Teaching & Learning

December 2020

Message from Shanna

You've done it; we've done it! We have accomplished what seemed impossible in August. We have delivered quality on-site learning for EVERY student EVERY day during a world-wide pandemic – that’s historical!!! And YOU made it happen!! Let that sink in…it is not something to take lightly and/or dismiss quickly. It is a HUGE accomplishment and worth celebrating and recognizing.

Personally, it feels like one of those rare moments one experiences true JOY. That rare emotion that only comes about by selflessness and sacrifice. It is an inspired happiness with the inspiration being each of you - showing up each and every day for every student. Has it been easy? Heck no, anything but easy, but that is what makes it so much more meaningful, beyond happy – JOYFUL. Wishing each of you and your families moments of joy this holiday season!

~Shanna Dinkel

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Upcoming Events

  • December 16th: Last Day for STAR Winter Screener
  • December 18th: End of 2nd Nine Weeks
  • December 19th-January 3rd: Winter Break



Monday, Jan. 18th 2021 at 8am-4pm

2300 East 13th Street

Hays, KS

Tentative Schedule

No refreshments will be served.

  • 8:00-8:15 Welcome
  • 8:15-9:45 Keynote
  • 10:00-11:00 Breakout 1
  • 11:15-12:15 Breakout 2
  • 1:30-2:30 Breakout 3
  • 2:45-3:45 Breakout 4
  • 3:45-4:00 Exit Survey


USD 489 Dyslexia Training – Monday, January 18, 2021 via Zoom by KSDE Consultants

Dyslexia Training Session Breakdown:

The pushout of the new dyslexia initiative is vital for our teachers, schools, and most importantly, our students. Year one of the rollout for all systems requires the following employees receive the training:

● All teachers endorsed elementary education

● All teachers endorsed early childhood unified

● All teachers endorsed high incidence special education K - 12

● All teachers endorsed English Language Arts 5 - 12

● All teachers endorsed as reading specialists

● All teachers endorsed school psychologists

The initial training piece for all employees (listed above) is a six-hour introduction of dyslexia

characteristics, structured literacy, and screening procedures.

  • No refreshments will be provided
  • 8:30 am - 11:30 am - First three hours of dyslexia training – Cindy Hadicke
  • 12:30 - 3:30 pm - Final three hours of dyslexia training - Joann McRell

Here is a link to those who will attend the Dyslexia training. Please review for your building.


Congratulations Sonya Herl!

2020-21 HNEA District Master Teacher. Sonya teaches 4th grade at O'Loughlin Elementary.
2020-21 State Assessment Dates

Kansas Assessment Program Overview

Kansas Medical Professionals: Thanking YOU

KCWK Thanks Teachers

Curriculum Library Has Items to Check-Out


Email gschmidt@usd489.com if you would like to check an item out!


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Website is Live!

The Kansas Association of Education Services Agencies, in collaboration with the Kansas State Department of Education, created the Kansas Teaching and Leading website. The website was created to provide relevant, timely and impactful professional development support to education professionals in order to build their capacity for effectively developing and implementing key components of the Navigating change guidance for Kansas school districts.

Key areas include:

· Understanding the Navigating Change Document

· Social-Emotional Learning

· Competency-Based and Professional Learning

· Remote and Hybrid Teaching and Learning

· Teaching and Instructional Technology

· Leadership and Communication

· Community and Family Engagement

Each of the areas include:

1. Comprehensive Glossary,

2. Grab & Go Resources, and

Series of 30 minute or less training and support videos, with the recorded link, slide deck link, registration link and presenter(s) contact information

WEBSITE: https://kansasteachingandleadingproject.org/

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Swivl Robots are Available to Check-Out

Please contact mhenderson@usd489.com if you'd like to check one out.
What is a Swivl Robot?

by Marie Henderson

Professional Development Opportunities

If there is an event you'd like to attend, please check with your building admininistrator.

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West Central Kansas Special Education Coop


High Altitude Balloon Workshop FHSU: Registration Deadline December 15, 2020

The FHSU College of Education would like to invite staff from the school district to participate in the High Altitude Balloon Workshop through the Science and Mathematics Education Institute at FHSU. For More Information and Registration, Click Here


Computer Science Week: December 7-13

Celebrate the international observation of Computer Science in the Classroom during the week of December 7-13 or really ANYTIME! There are literacy standards, computational thinking standards, and design thinking standards that are all addressed through computer science. This can be a great alternative assignment during the last month of the semester that can increase engagement and spark curiosity in new ways. A few ideas for incorporating coding are listed here but there are many more options online. Please feel free to reach out to Marie Henderson if you want to discuss any of this further!

  • Apple just released this information for the upcoming Computer Science Week – I’d recommend the Swift Playgrounds app for 3rd-8th grade students. (3rd graders could start with an easier app first and work their way to this.) Using these options within the Swift Playgrounds app takes some getting used to, so let me know if I can explain anything further.
  • K-1: Lightbot Code Hour – already available in Self Service – reading isn’t required
  • 2-3: Run Marco – already available in Self Service – there’s also a Christmas adventure in this app
  • 3-8: Swift Playgrounds – already available in Self Service
  • 1-5: Box Island – already available in Self Service
  • K-1: Code Karts – already available in Self Service – only 10 free levels
  • K-12: Hour of Code Website https://hourofcode.com/us/learn - coding games broken into “Pre-Reader”, 2nd-5th, 6th-8th, and 9th+higher categories

Join the fun of Computer Science Week!


Addition Facts Strategies

Using multiple representations is an evidence-based instructional practice to building understanding of key concepts in mathematics. The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) recommends that "Intervention materials should include opportunities for students to work with visual representations of mathematical ideas and interventionists should be proficient in the use of visual representations of mathematical ideas" (April 2009).

Below are links to three documents recently released by the National Center on Intensive Intervention.

Addition Fact Strategies:

· Using Ten Frames

· Using Number Lines

· Using Rekenreks

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FREE Jeopardy Resource (Social Studies) Grades 3-12

  • Jeopardy-Style Current Events Game FREE PILOT THROUGH Christmas!
  • Email back if interested. Teacher Name, School name and what classes you teach. www.NewzBrain.com send email to info@NewzBrain.com
  • Are you needing enrichment activities? Works great for Grades 3-12. Remote Also.
  • This is a FREE SHARE from Nebraska!
  • Thank you and enjoy! Your students will love playing!
Peter Vavak, Developer

Grades 3-8 Social Studies

Together with the National Geographic Society and the Library of Congress, ESSDACK is excited to offer two FREE professional learning opportunities.

  1. The first, funded by the National Geographic Society, is designed to support elementary teachers in self contained 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classrooms integrate geography and social studies content into their ELA instruction.
  2. The second, funded by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources project, will train middle level social studies and ELA teachers in grades 5-8 in the effective integration of grade level specific literature and social studies content.

Both projects kick off in January with monthly sessions delivered remotely through the spring. Almost all sessions happen after the school day and are designed to provide maximum teacher flexibility. Teachers will receive free trade books and earn $250 for attending and creating lesson plans. College credit is also available.

KCSS Elementary Teacher of the Year Lori Rice and KCSS Middle Level Teacher of the Year Dave McIntire together with ESSDACK consultants Glenn Wiebe and Carmen Zeisler will share strategies, resources, and materials specifically designed to give teachers tools they can use immediately in their classrooms.

More details and application information is available at:


*Contact Glenn Wiebe at 620-931-2526 with questions.



Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission


Knowledge is Power: Resources for ELs

Learning Packets for K-12

ICMEE at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has created 120+ packets of K-12 content for teachers, schools, and parents to use with English Learner students! All free to download and use.

Supporting English Learners


American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences


SHAPE America

SHAPE America is dedicated to supporting health education and physical education teachers across the country as schools implement reopening plans and continue effective instruction through the school year during the COVID-19 pandemic.



Association for Career & Technical Education

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Kindergarten Readiness

Promoting fine motor and perception motor development by Melissa Ginther, OTR/I


Connect With Resources & Services in Your Community


1-800-CHILDREN is Here to Provide 24/7 Support Without Judgement

  • No question is too big or too small when it comes to parenting.

  • Find helpful resources and supports near you through this site or connect with a real person by calling 1-800-CHILDREN.

Large 1992 United States Map

A community member has a large 1992 map of the United States and

would like to donate it to a classroom.

If interested, please email Shanna Dinkel


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Silent Night - Mannheim Steamroller
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New blog will be available January 2021!