May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Next Generation Science Standards Statewide Rollout Phase 2

Posted: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

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updated March 27, 2015

The NGSS Statewide Rollout Phase 2 has begun! This 2-Day Symposia is being offered at the San Joaquin County Office of Education April 27th and 28th, 2015. Come to the first of a series of statewide professional learning symposia exploring the next steps in the journey toward NGSS Implementation.

This is a collaborative effort that includes the California Department of Education, California Science Project, California Science Teachers Association, Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee, and the K-12 Alliance/WestEd. Click here for the event flyer. Click here to register online.

Our initial target for this first statewide rollout includes districts in Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Amador, Calaveras and Tuolumne counties. There will be many other statewide rollouts throughout the state of California this year. Any extra seats available at SJCOE are open to all regions in the state.

Each district is encouraged to bring a team of 4-6 including an administrator, high school science teacher, middle school science teacher, elementary teacher and other science leaders in your district. Each member must register individually as there are grade span choices to specific sessions.

Fee: $250 per person for 2-days

Payment Options: PayPal, district check, or journal if within SJ County

Both a Continental Breakfast and Lunch will be served.

Registration and breakfast begins at 7:30am. The symposia will begin promptly at 8:00am.

If you have any questions, please contact us direct at 209-468-4880.

We look forward to seeing you at this unique regional event!

2-DAY SESSION DETAIL before you register!

NGSS 103: Deepen Your Understanding of the NGSS:
Engage with the Conceptual Shifts to refine your understanding of the NGSS vision for science education for all students. Learn about the importance of developing a professional learning plan to prepare teachers for the NGSS. Discuss the types of administrative and system supports necessary to implement these learning plans.

The Tool: Designing for Learning:
Building on Roll Out #1, incorporate a new tool to design a learning sequence that addresses the 3D aspect of the NGSS. Learn how to order concepts from a conceptual flow and Phenomenon-Question-Practice (PQP) chart into an instructional sequence that resonates with the 5Es (engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate) instructional model.

Teaching Through the Practices:
Experience the coherent integration of the NGSS Scientific and Engineering Practices from the observation of a phenomenon to constructing an explanation for those observations. This session focuses on three practices: 1) developing and revising models, 2) engaging in argument from evidence, and 3) constructing explanations, and it provides instructional strategies for each practice. Attend either a session targeted for elementary (K-5) or secondary (6-12).

Lesson: What Does It Look Like?
Apply the tool to a learning sequence for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8 or 9-12 and experience what the learning looks like in a classroom over a multi-day lesson. Discuss with grade level colleagues how this applies to your classroom and your instruction.

Administrator Strand:
Learn how to support the implementation of NGSS at your school site and in your district through exploring various implementation resources and collaborating with other administrative leaders. This session emphasizes strategies to move from awareness to transition.

The 3rd Dimension – Crosscutting Concepts:
Learn how the seven crosscutting concepts of the Next Generation Science Standards deepen understanding of the Practices and Core Ideas and lead to productive inquiry. This hands-on workshop will explore ways to help students use the crosscutting concepts to think like scientists and engineers.

High School Session:
Review the policy issues related to the implementation of NGSS at the high school level. Explore and compare sample HS course sequences that might be appropriate for your district. Discuss strategies for leading school/district discussions with stakeholders about which model(s) are best for your context.

Engineering in a Three Dimensional Lesson:
Experience the NGSS Engineering Design Core Ideas of defining a problem, designing a solution, and optimizing that design solution. Learn how content specific performance expectations are linked to engineering and how engineering helps students to learn at the nexus of the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas and the Crosscutting Concepts.

Future Rollout #2 Dates and Locations

Long Beach (May 11-12)
Chino (May 26-27)
Hayward (September 15-16)
Fresno (October 15-16)
San Marcos (October 22-23)
Red Bluff (November 2-3)
San Jose (November 9-10)
Camarillo (December 8-9)

Registration for these locations is available online at http://www.regonline.com/NGSS2015Training.

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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Participate in Chemistry Education Research Study, Earn $500-800 Dollars!

Posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

WestEd, a non-profit educational research agency, has been funded by the US Department of Education to test a new molecular modeling kit, Happy Atoms. Happy Atoms is an interactive chemistry learning experience that consists of a set of physical atoms that connect magnetically to form molecules, and an app that uses image recognition to identify the molecules that you create with the set. WestEd is conducting a study around the effectiveness of using Happy Atoms in the classroom, and we are looking for high school chemistry teachers in California to participate.

As part of the study, teachers will be randomly assigned to either the treatment group (who uses Happy Atoms) or the control group (who uses Happy Atoms at a later date). Teachers in the treatment group will be asked to use the Happy Atoms set in their classrooms for 5 lessons over the course of the fall 2017 semester. Students will complete pre- and post-assessments and surveys around their chemistry content knowledge and beliefs about learning chemistry. WestEd will provide access to all teacher materials, teacher training, and student materials needed to participate.

Participating teachers will receive a stipend of $500-800. You can read more information about the study here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HappyAtoms

Please contact Rosanne Luu at rluu@wested.org or 650.381.6432 if you are interested in participating in this opportunity, or if you have any questions!

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.

2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption Reviewer Application

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

The California Department of Education and State Board of Education are now accepting applications for reviewers for the 2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption. The application deadline is 3:00 pm, July 21, 2017. The application is comprehensive, so don’t wait until the last minute to apply.

On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson forwarded this recruitment letter to county and district superintendents and charter school administrators.

Review panel members will evaluate instructional materials for use in kindergarten through grade eight, inclusive, that are aligned with the California Next Generation Science Content Standards for California Public Schools (CA 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.

Lessons Learned from the NGSS Early Implementer Districts

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

On March 31, 2017, Achieve released two documents examining some lessons learned from the California K-8 Early Implementation Initiative. The initiative began in August 2014 and was developed by the K-12 Alliance at WestEd, with close collaborative input on its design and objectives from the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education, and Achieve.

Eight (8) traditional school districts and two (2) charter management organizations were selected to participate in the initiative, becoming the first districts in California to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Those districts included Galt Joint Union Elementary, Kings Canyon Joint Unified, Lakeside Union, Oakland Unified, Palm Springs Unified, San Diego Unified, Tracy Joint Unified, Vista Unified, Aspire, and High Tech High.

To more closely examine some of the early successes and challenges experienced by the Early Implementer LEAs, Achieve interviewed nine of the ten participating districts and compiled that information into two resources, focusing primarily on professional learning and instructional 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.

Using Online Simulations to Support the NGSS in Middle School Classrooms

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

by Lesley Gates, Loren Nikkel, and Kambria Eastham

Middle school teachers in Kings Canyon Unified School District (KCUSD), a CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative district, have been diligently working on transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) integrated model for middle school. This year, the teachers focused on building their own knowledge of the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs). They have been gathering and sharing ideas at monthly collaborative meetings as to how to make sure their students are not just learning about science but that they are actually doing science in their classrooms. Students should be planning and carrying out investigations to gather data for analysis in order to construct explanations. This is best done through hands-on lab experiments. Experimental work is such an important part of the learning of science and education research shows that students learn better and retain more when they are active through inquiry, investigation, and application. A Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011) notes, “…learning about science and engineering involves integration of the knowledge of scientific explanations (i.e., content knowledge) and the practices needed to engage in scientific inquiry and engineering design. Thus the framework seeks to illustrate how knowledge and practice must be intertwined in designing learning experiences in K-12 Science Education” (pg. 11).

Many middle school teachers in KCUSD are facing challenges as they begin implementing these student-driven, inquiry-based NGSS science experiences in their classrooms. First, many of the middle school classrooms at our K-8 school sites are not designed as science labs. 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 NGSS 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.

Celestial Highlights: May – July 2017

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

May Through July 2017 with Web Resources for the Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017

by Robert C. Victor. Twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller. Graphs of planet rising and setting times by Jeffrey L. Hunt.

In spring and summer 2017, Jupiter is the most prominent “star” in the evening sky, and Venus, even brighter, rules the morning. By mid-June, Saturn rises at a convenient evening hour, allowing both giant planets to be viewed well in early evening until Jupiter sinks low in late September. The Moon is always a crescent in its monthly encounters with Venus, but is full whenever it appears near Jupiter or Saturn in the eastern evening sky opposite the Sun. (In 2017, Full Moon is near Jupiter in April, Saturn in June.) At intervals of 27-28 days thereafter, the Moon appears at a progressively earlier phase at each pairing with the outer planet until its final conjunction, with Moon a thin crescent, low in the west at dusk. You’ll see many beautiful events by just following the Moon’s wanderings at dusk and dawn in the three months leading up to the solar eclipse. Learn More…

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Written by Robert Victor

Robert Victor

Robert C. Victor was Staff Astronomer at Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University. He is now retired and enjoys providing skywatching opportunities for school children in and around Palm Springs, CA. Robert is a member of CSTA.