I had the honor and the privilege to attend and present at the 2022 Immigrants Student Success Virtual Conference.
If you can, check out the many different recorded sessions that can help you provided support to your immigrant students.
The conference covered:
My Session: Identity Affirmation Through Literature, Language and Storytelling
Let me know if you watch my sessions! I'd love to hear your takeaways!
Thank you for reading!
Amplifying the Voices of Unaccompanied Minors Virtual Conference
When & Where:
July 21, 2021
10:00 am – 1:00 pm CDT
What it is:
Amplifying the Voices of Unaccompanied Minors is an opportunity for teachers and school leaders to hear from those who have lived the experience as an unaccompanied minor in the American school system.
DEVELOPING ALL LANGUAGE DOMAINS WITH WRITEREADER
WriteReader is a wonderful platform I've used with elementary and High school students. It's student-friendly & teacher-friendly.
In this webinar I share how & why I use it.
Confirming Existence – Choosing Compelling Text
You can find more information and several other helpful webinars to support you and your students CLICK HERE
Thank you for reading and watching the presentation. If you have any comments, please share below. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
This is the second year I get invited to schools to share about my immigrant journey and my Guatemalan heritage.
This year, I had the privilege to share with an elementary school and a high school! Besides schools, I also shared about my heritage on our local publish library's Facebook page.
Of course, because of the pandemic, these presentations were organized virtually but they were still fun and filled with so much learning.
Ross Elementary - Signature Music School in KS, held their annual Hispanic Heritage Assembly virtually and I had the honor to share a stage with the amazing artist Aaron de la Cuz. Since I knew I was presenting to an elementary audience, I shared my piñata, my cascarones (confetti filled egg shells), how I make my tortillas, and much more!
Here is the recording if you'd like to see it. I know students had a blast and they had really great questions (they always ask about the Ellen experience).
How to support immigrant students in challenging times?
Just wanted to make sure you knew about this fantastic (and FREE) webinar opportunity to learn how to support our immigrant and refugee students.
This free webinar is hosted by Re-imagining Migration and The Immigrant Learning Center's (ILC) Public Education Institute.
It is a two-day online workshop featuring researchers, teacher trainers and pedagogical experts.
Participants will learn:
You can register HERE for the 2020 Immigrant Student Success: Strategies and Tools for K-12 and Adult Educators on July 8 and 9, 12:00 to 3:00 PM EDT, three hours each day
I am honored and humbled to present on July 9th - My topic is: Personal Stories to Build Strong relationships. I also will also be part of a discussion panelist sharing our thoughts on Immigrant StoryTelling.
I hope you can join us but if you can't, I will be providing links to the recordings if you cannot join us live.
Thank you for reading!
The Bilingual/ESL Department at Region 10 ESC in North TX holds an annual symposium for their 500+ educators. This year, due to the COVID pandemic, the event was help virtually.
I was honored and humbled to be invited as their 2020 Symposium 'Power Of Unity' keynote speaker. I was so excited to connect and meet so many passionate educators who are working hard to provide their very best for all students.
The keynote presentation was on June 23rd and it was a way to kick-off the symposium - teachers had a long day of sessions to attend right after the keynote.
My presentation title was 'Shifting from Statistics to Stories'
The presentation was streamed LIVE so you can find the recorded version on my YouTube channel below.
8. DBC, Inc. Live- Teacher Appreciation Series Featuring Emily Francis
I wanted to share this interview with you. On March 30th author and friend Tara Martin invited me to be on the Dave Burger Consulting, Inc Facebook live Teacher Appreciation Series.
During this interview I shared a story about a teacher and friend who has had a power impact in my life - professional and personal life, Angie Power.
I hope you tune in and hear how Angie Power took me under her wing and helped me become the teacher I am today.
Of course I made sure Angie hear this interview so I shared it with her and she responding with the message below.
Watch the recording on the DBC, Inc Facebook page or on Youtube - video below.
Last week I found out about International Children's Book Day - a wonderful worldwide celebration.
I immediately started looking into it - If you know me...you'd know that I am passionate about children's books. I love picture books. I used them when I taught elementary with students in Kindergarten through 5th grade and now I use them with my newcomer high school students.
There's just something magical about a children's books & picture book. I've used them to teach all genres and I've found that students connect with these books and encourages them to learn more.
So, as soon as I found out that International children's Book Day is celebrated on April 2nd, 2020 - I started brainstorming about what book to focus on. Of course, all my cultural and diverse background book collection is in my classroom and there was no way I was going to be allowed in the building to get some.
So I started digging through the books I have at home found a book author John Seidlitz sent me. I had not taken the time to read it so I started reading it...and...Oh...EM...Geeeeee! I started crying while reading it. I couldn't believe there was such an amazing book on my bookshelf and I have not read it!!!
High-Impact Literacy Instruction for ELL Students
I wanted to share with you this amazing opportunity to learn ways to support your English language learners. Bret Gosselin from TX and I will be joining literacy expert Shaelynn Farnsworth on a webinar to share effective practices to support students with reading and writing.
Here's what you'll learn:
Participants will learn creative ways to build relationships and community, specific literacy instructional practices and strategies to implement in the classroom, and advice on how to measure achievement growth in EL learners. We’ll also be sharing tools and tech that you can use in your classroom, inclusive to EL learners, along with writing assignments designed to grow great writers.
The webinar will be on Wednesday, March 18th at 5:00 pm ET.
To register follow this link!
I hope you join us! Please comment below if you registered and share your thoughts after attending our webinar.
A recording will be posted the day after. A link to the recorded webinar will be posted here as well.
Thank you for reading!
Updated on 10/24/19
Publications on the event: Mid-Island Times: Renowned speaker shares inspirational story with Hicksville students click here!
Over a year ago, Lisa Estrada, author and Supervisor of the English as a New Language (ENL) and World Languages department in Hicksville Public Schools in New York, invited me to visit her schools. The dates she considered never coordinated with the dates I had available. Until...we finally agreed on October 7th, 2019.
The ENL department had organized a Hispanic Heritage celebration with several events throughout Hispanic Heritage Month and at different schools throughout the county. Lisa's idea was to bring in a guest speaker who would inspire Latino students to embrace and appreciate their heritage as well as be encouraged to be successful in school.
I don't think I can explain the excitement and the honor I felt when I received Lisa's invitation to be the guest speaker they needed for this event. I have done several keynotes and presentations all through the country, but a keynote presentation for students was going to be my first ever!! Without a doubt, I accepted the invitation and started planning my visit to Hicksville Public School.
Newcomer ELs and students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE) need a respectful and safe environment to function at their full potential. This session will provide culturally responsive pedagogy strategies to cultivate the environment diverse students need. Participants will discover that cultivating such environments needs to start from within. As a ripple effect, a commitment to culturally responsive pedagogy will transform our instruction, school culture, families, community engagement and (ultimately) our students.
On August 15, I was supposed to attend and present at the Annual Global Education Summit in which by the way was in Concord, NC for the first time. This summit is organized by UNC World View department at The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
Unfortunately, and disappointingly, I missed it!! I had to go to TX to drop my son off and the day of my return to NC, my flights were canceled due to bad weather. What a bummer!!
Anyway, I already had my presentation ready so I thought I would post it here for those who might be interested in using picture books to encourage and nurture a global mindset on students in K-12 education. Picture books are powerful pathways to learn, understand and embrace the world around us.
My presentation description was as follows:
Picture books are powerful pathways to learn, understand, and embrace the world around us. Characters’ experiences found in picture books can serve as mirrors that reflect and reaffirm students’ culture and experiences. Picture books serve as windows to an unknown world that nurtures empathy and passion for a global mindset. Incorporate picture books in lessons to support reading, writing, listening and academic discourse.
During the summer of 2018, I received an email from SIOP® senior project manager at Pearson, Allyson Newton, with an invitation of a lifetime. The email was an invitation to serve as a featured keynote speaker at the 2019 SIOP® National Conference in Portland, OR.
Wow! I wish you would've seen my excitement. No words can explain how humbled and honored I felt to be considered. Not only was I going to personally meet THE SIOP® author, (incredible women I admire for their work and passion,) but I was also going to share a national stage with them. An opportunity I couldn't miss!
Authentic, Meaningful Lessons for Newcomers
As educators, it is our responsibility to create and maintain an environment where our newcomers feel welcomed, valued, accepted, and respected. We can do this by drafting and delivering authentic and meaningful experiences where newcomers are not just learning a new language but acquiring life-changing experiences.
Participants engaged in a range of activities to see how easy it is to create authentic and meaningful lessons and experiences for newcomers to not only acquire the English language but also grow personally. We explored topics such as "Discover Own Identities", "Own Name", Our Story", "Embracing Language", and other topics.
Resources used to draft our lessons will vary based on picture books, compelling texts, and Scholastic Action magazines.
If you're like me, I'm always looking for opportunities to learn and better my craft. This is why I wanted to share this with you. On June 5th, 2019, I had the amazing opportunity to present on a webinar with 3 other incredible educators. This webinar was made available through Achieving the Core, an excellent website that provides free, ready-to-use classroom resources that support excellent, standards-aligned instruction for all students.
This webinar helped kick off Achieving the Core's Summer Reading Challenge 2019, which I highly recommend you check out!
As "most popular authors" from Aligned, we introduced some of the transformative practices we’ve implemented in our schools that have helped boost engagement and achievement.
On Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 I had the amazing privilege to attend the 15th Annual Maryland ELL Family Involvement Network (MELLFIN) Conference.
MELLFIN is a non-profit organization, committed to sharing information and resources in support of immigrant families living in Maryland. MELLFIN is a collaborative body, cultivating effective strategies to appropriately meet the needs of Maryland's increasingly diverse and fast-growing immigrant population.
The theme for the 15th annual conference was "Schools and Community Partnership = EL Success". I was honored and humbled to be one of two keynote speakers - Ms. Becky Pringle, Vice President of the National Education Association was our morning keynote and I served as the afternoon keynote.
I had the privilege to share my immigrant journey as well as a few tips to support families and English learners to reach their full (and sometimes hidden) potential.
On February 21st, 2019 I had the privilege to collaborate and participate in a webinar hosted by SupportEd. Participating alongside Diane Staehn Fenner - president of SupportEd, Sydney Snyder, and Jill Kester was just beyond an imaginable opportunity.
First of all, I am a huge fan of their book, "Unlocking English Learners' Potential". This book provides an array of strategies and ideas to support ELs on working at their fullest potential. I've also participated in several of their free webinars and I've learned so much.
So, the title of our webinar is
Supporting ELs' Oral Language Development Through Academic Conversation.
You can access the recorded webinar here.
I was honored to attend a wonderful family event night organized by the English as a Second Language of Rowan-Salisbury, North Carolina. This meeting had ELs and their families at heart. Not only they allowed me to share my immigrant story and EL experience to the audience in Spanish, but also they had several workshops available for parents.
I loved taking questions and answering concern parents have in regards to second language learning; using native language at home; the law that protects ESL students; how school system works in the USA, etc.
I can tell that a lot of parents felt a connection to my story and I hope that my story stays with them forever!
The Virginia ESL Supervisors' Association (VESA) hosts an annual conference that provides K-12 Virginia educators and administrators of English Learners opportunities for professional development, learning new ideas, networking, and program planning.
I was honored to join Dr. Kate Kinsella as keynote speakers for the 2019 conference entitled: Creating Pathways to Proficiency
You can access the full conference program below!
The Long Island Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (L.I. RBERN) holds an annual conference organized by the ENL/Bilingual Program Office. The Long Island Teacher Institute 2018, "Generation NOW: ACC-ELL-erating Pathways to Success for Linguistically Diverse Learners was on December 7th, 2018.
I was honored to be invited as their featured presenter following the amazing keynote presentation by Dr. Lorena Llosa.
On October 22nd, 2018 - I had the privilege to be featured on DisruptED TV Teacher Sparks. Host, Michele Hill, (a passionate educator who by the way I admire), invited me to not only share my immigrant story but also share what I am currently doing for my students and their families.
We had a great conversation around elements and ways we need in our schools and classrooms to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for diverse students. Cultural responsiveness is definitely a topic we both feel very strongly about - so it became core to our conversation.
Check out the video and let me know if you have any comments or questions!
Thank you for reading and watching the video!!
On October 23rd - October 26th, 2018 I had the opportunity to attend my first WIDA annual conference! The conference was in Detroit and I was able to attend with Stacey Diaz, Cabarrus County's ESL counselor and Doug Carr, Cabarrus County's social worker.
I was honored to co-present a session with my colleagues and I also had a session on my own.
I attended several fantastic sessions where I learned a lot and met a lot of Twitter friends! It is by far one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had!
#1: Teachers, School Counselors, and Social Workers:
Collaborating for Success
"Research shows that students with engaged families adapt better to school, attend school more regularly, have better social skills, and pursue post-secondary opportunities. We explored the role of teachers, school counselors, and social workers in engaging families and learn about culturally responsive family engagement practices. Developed an action plan based on examples given to implement culturally responsive engagement practices at your school."
"I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences. Today is one of those experiences." Sonia Sotomayor
#2: Establishing a Comfortable Environment for Diverse Students
- From Inside-Out
"Students need a respectful environment to function to their full potential. This session provided Culturally Responsive Pedagogy strategies to create the environment diverse students need. Participants visualized that in order to establish such environment, it needs to start from within. Then, as a ripple effect it carries onto our students, our content teaching pedagogy, school culture, family and community engagement, and ultimately engage globally as open-minded individuals.
After my session, I asked participants the following question as an exit ticket: A year from now, what will be important for you to remember about this session?
On Thursday, August 23rd, 2018 - I had the greatest privilege to present during the National Council of State Title III Directors (NCSTIIID) webinar! I shared my story and some resources and key elements to build great partnerships with our English language learners' families. Building partnership with our families will ensure student success.
**Webinar was recorded .** follow this link: My part is about 60 min into webinar!
Below you'll find my presentation slides and the links I mentioned during the presentation.
Link to online slides: Click here to access slides on Building Partnerships with Families to Ensure Student Success
You can also download slides as a PDF document here.
Links to resources mentioned during presentation:
Slide #8 ELLevation Podcast about Talking Points resource.
Slide #9 Con Respeto Blog Post link
Slide #10 Parent Survey sample link
Slide #16 Sarah Ottow’s blog based on my story link
After my presentation, I had the audience log into menti.com and answer question related to our topic. These questions and answers were to show our thinking and to see if we were in the same page when it comes to supporting our ELs and their families.
These were the results:
Thank you for reading!
On August 7th, 2018 I had the greatest privilege to be the opening keynote at the North Carolina Department of Education: Growing Success for English Learners' summer conference.
Below you'll find my slides presentation if you'd like to go over it.
You may also want to check out the convention's hashtag (#NCELs18) to see our learning!
During my presentation, I had the audience pause and reflect on my story. I had them go to mentimeter.com and created the word cloud below by entering three words that came to mind after hearing my story. There were 140 participants who enter words and I LOVE how the word 'CULTURE' is the one word that stands out! Passion and inspire are the next two words that stand out.
THANK YOU, thank YOU, to Geovana for catching this short video!!
Thank you for reading!
On May 16th, 2018, Peter Cameron and Derek Rhodenizer made available a platform where more than 100 educators from around the world shared their best practices and strategies. I spent all day going from video to video learning from so many inspiring educators.
The link for all the videos is available here is you're interest in learning more and access all MADPD presentations.
I did not present during the event, but I applied to participate on their #MADpd Spotlight Series. Every week a presenter gets the spotlight with chats about the topic.
I decided to share the work my students did during our 2017-2018 school year. Their work is so amazing that was featured on www.Achievethecore.com. Check it our here and here if you want to read more.
I hope you enjoy this video and let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for reading!