Secondary ELA & Library Media News: November 2021
This fall has to be one of the longest and prettiest that I remember. It feels like a beautiful gift after our hot, smoky summer! I hope that you've made some time to get out and enjoy it.
I've been reading from the new book, Notable Native People<https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/623292/notable-native-people-by-ad…> by Adrienne Keene. It includes short biographies with illustrations of Native people past and present in the U.S. Much of the little discourse and literature that exists about Native people focuses so much on the past, so I'm especially appreciating learning about the lives and work of those living today. It's a reminder of how important it is to read and include books that serve as windows into cultures and stories different from our own.
I also had the opportunity to attend the American Association of School Librarians (AASL)<https://www.ala.org/aasl/> Annual Conference a few weeks ago here in Salt Lake City. There were numerous sessions about information literacy and how to teach students how to counter misinformation. I suggest checking out these sessions or viewing the webinar that I recorded with USBE Humanities Coordinator, Robert Austin, called "Countering Misinformation in Utah Classrooms."<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2mlQWc6H8s>
In case we don't have an opportunity to connect before the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. Find some ease and rest.
Thanks for all you do.
What are you currently reading, listening to, and watching?
My Current Reads: Notable Native People<https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/623292/notable-native-people-by-ad…> by Adrienne Keene
My Current Music Listen: "Wildfire"<https://open.spotify.com/track/0wFsKxTwDroyhVOI8UxNJv?si=18e79c1208214c6d> by Leah James
My Current Watch: Call the Midwife on PBS
Celebrate Native American Heritage Month
* Native American Heritage Month Toolkit from National Women's History Museum<https://www.womenshistory.org/sites/default/files/document/2021-10/NWHM%20N…>
* Native Nations in Utah <https://www.visitutah.com/things-to-do/history-culture/tribal-cultures>
* American Indians in Children's Literature<https://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/>
* Techniques for Evaluating American Indian Websites<http://www.u.arizona.edu/~ecubbins/webcrit.html>
Essay Contest to Win a Ticket to See Hamilton
The Utah Department of Cultural & Community Engagement is inviting high school students to participate in "One Utah: A 'Revolutionary' Contest." Seventy students will win a ticket to the Broadway touring production of "Hamilton" on Saturday, Jan. 22.
To enter, Utah students are invited to write a letter to Gov. Spencer J. Cox or Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson about how to make Utah better.
Details about the contest here<https://community.utah.gov/contest/>. Here's where to submit your entry<https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Y6S-N1KVcrJO9wrAHWR29c-8lgfcZdUycLGDPd5S2Y…>.
Submissions accepted through Dec. 14 (cut off at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 14).
Nominate Local Educators
"Utah Jazz Most Valuable Educator, presented by Instructure" invites the Utah community to nominate local educators who are making an impact in their schools and communities and who are an inspiration in the lives of their students.
Through this program, 21 educators will be recognized during 21 home games throughout the 2021-22 Jazz regular season. Each honored educator will be guests of Instructure at the game and receive a personalized Jazz jersey. In addition, each recipient will receive a $1,000 classroom grant and a surprise classroom visit or organized assembly involving the Jazz Bear mascot, and personnel from the Utah Jazz and Instructure.
More information here.<https://www.nba.com/jazz/MVE>
National Women's History Museum Journaling Project
The NWHM is pleased to launch the Women Writing History: A Coronavirus Journaling Project <https://www.womenshistory.org/journal-project> and is asking women, girls, and gender non-binary individuals to participate in the simple act of recording their daily thoughts and personal experiences during this pandemic in order to document the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on women's lives.
We invite individuals from all ages, backgrounds, cultures, and socio-economic circumstances to be a part of living history by keeping a journal in 30, 60, 90, 120-day, or any longer OR shorter increments, and contributing their journalistic efforts to the National Women's History Museum. If life gets in the way of a daily, month-long journal, that's okay! Simply commit to what you can or what you already have. You do not have to journal daily.
Journals can be written, orally recorded, video recorded, a series of photographs, or original artworks-the primary goal of this project is to capture the female voice and how the pandemic has impacted daily lives and perspectives. Journal entries might provide a summary of one's day, descriptions of the "new normal," coping techniques, explorations of challenges or even moments of joy, or inside views of how learning and working routines have altered.
Resources for Handling Text Selection, Challenges, & Parental Rights
It has recently come to our attention that many LEAs are handling (potential) book challenges by community members and parents. Please note that we do not have an approved state book list or state policies about text selection practices and how to handle book challenges/removal. As a local control state, we strongly recommend that your LEA/school have policies about text selection for libraries/classrooms and how to handle book challenges and potential removal.
Sample policies from a few Utah LEAs:
* Canyons School District: https://www.canyonsdistrict.org/policies/instruction/600-6/
* Jordan School District Policy: https://policy.jordandistrict.org/sub/library-books-media/
* Iron County Policy: https://sites.google.com/sedck12.org/icsd-policies-and-handbooks/district/s… <https://sites.google.com/sedck12.org/icsd-policies-and-handbooks/district/s…>
Additional Resources for Policies
You can refer to the Office of Intellectual Freedom: https://www.ala.org/aboutala/offices/oif. The OIF provides support and information about how to address book challenges. This page specifically: https://www.ala.org/tools/challengesupport
Please note that these policies should be in keeping with parental rights to academic accommodations and to alternate texts. Parents/guardians always have the right to request an alternative text for their child(ren). However, if they request that a text be removed for all (i.e. removal from a library or classroom), they will need to follow your LEA/school's text challenge/removal policy.
* Parental Rights to Academic Accommodations: https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title53G/Chapter6/53G-6-S803.html <https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title53G/Chapter6/53G-6-S803.html>
* Parental Rights to Alternate Texts R277-700-7(4) and R277-700-5(7): https://schools.utah.gov/file/87566e17-47ee-4f0d-9bd4-28ef5f947bc8
Supporting Adolescent Readers: A Guide for Secondary Educators
I'm excited to announce that we have an update to the Toolkit for Struggling Readers. Please check out Supporting Adolescent Readers: A Guide for Secondary Educators<https://www.schools.utah.gov/file/698c8c65-8753-4609-a841-0af3951d6d59>. This guide can be accessed from USBE's Secondary ELA page under "Resources."
Supporting Adolescent Readers: A Guide for Secondary Educators<https://www.schools.utah.gov/file/698c8c65-8753-4609-a841-0af3951d6d59> supports educators in providing high-quality, effective instruction for adolescent readers. This guide focuses on four key areas: 1) Assessment, 2) Framework and Planning for Reading Intervention Classes, 3) Evidence-based Instructional Practices, and 4) Adolescent Reading Motivation. Within each area, general information and specific evidence-based recommendations, tools, and strategies are provided to support educators in structuring, designing, and facilitating instruction to best support adolescents who are experiencing reading difficulties. As such, incorporation of the components represented in this guide may provide invaluable support for organizing effective reading instruction.
Please use this guide in your LEAs.
Educational Equity in Schools Resources
Note: the highlighted resources are new since last month's newsletter.
In August 2021, the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Administration Rules approved R277-328: Educational Equity in Schools<https://www.schools.utah.gov/file/722ef396-b45a-4dbb-a974-00a9d9dbcac0>
This rule is intended to support school districts and charters with standards for educators and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) regarding professional learning, guidelines and requirements for curriculum, and classroom instruction on educational equity. To support LEAs and educators in successful implementation of this rule, the Teaching and Learning team is developing supportive resources for educators to help advance educational equity in every Utah classroom.
* The Four Keys to Successful Implementation: This resource shares four key themes we have curated from concerns shared with USBE leadership related to claims of Critical Race Theory (CRT) happening in classrooms. By employing these four keys to successful implementation, educators can increase their confidence in continuing to provide quality learning opportunities that respect each individual.
* Orchestrating Productive Classroom Discussions: When orchestrating productive, respectful, and safe classroom discussions, it is essential to have ground rules, language frames, and discussion protocols to support students. This document shares some sample ground rules along with discussion language frames and protocols to assist teachers in facilitating discussions.
* Creating Classroom Norms: The intended purpose of this resource is to support educators and students in feeling supported through constructing a classroom culture with explicit norms and expectations for engagement and respectful participation.
* Policies and Resources Outlining Teacher Expectations
Resources found here<https://www.schools.utah.gov/educationalequity/resources>.
Scrible Trainings by UEN
UEN has developed online and in-person training on Scrible, the research, writing, and reading digital platform that USBE has adopted. All Utah public school educators and students have free accounts.
For UEN videos about Scrible visit: https://sites.google.com/pd.uen.org/utah-scrible-amazing/home
To request a Scrible presentation by UEN at your school/LEA, complete this form<https://form.asana.com/?hash=09cb900a8f94bb4564f8feece9fdd6f935c8a1798d9b41…>.
John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest for High School Students<https://go.jfklfoundation.org/e/682543/ofile-in-courage-essay-contest/6qh43…>
The John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest for High School Students<https://go.jfklfoundation.org/e/682543/ofile-in-courage-essay-contest/6qh43…> is officially open! We're now accepting submissions from high school students for the 2022 contest-and your students can win up to $10,000 for participating!
Sixty-five years ago, John F. Kennedy described the stories of eight U.S. senators who demonstrated great courage under enormous pressure in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Profiles in Courage. Although the problems facing our leaders today are different, President Kennedy's message transcends. The Profile in Courage Essay Contest is a great way for students to strengthen their research and writing skills while recognizing courageous leaders who have inspired them.
Contest Deadline is January 4, 2022.
Do You Have a Pet Peeve about Reading? By Tim Shanahan
Both parts are worth reading, including the comments/responses:
* Part I<http://www.shanahanonliteracy.com/blog/do-you-have-any-pet-peeves-about-rea…>
* Part II<http://www.shanahanonliteracy.com/blog/do-you-have-a-pet-peeve-about-readin…>
2021-2022 Secondary Literacy Director Meeting Dates
Mark your calendars!
To receive a meeting invite, contact Brenda McMurtrey at brenda.mcmurtrey(a)schools.utah.gov<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
* December 8, 2021 from 1-3pm virtual
* January 25, 2022 from 1-3pm
* March 22, 2022 from 1-3pm
Join the Listserve
Want to stay in the loop of future newsletters?
Join the Secondary ELA ListServ at https://lists.uen.org/mailman/listinfo/secondaryela or
the Library Media ListServ at https://lists.uen.org/mailman/listinfo/library-media
Have an item for the monthly Secondary ELA & Library Media newsletter, a research or teaching tip,
or an educator spotlight nomination?
Email brenda.mcmurtrey(a)schools.utah.gov<mailto:email@example.com> by the first of the month.
**Please note: LEAs have the duty to select instructional materials that best correlate to the core standards for Utah public schools and graduation requirements. (UCA 53G-4-402(1(a)). Posting of these resources by USBE staff curriculum content specialists does not imply the resources have received official endorsement of the State Board. Educators are responsible to ensure use of these materials complies with LEA policies and directives.
Naomi Watkins, Ph.D.
Secondary ELA and Library Media Specialist
Utah State Board of Education