workshop Proposal 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’s New Administrator Facebook Group Page

Posted: Monday, January 15th, 2018

by Holly Steele

The California Science Teachers Association’s mission is to promote high-quality science education, and one of the best practice’s we use to fulfill that mission is through the use of our Facebook group pages. CSTA hosts several closed and moderated Facebook group pages for specific grade levels, (Elementary, Middle, and High School), pages for district coaches and science education faculty, and the official CSTA Facebook page. These pages serve as an online resource for teachers and coaches to exchange teaching methods, materials, staying update on science events in California and asking questions. CSTA is happy to announce the creation of a 6th group page called, California Administrators Supporting Science. 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.