Full Option Science System (FOSS) can be taught inside or outside of the classroom
All teachers at Carthay should be equipped with FOSS kits. These FOSS kits integrate well with the Environmental Studies focus at Carthay, are aligned with new standards, can be used outdoors to take advantage of Carthay's Garden, and may provide a good foundation for a class poster for the Carthay Science Fair in May.
The FOSS Program bridges research and practice by providing tools and strategies to engage students and teachers in enduring experiences that lead to deep understanding of the natural and designed worlds.
The best way for students to appreciate the scientific enterprise, learn important scientific and engineering concepts, and develop the ability to think well is to actively in scientific practices through their own investigations and analyses.
Each FOSS Investigation includes the following pedagogies to provide multiple exposures to science concepts:
- Active investigation, including outside experiences
- Recording in science notebooks to answer focus questions
- Reading in FOSS Science Resources
- Assessment to monitor progress and motivate student reflection on learning.
There are videos available online HERE to help teachers plan for each FOSS module.
You may need to download a new Adobe Flashplayer in order to watch the videos. Just click on the Adobe Flashplayer link, and then click on the Install Now button.
You may also want to pour yourself a big cup of coffee before watching the videos. They are very informative, but the narration is also very relaxing...
Project Based Learning Resources
Resources to help plan for project-based learning are available from The Buck Institute for Education (BIE). BIE resources are used by teacher training programs including UCLA's Center X. The following video comes from BIE:
Recommended EEI videos and information
- Introduction to EEI (short video)
- Replacement strategy - how EEI fits into the current curriculum (short video)
- Testimonial by teacher and children using EEI (short video)
- Sample EEI lessons in practice (two ten-minute videos, a 2nd grade science lesson and a 4th grade social studies lesson)
- How EEI fits well with STAR Garden Science and other experiential learning opportunities (short video)
- How Project Learning Tree, Project WET, and Project WILD Activity Guides fit into the EEI Model Curriculum:
- The EEI curriculum, by grade level (list with links - includes all of the unit components, including info cards, ABC cards, workbooks, visual aids, Common Core correlation guides, etc. - find your grade level and start clicking!)
- Other resources that can supplement/complement EEI activities and lessons (lists with links)
- How EEI supports Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
- EEI has a small number of recorded webinars available online:
- A 2nd grade science unit, "Cycle of Life" (38 minutes)
- A 3rd grade science unit, "Structures for Survival in a Healthy Ecosystem" (60 minutes)
- A 4th grade social studies unit, "Witnessing the Gold Rush" (60 minutes)
- Although grade-specific webinars for K, 1st, and 5th aren't available online now, all of the webinars explain how EEI builds on Common Core standards, how it is easily incorporated into a teacher's lesson plan, a summary of free materials provided, how the materials are designed to be useful to English language learners, etc. Completing one training qualifies the teacher, after completing a post-training survey, to receive whatever unit they wish (see questions below)
- The EEI webinars are recorded in Windows Media format. You can play these webinars on a Macintosh if you download VLC.
- Or, one of the Gold Rush unit is available HERE in a format that can be loaded and played on Apple, Android, or Windows computers & devices.
- Live EEI webinars are available once per month online.
Recorded Webinar: EEI and Common Core with a focus on EEI 4th grade history/social science unit "Witnessing the Gold Rush"
Click HERE to watch the 60 minute webinar in a format that is compatible with Apple or Android devices without any additional software downloads necessary. The narration begins after 30 seconds or so. The webinar starts with a brief history of EEI, then an explanation of how EEI builds on the Common Core standards and is easily incorporated into a teacher's lesson plan (replaces other lessons in textbooks), summarizes some of the free materials provided, and then goes through the unit, including primary sources and interactive experimental activities.
When you click the link, the file will download on your computer or device, and then you should be able to play it using your media player. This file should be compatible with Apple, Android, or Windows computers/devices. The resolution in this copy of the webinar is not as good as the original. If you want higher resolution to see the full beauty of the visuals, go to the original source:
This and other recorded webinars are available at http://www.californiaeei.org/Training/Webinars/default.htm . These webinars are in wmv format, which is a Windows media player format. You can play these webinars on a Macintosh if you download VLC.
Answers to EEI Logistical Questions
QUESTION: What materials will teachers receive when they complete a webinar training?
ANSWER: Once trained, a teacher will receive a unit of their choice (it does not need to be the unit covered in the webinar) after completing a post-training survey. Receiving a unit means the teacher will receive all of the materials needed to teach the class - teacher's edition, student workbooks for the entire class, student readers for the entire class, dictionaries, information cards, visual aids, etc. After doing an online webinar, a teacher can receive materials for one unit of their choice (any grade level), after they have completed a post-training survey.
QUESTION: How much does the online training cost? How much do the class materials cost?
ANSWER: The training is free. The class materials are also free of charge for the entire class.
QUESTION: When can Carthay teachers receive live training in EEI?
ANSWER: Kirk Amato, Environmental Education Specialist, along with an EEI Teacher Ambassador, has offered to come to Carthay to do a free 90-minute training, including sample lessons, that would be appropriate for all teachers K-5. A training is being arranged for Fall 2014. The 90-minute live training is free of charge.
QUESTION: What materials will teachers receive when they complete the live training?
ANSWER: Once trained, a teacher will receive one unit of their choice after completing the post-training survey. Receiving a unit means they receive all of the materials needed to teach the class - teacher's edition, student workbooks, student readers, dictionaries, information cards, etc.
QUESTION: Can teachers receive replacement materials in the following years? How much will they cost?
ANSWER: Every year, if a teacher wants to teach the same unit, they are able to order additional consumable materials (student sets). At this time the additional consumable materials (student sets) in future years are offered at no charge.
Instructional Technology Resources
Click here for the Instructional Technology website for LAUSD's ESC-West.
There are resources for Research, Collaboarative Writing, Multimedia, Math Problem Solving, Language Development, and Challenge Based Learning.
There are links with instructions to use technology to do Interactive Writing, Narrated Art, Radio Shows, Narrated Slideshows, Puppet Videos, and more!
Carthay's Single Plan for Student Achievement, 2014-2016
Nature Works Everywhere Lesson Plans, Garden Guides, and Videos from the Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy has partnered with organizations including one of Carthay's Garden sponsors, the Environmental Media Association, to develop Nature Works Everywhere to help students learn the science behind how nature works for us—and how we can help keep it running strong.
Nature Works Everywhere gives teachers, students and families everything they need to start exploring and understanding nature around the globe alongside Nature Conservancy scientists—interactive games, and interactive lesson plans that align to standards and can be customized for each classroom.
Lesson plans for a variety of topics, from "How Dirt Works" to "Urban Trees" to "The Value of Ecotourism" are available HERE. Many of these lesson plans are targeted toward middle schools, so may be of limited use. However, each lesson plan has a brief (4-5 minutes) video about the topic, which may be useful when teaching related topics to elementary school students. There are also brief videos that introduce the viewer to Nature Conservancy scientists, and a number of Garden Guides.
Using IPADS with EEI
When teachers complete a unit of training, either on the online webinar or in the live training scheduled in September, the teacher will receive all of the materials they will need (teacher's guide, readers for every student, workbooks for every student, dictionaries, flash cards, visual aids, etc.) for a complete unit of their choice. Teachers might want to substitute or complement some of the printed material with digital material. An EEI Teacher Ambassador has done the research to facilitate using iPads when teaching EEI, for teachers who chose to do so:
Our own Mr. Alvarez found many iPad Apps that could also be utilized for Environmental Education:
- WWF Together
- The Water Cycle
- Zoe makes a splash!
- Four Seasons.
- Top ten Apps for taking technology outdoors
Teach the EEI Curriculum with State Parks!
State Parks present a wealth of opportunities to enrich learning both in the classroom and out in the parks.In depth background, colorful maps, photos, video clips, and live video-conferencing in your classroom are available. Field studies in our magnificent natural or cultural parks become unforgettable first-hand experiences.
There are links for a list of park connections to EEI units, by grade level, starting in Kindergarten.
See here for information about field trips to state parks, distance learning opportunities to bring the park into your classroom (see video below), a guide to environmental education programs in state parks, and service learning opportunities.
EEI-Aligned Teacher Guides and Online Courses from National Geographic!
The National Geographic Environmental Literacy Teacher Guides prepare upper elementary and middle school teachers to cover critical environmental topics in their classrooms. The guides provide content background for teachers, focusing especially on concepts that are challenging for students to learn. Each guide is focused on a single topic: climate, ocean, energy, or freshwater. The guides are aligned to both the California Standards and the EEI Model Curriculum.
Water: The Essential Resource is a free massive open online course that aims to increase environmental education in Grades 4-8 classrooms across the state of California in support of the Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI). The course provides support for teachers by providing them with content and instructional strategies. Sign up here if you would like to be notified when registration opens again.
Audubon Environmental Education Resources
Designed for teachers and students in grades 3 - 5, Audubon Adventures offers top-quality nonfiction material from the environmental experts at the National Audubon Society. With captivating hands-on activities, students learn that we all have a personal stake in the health of the environment and play an important role in its preservation and improvement.
This year, we are proud to introduce our new website, audubonadventures.org, which provides a number of dynamic resources for both teachers and students.
Explore the Natural World With Your Class with Audubon Adventures
Now you can bring the natural world into your classroom and connect kids to the environment. Designed for teachers and students in grades 3 - 5,Audubon Adventures offers top quality nonfiction material from the environmental experts at the National Audubon Society.
With captivating hands-on activities, students learn that we all have a personal stake in the health of the environment and play an important role in its preservation and improvement.
Your exclusive FREE gift when you order an Audubon Adventures classroom kit: membership in the National Audubon Society including a full year ofAudubon magazine. (Value $35.)
Available starting in September 2013:
NEW! "Sharing Our World With Birds!"
These materials can be used across the curriculum and include correlations to Common Core Language Arts Standards and Next Generation Science Education Standards. You will also receive student assessment material.
Student Magazines. You will receive 4 separate magazine sets (32 of each). Each set has vibrant photos and lively illustrations that bring the natural world to life right in your classroom. This year's titles:
- Seabirds: Feathered Ocean Travelers (starring Project Puffin)
- Hooray For Hummingbirds!
- Raptors: The Birds of Prey
- Caring For Our Planet: Join in the Action
Educator Resource Materials. You will receive Classroom Guides and online resources for each magazine. This format will help you easily navigate your way through each topic and present the material to students in an appealing way.
- Step-by-step teaching plan for the topic
- Instructions for hands-on activities with easy-to-remove reproducible pages
- Background facts and information
- Interactive student assessments
- Plus - glossary words, recommended resources, and correlations to national language arts and science standards.
For more information and to order call: 800-340-6546 or email