Amanda Powell

I have an amazing husband, Michael, 4 awesome children-ages 8-14, and I am a 4th grade math and science teacher in Texas. I love spending time with my family, playing and watching sports, and traveling. I am working toward my Masters in Elementary Education at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. I plan to graduate May 2018.

TX

Recent Reviews by Amanda

Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:36 PM
Water Cycle Connections
In her article, The Home Zone: Water for Life, Damonte explains the water cycle for elementary students. She also includes an activity to bring the water cycle to life. Damonte clearly explains the significance of the water cycle. I enjoyed reading this article, which is geared toward elementary students. Teachers are encouraged to copy and distribute it to students. Damonte relates the water cycle to everyday life and explains the importance of water to survival. Students will easily relate to her references to rainy days, puddles on the playground, and condensation on a cold glass of lemonade. The hands-on experience that brings the water cycle to life is building a terrarium. Damonte gives step-by-step instructions on planting seeds in a plastic cup. The students water the seeds, then cover the cup with an upside down cup and seal them together with tape. Students are also directed to draw and label their terrarium with the water cycle steps. This helps them understand what is happening with the water cycle and why they don’t have to water their seeds. The water cycle explanations with real-life examples, together with the hands-on terrarium modeling the water cycle, are powerful ways to teach the water cycle to elementary students. One way to further improve on the article would be to explain the water cycle with bullet points to summarize so students can see the main ideas more clearly. Also, I think more emphasis could be placed on the sun as the source of energy. Damonte mentions, “The heat from the sun causes water to evaporate from the land and ocean.” I think students need to realize without the sun, the water cycle could not occur. In the fourth grade Texas TEK 4.8B, students must, “describe and illustrate the continuous movement of water above and on the surface of Earth and through the water cycle and explain the role of the Sun as a major source of energy in this process”. In the terrarium activity, students should be directed to draw the source of energy along with their drawing and labeling of their terrarium. At the end of the terrarium activity, students are encouraged to replant their seedling in a new pot or outside. Instructions should also be given to water their new plant since the water cycle isn’t contained anymore. Overall, I really enjoyed this informative, real-world related, and hands-on article and activity. I look forward to using it this week with my students!

Recent Public Collections by Amanda

Submarine Project Research

5 Resources

Buoyancy, Friction, Stabilizing fins, Submarine

Elementary Design Challenges
Type: Journal Article

Paint-Stirrer Submarine
Type: Journal Article

Planning Techniques/Pedagogy

6 Resources

Help for designing lesson plans and units

Teaching Teachers: Using Effective Demonstrations for Motivation
Type: Journal Article

Methods and Strategies: Concept-Focused Teaching
Type: Journal Article

Forces

5 Resources

Research for elementary lesson on electric circuits and electricity

Shoe Box Circuits
Type: Journal Article