September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

The Happiest Place on Earth Welcomes CSTA Members!

Posted: Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

by Lisa Hegdahl

Lab materials are safely stored, textbooks are neatly shelved, counters are completely cleared, and the last of your students have left campus.  The classroom seems uncharacteristically quiet as you pick up your personal belongings and head to your car for the final time this school year.  Summer vacation!  Here at last!  And although you know that some of your summer will be spent preparing for the next school year, you also know you need some personal time to refresh and recharge.

Thankfully, you are a proud member of the California Science Teachers Association!  While you are aware of all the work CSTA does to serve science educators across the state, you also know that CSTA realizes how hard you work for your students.  So, beginning in January 2014, members of CSTA not only get all the benefits that help to promote quality science education, but members also enjoy discounts at Disneyland… The Happiest Place on Earth!

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Discount Information:

  • Access discounted tickets to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park.
  • Ticket prices with a slash through them are the regularly priced tickets, and the discounted price shows below the regular price.
  • These special savings are for members only, but can be used to purchase tickets for family and friends. The limit is eight tickets per order.
  • Note: This discount offer only applies to Disneyland Resort that is located in Southern California, and not to Walt Disney World in Florida.

(Visit the Members Only Discount page for the link to purchase tickets online.)

While making your travel arrangements to Disneyland, or other destinations this summer, don’t forget that CSTA also offers discounts at AVIS/Budget Rental Car:

  • Up to 25% off promotional rates.
  • Convenient airport locations.
  • Where2TM GPS – State-of-the-art GPS system that guides through every mile of your trip, giving you clear, simple directions, real-time road conditions and much more.
  • Time saving services, like Avis Preferred Service, e-Receipt and Roving Rapid Return.
  • Avis e-Receipt – Within 24 hours of returning your vehicle, you’ll have your Avis receipt e-mailed to you, free of charge. It’s a convenient way to avoid lost receipts, complete expense reports, and save time when returning your car.
  • Complimentary Preferred® Service enrollment – A fast and easy counter bypass program with added benefits and special amenities, such as the best parking spots and more vehicles.
  • Available at participating locations.

(Visit the Members Only Discount page for the discount codes.)

The California Science Teachers Association would like to thank you for your membership. Without your support, we could not have accomplished all we have during these past 50 years. We would also like to thank you for all you do for your students every day of the school year.  We wish you a restful summer break.

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Written by Lisa Hegdahl

Lisa Hegdahl

Lisa Hegdahl is an 8th-grade science teacher at McCaffrey Middle School in Galt, CA and is Past-President of CSTA.

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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…

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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…

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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.