September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

News and Events in Region 2

Posted: Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

by Eric Lewis

Feb. 5 & March 5, 2011
San Francisco, CA
Birding at Heron’s Head Park

San Francisco Nature Education Announces 2011 tours of Heron’s Head Park. Come by and experience the thrill of observing and learning about the waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds that call the park home during the winter. Recent sightings include Harlequin Duck and White-tailed kite. Tours will be led by interns from Lowell and Lincoln High Schools equipped with spotting scopes. Free event; donations accepted. Free parking is available near entrance. Meet at 10:00 am at Heron’s Head Park for tours that leave every 30 minutes with the last tour at 11:30 am. Heron’s Head Park is located at Jennings Street & Cargo Way, two blocks south of Pier 96. For more information visit our website at www.sfnature.org, call us at 415-387-9160, or email us at info@sfnature.org. Co-Sponsored by Port of San Francisco and Golden Gate Audubon Society.

Feb. 7-9, 2011
San Francisco, CA
Assessing for Learning

Offered by the Exploratorium Institute for Inquiry. For a detailed workshop brochure, visit http://www.exploratorium.edu/ifi/workshops. For questions, call 415-561-0397.

Feb. 19, 2011
Solano County, CA
Project WET Workshop

This FREE workshop is provided by the Solano County Water Agency, Solano Irrigation District School Water Education Program (SWEP), with support from the City of Vallejo- Water Division. This informative, fun, hands-on workshop will demonstrate the use of Project WET activities to engage student learning of local water issues. Concurrent-training sessions will be provided for K-6th grade educators and 7-12th grade educators. Educational materials, breakfast and lunch will be provided free to all Solano County participants. CEU credit is available. Limited to the first 25 educators that register. Contact Ursula Heffernon at: (530) 661-7149 –or– uheffernon@pacbell.net.

March 4, 2011
San Jose, CA
Project WET Workshop

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is offering a unique experience that will not only engage you in Project WET activities, but will also provide a wealth of information on local water issues and additional materials that can be incorporated into the activities. Each participant will walk away with their own Project WET guide, a new appreciation for the magic of water, and the opportunity to receive CEU credit. Contact Kathy Machado at: (408) 265-2607-2331 –or — kmachado@valleywater.org.

April 1, 2011
San Francisco, CA
STEMposium

STEMposium is the collaboration of leaders in STEM education who are sharing their innovations in how to teach, learn and engage STEM in the classroom through 60 second videos. Students, teachers and other educational innovators are invited to upload their videos through this site. The most compelling videos will be selected through several rounds of reviews, starting in February and ending in March. Selected presenters will be invited to speak at the STEMposium Event on April 1, 2011 in San Francisco. These videos will be identified within one of five tracks: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Integrated STEM.

For more information visit: http://www.stemposium.org/home

Registration for the Sunday, May 1, 2011 Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour is now open. Register now at http://bringingbackthenatives.net/ to receive your garden guide in the first mailing.  This event is expected to fill; registering at this time will reserve your place on the tour.

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

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…

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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

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

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

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.