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Highlights

Education

Experience

Jul 2015Present

Classroom Teacher

The Exploris School
  • Implements a constructivist approach across curricula which includes:
    • Students frequently talking together as they consider tasks and deepen understandings
    • Students employing the inquiry process and using a wide range of approaches to problems and tasks
    • Students reflecting on questions, ideas, strategies, and insights orally and in writing with each other and the teacher
  • Uses student-centered inquiry and engagement with the community to facilitate Project-Based Learning.
  • Collaboratively designs, implements, differentiates, and assesses Common Core State Standards for 4th and 5th graders in all subjects in a co-teaching environment of 44 students and two teachers. 
  • Works with a team of 3 other grade-level teachers, the Special Education team, and a teaching partner/assistant to create daily learning experiences and design long-term projects.
  • Fosters a safe, productive learning environment through carefully crafted community building and a well-managed classroom.
  • Communicates with parents at least once a week via newsletters, emails, and family events.
  • Leadership including the management of Burroughs Wellcome Fund grant to:
    • Provide science and mathematics manipulatives consistent with student-centered learning
    • Facilitate site-wide Professional Development in mathematics
    • Assist, support, and guide teachers in their professional growth
Jan 2015Mar 2016

Teacher Coach

KickUp

KickUp is a teacher coaching organization that pairs expert current teachers with newer teachers that need support.

Coaching with KickUp involves 3 to 4 one-on-one meetings per month. Each meeting is held via phone or Google Hangouts and lasts twenty to forty-five minutes. As coach, I work closely with my mentees to set and monitor individualized goals. Over the course of the mentorship, both the coach and mentee share videotaped lessons for feedback and debriefing.

This official video gives a great picture of what KickUp coaching looks like.

Feedback:

  • "Amanda and I have been working on improving a hands on learning experience with my kids. I have switched to the 5E model because of her coaching which includes students exploring concepts on their own and then allows students to discuss their findings." ~ Jordan, 5th grade science
  • "Amanda is an excellent resource to bounce ideas off of. We discuss practical ways to implement science material, with a focus on student led work. She provides content-specific coaching, that I am otherwise not receiving in my district." ~ Ian, 7th grade science
  • "You seem to have done a wonderful job of engaging your participants by providing very specific strategies to help them improve immediately. You have some of the most satisfied participants, and I think it's because you've helped them see progress right away and have communicated in a consistent and hands-on way to support them." ~ Victoria, Co-founder and Supervisor
2008Present

Lesson Developer & Workshop Facilitator

Meredith Math and Science Institutes
  • Wrote constructivist mathematics lesson plans for grades 3-5 that were distributed as exemplars to over 1,000 North Carolina teachers and administrators
  • Wrote and facilitated a two-day workshop titled, "Leveraging Technology for Teaching and Learning." This workshop focused on the best instructional practices for technology integration.
  • Developed and conducted two-day workshops, one for K-2 teachers and one for 3-5 teachers, called “Building Mathematical Thinkers.” These workshops emphasize classroom practices that help students develop mathematical reasoning.
  • Developed and facilitated a two-day workshop for statewide district leaders, “Leading Implementation of the Common Core State Standards - Mathematics”
  • Wrote and facilitated a two-day workshop titled, "Conquering 5th Grade Mathematics." This workshop focused on using a constructivist learning progression to improve student engagement and understanding.
Jan 2005Present

Grant Writer and Facilitator

  • Wrote and received a five-year Burroughs Wellcome Fund grant of $175,000:
    • Purchase science and/or math materials for nine elementary schools
    • Provide professional development for colleagues through state, regional, and national conferences in science, technology, and mathematics
    • Design and facilitate science inquiry training for K-5 teachers at eight  elementary schools
  • Wrote and received two Donors Choose grants totaling over $3,000 and including the purchase of a Makerbot 3D printer for use in student design projects
  • Wrote and received four grants from the Haywood County Schools Foundation totaling over $1,200 for reading, math, and science materials.
Aug 2011Present

Education Blogger

Teaching and Learning in Community

I began this blog in 2011 to reflect on my experiences as a classroom teacher and share ideas with others. Although the blog has been on sabbatical since June, 2015, it receives over 15,000 visits per month. The four most popular posts cover a wide-range of topics:

My Favorite Heat Transfer Experiment

The 40-Book Challenge: Student Progress Update

Interactive Word Walls: An Incredible Tool for Science

Exploring Volume with Minecraft

Aug 2003Jun 2015

Classroom Teacher

Riverbend Elementary School
  • Constructed and implemented daily lessons in all academic subjects for classes of up to 26 students in this Title One school. This work includes grade 3 (2003-2005) and grade 5 (2005-2015).
  • Communicated with parents at least once a week via classroom newsletters, individualized student reports, class website, and quarterly family events
  • Emphasized and fostered community building to develop a well-managed classroom with a safe, productive learning environment
  • Students used technology to explore, create, and share their learning. Examples include collaborative iPad projects, student-created videos, student blogs, and collaborative global Skype experiences
  • Collaborated both vertically and horizontally to refine, analyze, and improve instruction. Worked with the grade-level team to conduct projects including simulations in social studies, annual grade-level play, and combined experiences in science and mathematics.
  • Managed Burroughs Wellcome Fund Grant
  • Mentored three beginning teachers
20082010

Workshop Facilitator

Partners for Mathematics Learning
  • This project was a 3-year grant funded by state and federal agencies through Meredith College. 
  • Conducted 7 week-long train-the-trainer workshops for 4th and 5th grade teachers and school administrators across North Carolina on student-centered mathematics instruction
  • Facilitated three workshops on constructivist mathematics instruction and vertical alignment for every K-5 math teacher in Haywood County (100+ participants in each session)
  • Led six workshops on constructivist mathematics instruction for forty 4th and 5th grade district teachers

Memberships and Service

  • North Carolina Council for Teachers of Mathematics
    • Conference Program Chair, 2009-2011
    • Elected Regional Vice President, 2012 & 2015
    • Conference volunteer, 2013-present
  • North Carolina Science Leadership Association
  • Western Carolina University P-16 Education Consortium
    • Steering Committee member, 2013-2014
    • Committee Co-chair, 2014-2015
  • North Carolina Science Teachers Association
  • Page Turners Reading Club, an after-school reading club attended by an average of 35 students per week
    • Founder and faculty sponsor, 2012-2015
  • Coding Club, an after-school computer science club attended by an average of 31 students per week
    • Founder and faculty sponsor, 2014
  • Asheville Choral Society
  • Brother Wolf Animal Rescue volunteer
  • Asheville Women’s Rugby Football Club
    • Game-day volunteer, 2010
    • Assistant coach (volunteer), 2011

Classroom Snapshots

My students frequently work together with materials to explore new thinking, share ideas, and solve problems

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • North Carolina Council of Mathematics Teachers, October 2015
  • Meredith Mathematics and Science Institute, July 2015
  • North Carolina Council of Mathematics Teachers, October 2014
  • Johnathan Valley Elementary School, September 2014
  • Meredith Mathematics and Science Institute, August 2014
  • Global Math Department, April 2014
  • Hazelwood Elementary School, September 2013
  • North Canton Elementary School, August 2013
  • Meredith Mathematics and Science Institute, July 2013
  • North Carolina Council of Mathematics Teachers, October 2012
  • McDowell County Schools, July 2012
  • North Carolina Council of Mathematics Teachers, October 2011
  • Rowan-Salisbury Schools, July 2010
  • Haywood County Schools, spring 2010