March 2015 – Vol. 27 No. 7

Recruiting Focus Group Members for Updating the Science Framework for California Public Schools – K-12

Posted: Thursday, October 17th, 2013

The California Department of Education is pleased to announce that it is recruiting members for five focus groups to provide input on the upcoming Science Framework. The Science Framework will incorporate and support the Next Generation Science Standards adopted by the State Board of Education in September 2013. Note: Application closes on December 2, 2013 at 3:00PM PT.

2016 Revision of the Science Framework

SB300 (Chapter 480, Statutes of 2013) calls for the revision of the Science Framework to align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Among the first steps in the revision of the Science Framework are the recruitment and subsequent appointment of focus group members by the California Department of Education (CDE). Pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Education, Section 9511, the CDE will convene at least four public focus groups of educators in different regions of California to gather comments on the revision of the Science Framework.

Focus Group Application

The focus group meetings will be open to the public, and comments made at each meeting will be forwarded to the Instructional Quality Commission and the State Board of Education for consideration. Each focus group will include between 10 and 15 invitees, who will be selected to ensure balanced representation of regions, types of schools, and grade-level experience. Note: Application closes on December 2, 2013 at 3:00PM PT.

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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Spring Is in the Air!

Posted: Monday, March 30th, 2015

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April 2015 Photo of the Month

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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.

California State Board of Education Approves Suspension of State’s Accountability Measurement System

Posted: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

SACRAMENTO— State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that the State Board of Education voted unanimously to suspend the Academic Performance Index (API) for the 2014-15 school year 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.

Engineering Brings It All Together

Posted: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

by Peter A’Hearn

P.Ahearn_Photo_1

I am really enjoying the creativity that NGSS is awakening in teachers. Those who want to create are taking the standards (and the freedom that comes from the lack of a test) and really exploring what engages their students. I found though, that even when trying our best to match up to the expectations of NGSS, there is a feeling that we missed something. Did we remember the crosscutting concepts? Did the students engage in the practices at the level that NGSS expects? Did we get to the engineering? How about the Nature of Science? Was the content deep enough to really teach the DCI to the point where it could be applied to a new situation? Was it engaging? About a real world phenomenon or problem? Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the K-12 science specialist in the Palm Springs Unified School District, Co-Chair of the 2013 Conference Committee, and a member of CSTA.

Meaningful Thinking in 140 Characters or Fewer

Posted: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

by Jill Grace

I’ve learned the hard way that I will get “huffs”, eye-rolls, grunts, and the occasional nuclear meltdown from students if I ask them to summarize their learning in, dare I say it, a paragraph. It’s as though paragraph is a bad word and how shocking that I would ask for one in science class! I even get slammed with questions: “How many sentences to I have to write?” (why are we still asking that question in middle school?), “Do I have to use complete sentences?”, and “Do I really have to write a whole paragraph?” *teacher sigh*

First and foremost, I am a huge advocate of having students produce writing in a science class. I will also admit that this can be a challenge, and so the year that I decided to make the shift to an interactive science notebook it was glaring at me. I would be asking students for writing as a vehicle to share their thinking (in what we refer to as “outputs” in the notebook) all the time. Although we wouldn’t be able to avoid the writing, sometimes I may want to ask my students to share their thinking in a way that will avoid the drama that asking for a paragraph can sometimes generate. (Incidentally, this was all prior to implementation of the Common Core Standards – where anecdotally, in just one year, I’ve seen a big shift in student acceptance of writing outside of language arts.) Learn More…

Written by Jill Grace

Jill Grace

Jill Grace teaches 7th grade science at Palos Verdes Intermediate School and is the Middle School/Jr. High Director for CSTA.

State Board to Vote on Suspension of API for 2014-2015

Posted: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

The California State Board of Education will vote on the Public School Accountability Act (PSAA) Committee’s recommendation to suspend the calculation of the Academic Performance Index (API) for a second year 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.