Science Newsletter

September 21, 2015

State Assessment Committees

Please apply! The state tests will only be as good as the people on the committees!!!

The Office of Assessments at the State Department of Education is seeking recommendations for highly qualified educators to participate in the upcoming Grades 3-8 and End–of-Instruction (EOI) Oklahoma Core Curriculum Tests (OCCT) Content/Bias Review committees.

Committees for Science will be held on November 16th-19th and December 8th-11th. Educators will be asked to commit to one of the committees either in November or December, but not both. Educators must be able to attend all four days in order to be considered. Science educator’s currently teaching 5th grade, 8th grade, Biology, ELL or special education is preferred. Nominees that are asked to participate on committees will receive a communication from the OCCT Program Management Team providing them with more information.

This is time sensitive so nominate a science educator or nominate yourself today! This will also place your name on a list for future committees.

Nomination Form Link:

OKSci Leadership Applications Being Accepted

Attention: OKSci/OKMath Leadership Program Application Deadline Extended:

Applications for Class 2 of the OKSci/OKMath Leadership Program are being extended! If you haven’t heard about this exciting program, check out the post about it at or ask questions in this group and see what Oklahoma science teachers who’ve graduated from the program have to say about their experiences.

The deadline for applications will close September 29th at 5:00 p.m.

Notification of selections will be completed by October 6th. To find out more about the program and to apply go to

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Do me a favor, wouldja?

Please check with your colleagues to make sure that they are receiving my newsletters. If they are not, it means that they are not on my mailing list and will miss out on valuable information throughout the year. The list has been completely revamped since last year, so even if somebody received the newsletters last year, there is a chance they could be deleted from this year's list. Thanks!
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Get connected!

Before you continue reading, drop what you are doing and rush over to Facebook to join our EPS science communities! They are #EPSsciSecondary and #EPSsciK-8. (Middle school teachers, you get to belong to TWO fabulous communities!) This is a space for you to ask questions and share resources and ideas.

And for those of you Tweeters (Twitterers?), you can connect with other EPS science teachers using the hash tag #EPSstem. I would also encourage you to use this hashtag to show off all of the cool things that are going on in your class! And don't forget to follow the official EPS science page @EPSscience while you're there.

There might be random awesome gifts given to frequent social media users. (hint, hint)

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Updated curriculum documents

The following curriculum documents are located in the appropriate folder on the R drive:

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More Rocks in Your Head Workshop

One day workshop for teaching Earth Science

Grades 3-8 + HS Earth Science

Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015

8:30 AM to 3:30 PM

Hyatt Regency Tulsa

100 E 2nd St, Tulsa, OK 74103

Participants Receive:

•“More! Rocks in Your Head” Classroom-Ready Manual with hands-on projects, G/T, cross-curricular ideas

•Great Rock and Mineral Teaching Samples

•“ENERGIZE Your Future” Career Guide Book

•“Oil and Natural Gas” Hard-Cover Book

•“Hunt for Fossil Fuels” oil exploration game

•Tapestry of Time and Terrain geologic map of USA

• Certificate for 6 CPE



See attached flyer for more information.

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Engage AP Workshop

What is it?

o A training event that includes 24 different 1-day AP® and Pre-AP content/strategies workshops presented by College Board consultants for Oklahoma public school teachers

o A training event that focuses on middle school and high school English, math, social studies, science, art, and world languages teachers

o A training event that includes a session specifically designed for adminstrators who want to build strong AP programs

When/where is it?

o October 7-9, 2015

o Metro Tech Springlake Campus in OKC

Special Note

o Space is limited, so register early to ensure your spot.

Click here for more information and to register for this event

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Project WET Workshop

Do you want your students to know more about water? Then join the Oklahoma Green Schools Program as we learn about the water on our planet.

Participants will be certified in Project WET and receive the Curriculum and Activity Guide 2.0 which features 64 field-tested activities for K-12.

You will also learn how to investigate the source, cost, and quality of your school's water supply, and ways to conserve water using Project Learning Tree’s GreenSchools! Water Investigation.

Topics covered include:

 Water Cycle

 Watersheds

 Water and Nature

 Water Availability

 Water Accessibility

 Water Quality

 Water Users

 Water Infrastructure

 Water Cost

 Your Water Use

 School Water Use

Saturday, September 12, 2015, from 9:00am - 4:00pm. At Up With Trees

1102 S Boston Ave, Tulsa, Ok 74119

 Wednesday, October 28, 2015, from 9:00am - 4:00pm. At Will Rogers Gardens

Garden Exhibition Center,

3400 NW 36th Street, OKC, 73112

Cost is $20, scholarships available.

Lunch will be provided. Spots are limited.

Register by September 4, 2015 for Tulsa or by October 16, 2015 for OKC


Questions: Sara Ivey (405) 702-7122

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Oklahoma Educators Evolve!- A workshop presented by OCCC

Oklahoma Educators Evolve!

What is Oklahoma Educators Evolve?

Oklahoma Educators Evolve is a collaborative project undertaken by professional informal science educators and enthusiastic volunteers in the state of Oklahoma. We are students, researchers, educators, museum professionals, and scientists at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City Community College. Based on a year of preliminary qualitative research, we have determined that elementary and middle school educators in Oklahoma are not feeling totally comfortable with or ready for the new Oklahoma Academic Standards. We have heard many stories from teachers who have not had any experience teaching science, are not interested in teaching science, are resistant to teaching science, or face other obstacles in scientific understanding and teaching.

With this project, we aim to provide you with a deeper understanding of various scientific concepts, as well as many activities that you can use to easily convey complicated science concepts to your students. Here are our goals:

  1. Engage primary school teachers in the life sciences and earth sciences;
  2. Talk with teachers about science experiences;
  3. Introduce useful Nature of Science concepts to teachers of all subjects;
  4. Work with teachers to create OAS-aligned lesson plans, complete with all materials necessary to take the lessons back to their classrooms;
  5. Send teachers back to work feeling confident and excited about doing and teaching science in their classrooms.

How will we achieve these goals?

We have secured funding from the Paleontological Society to bring Oklahoma educators together for an intensive, FREE workshop in hands-on science teaching. We invite all Oklahoma public school educators who teach grades K-8 to attend the workshop and become more confident as teachers of science. Even if you are not required to teach science in your classroom, there is much to be learned from using real fossils and other objects in your lesson plans.

When is the workshop?

The first set of workshops will occur on two separate dates. Workshop A will be held on Saturday, October 17th , we will be collecting fossils at White Mound in Sulphur, Oklahoma. White Mound represents a shallow, warm-water environment that was rich with animal life during the Devonian time period. We will not need heavy tools (like rock hammers and chisels) to collect an abundance of awesomely preserved fossils! For this portion of the work shop, we will meet at the University of Oklahoma, and caravan to the collecting site.

Workshop B will occur on Saturday, October 24th . This portion of the workshop will take place at OCCC’s Family and Community Education Center (FACE center). The FACE center is located at 6500 S. Land Ave, Oklahoma City OK 73159. We will meet at 9:00am and examine topics such as the nature of science, biological concepts, and paleontology in great detail. We will provide you with a foundation for these concepts, as well as provide you with a variety of ways to successfully teach these topics in your classroom. Participants will leave this workshop with their very own classroom collection of fossils and fossil casts with which to enjoy science learning with their students!

How much does it cost to participate in Oklahoma Educators Evolve?

Nothing! This workshop is absolutely free! You will keep all of the fossils you collect, the casts that you make, as well as all of the materials and supplies we provide for you! You only need to pack a lunch when we go fossil collecting at White Mound on October 17th.

Who may attend Oklahoma Educators Evolve?

This workshop is designed for elementary and middle school teachers. However, if you teach high school and you really want to attend, contact Janessa or Kristi, and we’ll see if we can make an exception.

How do I sign up for Oklahoma Educators Evolve?

Click the link below to register. We will email you some additional information about what you need to know to collect fossils at White Mound, as well as more details about Part B of the workshop.

Register here:

I’ve never been fossil collecting, and it sounds complicated…can a newbie like me be successful in the field?

Absolutely! The beauty of White Mound is that it’s very user friendly! There are fossils everywhere, and as long as you have your eyes open, you’re guaranteed to find a lot of really neat fossils.

What if I can only attend one of scheduled Saturday sessions?

We understand that you are very busy. To get the most out of Oklahoma Educators Evolve, we encourage you to attend both sessions. However, if you simply cannot (despite your best efforts), it is okay to just sign up for one or the other. We recommend attending the October 24th session if you can only attend one.

Will I earn professional development hours for attending these workshops?

Yes! At the completion of the workshop, we will provide you with a certificate showing how many hours of professional development you have earned.

What if I have more questions?

You can email Kristi Carlucci at, or call her at 405-682-1611 x 7205. You can also email Janessa Doucette at

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SOAR Guide Planning Meetings

Biology: October 26th, 8:30-3:30 Oklahoma A (all teachers invited)

8th Grade: October 27th, 8:30-3:30, Oklahoma A (all teachers invited)

Bring teachers guides, a copy of the OASS standards for your grades, and other resources used at your grade level

The district will pay for subs

Oklahoma Science Framework Drafts

Science teachers around the state have been working to develop resources for teachers and districts related to the new Oklahoma Academic Standards for Science. In Phase 1 of the project, twenty K-12 teachers have been working to develop “Framework Overviews”. The Overviews represent how a small group of teachers (Framework Writers) at a given grade-level might bundle performance expectations or standards found in the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Science. Bundling may be a new word, but it certainly isn’t a new concept as it simply implies how teachers would group performance expectations or standards for the purpose of developing instructional units of study.

Once bundled, the Framework Writers were then charged with completing four categories of information that coincided with the bundle of performance expectations or standards.

In - Lay Terms:

This section aims at providing a brief introduction to the goals outlined in the Performance Expectation Bundles.

Three Dimensional Storyline:

This section aims at providing a comprehensive storyline of how the three dimensions represented in the Performance Expectation Bundles intertwine to support students engaging in science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts and disciplinary core ideas.

Lesson Level Performance Expectations:

This section aims at providing scaffolding three-dimensional learning targets that teachers can design instruction around to meet the end goals of the Performance Expectation represented in the bundles.


This section aims at providing research-based misconceptions that students frequently have related to the science concepts (disciplinary core ideas) embedded in the Performance Expectation bundles.

"The vision of the Overviews is to provide a resource for teachers that encourages them to embrace the new standards and implement them effectively in their classrooms. The suggestions provided by the frameworks project do not have to be implemented exactly as they are written and are not required to be a successful teacher, but serve a guide to setting up effective lessons that will help students meet the necessary levels of success in a science classroom.” - Oklahoma Science Project Framework Writer

Keep in mind the Framework Overviews are simply a resource for teachers to assist in planning for instruction. To access the DRAFT Framework Overview Documents go to the following link. The SDE will be publishing these documents in PDF form later this fall, but they wanted to ensure that these resources were accessible as early as possible and they also wanted to provide an opportunity for Oklahoma science teachers to provide feedback on the documents before they are published. You can provide feedback by leaving comments on the Google Documents.

The SDE will continue efforts later this year to provide additional support in the way of instructional exemplars and formative assessments in subsequent phases of the Oklahoma Science Framework Project.

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Getting to Know You, Getting Know All About Robyn Cook

School: North

Subject: Biology

Hobbies: Reading, acting, and gardening

What did you want to be when you were younger? Veterinarian

Have you ever lived in another country? Turkey and Japan

If you could go on an all-expenses paid shopping spree at only one store, which would it be? LOFT!!!

What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time? book club, bird watching

What is the strangest talent that you have? I can train sea lions!

If you could have any one superpower, what would it be? Explain. Teleportation, it'd be nice to get anywhere I want quickly!

Join in the fun! Submit your responses at

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Invite me to your PLCs!

This year, I won't be visiting your PLCs on a monthly basis like I did last year. Instead, I will come when invited. So, please, invite me! Particularly when you have a light agenda; I'll come by and we can work on developing the SOAR guide or benchmark questions!
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Important Dates

  • More Rocks in Your Head workshop: October 3, 8:30-3:30
  • Project WET workshop registration deadline: October 16
  • Biology SOAR Guide Development Meeting: October 26th, 8:30-3:30 Oklahoma A
  • 8th Grade SOAR Guide Development Meeting: October 27th, 8:30-3:30 Oklahoma A
  • Saturday follow-up session: November 14th, 9:00-4:30 EPSAC (Every Day STEM for All participants)
  • Smart Starts: November 17th (first-year teachers)

  • Middle school benchmark windows: October 7-14, December 14-18, March 7-11, May 9-14 (no May benchmark for 8th grade)
  • High school benchmark windows: October 7-14, December 7-11, March 7-11, May 9-14 (no May benchmark for Biology/PreAP Biology)
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