Middle School Science Newsletter

April 2019

Welcome back from a much needed Spring Break. This is your April Science newsletter and I hope it finds you rested and energized to finish out the year strong. We all know full scale testing is right around the corner but before we go there, we wanted to share some updates and previews of what's to come in the world of science in Pasco.
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Curriculum Updates

Changes coming!

As many of you know, we have had teams of teachers working on suggested revisions to our maps. In addition, I have been working on updating the Secondary Science Learning Network so that all courses are equally represented and easily accessible. So, the major changes coming your way that will start to appear after May are...

  • New SLN Landing page layout, with all secondary courses represented.
  • A dedicated Tiered support section on each concept map
  • A transition of the Gr 6 & 7 Middle School maps to a 5e design.
  • Purposeful integration of the Nature of Science Standards into the grade 6 & 7 courses
  • Revised Physical Science scope and sequence

We know its a lot, but it's all work that has needed to happen for some time and has been done with ease of use and effectiveness in mind. Have no fear, we will be offering sessions at Together We Learn in July that will walk participants through the changes as well as set them up for success coming out of summer. Be watching for the TWL session info to sign up.

FSSA Science Review Modules

In gearing up for the 8th grade FSSA Science test, this is a NEW RESOURCE for your students to use for review! There are four modules aligned to the scientific bodies of knowledge. Created by Pasco teachers, each module can be imported directly into your canvas course and assigned. The Life Science module is available now to start using with your students. Be on the lookout for the Earth Science, Physical Science and Nature of Science review modules coming soon!

Each module includes:

  • a diagnostic test, where students self-assess their mastery of each standard;
  • targeted practice activities for each standard, so students can focus their learning on what they need to master;
  • a post test;
  • and teacher resources, which includes word documents of tests, notes templates, etc., (so you do not have to rely on technology to use this resource)

Visit the myLearning page for the Grade 8 Florida State Science Assessment Review Modules now!

Professional Development Opportunities

Summer Science Symposium Offered by DOE

Last year the Florida Department of Education provided a Summer Science Symposium focusing on standards-based lessons and aligned activities. Teachers across the state were invited to participate in one of three regions. Last year’s attendees returned to their districts with a wealth of inspiring lessons focused on key standards for the courses and the subsequent annual assessment. Having participated last summer, I actually used parts of this training to help develop some of the science academies offered this year.

Preparations are underway for another Summer Science experience for elementary, middle, and high science teachers in the form of a STEMposium. This year, in addition to engaging, standards-aligned lessons and activities, there will be breakout sessions focused on STEM education and careers.

This summer, the training will take place at Middleton High School

4801 N. 22nd Street, Tampa, FL From July 15th-19th.

Each district is allocated a set number of spots for participants. If you think you might be interested in participating in this awesome experience, please complete this application of interest by April 22nd.

Classroom Conservation Challenge!

April is Water Conservation Month in Florida and the perfect time to bring water conservation into your classroom.

April is traditionally one of the driest months of the year and the peak demand season for public water use. In an ongoing commitment to ensure the public’s water needs are met, local governments and water management districts have declared April as Water Conservation Month.

You and your students can take part by pledging to save at least 10 gallons of water per day. In recognition of your commitment to become a better water saver, we will send you a free conservation challenge kit!

Each kit includes a class set of:

  • Water Conservation pledge cards
  • "Save Water We Do!" stickers
  • "I Conserve" poster (one for classroom)
  • Daily Water Use at Home surveys
  • Pencils

For more information on how to take the pledge, free conservation education resources and other classroom project ideas, visit WaterMatters.org/Education.

Additional Information

Curriculum Map Feedback Form

The Science Curriculum Team will be meeting on the 14th to work on corrections corrections and tweaks to the curriculum maps and resources. Please use this Curriculum Map Feedback Form to provide the Science Curriculum Team with input on our Science Curriculum maps to allow us to continue to refine them. Please be as specific as possible so that the team may constructively review the information and make an informed decision on how to proceed. Your input is critical to continuing to move Pasco Science forward!

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HUGE Thank You to the two fabulous teachers from Centennial Middle School, Jennifer Kaylor & Issys Salazar, who had the idea to create a student driven canvas module to review for the Gr 8 FSSA. Building of their initial work, a team of teachers helped produce the the final product unveiled today.
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Look !! Students sharing their thinking and fixing misconceptions through learning using SOS Strategies! Way to go Mrs. Polk, from PVMS! Students were collaborating with your engaging activity and producing great products as a result!

Science Fair - Science Fair - Science Fair

Pasco brought home some hardware!

We took 22 secondary students to the State Science & Engineering Fair this year in Lakeland. 10 came home with awards (some with multiple) and one with an $84,000 scholarship! We are so proud of these young scientists and know that their passion for science grows each time they learn from our science teachers.

For a list of all the participants and winners, click here!


Please continue to send us pictures of Pasco students who are engaged in the practice of science through exploration, discovery, research, discussion, analysis, argumentation or investigation. Feel free to use this hashtag to shout out the excellent things your students are doing and tag us @SciencePasco

Want to contact me?

Mark Butler

Senior Instructional Specialist

Science 6-12 & Environmental Programs