Second-grade teacher Margaret "Maggie" Calagna helps her students develop real-world skills and knowledge for the 21st century at Armand Bayou Elementary School in Houston, Texas. She engages students in creative hands-on activities across multiple content areas—with a special focus on math and science—engaging students' higher-level thinking skills and helping them make real-world connections. Calagna's students learn about recycling by creating musical instruments out of cereal boxes and identify characteristics of live animals from the Armand Bayou Nature Center, using Venn diagrams to study the animals' similarities and differences. Calagna frequently integrates technology into her lessons, helping students learn in a manner that is stimulating and rewarding for their future. Her students have often delivered PowerPoint presentations without her assistance as members of a "Save the Earth" Club. Last year, all of her students read at or above grade level as measured by the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA). Calagna is in her second year as grade-level chair and has led professional development for school and district staff based on the book Love & Logic by Jim Fay, a discipline program that helps parents and teachers raise responsible children. She has served as a district science presenter for other second-grade teachers and presents district training in the GEMS (Great Explorations in Math and Science) approach as a National GEMS Associate. Education majors from the University of Houston often visit her classroom to observe her teaching practices.
2001 Texas A&M University System, B.S.