SPOTLIGHT ON CLASSROOM MATERIALS & FIELD TRIP PLANNING
Elementary Materials Update: A big task of our department is to remove arguably the biggest barrier for teaching science: materials. We are working with 25 schools at a time to rebuild their FOSS kits. This means that teachers are inventorying what is missing, and placing orders with our department. These schools will continue to inventory their kits yearly so that we can order replacement consumable materials. By the end of the 2015-16 year, we expect all SFUSD elementary schools to have rebuilt FOSS kits. Please contact Leah Plack at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about this process for your individual site.
Looking for materials for your classroom? There are a variety of places to get free or reduced-cost general supplies and science specific materials for your classroom. In addition to the locations listed below, Craigslist, garage sales, and your family/friends may have items that you can repurpose. Use the power of social media to connect with people looking to donate to your Donor's Choose campaign, office supplies, or their old laptop/tablet.
- Donors Choose - sign up for free, create a project/supplies list worth up to $400, and get funded by people looking to support students and teachers! Use these key terms to increase your success: Common Core, Science Literacy, Next Generation of Science Standards, STEM , STEAM. Check out partner funding that fill automatically fund part of your project. They also offer $2 for every $1 donated deals frequently if you are signed up for their emails.
- The Daly Ralston Resource Center at UCSF Parnassus (100 Medical Center Way, (415) 514-0585, Mon-Fri, 3-5:30pm or by appointment) is a FREE lending library that houses more than 3,000 science materials for hands-on science and health lessons including "kits" (a lesson in a box), preserved organs, models, microscopes and other equipment.
- The resource center at SEPAL (Science Education Partnership & Assessment Laboratory, 415-338-6968) at SFSU loans out hands-on, minds-on science education materials, such as books, videos, equipment, models, specimens, charts and posters, slides, and activity kits.
- Excess Access is a San Francisco-based online facilitator linking surplus to need. Free to post a wishlist and connect with donors.
- RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching) collects surplus materials from companies and repurposes them into super inexpensive educator supplies and standards-aligned activity kits at their Redwood City (open Wed, Thurs, Sat) and San Jose (open Tues-Sat) locations. You must be a member.
- SCRAP is a non-profit creative reuse center, materials depot, and workshop space that has many items available for cheap. They also do educator giveaways on the first Saturday of the month from 1 to 4pm, October, November, December, February, March and April. You can also donate leftover supplies to them.
- East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse was created by teachers for teachers to acquire classroom supplies at a low cost. Sign up for their free membership to get 10% off purchases and hear about free weekly giveaways.
- Bio-Link Equipment Depot collects donations from biotech and other local companies to give away to educators for free at their open houses. Next one is Sat, Oct. 11.
Field Trips: Science instruction can really come to life when students leave the classroom for museums, outdoor spaces, special events and more. Now is a great time to schedule field trips for your classroom. Our department has prepared resources for teachers to plan their field trips. Please visit our Field Trips folder on Google Drive (t.sfusd.edu login required) to learn more, including field trip location ideas, sample checklists, and agendas.