Category Archives: Schools

Instructional Resources for Teaching Media Literacy



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Focused school boy using digital tablet in classroomBy Suzi Tonini & Tammy Langeberg
From the Colorado Virtual Library blog

Media literacy is an essential skill set for students year-round, and especially pertinent during election season. School librarians are the only certified information professionals in K-12 education and our digital native students are not immune to digital naïveté. In a 2015-16 study of more than 7,500 middle, high school, and college students, the Stanford History Education Group found that students in all age groups were “easily duped” and struggled to evaluate the credibility of information on the Internet. To prepare students for civic life, teaching media literacy skills is critical. School librarians are critical.

The instructional resources for teaching media literacy skills are growing every year and the Colorado Department of Education has created the CDE Media Literacy Resource Bank to make it easy to find free instructional tools, educator professional development, and family resources. Below are just a few examples of resources for teaching students how to critically evaluate media messages.

News Literacy Project

Common Sense Media

NewseumEd

WeTeachNYC

Free and on-demand professional learning

Informed or Influenced? Media and News Literacy Skills for Election Season and Beyond
Join News Literacy Project experts and news literacy educators to learn best practices for teaching about bias and how you can help students identify news and information that is presented in a fair and accurate way. Click here to learn more and view a recording of the live session.

Share or Beware: Help Students Fight Misinformation One Click at a Time
Support your students with learning online reasoning skills, avoiding the misinformation pitfalls of social media, and developing healthy skepticism without turning into cynics. Presenters will share ideas, teaching tips, and ready-to-use resources for helping students find reliable sources. Click here to learn more and view a recording of the live session.

Teacher librarian toolbox

Book: Killer Underwear Invasion! How to Spot Fake News, Disinformation and Lies by Elise Gravel
With quirky illustrations and a humorous tone, Elise Gravel brings her kid-accessible wit to the increasingly important subject of media literacy and equips younger readers with the skills needed to interact with global news. ~From the Publisher

Podcast: Is That a Fact?
The News Literacy Project podcast series informs listeners about news literacy issues that affect their lives through informative conversations with experts working to combat misinformation.

Video Series: Crash Course
A 12-part video series for high school and college students that teaches the history and psychology of media and skills for becoming more media savvy.

Infographic: Cultivating an Equitable School Library to Nurture Critical Curators
Infographic created by AASL to guide conversations with administrators and other educators about the importance of developing students’ media literacy and other curation skills.

Wyoming Letters About Literature Contest Opens November 14



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Teens and tweens, get your pens ready! The Wyoming Center for the Book at Wyoming Humanities invites students in grades 4-12 to enter Letters About Literature, a statewide writing competition.

Guidelines and entry forms can be found at thinkwy.org/letters-about-literature.

Entries will be accepted beginning November 14, 2022.  Postmark deadline is January 31, 2023. Early or late entries will not be accepted.

Students may compete in one of three levels: Grades 4-6, Grades 7-8, and Grades 9-12. First place winners at each competition level will receive a $150 Amazon gift card, second place winners will receive a $100 Amazon gift card, and third place winners will receive a $50 Amazon gift card. All winners and honorable mentions will receive a non-monetary award certificate.

Questions? Contact Lucas Fralick at Wyoming Humanities at lucas@thinkwy.org or (307) 660-0729.

Students can Enter Cyber-in-a-Box School Video Challenge



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Wyoming middle and high school classrooms or homeschoolers are encouraged to create new video content promoting public cybersecurity awareness for the Cyber-in-a-Box library program.

The Cyber-in-a-Box School Video Challenge offers teachers (or parent sponsors) $50 – $100 for supplies, and offers teams of up to five students (grades 6-12) t-shirts for entering the Challenge.

Cybersecurity is a community issue. In 2021, Wyoming citizens reported losses of over $10 million dollars (FBI Internet Crimes Complaint Center) for less than 600,000 people in the state. These losses are for our communities and we need to have conversations about being more security aware.

In creating the videos, the Challenge connects education objectives involving technology, computer science, communication, teamwork, and social behavior while enhancing community cyber-health and cyber-safety practices.

Timeline

  • Registration open through November 30, 2022
  • Video deadline March 1, 2023
  • Judging completed March 30, 2023
  • Virtual Premiere April 20, 2023, at 2 p.m. MDT

Contest details

The Cyber-in-a-Box library program was developed by the Wyoming CAN (Cybersecurity Action Network) Committee and implemented by the CyberWyoming Alliance and the Wyoming State Library, both members of the CAN committee. This year’s video challenge was made possible in part through support from Microsoft and ISI Wyoming.

For a list of the suggested topics for videos or for questions, contact the CyberWyoming Alliance at info@cyberwyoming.org.

Wyoming Young Authors Contest Kicks off in November



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Banner contest graphicThe Young Authors Contest, a well-known and loved writing competition for Wyoming K-12 students, will have a kick-off event on November 1, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. MDT. Join the Wyoming State Literacy Association (WSLA) for a live, virtual presentation with this link, or use the recording in your class to have the contest rules and regulations explained. Maci Welch, a Casper author, will share tips for good writing.

The contest welcomes a new category for graphic novels this year. Also new: entries can be digitally uploaded and there will be monthly “Adventures with Authors” Google Meets on November 15, December 1, January 5, and January 17. See the WSLA calendar of events for details.

Schools throughout Wyoming are encouraged to participate in the Young Authors Contest. This state-wide writing competition is offered for all grades, K-12. Entries include poems, non-fiction, fiction, and graphic novels. The Young Authors Contest provides students the opportunity to write for enjoyment, share their writing, and receive recognition for their work.

Learn more on the Wyoming State Literacy Association website.

Wyoming Digital Learning Plan Listening Sessions



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Teacher Teaching Diverse School Kids Using Laptop In ClassroomThe Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) is updating the statewide Digital Learning Plan, which supports school districts in addressing education technology opportunities and priorities. The WDE, with assistance from Marzano Research, will be hosting listening sessions to gather information from educators, parents, students, colleges, businesses, and community members about their digital learning ideas, needs, and hopes. This is your chance to help improve Wyoming’s access and use of technology in education.

Join one of their October listening sessions from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in person, or virtually. In addition, there will be listening sessions in Rock Springs, Casper, Lusk, Cheyenne, and another virtual session in November. Learn more, see the schedule, and access the registration link for the October virtual session.

For more information on the Wyoming Digital Learning Plan or the listening sessions, contact Robin Grandpre at 307-777-5315 or robin.grandpre1@wyo.gov or Shelby Hubach from Marzano Research at 720-463-3600 ext. 117 or Shelby.Hubach@marzanoresearch.com.

2022 Wyoming Innovations in Learning Conference



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Registration is now open for the 2022 Wyoming Innovations in Learning Conference. The Innovations Conference will be held virtually on November 3-4, 2022.

This is an inexpensive
($25) opportunity for educators from kindergarten through higher education to share and explore innovative teaching and learning practices for classrooms and distance learning environments. Recordings will be available to registrants through December and UW or PTSB credit is offered. Registration is open until the conference begins.

This conference is hosted by the Wyoming Department of Education, the Wyoming Distance
Education Consortium, the University of Wyoming, Wyoming’s community colleges, and the
Wyoming State Library.

Visit the conference registration page for more information.

Wyoming State Literacy Association Begins 2022-23 Year



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WSLA logoThe Wyoming State Literacy Association (WSLA) is now officially starting off the 2022-23 year. They’ve been reorganizing after COVID, and are seeking members to join them. The WSLA, an affiliate of the International Literacy Association, is a professional organization that provides information, support, and service to anyone concerned with the promotion of the lifelong love of reading and the development of literacy at all levels.

For those interested in WSLA, the organization invites you to

The Young Authors Contest, a well-known and loved writing competition for Wyoming K-12 students, will have a kick-off event on November 1, 2022.

The WSLA encourages those who who want to help promote literacy in Wyoming to share this information with others in your school or community who may be interested.

A Final Roundup of the ‘Rowdy Randy’ Statewide Tour



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Woman in Western garb in a library holding a picture book up to a group of students. A woman dressed as the Rowdy Randy character is to her left.
Casey Rislov and Rowdy Randy at Woods Elementary in Casper. (Read more about this visit.)

It may not have been a world tour, but Casey Rislov covered Wyoming pretty well sharing her book, Rowdy Randy, with elementary school students. The Wyoming State Library supported her school visits with Library Services and Technology Act funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

All told, Casey appeared at 22 different schools in 16 communities, from some of Wyoming’s smallest places to the largest cities. Her travels took her to Laramie, Rock River, Cheyenne, Chugwater, Newcastle, Basin, Powell, Lovell, Cody, Ranchester, Big Horn, Sheridan, Casper, Glenrock, Shoshoni, and Pavillion. At some schools, she brought a special guest — an actress dressed as Rowdy Randy herself! (Paradise Valley Elementary students couldn’t get enough of Rowdy Randy after the event with lots of hugs and attention.)

Woman in Western garb seated with a group of students holding up books.
Chugwater School was one of the smallest schools Casey visited. She had enough book donations that all 40 K-6 students received a book.

“I was quite thankful for this opportunity to tour our great state with Rowdy Randy and meet so many amazing librarians and their schools,” Casey said. “The librarians were wonderful at hosting and communicating and the children were excited to join the western book fun!”

About 5,000 K-6 students enjoyed Casey’s presentations and gave her their rapt attention as she read from the book and interacted with them. She distributed about 1,100 free copies of Rowdy Randy to teachers, librarians, and students. Many were funded by the WSL with federal funds — the rest she was able to provide through numerous private donations.

Not to mention, she covered nearly 4,000 miles traversing the state!

Woman in Western garb reading to students who have backs to camera.
In the library at Crest Hill Elementary in Casper.

Librarians overall went above and beyond to make the visits great. Many had large screens to place the book on for large groups to see. Here are a few of the stories Casey shared with us from her travels:

“Lovell Elem. invited my Rowdy Randy actress and I to a last day of snow cones with the kindergartners. Then the librarian, Gwen Walker, sent us on our way to see the wild horses and Big Horn Canyon near their area. It was a gorgeous spot to visit!”

She had her first auditorium experience in Glenrock Intermediate, and then Big Horn Elementary in Big Horn and Prairie Wind Elementary in Cheyenne. “It was incredible to experience this setup. All of them had large screens for the book, microphones, and plenty of stage room to move. Michelle Juschka-Faris at Prairie Wind was ready to go in her Western gear too as she is a real cowgirl.”

Woman in Western garb reading to students in gymnasium
Gymnasiums, like this one at Casper’s Paradise Valley Elementary, gave Casey and Rowdy Randy more room to move around.

Visits to gymnasiums also let her see many children at once and allowed for movement. “It was fun to move around in my Western get up and get western with the children helping to shout ‘Yeehaw!’”

Students were proud of their mascots. The Paradise Valley Tigers showed “fun and fierce” spirit. The Beitel Elementary students gave her stickers and and a big thank you with their mascot on it. It was one of many such notes.

“SO many handwritten notes!” Casey said. “I read each and every one of them. I was extra thankful that the students enjoyed these author visits.”

Woman in Western garb in a library reading picture book to students. One boy is raising his hand.
Visiting Wind River Elementary in Pavillion.

Federal funds through the Institute of Museum and Library Services fund many great projects and services that benefit residents of Wyoming. Learn more on our website.

Private donations for books that were distributed came from Walsh Drive Self Storage & Interstate Storage Solutions (Brendan & Brian Bummer); Farnham’s Furniture; Fox Ventures LLC, Fox Investments LLC (Cory Fox); Pro-Kote Engineering & Supply (Steve Holt); Rocky and Lisa Eades; Waves Web Design (Anthony Marcil and Summer Henderson); Big O Tires; Galles Greenhouse; East Casper Chiropractic; Farmers Insurance; Hilltop National Bank; R & R Rest Stops; Waves Web Design; and Casper Sinclair.

TeachingBooks Access to End This Year on September 30



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The Wyoming State Library’s contract with TeachingBooks will end on September 30, 2022.

The WSL was able to purchase TeachingBooks/BookConnections for statewide access with one-time ARPA funds in 2021. It is a popular resource, and the state library reached out to potential partners to help shoulder the future cost without success. For now, without the funds needed to renew the contract, Wyoming users will have to say goodbye to this unique and robust literature database.

Constitution Day Poster Contest for K-12 Students



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Student poster includes images of Constitution, Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, and red, white, and blue eagle.
2021 Grand Prize poster by Mengyang Pan, 10th Grade.

K-12 students (including homeschoolers) are invited to celebrate Constitution Day on September 17, 2022, by designing a poster showing how they benefit from the freedoms embodied in the U.S. Constitution.

The American Library Association’s (ALA) Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT), Government Information for Children (GIC) Committee and ConstitutionFacts.com are national sponsors of the Fourteenth Annual U.S. Constitution Day Poster Contest for students. Prizes will be awarded for each grade. Each grade winner will receive a Constitution commemorative coin with the grand prize winner also receiving a $100 cash prize.

Entries must be postmarked by October 1, 2022.

  • Download the poster rules/deadlines.
  • View the GIC Committee’s Constitution Day LibGuide.