September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Region 1 – News and Events

Posted: Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

by Valerie Joyner

I am very excited about upcoming January 8th release of the Next Generation Science Standards!  Since the initial review period last fall your ideas and input have been used to revise this next draft of the standards.  This month we will have the opportunity to review the revisions that have been made and offer our additional expertise, ideas, and comments.  CSTA will keep you up to date about the release and review period.  I hope that you and your colleagues, at all grade levels, will review and provide comment for this important new document.

It is also time to submit workshop and short course proposals for our 2013 Conference.  We are always looking for new and exciting ideas and presentations.  Short Course proposals are due January 31, 2013 and workshop proposals are due March 4, 2013.  Please consider sharing your ideas and expertise in Palm Springs, October 25-27, 2013.

Future Events and Deadlines:

Creek Restoration/Native Plant Planting in Petaluma
January – March 2013
The Sonoma County Water Agency has scheduled three Community Service Days this school year. The first two involve planting native species in local creeks to improve habitat for steelhead and salmon.  The third will be a creek cleanup (details below). High school and middle school students can earn three community service hours and learn a bit about riparian ecology while having a good time with friends. The Community Service Days are also a first step in getting students interested in the “Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps” which is a paid summer jobs program that helps students learn job-readiness skills.
Teachers can contact the Water Agency by calling Stefan Klakovich at (707) 547-1930 for more information or to arrange a class presentation.

January 12, 9-12 noon: Native planting
Corona Creek, Petaluma  (Near Sonoma Mountain Pkwy and Corona Road)
Park on Maria Drive (cross street Telford Lane)

February 2, 9-12 noon: Native planting
Five Creek, Rohnert Park (Cross Street Ellen Street)
Park at Eagle Park on Emily Road

March 9, 9-12noon: Creek cleanup
Pollen Creek, Santa Rosa (Cross Street: Guerneville Road)
Park at Northwest Community Park on Marlow Road

San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival Student Competition (March 2013)
January 14, 2013 deadline for submission
Middle and high school students

Sonoma County Science Fair
February 23, 2013
Sonoma State University
Rohnert Park
mroa@scoe.org   re: science fair
Handbook and forms available at www.scoe.org
Contact Mike Roa for additional information

Sonoma County Science Olympiad
March 27, 2013
Sonoma State University
Rohnert Park
Next planning meeting is Tuesday, January 15 (4:00-5:00) at Luther Burbank Elementary School in Santa Rosa.
Handbook and forms available at www.scoe.org
Contact Mike Roa for additional information mroa@scoe.org   re: science olympiad

Sonoma County Spring Science Showcase (May 14, 2013)
Sonoma County will host the first Spring Science Showcase for students grades 4-12 who did not participate in the county’s Science Fair.  Learn how your students can participate in this event May 14, 2013.

For more information contact Mike Roa at mroa@scoe.org  re: Spring Science Showcase

Project ASTRO Summer Workshop
This program of the astronomical Society of the Pacific “seeks 3rd-9th grade teachers…to attend a free 2-day summer workshop to learn hands-on, inquiry-based astronomy activities.  The workshop will be Aug 2-3 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. Online applications are due by May 29, 2013.

For information, call 415-715-1426 or complete teacher application

Written by Valerie Joyner

Valerie Joyner

Valerie Joyner is a retired elementary science educator and is a member of CSTA.

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LATEST POST

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.