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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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2018-05

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Reggio Emilia in the American Middle School

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The Reggio Emilia Approach to early childhood education is touted as one of the best educational philosophies for teaching young students. The approach emphasizes project-based learning, multiple intelligences, and community involvement, among other key tenets. While Reggio is growing in

The Reggio Emilia Approach to early childhood education is touted as one of the best educational philosophies for teaching young students. The approach emphasizes project-based learning, multiple intelligences, and community involvement, among other key tenets. While Reggio is growing in popularity worldwide, little research exists measuring the true efficacy of the approach. This study identifies research-based pedagogical best practices that support the elements central to the Reggio classroom. The study also explores adapting the Reggio Emilia Approach to the upper-elementary or middle school classroom. The approach is traditionally meant for early childhood, but its research-backed strategies could benefit students of any age group. The study is followed by three sample lesson plans, demonstrating how elements of the Reggio Emilia Approach could be adapted into a middle school English curriculum.

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2018-05

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Teachers' Responses to Students' Anxiety: How Does it Impact Students' School Experiences?

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With an increase in the discussion around mental health in general, there needs to be research geared toward how educational professionals may assist a student who struggles with anxiety symptoms or disorders. This study aimed to determine how students with

With an increase in the discussion around mental health in general, there needs to be research geared toward how educational professionals may assist a student who struggles with anxiety symptoms or disorders. This study aimed to determine how students with anxiety and anxiety disorders are impacted by teachers' responses to their anxiety manifestations, both positive and negative, in terms of their school experience. This study also investigated students' suggestions for how teachers may effectively assist a student who struggles with anxiety. This study used self-reported data from students from an honors college via a survey and focus groups in order to investigate these topics. The results found that students value student-teacher relationships and communication, flexibility (accommodations), and empathy from the teacher. Results suggest it is important for teachers to get to know a student and understand his or her challenges before making judgments.

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2018-12

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Analysis on the Consolidation of School Districts: A New Way to Address Educational Inequity

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Current funding for education is largely dependent on property taxes and as a result, there is an inequitable access to resources from school district to school district. This paper addresses this inequity by providing an analysis on the consolidation of

Current funding for education is largely dependent on property taxes and as a result, there is an inequitable access to resources from school district to school district. This paper addresses this inequity by providing an analysis on the consolidation of school districts. The analysis includes case studies from multiple states, a literature study on existing research on consolidation, and a proposal for the state of Arizona, the state where this paper originates. Overall, this paper acknowledges that consolidation is not a universal solution to educational inequity and the successful implementation of this process. Rather, it is a way to reduce the gap.

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2018-05

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Technological Equity in Local and National K-12 Education: How Can I Be More Mindful About Promoting Digital Access and Fluency in My Future Classroom?

Description

The purpose of this study was to determine how I, as a future teacher, can best combat inequities in technological access and fluency in my future classroom. In this study, I explored a range of literature on the role of

The purpose of this study was to determine how I, as a future teacher, can best combat inequities in technological access and fluency in my future classroom. In this study, I explored a range of literature on the role of technology in the classroom, the digital divide in home and school settings, and variance in digital literacy. Additional insight was gained through interviews and observing school faculty in three public school districts in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. This provided a better understanding of local context in order to gain a sense of the national and local realities of the digital landscape as they relate to educational equity in the educational settings where I aim to serve as a certified teacher.

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2017-05

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A Comprehensive Literature Review of Language Programs: Immersion and

Description

Currently experiencing a demographic shift in the student population, the public school system has seen an influx of ELLs (English Language Learners) within the student population with the vast majority being speakers of Spanish, and the issue has arisen of

Currently experiencing a demographic shift in the student population, the public school system has seen an influx of ELLs (English Language Learners) within the student population with the vast majority being speakers of Spanish, and the issue has arisen of how best to educate these students to acquire English as an additional language. Amongst the states with higher concentrations of ELLs, the state of Arizona once gave relatively free reign on the education of ELLs which subsequently resulted in wide disparities in qualities due to both lack of teacher preparation and funding, and this resulted in the 2000 case of Flores vs. Arizona which validated the claims that the state failed to provide adequate funding and resources to the education of ELLs. In accordance with the ruling, Arizona passed Proposition 203 which mandated that ELLs be taught solely in English, and this is reflective of restrictive language policy. Though implemented for a short time, this review discussed how restrictive language programs can be detrimental to student achievement, and proposed bilingual education as an alternative to spur student literacy and achievement. Evidenced by the case studies of France, Spain, and other states with the latter two shifting towards bilingual education, the review discussed the implications of France's apprehension to bilingual education and the others implementing it. Finding that bilingual education proved to be more the better choice of the two language programs with consideration of two-way immersion rather than one-way, the review also proposes a sample model that could be used in Arizona, and this is based upon models utilized in Spain and other states with evident benefits which are juxtaposed to France's prolonged use of language restriction.

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2017-05

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Classroom Integration of STEM Using Learning Centers

Description

This project examined the need for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities within a specific modality (centers) and their potential influence on elementary students with a particular emphasis on gender. STEM is an interdisciplinary curriculum that seeks to seamlessly

This project examined the need for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities within a specific modality (centers) and their potential influence on elementary students with a particular emphasis on gender. STEM is an interdisciplinary curriculum that seeks to seamlessly incorporate science, technology, engineering, and math. Due to the increasing demand for STEM professions and proficiency within each aspect, the education system and individual educators require lessons and modalities that motivate learning in each of these areas. Administrators and teachers need creative ways to provide effective STEM implementation. Currently, the education system as a whole lacks creative and motivating material for these four domains. Not only this, but there has been a misunderstanding in regard to what effective STEM implementation entails, as well as a dearth of classroom ready lessons for educators. As a result, this thesis project developed a way to implement STEM through the use of learning centers. Learning centers are defined as designated areas within a classroom that allow easy access to a variety of learning materials. Within these centers are activities that reinforce concepts by using inquiry-based learning. Learning centers are effective in developing additional concepts or providing students with a greater breadth of knowledge on a concept. This thesis project developed three STEM learning center activity boxes and two STEM learning center outlines. Creating effective STEM learning centers and outlines was a multistep process. The first step was to develop a 3E lesson plan for each activity. Once the lesson plans were revised and complete, the creation of the three activity boxes was next. To create the activity boxes, all the required materials and worksheets were gathered and printed. From there, the next step was to implement the learning centers in a classroom to observe the results and propose any modifications. Afterwards, a reflection detailing the results and modifications was made. In the end, the goal of this project was to develop easily implemented STEM activities for my future classroom. Coming up with a creative way to get kids curious and excited about STEM is key in building STEM awareness. Not only did my project create STEM activities I can implement, but it also allowed me the opportunity to share my activities with other teachers. As a result, influencing the spread of STEM amongst future and current teachers.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Differences in Student-Perceived Anxiety and Attention Levels Between Italian Language and Non-Language College Courses

Description

The levels of student-perceived anxiety and attention in the Italian language classroom were evaluated. The central evaluation focused on the differences between how students experience anxiety and attention between Italian language and non-language courses. First-year Italian language students were surveyed

The levels of student-perceived anxiety and attention in the Italian language classroom were evaluated. The central evaluation focused on the differences between how students experience anxiety and attention between Italian language and non-language courses. First-year Italian language students were surveyed using a self-report measure to identify individual levels of anxiety and attention during Elementary Italian I (ITA 101) courses compared to their experiences in non-language 100-level courses. A total of 65 responses were collected from the ITA 101 students of four different professors at Arizona State University. It was hypothesized that students experience more anxiety and pay greater attention during language courses in comparison to non-language courses. However, the differences between how students experienced both attention and anxiety across language and non-language course types was not significant. Using the demographic and supplementary questions from the survey, the differing experiences of students with or without previous language experience were examined. The results suggest a significant relationship between students with language experience and how they experience attention in Italian language courses. Additionally, statistical analysis suggests that students experience anxiety differently in Italian language courses dependent on previous second language experience. Implications for language course prerequisites were identified and suggest that it is beneficial for students to have prior second language experience before enrolling in Italian courses. Suggestions for future research were made, including a suggestion for additional research to explore how anxiety and attention may differ in higher-level language courses in addition to a suggestion for creating a more reliable and valid survey for testing classroom anxiety and attention levels.

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2018-05

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Teaching Literary Analysis Through Modern Song Lyrics

Description

"Maybe it's hatred I spew, Maybe it's food for the spirit." "I was not born under a rhyming planet." One of the above quotes is by the famous poet William Shakespeare and the other is by famous rap artist, Eminem.

"Maybe it's hatred I spew, Maybe it's food for the spirit." "I was not born under a rhyming planet." One of the above quotes is by the famous poet William Shakespeare and the other is by famous rap artist, Eminem. In modern society, many students view the works of artists like Eminem to be understandable and even relatable, while the works of classic poets like Shakespeare are a foreign language. However, when the lines are isolated from their entirety, it is very hard to determine the author of each. This Creative Project focuses on how we can use the works of modern lyricists to help teach the works of traditional literature. Not all students are fond of poetry and many of them view literary analysis as a tedious activity. However, almost everyone enjoys listening to music. This Creative Project shows how listening and interpreting modern song lyrics can be used as a tool to teach literary analysis. One of the main reasons students have difficulty with literary analysis is that they have trouble relating to the wording and style of the literature. By analyzing works more familiar to them (i.e. Kendrick Lamar, The Beatles, or Bob Dylan) the skills will be more easily transferable to analyzing traditional literature. The idea that songwriters can be comparable to famous poets has been picking up traction in recent years. In fact, in 2016, Bob Dylan, American singer and songwriter, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature breaking a trend of novels being awarded. This project's goal is to create a class unit for high school English students that teaches analytical skills for contemporary texts (i.e. modern song lyrics). In addition, a unit was created that used the analysis of contemporary lyrics in a middle school Social Studies course. This differentiation shows that development of literary analysis skills are applicable to subjects other than English Literature.

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2017-05

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Implementing Kinetic Activities into a Children's Summer Program to Encourage STEM Engagement in Children Ages 5-11

Description

This creative project created and implemented a seven-day STEM curriculum that ultimately encouraged engagement in STEM subjects in students ages 5 through 11. The activities were incorporated into Arizona State University's Kids' Camp over the summer of 2017, every Tuesday

This creative project created and implemented a seven-day STEM curriculum that ultimately encouraged engagement in STEM subjects in students ages 5 through 11. The activities were incorporated into Arizona State University's Kids' Camp over the summer of 2017, every Tuesday afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. with each activity running for roughly 40 minutes. The lesson plans were created to cover a myriad of scientific topics to account for varied student interest. The topics covered were plant biology, aerodynamics, zoology, geology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy. Each lesson was scaffolded to match the learning needs of the three age groups (5-6 year olds, 7-8 year olds, 9-11 year olds) and to encourage engagement. "Engagement" was measured by pre- and post-activity surveys approved by IRB. The surveys were in the form of statements where the children would totally agree, agree, be undecided, disagree, or totally disagree with it. To more accurately test engagement, the smiley face Likert scale was incorporated with the answer choices. After implementation of the intervention, two-tailed paired t-tests showed that student engagement significantly increased for the two lesson plans of Aerodynamics and Chemistry.

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2017-12