May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

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.

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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.

Written by Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques is a professor of science education at CSU Long Beach and a past-president of CSTA.

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CSTA Annual Conference Early Bird Rates End July 14

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

Teachers engaged in workshop activity

Teachers engaging in hands-on learning during a workshop at the 2016 CSTA conference.

Don’t miss your chance to register at the early bird rate for the 2017 CSTA Conference – the early-bird rate closes July 14. Need ideas on how to secure funding for your participation? Visit our website for suggestions, a budget planning tool, and downloadable justification letter to share with your admin. Want to take advantage of the early rate – but know your district will pay eventually? Register online today and CSTA will reimburse you when we receive payment from your district/employer. (For more information on how that works contact Zi Stair in the office for details – 916-979-7004 or zi@cascience.org.)

New Information Now Available On-line:

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.

Goodbye Outgoing and Welcome Incoming CSTA Board Members

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Jill Grace

Jill Grace, CSTA President, 2017-2019

On July 1, 2017 five CSTA members concluded their service and four new board members joined the ranks of the CSTA Board of Directors. CSTA is so grateful for all the volunteer board of directors who contribute hours upon hours of time and energy to advance the work of the association. At the June 3 board meeting, CSTA was able to say goodbye to the outgoing board members and welcome the incoming members.

This new year also brings with it a new president for CSTA. As of July 1, 2017 Jill Grace is the president of the California Science Teachers Association. Jill is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, a former middle school science teacher, and is currently a Regional Director with the K-12 Alliance @ WestEd where she works with California NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative districts and charter networks in the San Diego area.

Outgoing Board Members

  • Laura Henriques (President-Elect: 2011 – 2013, President: 2013 – 2015, Past President: 2015 – 2017)
  • Valerie Joyner (Region 1 Director: 2009 – 2013, Primary Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Mary Whaley (Informal Science Education Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Sue Campbell (Middle School/Jr. High Director: 2015 – 2017)
  • Marcus Tessier (2-Year College Director: 2015 – 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.

Finding My Student’s Motivation of Learning Through Engineering Tasks

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Huda Ali Gubary and Susheela Nath

It’s 8:02 and the bell rings. My students’ walk in and pick up an entry ticket based on yesterday’s lesson and homework. My countdown starts for students to begin…3, 2, 1. Ten students are on task and diligently completing the work, twenty are off task with behaviors ranging from talking up a storm with their neighbors to silently staring off into space. This was the start of my classes, more often than not. My students rarely showed the enthusiasm for a class that I had eagerly prepared for. I spent so much time searching for ways to get my students excited about the concepts they were learning. I wanted them to feel a connection to the lessons and come into my class motivated about what they were going to learn next. I would ask myself how I could make my class memorable where the kids were in the driver’s seat of learning. Incorporating engineering made this possible. Learn More…

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Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the California NGSS k-8 Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Unveils Updated Recommended Literature List

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled an addition of 285 award-winning titles to the Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list.

“The books our students read help broaden their perspectives, enhance their knowledge, and fire their imaginations,” Torlakson said. “The addition of these award-winning titles represents the state’s continued commitment to the interests and engagement of California’s young readers.”

The Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list is a collection of more than 8,000 titles of recommended reading for children and adolescents. Reflecting contemporary and classic titles, including California authors, this online list provides an exciting range of literature that students should be reading at school and for pleasure. Works include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama to provide for a variety of tastes, interests, and abilities. 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.

Teaching Science in the Time of Alternative Facts – Why NGSS Can Help (somewhat)

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn

The father of one of my students gave me a book: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Walt Brown, Ph. D. He had heard that I was teaching Plate Tectonics and wanted me to consider another perspective. The book offered the idea that the evidence for plate tectonics could be better understood if we considered the idea that beneath the continent of Pangaea was a huge underground layer of water that suddenly burst forth from a rift between the now continents of Africa and South America. The waters shot up and the continents hydroplaned apart on the water layer to their current positions. The force of the movement pushed up great mountain ranges which are still settling to this day, resulting in earthquakes along the margins of continents. This had happened about 6,000 years ago and created a great worldwide flood. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the Region 4 Director for CSTA.