September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Kudos and Thank You! CSTA Members Serve in a Variety of Ways

Posted: Monday, February 3rd, 2014

by Laura Henriques

Applause_Pres_ArticleFor the last couple of months, CSTA has challenged members to become active participants in California’s science education landscape, and you are stepping up to do that. In the past couple of months CSTA members have volunteered their time and expertise in a variety of ways. I want to take this space in this month’s column to highlight some of those efforts and to provide my heartfelt thanks. Your contributions of time and service will have positive impacts throughout the state.

ELA/ELD Framework Review Committees

CSTA extends a big thanks to Jeanine Wulfenstein, Cristina Trecha, Lisa Hegdahl, Mary Whaley and Marian Murphy-Shaw. Each of them hosted a review session of CSTA members to provide feedback on the ELA/ELD Framework. I also give a huge thanks to dedicated CSTA members who read portions of the Framework and provided their time and input during these meetings. There were five meetings throughout the state. CSTA members were invited to participate in the meetings. Prior to coming to the meeting they read a few chapters of the 1,000+ page draft framework. Teams then spent 2-3 hours together talking about the document and providing specific feedback. This will be compiled and shared with the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC).

A huge shout-out to CSTA members who participated in the review process with us. They include:

  • Long Beach Team: Sarah Aguiñaga, Stephanie Bauer, Amy Frame, Jill Grace, Deborah Gray, Laura Henriques, and Kurt Holland
  • San Diego Team: Norma Acosta, Josephine Golchcer, Denise Maggard, Cristina Trecha, Emily Tsai, and Jeanine Wulfenstein
  • Monterey Team: Rick Carriero, Christian Ceci-MacGillis, Lauren Foote, Elva Garcia, Celia McCormack, Laura Mercer, Heather Murphy, Hope Oliver, Lynda Rogers, Claudio Vargas and Diana Velez
  • Sacramento/San Francisco area Team: Elizabeth Cooke, Lori Corona, Mary Elizabeth, Lisa Hegdahl, Karen Murray, Jessica Sawko, Yvonne White, and Barbara Woods

If you want to provide your own feedback on the ELA/ELD Framework you may do so between now and February 13, 2014. The draft Framework and survey are available on the CDE website.

CSTA Members Participate as Focus Group Members for Science Framework

We know that lots of CSTA members applied to serve on the Science Framework Focus Groups and 26 of you were selected. In addition, several CSTA members observed the Framework Focus Groups as part of the public. Board Member Heather Wygant served as a focus group member at the San Francisco area meeting. You can read about the process in Heather’s article. A full list of Focus Group members is online. Among those who served/will serve are CSTA Members:

Peter Ahearn, Palm Springs Unified School District
Marie Bacher, Alameda County Office of Education
Gwen Blankenship, Newport-Mesa Unified School District
James Michael Boykin, Merced Union High School District
Linda Braatz-Brown, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools
Brennan Brockbank, Burlingame School District
Melanie Brown, Sweetwater Union High School District
Juanita Chan, Rialto Unified School District
Ayham Dahi, Los Angeles Unified School District
Hilary Dito, Contra Costa County Office of Education
Mary Elizabeth, Twin Rivers Unified School District
Rae Fearing, Del Norte County Unified School District
Michelle French, Tulare County Office of Education
Jill Grace, Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District
Crystal Howe, San Diego Unified School District
Michal Kreiselman, Los Angeles Unified School District
Jared Marr, Tulare County Office of Education
Dawn O’Connor, Alameda County Office of Education
Ron Pembleton, Kentfield School District
Philip Romig, Sacramento County Office of Education
Rachael Tarshes, San Diego Unified School District
Eric Thiessen, Tulare County Office of Education
David Tupper, Lakeside Union School District
Don Whisman, San Diego Unified School District
Heather Wygant, Morgan Hill Unified School District
Anne Ybarra, Fresno Unified School District

CSTA Members are Writing for CCS

California Classroom Science (CCS) is your publication. We invite you, members of CSTA, to submit articles for inclusion. This school year has already seen more than a dozen articles by CSTA members. Thanks to CSTA members Peter A’Hearn, Tamara Araya, Minda Berbeco, Bethany Dixon, Stephanie Fisher, Susan Gomez Zwiep & Jody Sherriff, Jim Kisiel, Christina Morales, Walter O’Brien, Cheryl Romig, Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty, Martin Smith and Steven Worker, and Rebecca Smith for their contributions to CCS this academic year. We still have 6 issues left this year. If you would like to write for CCS please see refer to the author guidelines and due-dates. As you think about what you might contribute, consider the types of articles you like to see in CCS. Successful lesson ideas, integration of NGSS practices or crosscutting concepts, and classroom management strategies are always popular topics.

Written by Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques

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

Leave a Reply

LATEST POST

CSTA Is Now Accepting Nominations for Board Members

Posted: Friday, November 17th, 2017

Current, incoming, and outgoing CSTA Board of Directors at June 3, 2017 meeting.

Updated 7:25 pm, Nov. 17, 2017

It’s that time of year when CSTA is looking for dedicated and qualified persons to fill the upcoming vacancies on its Board of Directors. This opportunity allows you to help shape the policy and determine the path that the Board will take in the new year. There are time and energy commitments, but that is far outweighed by the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are an integral part of an outstanding professional educational organization, dedicated to the support and guidance of California’s science teachers. You will also have the opportunity to help CSTA review and support legislation that benefits good science teaching and teachers.

Right now is an exciting time to be involved at the state level in the California Science Teachers Association. The CSTA Board of Directors is currently involved in implementing the Next Generations Science Standards and its strategic plan. If you are interested in serving on the CSTA Board of Directors, now is the time to submit your name for consideration. 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.

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

Posted: Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

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

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…

Powered By DT Author Box

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

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…

Powered By DT Author Box

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

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.