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

CaMSP May 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 and Cohort 11 STEM projects.

Thank you to Cohort 11 Project Directors!—Public Works has scheduled a site visit to all of the partnerships in May. We look forward to meeting with you again and your core team to learn about your professional development plans and to finalize the local evaluation plan. Your CDE monitor is aware of these dates and if travel allows, will be in attendance.

Evaluation News for May:

Cohort 9 and 10: Please have your teachers complete the CaMSP teacher survey as soon as possible. We'd like to close out the survey no later than mid-May. We are shooting for at least a 70% response rate! Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions on the teacher survey.
Cohort 10 and 11: The Teacher Content Assessment Administration (Science or LMT) is open May 1 to the first day of intensive training this summer. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have not already done so with the dates or timeframe in which you plan to administer the assessment to participating teachers.

Cohort 11 Project Directors and any *New* Cohort 10 Project Directors: Public Works has recorded two Webinars with background and proctoring information about the Public Works-developed Teacher Content Assessment for Science (TCAS) and the Learning Mathematics for Teaching (LMT). Once you have scheduled the dates with Albert, he will send you this information so that you can get started with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (science) and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (LMT), your contacts for assessment materials at ERC.

Cohort 10 YTD's and Evaluation Reports: Please provide us with any feedback on the local evaluation report we sent in March as soon as you can. We are in the process of collecting any additional data from the spring for the next draft of the report, which will be submitted along with the July YTD.

West Contra Costa STEM-West Project

Images of animated truncated icosahedrons dance across the screen during Phil Gonsalves' (Senior Director of Mathematics, Science, and STEM) keynote presentation at the Mathematics and Science Professional Development Saturday Session on March 14. Using these Platonic solids as an example Phil explains, "Everyone, teachers, parents, and students can always learn more about mathematics." The presentation ends with a countdown to the "Pi Second," which occurs only once a century. The exact time at 3/14/15 at 9:26:53 corresponds to the first 10 digits of Pi (Pi ≈ 3.141592653)! The event hosted over 200 teachers and administrators and is sponsored by both the West Contra Costa Mathematics Coaching Consortium, and STEM-West. After the keynote presentation, participants attended grade-level and content specific mathematics and science workshops presented by the mathematics and science coaches. There were over 15 workshop choices for Grades K-12.

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Coachella Project Prototype

How did you arrive to the idea for your project? What inspired you?

The beginnings for Project Prototype can be traced to a Cohort 1 CaMSP grant that joined together Coachella Valley USD, Desert Sands USD, Palm Springs USD, California State University San Bernardino, College of the Desert and the K-12 Alliance to study pedagogy and science content. This Cohort 1 CaMSP grant built LEA and IHE partnerships that lead to future valley wide math and science collaborations and on projects like the Environmental Expo, Coachella Valley Science Fair Expo, and the KidWind Challenge.

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Stephen Pruitt Talks about the Top 10 Things He's Learned About the NGSS

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What has NGSS taught you? This excerpt from Stephen Pruitt's presentation at NSTA's 2015 National Conference in Chicago: "The Top 10 Things I Learned in 2014." With his trademark wit and wisdom, Pruitt describes lessons learned from his work with states on NGSS adoption and implementation. His message will resonate with teacher and administrators, in adoption and non-adoption states alike, as they think about how to transform science instruction in their own classrooms and schools.

Integrating Programming with Core Curriculum

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Adding another class to teach computer science is just not a feasible option for most schools, time is a valuable commodity.  Some educators are looking at integrating coding and other parts of computer science into their core curriculum.  Teaching coding will encourage more students to pursue computer science-focused jobs, but it also supports students learning of higher order thinking skills in all areas.  Coding empowers students to apply, create, and solidify content knowledge in a fun and engaging way.  Programing related activities can make math fun and immediately applicable to students’ lives, making them invested learners. 


Thinking about Alternative Procedures and Algorithms for Computation

(Excerpt from "Building Support for School Mathematics: Handbook for Working with Parents and the Public by R. Parker and J. Akers-Mitchell, Heinemann, 2006) 

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 Many of us, as students, were taught that there is one right algorithm for solving mathematics operations, when in fact there are many different ways of solving, some more efficient than others. The problem with only teaching the algorithm, and not the conceptual understanding behind the concept, is that often the algorithm often obscures place value relationships and can interfere with developing the child's ability to reason with numbers. There is substantial evidence that children are lacking in their understanding and reasoning skills in math and when given frequent, multiple opportunities to solve problems independent of the standard algorithm their critical thinking skills improve and often lead to a deeper understanding as to why the algorithm works.