March/April 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 6

Region 2 Message and Events

Posted: Monday, July 1st, 2013

by Eric Lewis

“While the days are still pretty long, days get shorter EVERY day of the summer.”  My 9th grade Earth Science teacher taught me that a LONG time ago.  While that makes me a bit sad about how quickly summer months pass by, I know that these months and/or weeks help to rejuvenate teachers in so many ways.

When I was new teacher, I was lucky that my department chair protected me as much as possible (aside from giving me three preps, not including the one class that had newcomers to the United States that I had to teach VERY differently than my other classes!).  However, one piece of advice that she gave me was NOT to teach summer school or night school during my first few years of teaching.  I ended up teaching night school after a few years of teaching, but avoided teaching summer school for 14 years – until this year.  Of course, for the past six years I have been out of the classroom, supporting teachers with curriculum, doing professional development, and occasionally co-teaching new lessons or covering a class for a teacher.  During those classes, I’ve always found that students were much nicer to me than they were to their regular teacher.  Not because I taught any better, but because I was a novelty to them.  And, since I didn’t really know the students, I was pretty content to assume they all were great, engaged students.

This summer, I have been teaching a group of rising 10th graders in Anatomy and Physiology.  I have the students from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every day.  We’ve gotten to know each other really well, really quickly.  I’m lucky to be co-teaching with another experienced teacher – considerably taking the pressure off me and giving me time to relax a bit during each day.  That said, I am so enjoying summer school.  The students are amazing and I’ve been surprised at how quickly they are learning new concepts and how willing they are to engage in challenging content.  Of course, this is not a typical classroom setting.  But, it has made me wonder how much more I’d want my regular classroom to be like this summer school class – where students are engaged because they’re actually doing a lot of activities, dissections, research and because they’re meeting regularly with scientists (students from CCSF, UCSF and SF State as well as professors from each of these institutions).

In the past, I’d never tell a teacher to take on summer school (unless they really needed the extra pay).  I now have a slightly different perspective.  Summer school can be a time where teachers can explore new curriculum, new ways of teaching, and new classroom structures.  Perhaps new teachers should still be cautious, but for a fifth or sixth year teacher, this might be just the thing to tweak their practice in new and exciting ways.

In closing, I hope that some of you were able to submit your ideas for workshops for this year’s Education Conference in Palm Springs in October!  And, please let me know if there are things that you’d like to add to our Region’s offerings.  Don’t forget to encourage your colleagues to join CSTA.  I’m hoping that we’ll have the opportunity to grow our organization and expand to meet your needs and your colleague’s needs.  To that end, please feel free to email me directly so that I can represent your questions and concerns with the CSTA board as a whole.

Eric Lewis, lewise2@sfusd.edu

There are many, many science opportunities in the Bay Area.  Some big ones to remember:

Free Entry Days at:

Bay Area Discovery Museum, First Wednesday of the month

UC Botanical Gardens, First Thursday of the month

Oakland Museum of California, First Sunday of the month

California Academy of Sciences, Free days on selected Sundays:  September 29th, December 8th

Exploratorium, Free Days, Selected days:  September 29th, October 13th

Star Parties:

Houge Park Star Party, July 12th

Super-cool science parties:

Night Life, Thursdays, 6-10 pm, at the California Academy of Sciences

After Dark, First Thursday of the month, 6-10 pm, at the Exploratorium

Highlighted Event in July:

Think Evolution V: A summer institute for science educators

Calling all middle school, high school, and community college biology teachers and science educators!

Put on your evolution eyeglasses and your nature of science thinking cap and join us for (yet another) fun-filled five days of evolutionary explorations with biologists and educators at the University of California. The Think Evolution Summer Institute, returning for its fifth year, will combine lectures by prominent evolutionary biologists with sessions focused on hands-on activities for the middle school, high school, and community college classroom.   Topics this year include genomics, phylogeography of amphibians, biogeography of moths, the evolution of gossip, and natural selection.

Monday through Friday, July 29–August 2, 2013
UC Museum of Paleontology, 2063 Valley Life Sciences Building, UC Berkeley
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

$75.00 for five days; includes lots of free resources distributed to participating teachers plus morning and afternoon snacks. Plus, registrants get a field trip to the Cal Academy for a personalized tour of Human Odyssey — a new exhibit on the origin of our species.

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/about/institute13.php

For more information, contact Lisa White or Louise S. Mead.

For additional events in our region, please reference the VERY comprehensive calendar compiled by the Bay Area Science Festival. 

Written by Eric Lewis

Eric Lewis

Eris Lewis is high school area science support in the San Francisco Unified School District LEAD office.

Leave a Reply

LATEST POST

California Science Curriculum Framework Now Available

Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

The pre-publication version of the new California Science Curriculum Framework is now available for download. This publication incorporates all the edits that were approved by the State Board of Education in November 2016 and was many months in the making. Our sincere thanks to the dozens of CSTA members were involved in its development. Our appreciation is also extended to the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the Instructional Quality Commission, and the Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee and their staff for their hard work and dedication to produce this document and for their commitment to the public input process. To the many writers and contributors to the Framework CSTA thanks you for your many hours of work to produce a world-class document.

For tips on how to approach this document see our article from December 2016: California Has Adopted a New Science Curriculum Framework – Now What …? If you would like to learn more about the Framework, consider participating in one of the Framework Launch events (a.k.a. Rollout #4) scheduled throughout 2017.

The final publication version (formatted for printing) will be available in July 2017. This document will not be available in printed format, only electronically.

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.

Call for CSTA Awards Nominations

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

The 2017 Award Season is now open! One of the benefits of being a CSTA member is your eligibility for awards as well as your eligibility to nominate someone for an award. CSTA offers several awards and members may nominate individuals and organizations for the Future Science Teacher Award, the prestigious Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, and the CSTA Distinguished Contributions Award (organizational award). May 9, 2017 is the deadline for nominations for these awards. CSTA believes that the importance of science education cannot be overstated. Given the essential presence of the sciences in understanding the past and planning for the future, science education remains, and will increasingly be one of the most important disciplines in education. CSTA is committed to recognizing and encouraging excellence in science teaching through the presentation of awards to science educators and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in science education in the state and who are poised to continue the momentum of providing high quality, relevant science education into the future. 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.

Call for Volunteers – CSTA Committees

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

Volunteer

CSTA is now accepting applications from regular, preservice, and retired members to serve on our volunteer committees! CSTA’s all-volunteer board of directors invites you to consider maximizing your member experience by volunteering for CSTA. CSTA committee service offers you the opportunity to share your expertise, learn a new skill, or do something you love to do but never have the opportunity to do in your regular day. CSTA committee volunteers do some pretty amazing things: 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.

A Friend in CA Science Education Now at CSTA Region 1 Science Center

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

If you attended an NGSS Rollout phase 1-3 or CDE workshops at CSTA’s annual conference you may recall hearing from Chris Breazeale when he was working with the CDE. Chris has relocated professionally, with his passion for science education, and is now the Executive Director at the Explorit Science Center, a hands-on exploration museum featuring interactive STEM exhibits located at the beautiful Mace Ranch, 3141 5th St. in Davis, CA. Visitors can “think it, try it, and explorit” with a variety of displays that allow visitors to “do science.” To preview the museum, or schedule a classroom visit, see www.explorit.org. 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.

Learning to Teach in 3D

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

by Joseph Calmer

Probably like you, NGSS has been at the forefront of many department meetings, lunch conversations, and solitary lesson planning sessions. Despite reading the original NRC Framework, the Ca Draft Frameworks, and many CSTA writings, I am still left with the question: “what does it actually mean for my classroom?”

I had an eye-opening experience that helped me with that question. It came out of a conversation that I had with a student teacher. It turns out that I’ve found the secret to learning how to teach with NGSS: I need to engage in dialogue about teaching with novice teachers. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching science in some capacity for 12 years. During that time pedagogy and student learning become sort of a “hidden curriculum.” It is difficult to plan a lesson for the hidden curriculum; the best way is to just have two or more professionals talk and see what emerges. I was surprised it took me so long to realize this epiphany. 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.