I used both qualitative and quantitative data analysis for my action research project. I chose to use both forms of analysis because I wanted to compare data using a pre and posttest design to gauge student growth, as well as to look at student’s engagement. When analyzing the results of their tests I saw growth in their test scores, but not significant growth. I now wonder, was it due to the pre and posttests being different or were the students distracted because the testing day fell on the last day of school before a vacation? These are all factors that could have influenced the results of this study.
Even though the overall study did not show significant growth I did notice that struggling students showed more growth than the other subgroups. 60 % of students who receive urgent reading intervention showed improvement in grade level text whereas the other subgroups only showed 33 % or 17% growth.
For my qualitative data I created a three question self-assessment through Google forms. I was able to assign the assignment through my Google Classroom. I asked the following questions:
When I first started this program, I used some technology in my classroom but not a whole lot. Technology is an area that is new for me so I’m still trying to find ways to integrate it into my teaching. My goal is to add a new layer of technology each year to my already established routines. This year I am trying lots of new things, more than I normally would within a year. With all of this experimentation I am starting to feel more comfortable with the idea that my delivery of something new doesn’t have to be perfect. This year I have created and gave surveys through Google classroom, created links for students to access resources online, incorporated digital story telling as part of our daily routine, and made time for adaptive programs for both math and reading. These are just a few things that I have implemented in my classroom this year. It amazes me how quickly my students can learn a new routine when it involves computers, much faster that I ever could. I am looking forward to learning more about flip teaching with primary grade students. I noticed that this teaching method was mainly used with high school students. I have never used or watched Khan Academy videos. I wonder if I could find third grade standard videos and post them in my Google Classroom for students to watch. If the Khan video aren’t what I’m looking for I now know of other digital resources where I can create my own PowerPoint/video. Would this shorten my teaching time and allow for more hands on exploration and mastery of skills? This is defiantly something I plan to look into. Taking this big step to go back to school with two young children is proving to be challenging, doable and well worth it. I am looking forward to broadening my knowledge as the school year continues.
Flipping and Challenge Based Learning seem to be highly engaging teaching methods. Dan Pink and Ramsey Musallam both talk about the importance of curiosity. Musallam’s three rules to spark learning are; #1 curiosity comes first, #2 embrace the mess, and #3 practice reflection. These 3 rules are a major shift in teaching. Yes, learning is messy, but it’s typically taught in a straightforward method. Allowing curiosity to drive instruction WILL be messy. If students come to school excited to learn all while learning is taking place, then I guess it’s time to make some changes. I personally chose this master’s program to learn about technology and make some changes in my own teaching. Over the past three years, I have been trying to ‘bring back the fun’ in learning. After watching the video about the Australian students I am truly inspired. As a third grade teacher our new NGSS standards include natural disasters. This has not been a standard that we have taught in the past, so we don’t have any materials to teach these standards. Soon we will be learning about fractions and the season for east coast natural disasters are quickly approaching. I can foresee a unit that not only includes natural disasters, but functional writing, fractions, art and a talent show. Between all of these ‘fun’ activities, a GLAD unit and a few resource materials, I feel that I have enough to put together a CBL unit this year. It might be messy, but my students will learn all while having fun. I can’t wait to see them apply what they have learned this year.
The article by Sparks reinforces why I have chosen my topic. Students need to have the basic foundational skill of reading to be successful in the future. If they don’t have this at the primary level, by the time they reach high school they still struggle. The intense intervention needs to be made at the primary level in order for students to have success in high school and beyond. The other two articles have conflicting results. Ihsan’s results showed that digital story telling with animation significantly improved reading comprehension, while Wright’s results showed that print books had higher reading comprehension than e-books. These studies were slightly different; it appears that animation and engagement might be the key to increased comprehension. My study will compare one group of student’s reading comprehension with a print book as their pretest and a digital story telling book with slight animation as their post test. Students will also be given a self-assessment to check for engagement. I am curious to see if my results will be similar to Ihsan’s.
1. What were the key ideas you noted from the C-Content speakers. Any synthesis thoughts on them as a whole?
John Seeley Brown
The main idea that I noted was we need to play with content. We can’t be afraid to fail multiple times before finally getting it right. As teachers we have to teach children how to deal with these feelings of not always having an answer or that there is only one right answer. Brown talks about a blended epistemology. Being all three, knowing of content, making or the context and playing. Riddles are a good way to frame be ideas to get students to think out side of the box and collaborate.
The key ideas are Gardner’s 5 minds; discipline, synthesizing, creating, respect and ethics. I find it interesting that the years to mastery within a discipline has been cut in half due to technology. When looking at respect and ethics, children have a tendency to be respectful with peers and those within their community. They struggle with respect and ethics when it doesn’t personally relate to them on a global level. Our society does not reinforce these traits and the job of teaching these life skills now becomes the teacher responsibility.
Sir Ken Robinson
Robinson talked a lot about how as educators our focus is on reading, writing, and math. The arts are being lost and this is where student are able to be creative. Creativity is not something that is learned, it is something that you grow out of, as you get older. Preparing students to be wrong is important for the 21st century. We also need to allow students to move. This movement allows them to think better.
The key idea is intrinsic motivation. Daniel states that motivators create a limited focus while ‘if than’ rewards destroy creativity. He suggests that students need to have an intrinsic drive to do better.
The key ideas that I noticed is that we as educators need to help students learn how to collaborate, build intrinsic motivation, honesty and kindness that will carry them through life, not just while in school. All of these speakers were talking about communication skills and character traits, not academic content.
2. Then consider the list you created from the context of your classroom and your teaching practice.
I have learned that students need to be taught how to work collaboratively, how to deal with failure, learn self-discipline and intrinsic motivation. These are just a few things that students need to be doing on a daily basis. By allowing students to work together they are ale to teach others and further explain their own understanding of the content. Creating projects or posters to display their knowledge allows the creativity that is sometimes suppressed in traditional teaching.
3. As an instructional leader, how might you apply Mobley's 6 insights to help your students (or your colleagues) to think creatively?
I try to create a safe environment that allows students to take a risk. They have to feel safe in order to try something new or challenging themselves even if they might be wrong. Allowing students to be creative without explicate directions is hard. Some students do well, where other struggle where to start if they can’t see the final outcome. I am still working on how to get students to explain or elaborate their answers. Everything is not a yes, no or short answer. This type of explanation and thinking takes a lot of practice. I know that it is important and with time students will become successful.