GEMS Varkey Global Teacher Prize Finalist Top 50 2015
My book Dinomike and Tzeasaura Find a Plesiosaur
I wrote this book for my niece in England who had a strong interest in rocks when she was 5 years old. As she got older, she was less and less interested. This book motivated her to keep interested in science (at least for a few more years).
The story is about how a young girl goes fossil hunting with her uncle and finds the skeleton of a 100 million year old plesiosaur. The book informs about how fossils are formed and how paleontologists learn from them. One of my goals in writing this story was to interest young women in science.
The Global Teacher Prize is a one million dollar award that is given to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.
The Varkey Foundation launched the Global Teacher Prize in 2014 to raise the stature of the teaching profession. We seek to celebrate the best teachers — those who inspire their students and community around them. The Foundation believes that vibrant education awakens and supports the full potential of young people. The status of teachers in our cultures is key to our global future.
The award — the ‘Nobel Prize’ of teaching — operates under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai.
ACAMIS Spring Conference (2015) Guangzhou, China- The VESTED Approach: An Instructional Delivery Model
East Asian Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) Teachers’ Conference (2015) –
An Inquiry-based Framework for Differentiating Instruction for All Learners
National Science Teachers’ Association Area Conference (2006) Omaha, Nebraska, two workshop presentations- Cretaceous Science Investigation (CSI): Using Nebraska Fossils to Solve Ancient Mysteries and Tools for Elementary Science: Examining Student Performance
National Science Teachers’ Association Conference (2005) Dallas, Texas- Workshop Presentation- Examining Student Work to Improve Student Achievement: How to Use Benchmarks, Notebooks, & Performance Assessments to Improve Science Instruction
Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching (2005) Houston, Texas- Two Workshop Presentations: (1) Student Work as Focus for Staff Development and (2) CSI (Cretaceous Science Investigations): Using Fossils to Solve 70 Million-Year-Old Mysteries
TEPSA Summer Conference (2005) Examining Student Work to Improve Student Achievement: How to Use Benchmarks, Notebooks, & Performance Assessments to Improve Science Instruction
HESTEC 2005: Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology Week, Edinburg, Texas- Workshop presentation: (1) The Carrot Thief Mystery: Solving a Scientific Mystery about Animal Tracks; and (2) Science Fair Organization Made Easy
Rio Grande Valley Science Association Annual Conferences (2002-2007) Conference organization team and presenter. Topics include: Science Fair Safety, Inquiry and the Science Fair, Performance Assessment, Using Fossils to Teach Science to Young Children.
HESTEC 2004: Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology Week, Edinburg, Texas- Workshop presentation: Science Fair Through Scientific Inquiry (2 sessions)
TEPSA Summer Conference 2004: Pre-Conference/Distinguished Lecture: Comprehensive Model for Systemically Improving Elementary Science TAKS Scores
Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching (2004) Corpus Christi, Texas- Two Workshop Presentations: (1) Student Work as Focus for Staff Development and (2) Dino-Activities: Using Fossils and Paleontology to Teach the TEKS
HESTEC 2003: Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology Week, Edinburg, Texas- Workshop presentation: Science Fair Through Scientific Inquiry (2 sessions)
Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching (2003) Houston, Texas-Workshop Presentation: District-wide Performance Assessment to Assess the TEKS in Elementary Science
Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching (2002) El Paso, Texas- Workshop Presentation: Inquiry-based Performance Assessment Using Fossils
Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching (2000) College Station, Texas- Workshop Presentation: Mystery-based Science Performance Assessment for 3rd Grade Students
AASSA International Principals’ and Teachers’ Conference in Campinas, Brazil (1997) Presented “Acquiring and Integrating Knowledge”
AASSA International Educators’ Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (1996) Presented “Hands-on Science for Elementary Teachers”
AASSA International Educators’ Conference in Lima, Peru, (1995) Presented “Developing Grading Rubrics to Align Teaching and Testing”
Regional Conference in Peer Collaboration, Harlingen, TX (1993) Co-organized and presented “SDLOC: A Brain Compatible Teaching Strategy”
Science Math and Technology Symposium at Brownsville, Texas (1993 and 1994) Organized and presented workshops.
Journals & Education:
“Environmental Stewardship at Dalian American International School”. (2013) News Links: International School Services v. XXIX number 1
“Taking a hard look at the 2003 TAKS 5th grade science test” (2004). The Texas
Science Teacher 33 (2) p. 13-19
“Safety and the Use of Explosives and Cannons for Classroom Demonstrations”. Texas Science Education Monthly, v.1, number 8, April 2004,
“Using Data to Facilitate Change at the Classroom Levels: Some Key Pieces of the Picture” Inside and Beyond the Classroom: Accountability and Storytelling. The 2004 Invitational Urban Indicator Data and Evaluation Workshop, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, Fish Camp, CA, March 17-19, 2004 (Co-authored and presented with Roni Rentfro, and Lani Smith)
“Science Reform in the Real World” The Texas Science Teacher (Volume31, Number 2) October 2002 (co-authored with Greg Garcia)
“Evaluating Standards-based Biology Instructional Materials: A Tool for Texas Teachers” The Texas Science Teacher (Volume31, Number 2) October 2002 (co-authored with Sharon Cardenas, Greg Garcia, and Roni Louise Rentfro)
“Closing the Achievement Gap: Inquiry Science for all Elementary Children” Raising Achievement for All Urban Students: Closing the Gap, 2002 Invitational Systemic Initiative Workshop, Orlando, Florida, March 14-16, 2002 (Co-authored and presented paper with Greg Garcia)
“Systemic Use of Debriefing Data for Improving Science Staff Development” Advancing the Knowledge Base by Turning Data into Information, Conference for Data Managers, Local Evaluators, Project Directors, and Urban Study Groups, Tampa, Florida, April 5-7, 2001 (Co-authored and presented with Greg Garcia)
“Mathematics Teacher Certification and Student Achievement” Texas Mathematics Teacher (Volume XLVII Issue 1), Fall 2000 (Co-authored with Carla Perales)
“Hands-on Assessment So Fun, It’s a Crime” The Texas Science Teacher (Volume 29, Number 2) October 2000 (Co-authored with Claudia Villarreal)
“Science Matters in a Constructivist Classroom” The Texas Science Teacher (Volume 29, Number 2) October 2000 (Co-authored with Claudia Villarreal)
“Finding Your Niche in the Want Ads” Science Scope (Volume 17, Number 4) January 1984
“La Bruja” South American Explorer (Autumn 2000) Number 61