September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Region 4 – News and Events

Posted: Monday, June 3rd, 2013

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

As the school year winds to an end, teachers around the region are reflecting on classroom practice and preparing for summer relaxation and personal enrichment.  It has been a busy month in region 4, with teacher training for implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and forethought as to curriculum shifts and refinement with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  Here’s a brief summary of what’s been happening in region 4:

  • In Riverside County, the STEM Leadership Network met again on May 7th, 2013 to discuss the vision for, analysis of, and the implementation of STEM programs across the region.
  • In San Diego, the San Diego Science Alliance continued to provide staff development in computer science principles, and training in environmental and energy curriculum for a clean San Diego.  On May 11-12 and May 18-19, there were 42 events including hikes, nature walks, bike rides, gardening, trail building projects, and community service projects along the San Diego River from Santa Ysabel to Ocean Beach. This event was an outstanding opportunity to get youth and adult volunteers together for meaningful service!
  • Orange County has been busy with the Science Olympiad competition and hosting the State Science Olympiad finals.  The Orange County Department of Education has held a series of Science and STEM network meetings, which are open to the public.    Teachers in Orange County have also been receiving training on ways to get students to think, read and write like a scientist in preparation for the CCS and the NGSS in grades K-6.

Upcoming events in the region include:

  • The 6th Annual International Autonomous Robot Competition will be held June 29th through June 30th at the Ruben H. Fleet Science Center at Balboa Park in San Diego.   For more information about this event visit the http://iaroc.org/.
  • Teachers are invited to learn how to use their schoolyard as an outdoor classroom in an exciting workshop offered in San Diego.   Presentations include planning the plant garden using native plants, plant selection and maintenance, and use of the schoolyard habitat for instruction. The Summer Schoolyard Habitat Workshop is being held at the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College in San Diego on June 26th from 9:00am to 3:30pm.  For more information about this event, visit www.Schoolyardhabitatworkshop.eventbrite.com.
  • Are you interested in brushing up on your science safety skills?  If so, the Orange County Department of Education is periodically offering workshops to review current safety requirements and regulations, and to review hazardous materials handling, storage and disposal.   For more information contact spradyanata@ocde.us.

As you can see, although summer is almost here the region is still bursting with life as teachers and students across the region push themselves to new levels of learning!

Written by Jeanine Wulfenstein

Jeanine Wulfenstein

Jeanine Wulfenstein taught science at Gardner Middle School and is now assistant principal at Bella Vista Middle School in Temecula. She is a member of CSTA. You can reach her by emailing jwulfenstein@tvusd.k12.ca.us.

Leave a Reply

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…

Powered By DT Author Box

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…

Powered By DT Author Box

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.