Science Teachers – In What Ways Have You Partnered with Your School Librarian?
Posted: Friday, May 20th, 2016
by Laura Henriques
Early this spring the California School Library Association, CSLA, hosted their annual conference. They invited subject area professional organizations to attend the meeting and do a presentation. I was there to represent CSTA and do a workshop. Since then I have had a few conversations with Dr. Lesley Farmer, a colleague of mine at CSULB and former President of the California School Library Foundation, CSLA’s Vice President and editor of CSLA’s journal, about ways to that our members might be able to collaborate and learn with and from each other. School librarians and media specialists can be powerful partners and help us find good resources.
As you will see in the article (below) which Lesley wrote for CSLA’s monthly newsletter, we came up with a variety of ways that our members could benefit by working together. She is putting together a joint CSLA/CSTA webinar (hosted by CSLA but available to both organizations) for this summer. We’ll share details when they are finalized.
I challenge all of us to think about ways that the implementation of NGSS can be supported by partnering with our school media specialists/school librarians. Here are a few ideas to consider. I encourage you to add your ideas to the comment section below this article.
- We may want to have students to do some reading about the science behind phenomenon other than that which is found in a textbook. Those of you who have participated in NGSS lessons at the Rollout Symposium around the state have experienced science lessons that have a reading embedded into the lesson after you’ve had the opportunity to engage and explore a phenomenon. Our librarians may be able to help us locate appropriate texts.
- Librarians can help us locate data from online databases. These can be used to help answer a range of quesitons, enable us to argue from evidence and much more. Many of the science and engineering practices can be employed using data from online databases.
- Expertise in searching out resources that help us teach (lesson ideas, pedagogical strategies, and more) is another way school librarians can support us. ERIC, subject matter databases and the like have articles and resources that are helpful for us and school librarians are probably more skilled at finding and searching than we are.
- More and more, school librarians are providing tech support. While they are not in charge of the servers or networks, they do tend to have a fluency with educational technology that many classroom teachers lack.
Thanks in advance for sharing ideas about how we can partner with our school librarians!
PARTNERSHIPS FOR STUDENT SUCCESS
(republished with permission)
by Dr. Lesley Farmer, California State University Long Beach
8 March 2016
for CSLA Newsletter
We know that school library programs can only fulfill their mission if library workers collaborate with the entire school community. However, we can expand our reach by partnering with organizations. Such partnering can be done individually and as a group. Profession associations help you, your program, and the field.
School libraries should provide professional materials for teachers, including professional organization periodicals. Sometimes teachers will donate their past issues to the library if they know that the library will maintain them and ensure access to them. It is also a good practice for librarians to become members of at least one related professional association; some possible ones are CUE, International Literacy Association, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and subject-specific ones (which might support the librarian’s initial credential area) such as the National Science Teacher Association [or California Science Teachers Association].
Librarians can also conduct faculty development in partnership with other teachers at the local site and district level. Librarians can also present at professional associations, again emphasizing the advantage of sharing library topics to non-librarian attendees of conferences and other professional organizations. Co-presenting with a classroom teacher or administrator can be particularly impactful. Even attending professional development in a related or different discipline informs librarians, and gives them an opportunity to suggest ways that school libraries can play a role in their field.
Even if librarians cannot attend conferences, they can read the publications of those professional associations, be it a blog entry, newsletter item, or journal article. Furthermore, they can write for those publications. Often newsletters or journals announce themed issue, so librarians can plan ahead to optimize their writing contributions.
At the recent CSLA conference, a concerted effort was made to invite other professional associations to present. Dr. Laura Henriques, who is active in the California Science Teacher Association, gave a very engaging session on the Next Generation Science Standards and ways that librarians can support those standards. In a follow-up discussion with Dr. Henriques, I was able to brainstorm with her about ways to develop our professional partnerships: writing for each other’s publications – including joint articles, co-sponsoring and co-presenting webinars, co-sponsoring and co-presenting at professional development venues, and sharing resources.
These kinds of partnerships exemplify mutual benefits. Each partner brings unique expertise and experiences, and benefits from cross-fertilization efforts. They also raise awareness of each other’s organization. The sharing and learning strengthens each person’s – and each organization’s – effectiveness to provide curricular resources and instruction that lead to student success.
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.
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…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
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…
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…
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…