Strategist Alejandra Guzman lights up literacy

Strategist Alejandra Guzman lights up literacy
Posted on 02/28/2017
This is the image for the news article titled Strategist Alejandra Guzman lights up literacyAlejandra Guzman has a natural passion for education and impacting the lives of teachers and students. The Los Fresnos CISD Secondary Science Strategist literally “Lights Up Literacy.”

Guzman just completed a successful four-week “Light Up Literacy Challenge” Jan. 30-Feb.24 with 68 teachers at Los Fresnos United and Liberty Memorial Middle School. More than 70 literacy strategies to increase reading and writing in the secondary classroom were filmed.

Some of the most popular literacy strategies filmed were reading and writing yoga, book-tasting events, popcorn reading, silent-video scripts, Socratic circles, ping-pong summaries, and character journeys using Ozobot.

Guzman will edit these videos to make at least seven more TED-Ed lessons discussing strategies that can be used to incorporate more reading and writing across the curriculum.

“It's in a pilot phase,” Guzman said. “The videos will be uploaded to the TED-Ed platform, which will eventually be accessible to the global TED-Ed community. It’s my goal to have these lessons available by May."

She has submitted a proposal to present a #lightupliteracy session at the Region I Technology Conference May 17-19 at the South Padre Island Convention Center.

Ale GuzmanEither an individual teacher or campus can choose to participate in the “Light Up Literacy Challenge.” Each day during the four-week challenge, teachers had specific activities that were recommended to increase literacy which was illustrated in a calendar format.

Every day had a different activity which incorporates reading, writing or both. All activities are cross curricular and can easily be embraced by any content area.

During the four-week challenge, daily incentives were provided by local sponsors including Stars, Chick-Fil-A, Chili’s, Raising Cane’s, and Subway. Guzman is using a Google survey and the TED-Ed lesson platform to see how many educators are up to the challenge.

Teacher evidence was tracked via email and social media, including Twitter, Google Plus, and Instagram, using the #lightupliteracy hashtag. The top participants from each campus were awarded a certificate of completion and a light bulb USB flash drive.

Guzman's work was noticed by TED, a nonprofit that began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged. TED now covers topics from science to business to global issues in more than 100 languages.

Guzman was named as one of 30 educators representing 11 countries that were named to the third cohort of global TED-Ed Innovative Educator program last September. The Light Up Literacy Challenge is part of her professional development program with TED-Ed. Guzman has presented at numerous local, regional, state, national conferences, and can now add global to that list.

“It's my vision to leave a larger legacy,” she said. “Ultimately, everything I do is for the students. I'm in a fortunate position in Los Fresnos to touch so many students through their teachers. I strive to do things bigger and better with cross curricular projects that bridge the gaps between grade levels and content areas like the “Light Up Literacy Challenge."

Guzman, a “teaching gypsy,” enjoys promoting the challenge. She also maintains an educational blog highfivescience.blogspot.com. Science and technology keep her educational fire lit.

Both of my parents are educators at heart so part of my educational passion is due to my genetics. Compared to other subjects, science is the most hands-on and inquiry-based, and that's how I think and learn best. I have been blessed to have had innovative and crazy science teachers.

"I remember one of my seventh-grade science teachers from Houston in particular who made cookies for us with worms in them and had us dissect cow eyes! These unforgettable experiences are what initially got me interested in science.”

Light Up LiteracyFor more information about this TED-Ed project, visit the #lightupliteracy feed on Twitter or contact lightupliteracy@gmail.com.
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