January/February 2018 – Vol. 31 No. 2

NGSS Early Implementation Begins!

Posted: Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

by Lisa Hegdahl

Galt Elementary School District embraces change. (Photo by Lisa Hegdahl)

Galt Elementary School District embraces change. (Photo by Lisa Hegdahl)

On Sunday, August 3, 2014, 120 teachers, administrators, and other science specialists from eight California school districts and two California Charter Management Organizations, converged on Stone Brewery in San Diego. The meet-and-greet reception and ice breaker transitioned into brief speeches by K-12 Alliance Statewide Director Kathy DiRanna, Senior Vice President of Content Research and Development for Achieve Incorporated Steve Pruitt, and California State Board of Education member Trish Boyd Williams. Everyone in the room could feel that they were about to be part of something very special. I was fortunate to be one of many in the crowd that night. Below are some of my impressions of the days that followed.

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A Time of Change
Graciously hosted by High Tech High in San Diego, the first day of training began with activities that invited participants to consider what happens when people are asked to change. Pairs were instructed to look each other over. Then, turning back to back, each individual changed five things about themselves. Facing each other again, each partner identified what the other person had altered. When asked to repeat the process with five additional changes, groans of dissension could be heard throughout the room along with comments such as, “We can’t change anymore than we already have!” “I could barely change the first five!” The presenters Karen Cerwin and Rita Starnes – K-12 Alliance Regional Directors – closed the activity by pointing out that once people have made a change, it is difficult when they are asked to change even more, or when the change that occurs is not the change they envisioned. Participants were challenged to keep this in mind while moving towards the Next Generation of Science Standards and in the future while helping their colleagues do the same. Presenters cautioned that we must continue to move from A (the old Science standards) towards B (the NGSS) and not go from A towards B and back to A again – which is very easy to do. Steve Pruitt spoke of the need to move towards NGSS implementation when he stated that the more teachers think that what they already do is the NGSS, the more they steer away from the intent of the NGSS: “Be comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

Cadres Guide Teacher Learning

Jennifer Granahan  (Galt Elementary School District) shows off her Mars habitat. (Photo by Lisa Hegdahl)

Jennifer Granahan (Galt Elementary School District) shows off her Mars habitat. (Photo by Lisa Hegdahl)

All NGSS Early Implementers participated in a nine-hour Cadre (three hours on three consecutive days). The intent of the Cadre was to experience an NGSS learning sequence as an adult learner and to provide a snapshot of what NGSS might look like in a classroom. My Cadre leaders were Susan Gomez-Zwiep, CSU Long Beach; Robert Sherriff, San Juan Unified School District; David Polcyn, CSU San Bernardino; and Norm Herr, CSU Northridge. We began with an activity that illustrated the transfer of energy between two solids. Following the completion of the activity, discussion with our colleagues, and explanations of the phenomena from other groups, we each wrote down our understanding of the concepts – this was our mental model. Our mental models were revised each time we gained additional information throughout the three-day Cadre – information that came from observations, data, group dialogue, readings, and direct instruction. The power of a good mental model is taking what is known and applying it to a new situation. Ultimately, we used our mental models to design a Mars habitat (Go Engineering!) that maintained heat and created precipitation.

AdministratorsCritical Team Members

San Diego School District - Team Building (Photo by Lisa Hegdahl)

San Diego School District – Team Building
(Photo by Lisa Hegdahl)

Each district involved in the NGSS Early Implementation process has at least one administrator on their team. Often they attended training sessions with the rest of their groups, at other times they trained separately – such
Abrams Planetarium

as a session that addressed how to observe the classroom of an Early Implementer. Due to the logistics of not only implementing the NGSS, but also being part of Early Implementation in the state, administrators are crucial members of each Early Implementation team. They have an understanding of how their districts work internally that will help the Early Implementer teachers navigate through the next school year more successfully. Each administrator is able to address the unique concerns of their team members and is able to put to rest some of the anxiety about what the next year will hold.

Let the Journey Begin!

At 2:30 p.m. on Friday August 8, after over 36 hours of training, my fellow Early Implementers and I re-convened at the High Tech High building where we had started five days earlier. After closing comments from Kathy DiRanna and her K-12 Alliance team, we headed to our cars and to the airport, a little tired and a little overwhelmed, but also excited to begin the journey that we all knew would affect not only California students, but those all across the nation.

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Written by Lisa Hegdahl

Lisa Hegdahl

Lisa Hegdahl is an 8th-grade science teacher at McCaffrey Middle School in Galt, CA and is Past-President of CSTA.

3 Responses

  1. I am curious to know which districts were represented. Either I read the article too rapidly or they were not mentioned. Was the largest district in the state represented?

    This article seems to indicate that the cheer-leaders are in place and the game is ready to begin. It is my feeling that the “team” they represent could be missing several important players.

    The exercise about addressing change was interesting and probably was required for the cheer-leaders. However, what if the new program is really inferior and many of the teachers called upon to play the new game know that the rules are wrong?

  2. Dear Bill,
    That information was in our July reporting, here is a link back to that article: http://www.classroomscience.org/the-california-k-8-ngss-early-implementation-initiative-launches.

    Selected in a competitive application process, with input from expert reviewers, and funded by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the eight California districts are: Galt Joint Union Elementary School District, Kings Canyon Unified School District, Lakeside Union School District, Oakland Unified School District, Palm Springs Unified School District, San Diego Unified School District, Tracy Unified School District, and Vista Unified School District.

    The two California CMOs in the Initiative are Aspire and High Tech High, whose participation is funded by the Hastings/Quillin Fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

  3. Bill,
    In order to keep the article length manageable and not repeat too much information that was already published in CCS, I inserted an excerpt from Kathy DiRanna’s article (with link) that gives full details on the selected districts and the Initiative – see insert above. Thanks for your interest.

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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.