January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

Book Review: Success in Science Through Dialogue, Reading, and Writing

Posted: Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

by Judy Sovel

Don’t let the title fool you…this book is not just for science teachers.  If you are an elementary or secondary teacher wondering how to build literacy using Common Core strategies, this book is an absolute necessity in your library.BookAlthough it is written for secondary science teachers, I can’t emphasize enough that this book is an amazing guide to implementing Common Core techniques across the curriculum throughout the grade levels, including elementary.  Authors Beauchamp, Kusnick, and McCallum call it a “Science Literacy Framework,” but all of the ideas included can be adapted very easily to social studies, math, or any other curricular area.  Best of all, the authors teach the reader to keep the (science) content at the forefront while using productive dialogue, purposeful reading assignments, and meaningful writing prompts as support systems to deliver content.

Every chapter is designed to increase student engagement.  There are sample lessons to illustrate what this approach looks like in the classroom, along with a dozen dialogue protocols offered as effective and engaging tools.  Want to learn how to support purposeful reading for all reading abilities in your class in a specific content area?  Nine techniques are outlined and all are easy to implement immediately. These promise to result in more engaged readers who focus on comprehension rather than just getting the assignment done.  Finally, you can learn to use writing as a window into your students’ thinking, mirroring the types of written challenges students will face in state testing and future careers. The sample writing prompts provided demonstrate the importance of giving interesting, motivating written assignments that lead to improvement in written communication.

After reading this book, I was astounded that the authors could illuminate my way toward 5th grade Common Core while still laying out science literacy for secondary teachers.  I recommend you read the book front to back and avoid skipping around because it falls together like a beautiful 3-D jigsaw puzzle in the end.  If you are a secondary science teacher who isn’t sure how to incorporate literacy in your content, this book will convince you it is not only possible but necessary and will leave you excited about trying it!  Elementary teachers, take heed.  You won’t want to let this gold nugget pass you by.  This book earns 5 brilliant stars!

Authors:  Arthur Beauchamp, Judi Kusnick, and Rick McCallum

ISBN:  978-0-692-01253-6

Published by:  The Regents of the University of California, Davis, 2011

Available by contacting:  http://sasp.ucdavis.edu/

Judy Sovel is a 5th grade teacher at McNear School in Petaluma, CA

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.

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STEM Conference Hosted by CMSESMC

Posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2017

The Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County will be hosting the 41st annual STEM Conference this February 4, 2017 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. This STEM Conference is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a variety of exhibitors that provide participants with a wide range of practical and realistic ideas and resources to use in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Pre-K to grade 12. With California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring that we prepare our teachers to take on these educational policies.

Teachers, administrators, and parents are invited to explore the many exciting aspects of STEM education and learn about and discuss the latest news, information, and issues. This is also an opportunity to network with colleagues who can assist you in building your programs and meet new friends that share your interests and love of teaching. Register online today!

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.

Submit Your NGSS Lessons and Units Today!

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

Achieve has launched and is facilitating an EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science–a group of expert reviewers who will evaluate the quality and alignment of lessons and units to the standards–in an effort to identify and shine a spotlight on emerging high-quality lesson and unit plans designed for the NGSS.

If you or your state, district, school, or organization has designed NGSS-aligned instructional materials, please consider submitting these in order to help provide educators across the country with various models and templates of high-quality lesson and unit plans. 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.

Opportunity for High School Students – Los Angeles County

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

An upcoming Perry Outreach Program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, CA. The Perry Outreach Program is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for high school and college-aged women who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. 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.

Science Education Policy Update

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

January 2017 has proven to be a very busy month for science education policy and CA NGSS implementation activities. CSTA has been and will be there every step of the way, seeking and enacting all options to support high-quality science education and the successful implementation of CA NGSS.

California Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education Science Double-Testing Waiver Hearing

The year started with California Department of Education’s (CDE) hearing with the U.S. Department of Education conducted via WebEx on January 6, 2017. This hearing was the final step in California’s efforts to secure a waiver from the federal government in order to discontinue administration of the old CST and suspension of the reporting of student test scores on a science assessment for two years. As reported by EdSource, the U.S. Department of Education representative, Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary John King Jr., committed to making her final ruling “very shortly.” Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley presented on behalf of CDE during the hearing and did an excellent job describing the broad-based support for this waiver in California, the rationale for the waiver, and California’s commitment to the successful implementation of a new high-quality science assessment. As previously reported, California is moving forward with its plans to administer a census pilot assessments this spring. The testing window is set to open on March 20, 2017. For more information visit New CA Science Test: What You Should Know.

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.

NSTA Los Angeles Conference Features Many CA Science Leaders

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

The early-bird registration rates for the 65th NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Los Angeles is just days away (ends Feb. 3). And as the early-registration deadline approaches excitement is building for what is anticipated to be the largest gathering of science educators (both California and nationwide) – with attendance expected to reach 10,000 or more. If you have never had the pleasure of attending the NSTA National Conference, I recommend you visit their website with tips for newcomers that describe the various components of the event. A conference preview is also available for download. Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.