October 2016
Back-to-school is a favorite time of year for Ten Strands and our partners as we reconnect with educators and their students and witness firsthand the results of our collaborative work in classrooms across the state. We’re excited to share updates on our work as we move toward environmental literacy for all California students!

Reaching Major Milestones

Our partnership with the Office of Education and the Environment reached a major milestone in September with more than 10,000 educators teaching the EEI Curriculum and over 1,000,000 student units now being used all over the state!

Also, for the first time in California’s history, the California Board of Education voted to include five key Environmental Principles and Concepts (EP&Cs) as part of the state’s new framework for how to teach history-social science standards. California’s EP&Cs, which state that we depend on, benefit from, and influence the earth’s natural systems are the basic foundation for environmental literacy. We thank our partners at State Education and Environment Roundtable, the Office of Education and the Environment, and the California Department of Education for working with us to diligently pursue and achieve this goal.

Summer Workshops for Educators
Front of mind for many educators is the upcoming implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). We’ve been focused on this work for some time now and this summer we hosted two workshops.
EEI Training Institute
In partnership with the Office of Education and the Environment, Ten Strands brought together more than 40 educators and representatives from California education and environmental agencies to focus on the NGSS. During a three-day intensive, the group explored the three dimensional structure of NGSS using the outdoors as a powerful instructional strategy. They then identified ways the EEI Curriculum and other environmental education resources can be used to create NGSS lessons, and how the Environmental Principles and Concepts can be fully integrated into instruction. This train-the-trainer workshop has proven to be a successful model where experienced educators are able to share best practices, integrate new knowledge, and act as mentors to teachers and share why environment-based education is an effective teaching approach.

San Mateo Environmental Learning Collaborative
We were back in San Mateo for our second summer session. For this year’s San Mateo Environmental Learning Collaborative Ten Strands, SEER, and the San Mateo County Office of Education—STEM Center partnered with local environmental education providers to give teachers the opportunity to create new units for teaching that focus on the Next Generation Science Standards using project-based learning and the local environment as context. Over 50 K–8 teachers participated in the second cohort of the Environmental Learning Collaborative that was funded thanks to the generous support of the Sand Hill Foundation and the Morgan Family Foundation.

Between last year's cohort and this year's, there are now over 140 teachers in San Mateo County teaching NGSS lessons through an environmental lens to more than 5,000 students. 
Our provider partners for the 2016 San Mateo Environmental Learning Collaborative included:



Ideas in Action: Integrating Environmental Literacy into Statewide Education Initiatives

As we mentioned in our July newsletter, Ten Strands provides project leadership and management to the Environmental Literacy Steering Committee responsible for implementing California’s Blueprint for Environmental Literacy. Over the summer, the Steering Committee's six Work Teams focused on solidifying tangible goals and objectives that are in alignment with strategies identified in Blueprint and began implementation work.
For example, one Work Team is focused on including standards-aligned environmental principles and concepts in statewide K–12 education initiatives, e.g. instructional materials, professional learning, and assessment. The team is currently partnering with the California Subject Matter Project (CSMP), one of the premier providers of in-service professional learning for public school teachers, to identify ways that the science, history-social science, and international studies projects can integrate environmental literacy into their professional learning programs.

This new collaboration provides the Steering Committee the strategic opportunity to tap into the expertise and resources of top curriculum experts and a highly effective professional learning network to greatly enhance ongoing environment-based professional learning across the state. This partnership will increase the reach of professional learning that includes environmental literacy to thousands of educators who teach science, history-social science, and international studies in grades K–12. 

Framework for the Future: Education Upgrade for California Students

By: Bryan Ehlers

San Mateo Environmental Learning Collaborative: A Provider’s Perspective

By: Carlie Cooney

October 10-11, 2016:

Lomita Park NGSS Environmental Learning Institute

October 27, 2016:

California Regional Environmental Education Community Charette


What if every kid got to go to summer camp … during the school year?

Oregon could be the first state to fund “outdoor school” for all

By: Lillian Mongeau

We hope you will make a donation today to support environmental literacy for all of California's students!

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