October News and Notes
Our focus this year and next is lab safety. At Palmer, Michelle Esserwein's students made these fun acrostics to show off their safety knowledge.
Quarter 2 Preview PL Night
Elementary and middle school teachers joined us on September 15th for our Quarter 2 preview PL night.
Science at Chalker ES
Students in Mrs. Kraeger's class take their fingerprints as part of a forensics unit.
Quarter 2 Preview PL Night
Fall in Love with Science Competitions
Those schools participating in the science fair can find many new resources on our website (ES website: http://www.ccsdscience.com/k-5.html and MS/HS website: http://www.ccsdscience.com/6-12.html) . Middle and high school teachers in particular will benefit from our overview video of GSEF required forms that we also require at our Cobb-Paulding regional fair (http://bit.ly/2dRlN8j). Many of these forms have to be filled out prior to experimentation, so make sure you and your students are aware of all requirements. Projects involving human subjects (even for surveys), animals, and/or biologically hazardous substances need many additional forms and follow strict rules from ISEF. Remember that the elementary school fair will join with the 6-12 fair this year. Elementary fair participants do not need to worry about GSEF forms since GSEF is only open to students in grades 6-12. All schools should hold their school fair prior to January 27th, 2017.
Professional Learning Opportunities
New Science Standards
Join us virtually in early November for our first webinar regarding the new standards. This 40-minute overview will introduce you to the major changes and new expectations of the standards. Check our website (www.ccsdscience.com) or Twitter (@cobbscience) for the date and Blackboard Collaborate link, available in mid-October.
Elementary, middle and high school teachers can participate in a grade-band specific, hands-on workshop to experience changes in instruction required by the new standards, tentatively set for November 2nd at Hawthorne OR Big Shanty ES. Our hope in offering two locations is to increase teacher attendance.
Quarter 3 Preview for Elementary School Teachers
New Digital Badge for 6-12 Teachers: Using Models to Teach Science
Since the badge is an online learning experience, you can work at your own pace, doing however much or little at a time as you wish. Additionally, badges are competency-driven, meaning that if you already know a lot about modeling, you can skip any coursework you have already mastered and exhibit your knowledge on the assessments, allowing you to move through the badge more quickly. Earning a badge is a great artifact for TKES!
PLC's might be interested in working through this badge together, discussing one or two articles per week before individuals break out to take their own assessments, and collaborating to write modeling lessons.
Find the badge in our 6-12 Science Blackboard Shell, along with our other offerings: Understanding Digital Badges, Critical Thinking Skills in the Science Classroom (a three-part series with examples in the earth, life, and physical science classroom), and Twitter Titan.
Mableton Elementary Earns Cobb STEM Certification
Mableton joins these other Cobb STEM Certified Schools:
Brumby Elementary, Cooper Middle School, Floyd Middle School, Ford Elementary, Hightower Trail Middle, Kennesaw Mtn. High School, Pope High School, Tritt Elementary, Wheeler High School
Instructional Strategy Focus
Using Models in the Science Classroom
S8P4f. Develop and use a model (e.g., simulations, graphs, illustrations) to predict and describe the relationships between wave properties (e.g., frequency, amplitude, and wavelength) and energy
SC2d. Develop and use models to evaluate bonding configurations from nonpolar covalent to ionic bonding.
As seen in the examples above, the new Georgia Standards of Excellence place a heavy emphasis on students making models of scientific concepts. A scientific model represents objects, phenomena, and physical processes in a consistent and logical way. A model can predict and/or explain. But what qualifies as a model?
Examples of models include:
-3-D structures/physical representations
All models have limitations and it is important for students to recognize and explain them. Both teachers and students will need practice in understanding and utilizing models as we implement the GSE. Students' skills in using models will progress through the grade bands (http://ngss.nsta.org/Practices.aspx?id=2).
Please participate in our new digital badge, Using Models to Teach Science, for an exceptional learning experience written by Walton High School teacher Amanda Edwards. This badge is found in the 6-12 Science Blackboard shell.
Review Quiz, PacMan Style
Gamify your review sessions with a customized quiz game from www.classtools.net. The game runs like ordinary PacMan except when PacMan is eaten by a ghost, students must answer questions to gain an extra life.
This weekly science podcast for kids 6-12 years old tackles a puzzling, student-submitted science question. Experts from appropriate fields provide the answers, exposing students to STEM careers.
Graph Club 2.0
This graphing software from Scholastic has to be purchased but is an excellent tool for the elementary classroom. Students make the transition from graphing with manipulatives to graphing in the abstract by creating their own graphs and learning how to interpret and compare data in multiple formats.