January/February 2018 – Vol. 31 No. 2

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.

I see my role as an assistant principal being an educational leader charged with supporting and leading students, staff, and community into the future based on our school community’s shared values, beliefs, and principles; these guide decisions for what is best for all students to be successful. Effective educators help our students develop the skills necessary to thrive in the 21st century. We are charged with preparing all our students to succeed in a rapidly changing, high-speed, technology-infused, global economy. These changes are redefining the skill sets our children need to be prepared to contribute to society: to think critically and creatively, to communicate clearly and with evidence, to solve problems, and to work collaboratively, just as scientists do.

To be an effective instructional leader who is learning and supporting teachers on this journey requires I understand the key instructional and conceptual shifts required by the California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The Teaching and Learning Collaboratives (TLC, or lesson study sessions) provided by TUSD’s Early Implementers have helped me be an active learner in building my own understanding of the NGSS and phenomenon-based, three-dimensional science instruction. Site administrators in TUSD are invited to join TLCs and this opportunity has deepened our understanding of the NGSS-aligned science teaching.

Research into TLC/lesson study indicates it increases teacher efficacy and teachers’ content knowledge while increasing teaching quality, all precursors to student achievement. In my observations of our district’s lesson study teams at work, I am always amazed at the level of rigor involved and learn something new each and every time.

For myself, I learned that the TLC/lesson study process makes the most sense for true professional learning to occur. I was able to watch a team of dedicated educators design a lesson, implement a lesson, assess student work, and then modify a lesson to help promote explicit learning about the NGSS’s crosscutting concepts based on the interdependence phenomenon. I increased my own foundational knowledge of NGSS through this process. I personally saw how valuable student-generated science notebooks are as a way for students to express ideas and make meaningful sense of and connections between science concepts. The lesson study teams consistently use the students’ notebooks to engage students in the practices of real scientists.

Each time I am a part of this process I learn more about the differences and similarities between NGSS and the Common Core, as well as the intent and architecture of the NGSS. By using NGSS to frame the act of doing science, I have learned that the standards include the three dimensions of science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts which lead to students gaining a multifaceted understanding of the broad and connected nature of scientific phenomena. I have learned that by teaching NGSS-aligned science, our students will be able to learn by doing, making explanations like scientists and designing solutions like engineers, all leading to a deeper, more robust understanding of disciplinary content. I am grateful to the teacher-leaders for this opportunity to learn, as it will allow me to better support teacher’s and students’ needs at my sites. To help create a school community that actively encourages and fosters the changes occurring in science education, it is critical to advocate for on-going professional development, opportunities for co-planning lesson designs, trying new performance tasks, and providing necessary resources for science investigations. This will help build teachers’ capacity as facilitators of students’ inquiry.

I believe that our district’s participation in lesson study has strongly supported the development of district capacity; the small cohort of teacher leaders has built their own understanding and now are guiding the implementation of NGSS across our district as advocates and educational leaders. I am honored and proud to be learning from our teacher-leaders as they help us redefine how to best engage students in an inquiry-based instruction that develops conceptual understanding of the science practices students need to think critically, frame productive questions, analyze information, and solve complex problems. Our students are tomorrow’s future leaders and I for one want them to be empowered to become actively engaged citizens who are successful lifelong learners!

For more information about how the TLC process deepens teacher understanding of the NGSS and transforms practice, check out the companion piece to this article: NGSS and the Teaching Learning Collaborative: It’s About the Process.

For more information on the nuts and bolts of the TLC, check out the companion piece to this article: K-12 Alliance Teaching Learning Collaborative: Nuts and Bolts of a Lesson Study.

Kelly Patchen is an Assistant Principal at Louis Bohn and McKinley Elementary Schools, Tracy Union School District.

Powered By DT Author Box

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.

Leave a Reply

LATEST POST

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!

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
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!

OVERVIEW
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.

REGISTER

http://bit.ly/ACCELERATINGINTONGSS

DATES & LOCATIONS
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…

Powered By DT Author Box

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.