CSTA Classroom Science

Region 1 Update

It does not seem that long ago that the bell rang to conclude the last day of school; but, here we are, getting ready to start another school year.  For many of us, summer included taking a well-deserved vacation or maybe, it was catching up on all of the things we couldn’t get to during the school year.  But for others, summer is the season for intensive professional development–opportunities to collaborate with colleagues or travel to meet other educators, opportunities to learn something new about teaching or about science, opportunities to think outside the box, think what is possible for all of the students with which we interact throughout the school year.

While I am no longer teaching in the classroom on a daily basis, I still look forward to the summer to indulge in all of the trainings and institutes that I can.  As the newly elected CSTA Region 1 Director, I began my summer attending my first CSTA Board Meeting and Orientation. Shortly afterwards, I attended two institutes at CSU Sacramento.  By the end of June, my notebook was bursting at its seams, full of notes and ideas for implementation. My bags were full of handouts, lesson plans, and reference materials galore.

Fast-forward to the first day back to work and those few days before students arrive.  Between attending meetings and district trainings, decorating the classroom, reviewing class rosters, and lesson planning, it is easy to forget about all of those great takeaways from the summer.  Before this happens and those notes and PD materials get buried in piles or stashed away in a filing cabinet, Let’s make a plan; let’s set some intentions for the new school year. Consider the following:

  • What is one thing I learned that I can incorporate in the way I set up my classroom?
  • What is one thing I learned that I can implement during my first day or first week of instruction?
  • What were the biggest takeaways from the PD I have attended?  How might this impact the way I plan and teach everyday?

And just like New Year’s Resolutions, it might be good to share your intentions with a buddy–someone who can hold you accountable, be supportive, and remind you why you’re doing it in the first place.  If you find yourself without a buddy, feel free to contact me!

And if you didn’t seem to get enough ideas this summer, be sure to check out one of these upcoming Region 1 events:

Conference Banner

NGSS Bootcamp – Monday, August 5, 2019  8:30am – 3:00pm
Hosted by: Sonoma County Office of Education

Come experience the Next Generation Science Standards in action and learn about California updates. This free class is an overview of NGSS intended to help administrators and teachers become familiar with the hands-on, three dimensional standards and how they can be implemented at the classroom, school, and district level. This introduction to NGSS is highly recommended for anyone who will be involved in curriculum adoption or NGSS implementation for their site or district. Administrators and teachers are encouraged to attend and learn together. Click here to view this event

For More Information: Anna Van Dordrecht at avandordrecht@scoe.org or (707) 522-3334

NGSS Curriculum Adoption Workshop – Tuesday, August 6, 2019  9:00am – 3:00pm
Hosted by: Sonoma County Office of Education

Come learn about the NGSS curriculum adoption process and receive the information and tools to get started or continue your process. This free training is intended for teams of administrators and teachers who will work on science adoption. Participants will receive an overview of the state approved NGSS TIME tool (Toolkit for Materials Evaluation) with an emphasis on the paper screening and piloting processes. They will also have collaboration time to plan in teams for next steps. Click here to view this event

For More Information: Anna Van Dordrecht at avandordrecht@scoe.org or (707) 522-3334

Outdoor Core/NGSS Camp For Teachers – August 12-14, 2019
UC Forestry Camp in Meadow Valley
Hosted by: Plumas Unified School District

Choose the trainings you would like to attend from the following options:

Maker & Innovation Workshop – Thursday, August 15, 2019  4:00-7:30pm
Humboldt County Office of Education, Redwood Room  | 901 Myrtle Avenue, Eureka

Learn about some great ways to promote STEAM!  Launch a middle school entrepreneurial program, learn about the new Pathmakers Program, engage families and the community, and/or host a Family Maker Night at your school. Click here to view this event

Hosted by: Humboldt County Office of Education
For More Information: Tanya Trump at ttrump@hcoe.org or (707) 445-7817

Digitarium (Formerly known as Starlab) – September 19, 2019 and September 20, 2019
Hosted by: San Joaquin County Office of Education

Would you like to be able to bring the stars and planets to your students right at your own school?  Now you can! The portable, digital planetarium brings life-like experience to your students while at the same time reinforces NGSS Standards. Click Here to view this event.

For More Information: Vanessa Reynoso Mercado at vreynosomercado@sjcoe.net 

Crazy Electric Circuits (Educators: Grades 3-9) – Thursday, September 5,2019  4:30 – 7:30pm 
Hosted by: Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)

Electric Circuits are highly recommended for fourth grade teachers preparing for Next Generation Science Standards in electricity and electromagnetism. The easy to use crafting make-and-take projects support science and language arts while introducing students to electricity and electric circuits.  Davin Bowker of the San Juan Unified School District will lead educators through activities where they will learn how to build and diagram circuits along with necessary to support NGSS. Teachers will receive a classroom Circuit Maker Space set and Legos. Click here to view this event.

The Real Reasons for Seasons (Grades 5-10+) – Wednesday, September 18, 2019  4:30 – 7:30pm 
Hosted by: Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)

The seasons come and then pass by, can you explain the reasons why? As it turns out, most people can’t! Research shows that understanding and explaining the causes of seasons can be challenging for people of all ages. This GEMS workshop teaches educators to help students arrive at a clear understanding of seasons as they investigate the connections between the Sun and Earth. Teachers will take a “Trip to the Sun,” determine the real shape of the Earth’s orbit, evaluate actual data on world temperature and hours of sunlight in different locations, and model how the angle at which sunlight hits the Earth affects its concentration. This lesson was developed in partnership with the NASA Office of Space Science Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum (SECEF). Teachers will receive a GEMS guide. Click here to view this event.

CA NGSS Statewide Rollout – Environmental Literacy  – September 30 – October 1, 2019
Hosted by: San Joaquin County Office of Education

The California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Statewide Rollout: Environmental Literacy is a two-day professional learning geared toward grade K-12 academic coaches, administrators, curriculum leads, and teacher leaders. Participants will experience grade appropriate learning sequences with an environmental literacy focus and examples of local environmental phenomena. A variety of community-based partners will feature resources that use the environment as a context for supporting student learning and CA NGSS implementation. It is recommended that districts send teams of four to six, which include at least one administrator. Click here to view dates and locations.

*Additional Region 1  locations/dates include Tulare County Office of Education, Sacramento County Office of Education, and Tehama County Department of EducationFor More Information: Amy Kennedy at akennedy@sjcoe.net or (209) 468-9027.



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Kelli Quan-Martin

Written by Kelli Quan-Martin

Kelli Quan-Martin is the K-12 Science Program Specialist in Elk Grove USD, a Teacher Leader with the Sacramento Area Science Project and the CSTA Region 1 Director.