For more information on CaMSP projects, please visit Public Work's website.

CaMSP December/January 2015 Newsletter

CaMSP Evaluation News

pw croppedPublic Works of Pasadena has been selected by CDE as the state evaluator for the CaMSP initiative and is also coordinating local evaluation activities for Cohort 10 STEM projects.

Evaluation News for January:

• Thank you for helping us get the core and regional partner survey administered in December. These results will be shared in early 2015—The CaMSP participating teacher survey to be administered this spring is next up for the statewide evaluation. Public Works will be in contact with project directors regarding the logistics for this survey in February.

• The mid-cycle teacher content assessment administration window opened in November 2014 and will close by the end of January 2015. We appreciate all the effort that project directors have put into organizing and proctoring this assessment. If you have any technical questions or need additional materials, please contact mailto iconThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. regarding the LMT assessment or mailto iconThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of ERC about the science assessment. Information including Webinar recordings and the presentation about proctoring the assessment is available on the Public Works CaMSP Website here external link


California's third largest forest fire, the Rim Fire, burned over 400 square miles and jeopardized nearby Yosemite National Park. Tuolumne SOS's innovative STEM-TRACKS project is using this recently burned area as a research opportunity for their participating teachers. They are using the local environment and this event to develop standards-based integrated STEM replacement units for K-6 instruction that integrate science, technology, engineering, and math.

STEM-TRACKS has 57 participating teachers and includes 16 Core Partners in the rural Sierra Nevada counties of Tuolumne, Calaveras, and Amador and 17 Regional Partners. More detailed information can be found on their external linkprofile page. The project leveraged former MSP projects TCATS and Summit to Sand. Both were successful projects that targeted grades 3 – 8. The new project shares some of the same elements and encompasses grades that were not previously included.

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IDEAS 2.0, Lakeside

A key component of the NGSS and Common Core math is connecting to the practices of these disciplines. Lakeside's IDEAS 2.0 project is accomplishing that goal by connecting teachers to local STEM industries. "What is really exciting is that the teachers are going to see STEM in action while they job shadow STEM professionals," explained Project Director, Cecilia Ochoa. Teachers observe firsthand what practices are used in STEM fields and subsequently what skills their students will need to be successful in these careers.

IDEAS 2.0 is a joint effort of Core Partners Lakeside Union School District, Santee School District, San Diego State College of Science and College of Education, and the K-12 Alliance/WestEd. The project has 59 teacher participants and 11 Regional Partners. Additional information can be found on their external linkprofile page. The Core and Regional partners worked together on a prior MSP, IDEAS, which focused on grades 3-8. The success of that project inspired them to build on their prior work and extend the program to grades K-5.

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Update on the New California K-12 Science Framework

The new California K-12 Science Framework, based upon the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), is moving forward with estimated completion in early 2016. The framework project completion is the responsibility of the Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee (CCFC).

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Smarter Balanced States Approve Achievement Level Recommendations

With input from thousands of educators and community members from across the states, external linkachievement level recommendations have been approved. These achievement levels "help provide a more accurate picture of individual student performance." States will now take this information and formally adopt the achievement levels; this is generally completed through the state board of education.

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Learn to Code, Code to Learn

Mitchel Resnicks external linkarticle explains that Learning to code (computer programming) has many more benefits than just producing a new computer program. In addition to the math and computer knowledge being learned, practiced, and applied, coding provides opportunities for students to organize, problem solve, collaborate, and develop new thinking in the world around them. Coders can not only read computer language, they can write it as well. Understanding this language opens up a new platform for integrating content throughout curricula. Scratch is one such tool developed by a research group at MIT.


Assessment of Mathematical Modeling

A high importance has been placed on students being able to model in mathematics. Modeling is included as one of the Standards for Mathematical Practice and one of the six high school subject areas in the CCSSM. This external linkarticle suggests that modeling should not be taught as an isolated topic; rather it should be integrated throughout the curricula. Teachers face challenges in doing this however, one being how to assess the modeling.