Cobb Science

September News and Notes

3-D Science Implementation: A Focus on Phenomena

As we begin Year 2 of our new science standards implementation, our main focus will be on incorporating phenomena into lessons. We encourage you to check out the GSTA Phenomenon Bank ( to search for relevant phenomena to use in your classroom. The bank is searchable by grade, standard, and element. There are also many additional resources to explore why and how to use phenomena in your lessons.

Vernier is offering FREE posters featuring the Science and Engineering Practices and Crosscutting Concepts. To order posters for your classroom, visit this link:

Science Fair Informational Meeting (Virtual)

Are you interested in sending students to the Cobb-Paulding Regional Science Fair on February 9th? Please attend this virtual session on September 6th to find out how to advance students from your local school fair to the regional fair.

Elementary schools will meet from 3:30-4:00 using this link:

Middle/High schools will meet from 4:45-5:30 using this link:

Dodgen-Walton Middle School Science Olympiad Invitational

The Dodgen & Walton Science Olympiad Teams cordially invite you to participate in the Dodgen-Walton Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament for Middle School teams on Saturday, November 10, 2018. The Tournament will be held at Walton High School, 1590 Bill Murdock Road, Marietta GA 30062.

Schools may send one team and all 23 events will be run. Experienced schools will be asked to sign up for and run at least one event per team. This will include making the test and providing for all necessary supplies, tools, people, paper tests & key copies for teams, etc. needed to run the event. Medals and team trophies will only be awarded for the written test events. For the building events, we are encouraging the students to bring their prototype devices to run in a tournament to gain experience in preparation for their regional tournaments. The courses will be set up per the rules and judges/experienced coaches will be available for the students to talk with regarding their devices and the events.

Please complete the registration form at the following link before September 14: . The invitational committee will send you an email by September 24th letting you know if your team is included in the invitational or on a waiting list. Last year spaces filled quickly. The cost of the tournament is $75 per team and payment is due by October 1st, with no refunds given after that date. Please do not send payment until you receive a confirmation email. Your confirmation e-mail will include payment details as well as a link to the invitational website with the schedule and other tournament information.

Professional Learning Opportunities

8th Grade and Biology PL Cohorts

Are you an 8th grade or biology teacher looking for an in-depth professional learning opportunity? We will be offering year-long cohorts for these two courses. Each cohort will meet face-to-face four times throughout the year in addition to completing a 2-3 hour asynchronous PL Course in CTLS Teach each semester. Sessions will be taught by teacher leaders and local professors and aim to increase participants' content and pedagogical knowledge, all while providing valuable collaboration opportunities.

8th Grade Dates:

October 9th, December 4th, February 12th, and April 30th (all sessions 5:15-6:45 at Lindley MS)

Register here by October 1st.

Biology Dates:

October 8th, December 3rd, February 11th, and April 29th (all sessions 4:45-6:15 at Pebblebrook HS)

Register here by October 1st.

Teacher Spotlight

This month we highlight Khaia Smith, 4th grade teacher at Birney Elementary. She is using technology to effectively flip her science instruction. Read on for more about her journey:

"Anyone who has taught in a Title I elementary school knows there simply isn’t enough time to teach everything in depth. A few years ago, I’d attempted a flipped classroom where students use technology at home to learn and return to school with a background knowledge allowing for deeper exploration in class. To say the least, my first flipped classroom attempt was a flop. I found it challenging to keep up with students’ learning. Luckily, as teachers we reflect, revise, and try again. With the introduction of Microsoft’s 365 Notebook and Teams, I decided to give having a flipped classroom another try. While I’ve had my share of growing pains, this has been the best revision for my class this year.

At the start of my first flipped unit, I created a Science Section within Notebook. I was able to embed videos, pictures, and websites to aide student learning. Students unpacked the standards, explored vocabulary, and created a video explaining their understanding. Once students had a grasp of the standard and upcoming vocabulary, I used videos and Digital Lessons from our new Science instructional resource to further their understanding. I was even able to use the students’ workbook to differentiate instruction.

To troubleshoot for students who don’t have access to technology at home, I surveyed families at the beginning of the year to find out who has access to smartphones, iPads, or computers at home. The vast majority do have access to technology at home, but even if they do not, students are able to work on their flipped assignments during morning work (40 minutes) or during “Independent Study” (20 minutes). There is also a built in Content Center during our school day where students are able to do hands on demonstrations, modeling, etc.

The best part of this experience thus far has been watching students become excited to show what they know. Each Science unit starts with a performance task. In our first unit, students were able to create presentations for 2nd graders answering the essential questions. Some worked alone, while others worked a partner. Students being able to work on their project in different locations was very helpful. Any time a student squealed with excitement that they were finished I’d first ask if they’d answered all of the essential questions. Some students were unsure and would race back to their seat to check. Others were confident, and I’d sit down to have a coaches conference with them. Rather me telling them what they didn’t do right, I would asking guiding questions that would bring them to their own insights for improvement. In a number of instances, there were minor corrections of misunderstanding that were easily addressed.

In the end, it’s been a joy working on this flipped classroom and using Microsoft 365 to help manage the process. If I had to give one reflection point, I would give students a deadline for each of their four tasks. While some were self-motivated to move through the process efficiently, others needed a reminder of being timely. My students and I are looking forward to our next flipped classroom experience using Microsoft 365."

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Digital Tools


Assessing 3-D Learning in Grades 6-12

Monday, Sep. 17th, 8:30am

1870 Teasley Drive

Smyrna, GA

This workshop will provide opportunities for secondary science teachers and instructional leaders to explore and evaluate the three-dimensional nature of sample assessment items from multiple sources, learn about and practice the process of developing three-dimensional learning targets, understand and apply universal design to developing 3D selected response items, and use the assessment development cycle to develop student assessments. In addition, participants will explore possible sources of assessment items to use as they continue to develop GSE-aligned assessments. Cost $199

Toshiba America Foundation Science and Math Improvement Grants

Monday, Oct. 1st, 9pm

This is an online event.

Teachers of grades K-5 should apply by October 1st for a grant of up to $1,000 to support innovative classroom project ideas in science and math. The foundation also provides grants for teachers of grades 6-12. For those grades, requests of $5,000 or less are accepted year round.

Assessing 3-D Science Learning in Grades 3-5

Wednesday, Oct. 17th, 8:30am

1870 Teasley Drive

Smyrna, GA

GSE aligned instruction provides many opportunities for teachers to observe and record evidence of student learning. Assessment tasks comprised of multiple components reflect the connections between the DCIs, crosscutting concepts, and science and engineering practices found in the new science GSE. This workshop will provide opportunities for grades 3-5 science teachers to explore and evaluate sample three-dimensional assessment tasks from multiple sources, learn about and practice the process of developing three-dimensional assessments, and develop assessments that support 3-dimensional instruction. In addition, participants will explore possible sources of assessment items to use as they continue to develop GSE-aligned assessments. Cost: $199