September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Region 4 News and Events: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Posted: Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

The holiday season has arrived! Region 4 is bustling with activity as students prepare for the final crunch of the semester and families prepare for holiday celebrations. The weather has turned cold and students are hunkered down in their studies in an effort to solidify their semester grades. Teachers across the region are making connections for student learning and assessing student progress on the science standards.

Throughout the month of December, there are professional development opportunities available for teachers to continue to hone their science skills. For teachers looking for a better way to teach your students about the Milky Way, UCSD is hosting a hands-on workshop from 10:00 to 4:00 on Saturday December 7th highlighting the “Galaxy Garden” which uses living plants (built to scale) to help students visualize the vastness of our galaxy. For more information contact http://sdsa.org/resources/science-alliance-e-news/2013/attachments/galaxy-garden-flyer

Once the winter break is upon us, there will be plenty of opportunities for family including time to explore local science museums and participate in science-related events held around the region. If you are looking for some science and holiday-related fun for your family, the following list highlights some of the exciting events in our region:

The Science of Gingerbread at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, which runs from November 29th until January 5th. This holiday festival is filled with activities designed to bring families together this holiday season.

On Saturday, December 7th 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Enjoy Holidays with the Critters at the Santa Ana Zoo. The Winter Zoobilation at the Santa Ana Zoo includes enchanting winter decorations that stay up throughout the month of December. Come learn about the animals and enjoy some holiday cheer!

December 13th from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. the Ocean Institute in Dana Point is offering a Holiday Parade of Lights Cruise. Participants will cruise aboard the R/V Sea Explorer for a festive holiday cruise around Dana Point Harbor during the annual Parade of Lights.

Irvine Park Railroad has the trains all set up for Christmas. Activities include cookie decorating, carnival games, a Santa moon bounce, story time with Mrs. Claus and of course fabulous holiday train exhibits.  The fun starts Friday, November 29th and extends through December. The train opens daily at 10:00 a.m.

In San Diego, Balboa Park is offering the December Nights holiday festival December 6th from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. and December 7th from noon to 11 p.m. During the December Nights festival, participating Balboa Park museums will open their doors free of charge from 5 until 9 p.m. This will truly be a multicultural holiday experience for all!

The Living Desert Zoo in Palm Desert will be twinkling with over a million lights illuminating the park with Holiday Joy through the month of December. The annual Wildlights Celebration will run from December 6, 7, 13, 14, 19-23, and 36 – 31 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

I hope these events help to bring your family closer together through discovery and science learning! I wish you a joyous holiday season!

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.