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Best Practices for Teaching Argument Writing in Secondary Schools

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This honors thesis outlines a method for teaching argument writing in the secondary classroom, including the elements of an argument based upon the Toulmin method, and diverse ways to help students who are all types of learners become engaged and

This honors thesis outlines a method for teaching argument writing in the secondary classroom, including the elements of an argument based upon the Toulmin method, and diverse ways to help students who are all types of learners become engaged and receive the support they need. It includes all elements of argument, including evidence, warrants, backing, counterargument, claims, theses, the rhetorical triangle and the rhetorical appeals, including definitions and how they fit together in an argumentative essay. The largest portion of the project is dedicated to activities and resources for teachers based upon all of those elements, along with activities for the writing process as a whole. These activities are based upon the student's individual experience as well as various scholarly resources from leading professionals in the curriculum development field for English Language Arts. This is not meant to be an end-all be-all solution for teaching argument writing, but rather one of many resources that teachers can use in their classroom. This 30-page paper, including references, are condensed into an accessible website for teachers to use more easily. Each tab on the website refers to a different element or focus of the argument writing process, with both a definition and introduction as well as one or more activities for teachers to implement into the classroom. The activities are versatile and general for the purpose of teachers being able to include them into whatever curriculum they are currently teaching. The goal is that they can add argument instruction into what they are already either willingly or being required to teach in an easy and logical way. The website is available for any secondary teachers to use as they see fit at www.teachingargumentwriting.weebly.com.

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Date Created
2018-05

Theory Jam: A New Approach to Music Theory

Description

Theory Jam is a series of online, education videos that teach music theory in a fun, engaging way. Our project is a response to the growing need for successful online education content. It incorporates strategies for creating effective educational video

Theory Jam is a series of online, education videos that teach music theory in a fun, engaging way. Our project is a response to the growing need for successful online education content. It incorporates strategies for creating effective educational video content and engages with contemporary debates in the field of music theory surrounding the purpose of a music theory education.

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Date Created
2018-05

Project Eden: An Educational Outreach Program

Description

In 1996, I was born to two Filipino immigrants in El Paso, Texas. At the time, my father was in the process of completing his residency at the University of Texas, working strenuous 16-hour days almost every day as a

In 1996, I was born to two Filipino immigrants in El Paso, Texas. At the time, my father was in the process of completing his residency at the University of Texas, working strenuous 16-hour days almost every day as a fledgling resident physician. My mother was a full-time nurse then, working nightshifts to give her the freedom to tend to me during the day while my father was in training. Prior to their immigration to the United States under working visas in 1994, both of my parents came from families whose livelihood depended on agriculture. For my father, it was fishing, raising livestock, and tending to rice fields in a village called Siaton; for my mother, it was sugar cane processing and a family business of selling pigs in a town called Bogo. Despite facing many ups and downs along the way, these family occupations afforded my parents the opportunity to attend school from elementary to higher education. They eventually decided to pursue jobs in the health care industry so that they could immigrate to the United States, send money back to their loved ones in the Philippines, and provide a better life for the family they intended to start together.

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2020-05

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A Marketing Guide for Newly Established Nonprofits

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This section acts as a guide for newly established nonprofits in creating a marketing plan. Through extensive research on what strategic marketing looks like in the nonprofit sector, we have developed a guide for nonprofits that are attempting to establish

This section acts as a guide for newly established nonprofits in creating a marketing plan. Through extensive research on what strategic marketing looks like in the nonprofit sector, we have developed a guide for nonprofits that are attempting to establish their brand and expand their marketing techniques.

First, we created two separate surveys, taking responses from over 1000 individuals at Arizona State University. These surveys focused on building trust in nonprofits, preferred marketing strategies as a consumer, and general awareness for various social issues that affect local and national nonprofits. Second, we conducted professional interviews with marketing leaders at nonprofits. These ranged from smaller, local nonprofits to nonprofits that operate on a national level. Their missions were all geared toward different causes, meaning they offered a diverse set of skills and advice on nonprofit marketing.

After obtaining this data, we created a guide for nonprofit marketing. Because there is a lack of information available on building marketing techniques in the nonprofit sector, we aimed to create a general guideline that could be applied to a variety of nonprofits and develop their marketing strategy. This includes details on how to create an executive summary, conduct a SWOT analysis, and the different strategies a nonprofit organization should implement.

Further, to test this marketing plan, we partnered with a local nonprofit in Arizona, Million Dollar Teacher Project. Million Dollar Teacher Project is a relatively new nonprofit, and focuses on educational inequality in Arizona. After looking over all our research and the nonprofit marketing guide, we were able to develop a plan for increasing engagement, awareness, and trust for Million Dollar Teacher Project. We pinpointed areas of improvement, such as social media, ambassador programs, email marketing, and follow up strategy.

The nonprofit marketing plan, our survey results, interview transcripts, as well as our marketing plan for Million Dollar Teacher Project can be found below.

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Date Created
2020-05

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Putting a Ding in the Universe: Creative Arts and the SolarSPELL

Description

The SolarSPELL is an offline, ruggedized, digital library, created by Dr. Laura Hosman for the U.S. Peace Corps. It has thousands of pieces of educational content that can be accessed through a self-contained Wi-Fi hotspot on the device itself. Currently,

The SolarSPELL is an offline, ruggedized, digital library, created by Dr. Laura Hosman for the U.S. Peace Corps. It has thousands of pieces of educational content that can be accessed through a self-contained Wi-Fi hotspot on the device itself. Currently, there are more than 200 deployed in several Pacific Island nations. After visiting one of these nations, Tonga, in December of 2016, I learned that almost all of the Peace Corps volunteers stationed around the Pacific Islands suffered from a lack of resources due to a variety of reasons. While the SolarSPELL helps to remedy that, the device is lacking classroom activities and resources for creative work and educational drama. Furthermore, for many students in these environments, schools are for learning information and producing high scores on exams, not for learning about creative strengths and identity. After researching curriculum development and the use of drama in an educational setting, I compiled over 50 pieces of content to include on the SolarSPELL involving art, drama, music, movement, and most importantly, imagination. These resources will allow Peace Corps volunteers to explore additional ways to teach English in their schools, while also creating a classroom environment that allows for creative expression. All the content is compiled into one folder as "Teaching Resources", and is then broken down into seven sub- categories. In the first sub-category, Art Projects, there is a collection of several hands-on projects, many of which involve recyclable or readily available materials. These projects will allow for a greater understanding of conservation and "green" living, concepts that are crucial to the stability of these island nations. The next 5 categories are Drama Readings, Music, Movement, and Video, Group Exercises, Creative Writing, and Worksheets. The second sub- category is a collection of beginner-level "Reader's Theater" scripts. The third sub-category involves music and video to engage students in movement activities. The fourth sub-category is a compilation of group games and activities to help students express themselves and learn social skills. The fifth sub-category includes a collection of activities such as fill-in-the-blank story worksheets and journal prompts which will aid in creative thinking and the practice of the English language. The sixth sub-category involves a collection of worksheets that mainly focus on self-reflection and identity. The seventh and final sub-category, Content Guide and Information, works to explain the benefits of using of drama and creative play in the classroom, as well as strategies teachers can implement in order to further engage their students in dramatic learning and play. Overall, these pieces of content are meant to be used as resources for the Peace Corps volunteers in order to provide alternative ways to practice reading, writing, and speaking the English language, a critical part of education in the Pacific Islands.

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2017-12

History in Action: Performing History as a Method of Teaching

Description

The purpose of this research was to create a theoretical lesson plan to teach the French Revolution, and specifically the March on Versailles, to secondary-level (middle and high school) students. This lesson plan incorporates a simulation of the March on

The purpose of this research was to create a theoretical lesson plan to teach the French Revolution, and specifically the March on Versailles, to secondary-level (middle and high school) students. This lesson plan incorporates a simulation of the March on Versailles for students to participate in as a supplement to their usual lesson, and as a different and engaging method of learning. For the purposes of this honors thesis, the research and information gathered was split into four individual sections: a pedagogy, a historiography, a series of short biographies, and a script which is accompanied by a short film of the dialogue. These four parts would work together in order for an instructor to easily build either a simple, short, one-class lesson or a multi-lesson project for their students. The parts combine research into educational studies and research on French Revolutionary history in order to encompass all aspects of a lesson. The goal of such research into a potential lesson plan would be to create a history lesson which is more interesting to all students, especially those who struggle to find enjoyment in history. Moving forward, this theoretical lesson would be put into practice with middle or high school students in order to gauge their interest and engagement with the subject before and after a simulation in their class.

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Date Created
2016-05

A Pilot Study: Using Visual Supports to Teach Algebraic Problem Solving Skills to Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Description

My Barrett Honors Thesis Paper synthesizes three components of my Thesis Project, which demonstrates the process of developing strong research from the beginning stage of investigation of a problem to implementation of an intervention to address that problem. Specifically, I

My Barrett Honors Thesis Paper synthesizes three components of my Thesis Project, which demonstrates the process of developing strong research from the beginning stage of investigation of a problem to implementation of an intervention to address that problem. Specifically, I engaged in research on the topic of mathematics and students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). My review of the literature demonstrated a current dearth in the knowledge on effective interventions in math for this population of students. As part of my project, I developed and implemented an intervention to address the problem and help improve the knowledge base in the fields of autism and mathematics. Through the initial research process it was determined that students with autism spectrum disorders are being included more frequently in the general educational setting, and are therefore increasingly expected to access and master core curricular content, including mathematics. However, mathematics often presents challenges to students with ASD. Therefore, the first part of my Thesis Project is a comprehensive literature review that synthesized eleven studies of mathematics intervention strategies for students with ASD. Researching the current literature base for mathematics interventions that have been implemented with students with ASD and finding only eleven studies that met the inclusionary criteria led to the writing of the second part of my Thesis Project. In this second portion, I present how three research-based practices for students with autism, self-management, visual supports, and peer-mediated instruction, can be implemented in the context of teaching a higher-level mathematics skill, algebraic problem solving, specifically to students with ASD. By employing such strategies, teachers can assist their students with ASD to benefit more fully from mathematics interventions, which in turn may help them strengthen their mathematics skills, increase independence when completing problems, and use acquired skills in community or other applied settings. As part of the second portion of my Thesis Project, I developed a visual support strategy called COSMIC (a mnemonic device to guide learners through the steps of algebraic problem solving) to help aid students with ASD when solving simple linear equations. With the goal of contributing to the current research base of mathematics interventions that can support students with ASD, for the final part of Thesis Project I worked with a local middle school teacher to assist her in implementing our COSMIC intervention with her student with ASD. Results indicated the student improved in his algebraic problem solving skills, which suggests additional interventions with students with ASD to be recommended as part of future research.

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2015-12

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Global Young Adult Literature in the Classroom: The Benefits of Introducing Global Texts to High School Students

Description

The changing student demographics of schools in the US offer opportunities to introduce new curriculum. Schools are seeing an increase in the diversity within classrooms, including an increase in the amount of students from other countries. This project discusses the

The changing student demographics of schools in the US offer opportunities to introduce new curriculum. Schools are seeing an increase in the diversity within classrooms, including an increase in the amount of students from other countries. This project discusses the potential benefits of introducing four specific Global Young Adult novels to high school classrooms in hopes of achieving a more culturally-responsive classroom. These novels include: Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Now Is the Time for Running by Michael Williams, Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman, and The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez. As there are many arguments for Global YA Literature, this project focuses on the themes of the novels and the implications for the classroom. From a thematic approach, these four novels offer insight into the fluid nature of culture, as the characters must balance different identities as they move around the world. These themes can be used to create dialogue between students on cultural identity and how cultural surroundings affect their identities. These novels can also give students a more empathetic approach as they encounter cultural differences, creating a better community within the classroom.

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2015-12

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Technology's Role in K-6 Education as a Means to Teach Collaborative Skills

Description

This thesis aims to enhance K-6 Education in the United States by developing recommendations for how technology is utilized in the classroom as a means to teach collaborative skills. By applying the technological capabilities we have today to the Common

This thesis aims to enhance K-6 Education in the United States by developing recommendations for how technology is utilized in the classroom as a means to teach collaborative skills. By applying the technological capabilities we have today to the Common Core State Standards that are gradually being adopted and implemented, officials can improve the quality of education across the country and create classroom environments conducive to knowledge acquisition and skill development.
The research begins with the history of standards, starting with traditional outcome-based standards. It then delves into the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), which highlights the type of skills 21st century students are expected to develop and master by the time they enter college and careers. Next, it explores the hot topic of Education to this date: Common Core State Standards. In the midst of educational reform, these standards seek to add consistency across the nation in regards to what students should know at each grade level and also encourage teaching of the 21st century skills. This section briefly details the content of Common Core English Language Arts and Mathematics standards.
After summarizing P21 and Common Core, this report shifts into its focused 21st century skill: collaboration. As one of the 4 C’s that P21 and Common Core emphasize in their standards, it is imperative to research critical elements of collaboration as they relate to groups and teams of all ages. Even more specifically, collaboration is a practice that is becoming more and more standard in business across all industries, so it is a skill that is highly in demand for students to acquire. In regards to collaboration, Executive Vice President of Verizon, Bob Mudge, states, “companies are able to innovate much more quickly and even create solutions to problems that may not be prevalent issues yet” (Mudge 1). The standards expect that students will be prepared to collaborate in college and careers, so key elements of collaboration in those settings—in-person or virtual—need apply or be simplified to K-6 collaborative environments. This section also analyzes a case study experiment on young children about how technology functionality and design enables, encourages, or enforces collaboration.
Next, this thesis reviews three case studies that represent evolution in our understanding of technology’s role as a support system in teaching and learning collaboration. The first case study shows how simple handheld devices assisted in correcting weaknesses in a variety of collaborative and organizational skills. The second study utilizes interactive tabletop technology to realize the idea of tracking collaborative ability in real time through synchronized audio and touch recording. Finally, researchers assess the effectiveness of one student to one device (1:1) initiatives by gathering student-reported data before and after the program’s implementation, which largely speak to the direction of many schools’ technology strategies.
To supplement all of the secondary research above, the researcher of this thesis conducted interviews with nine K-6 teachers to gather their insights on collaboration and how they facilitate it. They explain how they use technology in their classroom to enhance the learning environment. Additionally, they give opinions on what could be done to make collaboration more easily taught and facilitated, as well as what would better develop their students’ collaborative skills.
The compilation of this information then leads to implications of what needs to be present, from a technology standpoint, to more effectively teach collaborative skills to our schoolchildren. This includes a brief industry analysis of a program that already exists, as well as recommendations for new technology that considers the research conducted throughout the paper. Another implication addressed centers on the instruction and facilitation of technology and the digital divide that can result from varying competency among teachers, which brings to light the need for proper technology development programs for educators.

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Date Created
2014-05

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So Much Drama!: Teaching High School Theatre

Description

This project and research intended to address how to successfully run and teach a high school level Theatre I course. The research portion of the project focused on activities to use in the classroom, how to run a drama club

This project and research intended to address how to successfully run and teach a high school level Theatre I course. The research portion of the project focused on activities to use in the classroom, how to run a drama club and put on productions, and how to create a positive classroom environment where students feel comfortable creating art. The creation portion of the project focused on the things a teacher will need in the classroom: an introduction letter, vision statement, syllabus, and unit plans. The final product includes three unit plans: Introduction to Theatre I, Introduction to Acting, and Theatre and Social Change. The use of the materials in this thesis can help first-time Theatre teachers to become better prepared to run their classroom.

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Date Created
2014-05