January/February 2018 – Vol. 31 No. 2

Seeking Chemistry Teachers for a Study

Posted: Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Dear Chemistry Teacher:

I would like to bring to your attention an opportunity to participate in a research study that is examining the effectiveness of a learning tool that was developed in 1996 by the Department of Chemistry at Indiana University, Bloomington. Since 2002, CALM (Computer Assisted Learning Method) has reached over 54 High Schools across the state of Indiana. In this time, more than 82 teachers, and well over 1000 students annually, have used this system free of charge. Teachers who have incorporated CALM in their classroom are extremely supportive of it. Primarily, this has been in the form of an online homework system that allows the assessment and tracking of student performance. CALM also represents an important starting point for collaboratively engaging high school science teachers and university faculty in improving the quality of science education across the nation.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education funded a study to examine the effectiveness of CALM in promoting student chemistry achievement. The study, funded by the Institute for Education Sciences, is an opportunity for us to extend CALM’s reach to many more teachers and students than was previously possible.

Our goal with CALM is to impact the level of high school science education across the nation, using a tool and an approach that have been proven to work. We provide teachers with a webbased homework tool that requires students to focus on and develop their problem solving skills through dynamically randomized content. In addition, CALM is a collaborative tool that creates a network linking high school teachers both with each other and with university faculty, along with resources in higher education. It is through this network (the CALM Community) that the dissemination of high quality, standards-based/aligned material is possible.

Participation in the Study

We are seeking high school introductory chemistry teachers who have not previously implemented CALM in their classrooms to participate in this study. The study itself is an experimental design, where half of the teachers who volunteer to participate in a given year will be assigned to implement the online CALM tool in their Introductory Chemistry classrooms. We are asking that teachers use CALM and/or the CALM chemistry problems as a primary source of homework or applied practice for students, assigning students at least 10 questions from the CALM database per week. We are asking teachers to commit to participation for one term of Introductory Chemistry. We will be recruiting three cohorts of teachers–one during Year 1, Year 2, and Year 3 (the current year). Control group teachers will be invited to use the online CALM tool in their classrooms after their year of participation in the study.

The criteria for all teachers being selected to participate in the study include the following:

  • May not have previously used CALM in your own classroom nor other teachers at your school;
  • Plan to teach at least one Introductory Chemistry course during the 2011-2012 school year;
  • Commit to administering a standardized high school chemistry exam (provided by research team) at the end of the introductory chemistry class targeted for the study; and
  • Provide letter of support from your building administrator and gain permission from appropriate district and/or school supervisors to participate in the study.

Additional research activities for those who are selected to implement the online CALM tool (treatment group) include:

  • Attend a two-day workshop on CALM at Indiana University during June or July of the first year selected; and
  • Allow researchers to observe chemistry instruction, participate in on-site interviews, and have students participate in focus groups about the use of CALM (if selected).

Teachers will receive a stipend of $150.00 for the year they participate in the study. In addition, a travel stipend, which covers transportation, food, and lodging, will be provided for each teacher to attend the CALM training workshop in the summer prior to implementing CALM in the classroom.

For more information about CALM, you can find us online at: http://calm.indiana.edu. If you are interested in participating in this research study and implementing CALM in your classroom or have further questions, please contact us at: calmceep@indiana.edu.

Thank you for your interest in and willingness to participate in this important study. The deadline to respond is May 13.


Suzanne Branon
Graduate Research Assistant
Center for Evaluation and Education Policy Indiana University 1900 East Tenth Street Bloomington, Indiana 47406-7512

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.

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California Science Test Academy for Educators

Posted: Thursday, February 15th, 2018

California Science Test Academy for Educators

To support implementation of the California Science Test (CAST), the California Department of Education is partnering with Educational Testing Service and WestEd to offer a one-day CAST Academy for local educational agency (LEA) science educators, to be presented at three locations in California from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. As an alternative to traveling, LEA teams can participate virtually via WebEx on one of the dates listed below.

The dates and locations for the CAST Academy are as follows:

  • Monday, April 23, 2018—Sacramento
  • Wednesday, April 25, 2018—Fresno
  • Thursday, April 26, 2018—Irvine

The CAST Academy will help participants develop a deeper understanding of the assessment design and expectations of the CAST. The academy also will provide information and activities designed to assist educators in their implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards and three-dimensional learning to help them gain an understanding of how these new science assessment item types can inform teaching and learning. The CAST Academy dates above are intended for school and district science instructional leaders, including teacher leaders, teacher trainers, and instructional coaches. Additional trainings will be offered at a later date specifically for county staff. In addition, curriculum, professional development, and assessment leaders would benefit from this training.

A $100 registration fee will be charged for each person attending the in-person training. Each virtual team participating via WebEx will be charged $100 for up to 10 participants through one access point. Each workshop will have the capacity to accommodate a maximum of 50 virtual teams. Each virtual team will need to designate a lead, who is responsible for organizing the group locally. Registration and payment must be completed online at http://www.cvent.com/d/6tqg8k.

For more information regarding the CAST Academy, please contact Elizabeth Dilke, Program Coordinator, Educational Testing Service, by phone at 916-403-2407 or by e‑mail at caasppworkshops@ets.org.

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.

Accelerating into NGSS – A Statewide Rollout Series Now Accepting Registrations

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

Are you feeling behind on the implementation of NGSS? Then Accelerating into NGSS – the Statewide Rollout event – is right for you!

If you have not experienced Phases 1-4 of the Statewide Rollout, or are feeling behind with the implementation of NGSS, the Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout will provide you with the greatest hits from Phases 1-4!

Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout is a two-day training geared toward grade K-12 academic coaches, administrators, curriculum leads, and teacher leaders. Check-in for the two-day rollout begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by a continental breakfast. Sessions run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Day One and from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Day Two.

Cost of training is $250 per attendee. Fee includes all materials, continental breakfast, and lunch on both days. It is recommended that districts send teams of four to six, which include at least one administrator. Payment can be made by check or credit card. If paying by check, registration is NOT complete until payment has been received. All payments must be received prior to the Rollout location date you are attending. Paying by credit card secures your seat at time of registration. No purchase orders accepted. No participant cancellation refunds.

For questions or more information, please contact Amy Kennedy at akennedy@sjcoe.net or (209) 468-9027.



MARCH 28-29, 2018
Host: San Mateo County Office of Education
Location: San Mateo County Office of Education, Redwood City

APRIL 10-11, 2018
Host: Orange County Office of Education
Location: Brandman University, Irvine

MAY 1-2, 2018
Host: Tulare County Office of Education
Location: Tulare County Office of Education, Visalia

MAY 3-4, 2018
Host: San Bernardino Superintendent of Schools
Location: West End Educational Service Center, Rancho Cucamonga

MAY 7-8, 2018
Host: Sacramento County Office of Education
Location: Sacramento County Office of Education Conference Center and David P. Meaney Education Center, Mather

JUNE 14-15, 2018
Host: Imperial County Office of Education
Location: Imperial Valley College, Imperial

Presented by the California Department of Education, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association/County Offices of Education, K-12 Alliance @WestEd, California Science Project, and the California Science Teachers Association.

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.

The Teaching and Learning Collaborative, Reflections from an Administrator

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

by Kelly Patchen

My name is Mrs. Kelly Patchen, and I am proud to be an elementary assistant principal working in the Tracy Unified School District (TUSD) at Louis Bohn and McKinley Elementary Schools. Each of the schools I support are Title I K-5 schools with about 450 students, a diverse student population, a high percentage of English Language Learners, and students living in poverty. We’re also lucky to be part of the CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative with the K-12 Alliance. 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.

2018 CSTA Conference Call for Proposals

Posted: Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

CSTA is pleased to announce that we are now accepting proposals for 90-minute workshops and three- and six-hour short courses for the 2018 California Science Education Conference. Workshops and short courses make up the bulk of the content and professional learning opportunities available at the conference. In recognition of their contribution, members who present a workshop or short course receive 50% off of their registration fees. Click for more information regarding proposals, or submit one today by following the links below.

Short Course Proposal

Workshop Proposal 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.

CSTA’s New Administrator Facebook Group Page

Posted: Monday, January 15th, 2018

by Holly Steele

The California Science Teachers Association’s mission is to promote high-quality science education, and one of the best practice’s we use to fulfill that mission is through the use of our Facebook group pages. CSTA hosts several closed and moderated Facebook group pages for specific grade levels, (Elementary, Middle, and High School), pages for district coaches and science education faculty, and the official CSTA Facebook page. These pages serve as an online resource for teachers and coaches to exchange teaching methods, materials, staying update on science events in California and asking questions. CSTA is happy to announce the creation of a 6th group page called, California Administrators Supporting Science. 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.