This is a short post to help publicize this FREE middle school science professional development opportunity for teachers in Washington State sponsored by ClimeTime and the WA ESD Science Coordinators. OpenSciEd are FREE OER science instructional materials that were specifically designed for engaging students in the Next Generation Science Standards. Even if you already have other new middle school science instructional materials it can be very helpful to learn about the OpenSciEd units as you will deepen your understanding of best practices and equitable strategies in science instruction.
There are workshop on 3 different units being offered this winter. Click on the unit topic below to register for the professional development.
PS- there are also remote learning adaptations available for the OpenSciEd units. Check them out HERE.
Washington Green Schools is a non-profit organization working to empower students to become environmental leaders by certifying their schools and conserving resources. During the pandemic Washington Green Schools has added the option for students to apply for At-Home Certification.
I would argue that while the usual school certification process is powerful this is one of those instances where the pandemic can lead to interesting modifications to our procedures. Encouraging students and their families to make changes in their home practices is where the real environmental impact can happen.
Teachers and families can download the Washington Green Schools At-Home Certification Kit HERE. The kit provides a menu of projects to choose from (with their family’s permission and support). Students then conduct a home audit and collect data on the change (project) they selected. Families will also get access to the Carbon Calculator tool and multiple other learning resources. I can image this being a powerful at-home STEM learning experience for the winter and/or spring of 2021.
Here in Washington the state K-12 teachers have a cool opportunity to join an ongoing workshop series on Climate Justice. Plus you get to join a group that sounds like a combination of the Justice League and Captain Planet and the Planeteers... The Climate Justice League!
Who: This is designed for any K-12 teacher in WA and is lead by Puget Sound ESD, Northwest ESD 189 and ESD 112 in partnership with Washington Green Schools.
What: members will receive support to develop learning opportunities to share with students around issues of social justice through the lens of climate change. Participants will be expected to work on lessons, deliver learning to students and bring student work samples to the final meeting.
Where: It’s all online via Zoom!
When: four 2-hour Zoom meetings:
January 12, 2021
February 2nd, 2021
March 10, 2021
April 27, 2021
Why: Learn about social justice related to climate, get resources (A People’s Curriculum for the Earth), collaboration, $480, and clock hours
How: Check out the registration information below!
Check out the Climate Justice League flier HERE.
If you are interested you can register FREE HERE.
My colleague, Tom Hathorn, and I are facilitating a workshop series on Climate Science for High School Science Teachers in the Puget Sound Region of Washington State. The series starts October 23rd and we still have a few seats left- so register soon at the link below if you’re interested in joining us.
Who: HS Science teachers in King & Pierce Counties
Where: Sumner School District Office (1202 Wood Ave, Sumner, WA 98390)
When: Face to Face- Oct. 23, Jan. 15, Mar. 24 (8am-3pm)
When: Online- Nov. 20, Dec. 11, Feb. 12, Mar. 4 (4-5:30pm)
What you get: Learning, collaboration, sub coverage, STEM clock hours, Stipend pay for after-school online meetings
- Inspire all students to participate in understanding and challenging climate science problems, especially mitigating environmental injustice where they live.
- Use student voice tools as inputs for shaping climate science learning and developing student leadership.
- Join a regional group of high school teachers who are knowledgeable about using the NGSS innovations to integrate Climate Science (ESS2 & ESS3) with other sciences.
- Develop Climate Science curriculum objects (learning/assessment tasks, lesson activities, activity sequences) to use in HS science courses.
- Participate in a public Climate Forum, sharing student and teacher projects.
Click HERE for the flyer with more information
Many of us science assessment nerds have been anxiously awaiting for the NGSS Test & Item Specifications for the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS). The anticipated arrival of these document reminds me of an iconic clip from Steve Martin’s movie The Jerk (see below).
These documents are organized into the following grade bands:
I’m assuming that these documents might be useful to science educators outside of Washington. You will see that there is support for each NGSS Performance Expectation from Grade 3 through High School and there are some pretty cool features such as:
- information on items types and assessment design
- a variety of 2 Dimensional versions of each PE
- details and clarification that provide greater specificity to the original PE for not only assessment but also instruction
See the screen shot below for 5-PS1-1 to get a sense of some of the extra information provided by the item specs.
OVERVIEW: In the state of Washington we are committed to engaging K-12 students in learning about climate science and climate change. For the 2018-19 school year our state has funded an initiative that will provide tools and professional development to support thoughtful implementation of climate science learning opportunities. I’m hoping that this space will be able to promote many of the resources that are developed and used during this process.
One resource that has bubbled to the top for me is Drawdown.org. Drawdown provides 100 everyday solutions that humans can implement to reverse global climate change. I know several teachers who worry that the teaching of climate change- especially with younger students- can be scary for the children. Draw Down (while not sugar-coating anything) is very solution-oriented and can put students in a positive space rather than doom and gloom.
PURPOSE: The proposed solutions on Drawdown are completely research-based and include some intuitive solutions that you might have predicted (rooftop solar) and others that might seem less intuitive (educating girls & telepresence). The book Drawdown is also a “must-have” climate resource to add to your collection.
AUDIENCE: all the humans
There is still room at this impactful upcoming event in the South Puget Sound Region. See below for description and registration link.
The Bethel School District and the Puyallup Watershed Initiative are partnering to offer this 2-day workshop on Phenomena & Units for Environmental Justice.
Title: Phenomena & Units for Environmental Justice.
Location: Graham-Kapowsin High School
Dates: June 25 & Aug. 22 , 2018 (8:00 – 3:30)
Presenters: Lia Wetzstein, Emily Pinckney, Tom Hathorn
● Inspire students with local phenomena and problems that matter to their community.
● Support student aspirations toward STEM-related careers.
● Integrate NGSS PEs about humans in relation to the environment (LS2, LS4, ESS2, ESS3).
● MS & HS Science Teachers (all subjects), Administrators
● School Districts in the South Sound LASER Alliance
What: Day 1
● Meet & study local environmental justice issues → Analyze the systems & who’s affected.
● Unpack natural & human structures → How did things get this way? What keeps it stable?
● Use the NGSS engineering cycle (D-D-O) → Solving environmental problems = engineering .
● Discover & use local STEM issues → Use students’ interests & cultural-community practices.
● Begin planning → Activities or small units that utilize local phenomena or problems.
What: Day 2
● Share emerging units → Give & get ideas.
● NSTA resources for teaching controversial topics → See opportunities & pitfalls.
● Use students’ voices → Guide the dialogue & discussions.
I want to make sure that all grade 5, 8, & ll teachers of science in WA State are aware of this great opportunity to be involved in the development of the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) called the Contrasting Groups Study.
Unlike most of the opportunities to work on WCAS development, you do not need to travel…it is all online. You will participate in a FREE online training, learn about WCAS and the Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs), and then make predictions of how your students will do when engaging with the WCAS this spring. This information will be used by the Achievement Level Setting committee in August. You will also get to see the results of your predictions. The window to participate ends soon on April 14th, 2018!
Here is an excerpt of the overview of the Contrasting Groups Study from OSPI. See the complete announcement HERE.
What’s the timeline?
The CGS training will be available online on the Moodle training site from March 1 through April 14, 2018. Educators will learn about the CGS study, about the structure and contents of the ALDs, and how to participate in the study. The training will take approximately 3 hours and can be completed at your own pace. Free clock hours will be available to participants.
After training, teachers will use the ALDs and observations of student work to make predictions about student achievement on the WCAS. These observations can be completed as part of regular classroom instruction and assessment.
From March 19 through April 14, 2018 teachers will enter their student predictions into the CGS application in the Education Data System (EDS). This process should take approximately 5 minutes per class of 30 students.
In fall of 2018, participants can return to the CGS application in EDS and compare their predictions to actual student achievement on the WCAS.
If you are a science assessment nerd like me then you’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of several documents to support the new NGSS Science Assessment in WA State or the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS).
We recently got the following items from the science team at OSPI:
A. Online sample items at grades 5, 8, and 11
B. The first set of WCAS Test & Item Specs…more will be arriving in the coming year
Grade 5 Test Design and Item Specifications
Grade 8 Test Design and Item Specifications
High School Test Design and Item Specifications
C. Webinars to support each of these items are also available- see below:
Register for the “How to Work with the WCAS Training Tests” Webinar on January 10
Register for the “Science Test and Item Specifications Release” Webinar on January 24
Click HERE to see the updated science assessment page at OSPI.
This is a very affordable opportunity for upper elementary and middle school science teachers in the Puget Sound Region to dig into STEM education and equity.
Here is the link if you are interested in signing up:
Below is information copied from the registration site…
DATE AND TIME
Wed, November 29, 2017
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM PST
Microsoft Conference Center
16070 NE 36th Way
Redmond, WA 98052
This full-day workshop for upper elementary and middle school teachers will give participants tools to engage their students in science and engineering practices aligned with the NGSS. From building low-cost sensors, to iterating design challenges to writing across the STEM disciplines, teachers will add to their toolkit of effective and engaging teacher practices. Professor Jose Rios’ keynote will challenge participants to develop their ideas about educating for equity and access in STEM.
Six STEM clock hours will available for an extra fee, pending approval.
- 8:30-8:45 am – Opening
- 8:45:- 10:30 am – Hacking STEM
- 10:30 – 10: 45 am – Break
- 10:45 – 12:30 pm – Science/Engineering Notebooks
- 12:30 – 1:15 pm – Lunch
- 1:15 – 2:00 pm – Equity Presentation
- 2:00 – 3:45 pm – Engineering Fellow Program
- 3:45 – 4:00 pm – Closing