Category Archives: Schools

Wyoming Innovations in Learning Sessions Announced



Innovations in Learning banner

The Wyoming Innovations in Learning Conference is an opportunity for educators to share and explore innovative teaching and learning practices for classrooms and distance learning environments, from kindergarten through higher education. This year’s event will be held online on September 30-October 1. Individual registration is $25, including online payment fee.

Session details are now available. Here’s a sneak peek at some of what’s in store:

  • Ringleading Education: Finding Success in the Teaching Circus by 2021 Wyoming Teacher of the Year (Alexis Barney)
  • Clarifying Digital Citizenship: A PK-12 Scope and Sequence (LeeAnn Lindsey)
  • Art Education Strategies to Strengthen Learning Across Disciplines (Reachel Cook)
  • Inclusive Syllabus Design (Christi Boggs)
  • Bridging the Digital Divide in Wyoming (Beth Cook)
  • Chart a Course for Quality: Navigating Online Learning (Christine Voelker)
  • Demonstrating Teacher Competency Through Computer Science Micro-credentials (Laurel Ballard)

This conference is hosted by the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE), the Wyoming Distance Education Consortium (WyDEC), the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming community colleges, the Wyoming State Library, and school libraries.

For more for information, contact Robin Grandpre at (307) 777-5315 or robin.grandpre1@wyo.gov.

School Librarians Integral During Pandemic Closures and Beyond



Logo reads: AASL, American Association of School Librarians, Transforming LearningFrom the American Library Association

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has released the results of its last survey in a series of surveys capturing the state of school libraries during pandemic school closures.  Launched in the spring of 2020, AASL’s surveys have shown the school librarian’s integral role in uncertain circumstances. Results are available at www.ala.org/aasl/snapshot.

The survey results established school librarians as essential in helping and often leading the efforts of their educator colleagues to transition to remote teaching and learning. Respondents noted that their role in their school district or building increased during the current school year. Some of the increase in responsibilities included leading more professional development, teaching more classes, assisting classroom teachers with technology, and curating digital tools and other online resources.

Regarding practices, respondents indicated they were doing more technology troubleshooting, e-book promotion, virtual professional development, and step-by-step instructional material for use of online tools and databases.

As school systems plan the 2021-2022 school year, survey results are a powerful advocacy tool to be used in discussions with administrators to show the critical contributions of school librarians in transforming teaching and learning. They show the critical need for a dedicated school library budget with added support for continuing education for school librarians.

The American Association of School Librarians, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.

STEM Professional Development Opportunity for School Librarians



From the Idaho Commission for Libraries May 2021 The Scoop newsletter

The Rural Engagement to Advance Learning In STEM Digitally (REALISD) in School Libraries will provide an
online professional development workshop for school librarians working in rural areas across the United States. The workshops will provide school librarians the knowledge, skills, and abilities to support STEM education efforts in their school through digital tools and resources.

All travel costs, tuition, fees, and other expenses for participating in the REALISD Program are provided to accepted participants.

Applications for the program are open until May 31.

The summer kickoff will be a one-day interactive virtual event that will be held in late July 2021. The workshop will be held online throughout the fall. Participants will work with other school librarians from around the country and project expert personnel to explore topics on supporting STEM efforts and to ultimately create a final STEM in Practice Plan for their local school.

By participating in this program, participants will earn 3-hours of graduate course credit, with all tuition and fees paid for by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the federal agency supporting the REALISD Program.

Learn more at realisdproject.weebly.com.

WLA Book Award Nominations for 2021-22



The nominees are chosen, and Wyoming’s K-12 students will soon have the chance to vote on their favorite books.

Each year, the Wyoming Library Association and the Wyoming State Literacy Association jointly sponsor three awards: the Buckaroo Book Award for children in grades K-3, the Indian Paintbrush Book Award for children in grades 4-6, and the Soaring Eagle Book Award for youth in grades 7-12. The purpose of these awards is to provide an opportunity for the youth of Wyoming to read and select favorite books and to honor the authors of those books.

Learn more about the awards.

WANTED poster displays covers of Buckaroo Award nominees
Click for a larger image to download. You can also download a printable PDF poster as an 8.5×11, an 11×17 or an 18×24.

2021-22 Buckaroo Book Award Nominees

  • Bad Dog by Mike Boldt
  • Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Peña
  • A Drop of the Sea by Ingrid Chabbert
  • Giraffe Problems by Jory John
  • Just Ask! Be Brave, Be Different, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor
  • Let ’er Buck: George Fletcher, the People’s Champion by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
  • My Rainy Day Rocketship by Markette Sheppard
  • Pea, Bee, and Jay: Stuck Together by Brian Smith
  • Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars by Richard Ho
  • The Worrysaurus by Rachel Bright
Poster with book cover images for Indian Paintbrush award nominees
Click for larger image to download, or download the poster as a PDF.

2021-22 Indian Paintbrush Award Nominees

  • Becoming Muhammad Ali by James Patterson & Kwame Alexander
  • The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden
  • Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
  • The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson
  • New Kid by Jerry Craft
  • Out of Hiding: a Holocaust Survivor’s Journey to America by Ruth Gruener
  • The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
  • Us, in Progress: Short Stories About Young Latinos by Lulu Delacre
  • Wildfire by W.R. Philbrick
  • A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry
Poster with book cover images for Soaring Eagle award nominees
Click for larger image to download, or download the poster as a PDF.

2021-22 Soaring Eagle Award Nominees

  • Fable by Adrienne Young
  • Dear Martin by Nic Stone
  • Tale of Magic by Chris Colfer
  • Desert Dust by Paul W. Papa
  • Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe
  • Sky Hunter by Marie Lu
  • Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang
  • Good Girls Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
  • Pretend She’s Here by Luanne Rice
  • We Are Not Free by Traci Chee

Pearl Harbor Primary Sources from the National Archives



Captured Japanese Photograph Taken during the Attack on Pearl Harbor, 12/7/1941. From the General Records of the Department of the Navy.

From the U.S. National Archives

As the Pearl Harbor anniversary approaches, the U.S. National Archives is sharing historical documents, posters, photographs, and more related to the attack and its impact on U.S. history.

On DocsTeach, the online tool for teaching with documents from the National Archives, you can find primary sources like maps and speeches – even images taken by the Japanese military during the attack that were later captured.

They also have online teaching activities related to Pearl Harbor. In Pearl Harbor Dispatch Analysis, students analyze the “This is Not Drill” naval dispatch sent from the Commander in Chief of the Pacific that announced the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The activity forces students to look for evidence to decode the true meaning of the message.

Or students can explore one of the most famous presidential speeches of all time – FDR’s “Day of Infamy” speech – by comparing it with its first draft in Two Versions of FDR’s Infamy Speech.

DocsTeach also includes audio, like this recording of FDR’s Fireside Chat After the Declaration of War on Japan. You can find more of FDR’s Fireside Chats on DocsTeach as well.

Survey Reveals COVID-19 School Library Landscape



School girl in protective mask in libraryFrom the American Library Association

As schools across the country make critical decisions about how to handle a variety of back-to-school scenarios, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) is collecting data from school librarians across the country to gauge the status of teaching, school library use, and school librarians’ roles as school/district plans continue to adapt to the pandemic.

The resulting snapshots provide insight into the school library resources and instructional role of the school librarian in physical, virtual, or hybrid settings to ensure teaching and learning. School librarians are serving students, other educators, parents, and the learning community.

The back-to-school snapshot survey that opened Aug. 5 and closed Aug. 12 revealed an increasing reliance on virtual resources. The vast majority of school librarians will encourage more use of e-books and online resources than pre-COVID.  However, print materials continue to be essential, with 94% of respondents on the school district level and 85% of respondents on the building level reporting that books would continue to be circulated. The demand for books is evident in the armfuls of books that students took home last spring as schools were closing. School librarians found ways to continue to provide books to students through the summer.  Despite the uncertainties and upheaval of families during these times, the survey showed that the majority of these items were returned to the school library.

Safety concerns about re-opening while the pandemic continues were on the minds of respondents, with the majority believing that exposure to students will greatly increase their risk of contracting the virus.

Respondents also voiced concerns about the difficulty of identifying students in need of non-academic support, as well as worries that remote learning has not provided them with the required level of research and digital citizenship skills essential for critical thinking and informed decision making.

Other topics covered by the survey (www.ala.org/aasl/pandemic) included school library budgets, many of which have been reconfigured to provide more online and virtual tools and resources.

The survey is just one tool AASL is using to provide resources to school libraries during the pandemic. Its pandemic preparedness page (www.ala.org/aasl/pandemic) contains the latest results from REALM studies for safety, shared stories about responses to COVID-19, professional development, and training resources and guidance from federal, state and local sources. The School Librarian Role in Pandemic Learning Conditions provides scenarios for addressing needs in a constantly changing learning environment.

School librarians are encouraged to attend AASL Town Halls that provide a way for school librarians to connect with AASL leaders and each other about the impact the pandemic is having on school libraries and the learning community. To register and view the archive, visit: AASL Town Hall: Leading Learning at  (www.ala.org/aasl/townhall).

Free resources are also available through the AASL Learning Library (all.aasl.org) , which offers webinars as well as issues of the association’s official journal, Knowledge Quest.

For more information, visit www.ala.org/aasl/pandemic.

The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.

Innovations in Learning Sessions Announced



The Wyoming Innovations in Learning Conference is an opportunity for educators to share and explore innovative teaching and learning practices for classrooms and distance learning environments, from kindergarten through higher education. This year’s event will be held online on November 5-6. Individual registration is $25.

The conference session schedule has been announced, and it includes great offerings such as:

  • Bringing the World to Your Classroom by Carol Garber
  • ISTE Standards: An Introduction by LeeAnn Lindsey
  • repl.it – A Versatile (and free!) Platform for Coding Projects by Anne Gunn
  • Ten Tips for Effective Virtual Classrooms by Joe Heywood
  • Creating Accessible Documents in the Age of Digital Learning by Shelby Kappler
  • How to Promote Active Learning with Assessment by Stacey Dickson and Cathy McGeowan.

You’ll find many more topics of interest on the full schedule.

Have an innovation in your school you’d like to share? Submit your proposal for the Wyoming Innovations Showcase. This part of the online conference will be held from 3-4 p.m. on November 5. The Showcase is an opportunity for districts, educators, and students to share education innovations they have implemented with colleagues from across the state. There are 10 Showcase spots available, with five offered at a time. All Showcase sessions will be recorded. Deadline to submit proposals is September 30, 2020.

This conference is hosted by the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE), the Wyoming Distance Education Consortium (WyDEC), the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming community colleges, the Wyoming State Library, and school libraries.

For more for information, contact Robin Grandpre at (307) 777-5315 or robin.grandpre1@wyo.gov.

WDE, UW Co-Sponsor Online K-3 Literacy Conference



The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) and the University of Wyoming (UW) will co-sponsor Embracing Literacy, a summer professional development opportunity focused on literacy practices. District- and building-level teams are encouraged to register and attend this outstanding opportunity to hear from many nationally-renowned literacy experts.

Embracing Literacy will be held virtually over a four-week span beginning Tuesday, July 21. Virtual sessions will be scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays during each week. Sessions will be recorded providing registrants unlimited access for ongoing review of session content.

Registration is $50, with an option to buy two tickets and get one free. The conference theme, Optimizing Learning for All: Supporting Evidence-Based Literacy Practices, provides the foundation for participants to learn more about the components that combine to create literacy. The implementation of screening, progress monitoring and various classroom practices will also be explored.

PTSB and UW credit is being pursued.

Nominate a Library Aide for RISE Award



Wyoming library aides qualify to be nominated for the 2020 Wyoming Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award hosted by Governor Mark Gordon and the Wyoming Department of Education. This award honors classified school employeess who provide exemplary service.

Nominate an outstanding library aide or other school employee by June 30, 2020. Nominees can be an employee who works in any grade K-12 as a paraprofessional, in technical services, skilled trades, and more. See the nomination form for details.

The top two Wyoming applicants will be forwarded to USED by November 1, 2020. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will select a single classified school employee from among the nominees to receive the RISE Award by the spring of 2021. Governor Gordon will honor nominees and finalists. In addition, the USED will recognize the honoree and communicate his or her story in order to inspire excellence among classified school employees.