Amanda Byrum

I am a transitioning (5th grade to 4th grade) math & science teacher at Hemmenway Elementary, in CyFair ISD. I love teaching science in an inquiry-based setting and encouraging my students to ask questions about the world around them.



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Recent Posts by Amanda

Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:10 PM in No Science in the Classroom
Hi Jessica, I think that it all depends on testing. Here in Texas, our 5th graders have a state standardized Science test, so we are able to teach science for a dedicated 75 minutes each day. Sometimes it does get shortchanged in order to focus more on math & reading, however we try not to. However, next year I'm transferring to a 4th grade classroom. In TX, our 4th graders are tested on ...

Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:05 PM in 5th grade engineering
Hi Cory, We just finished up our school year and spent the last 3 weeks of school exploring engineering. Honestly, it was my favorite part of the year! We'd just finished up our standardized testing and had a little "breathing room" but needed to keep the kids engaged. I introduced the topic by having a few different engineers come in to have quick chats with my kids, and we watched the mo...

Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:56 PM in Science Websites for Students
Probably my favorite forum post so far! Thanks for all of the awesome suggestions!

Recent Reviews by Amanda

Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:39 PM
5 Excellent tool for grading writing!
It is so important to integrate writing as much as possible into the science classroom. However, as a math / science teacher, I really struggle with grading writing assignments. I found this article to be an amazing tool with tips and hints for grading writing samples. The article includes a great survey that the author used with her students that provided feedback on how students view comments. I especially liked the sections on "examples of comments that students found helpful on returned assignments" and "examples of comments that were not helpful". Also particularly interesting was the advice to collaborate with the students' reading / language arts teacher when assigning writing, communicating expectations, and grading written work. Overall, I found the article to be very well written and informative, especially from a newer teacher's perspective.

Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:59 PM
4 Informative & Helpful
This resource is very informative and helpful. I initially thought it'd just be tips for integrating invertebrates into your classroom, and was pleasantly surprised to see the resources and lessons provided. I love the idea of having students teach a lesson about the chosen animal to younger students. I cannot wait to incorporate these activities into my 4th classroom next year.

Recent Public Collections by Amanda

Careers in STEM

9 Resources

"Preparing students for careers that may not even exist yet" is an intimidating challenge.

Primary Paleontologists: Students "dig in" to excavate buried "fossils"
Type: Journal Article

Career of the Month: An interview with Dinosaur Paleontologist Matthew Carrano
Type: Journal Article

Interactive Science Notebooks

9 Resources

While I currently incorporate Interactive Science Notebooks (ISNs) into my daily classroom culture, I feel that this is a skill that can always be improved upon. I love reading how others use these tools to enhance their students' learning experience.

An Interactive Lecture Notebook—Twelve Ways to Improve Students’ Grades: Drawing Students’ Attention to What They need to Know in Lecture
Type: Journal Article

Five Good Reasons to Use Science Notebooks
Type: Journal Article

Technology in the Science Classroom

2 Resources

I am very interested in incorporating technology into my science classroom as much as possible. I hope to implement a class blog or vlog this year, as well as to 'beef up' my class website. I'm also very interested in seeing how I can use different technology to enhance my existing science lessons.

Tech Trek: Podcasts and blogs
Type: Journal Article

Science 2.0: Create a Classroom Blog!
Type: Journal Article