Matching Items (10)

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Fractions, Mathematics, and Music: Developing Conceptual Understanding in Fourth Grade Students

Description

Studies have shown that arts programs have a positive impact on students' abilities to achieve academic success, showcase creativity, and stay focused inside and outside of the classroom. However, as

Studies have shown that arts programs have a positive impact on students' abilities to achieve academic success, showcase creativity, and stay focused inside and outside of the classroom. However, as school funding drops, arts programs are often the first to be cut from school curricula. Rather than drop art completely, general education teachers have the opportunity to integrate arts instruction with other content areas in their classrooms. Traditional fraction lessons and Music-infused fraction lessons were administered to two classes of fourth-grade students. The two types of lessons were presented over two separate days in each classroom. Mathematics worksheets and attitudinal surveys were administered to each student in each classroom after each lesson to gauge their understanding of the mathematics content as well as their self-perceived understanding, enjoyment and learning related to the lessons. Students in both classes were found to achieve significantly higher mean scores on the traditional fraction lesson than the music-infused fraction lesson. Lower scores in the music-infused fraction lesson may have been due to the additional component of music for students unfamiliar with music principles. Students tended to express satisfaction for both lessons. In future studies, it would be recommended to spend additional lesson instruction time on the principles of music in order help students reach deeper understanding of the music-infused fraction lesson. Other recommendations include using colorful visuals and interactive activities to establish both fraction and music concepts.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Searching for the Third R: An Exploration of the Mathematics Experiences of African Americans Born in, and Before 1933

Description

ABSTRACT

The early desire for and the pursuit of literacy are often mentioned in the teeming volumes devoted to African-American history. However, stories, facts, and figures about the acquisition of numeracy

ABSTRACT

The early desire for and the pursuit of literacy are often mentioned in the teeming volumes devoted to African-American history. However, stories, facts, and figures about the acquisition of numeracy by African Americans have not been equally documented.

The focus of this study was to search for the third R, this is the numeracy and mathematics experiences of African Americans who were born in, and before, 1933. The investigation of this generational cadre was pursued in order to develop oral histories and narratives going back to the early 1900s. This study examined formal and informal education and other relevant mathematics-related, lived experiences of unacknowledged and unheralded African Americans, as opposed to the American anomalies of African descent who are most often acknowledged, such as the Benjamin Bannekers, the George Washington Carvers, and other notables.

Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through the use of a survey and interviews. Quantitative results and qualitative findings were blended to present a nuanced perspective of African Americans learning mathematics during a period of Jim Crow, segregation, and discrimination. Their hopes, their fears, their challenges, their aspirations, their successes, and their failures are all tangential to their overall goal of seeking education, including mathematics education, in the early twentieth century. Both formal and informal experiences revealed a picture of life during those times to further enhance the literature regarding the mathematics experiences of African Americans.

Key words: Black students, historical, senior citizens, mathematics education, oral history, narrative, narrative inquiry, socio-cultural theory, Jim Crow

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Mathematics in a second grade classroom: the effects of cognitively guided problem solving

Description

The need for improved mathematics education in many of America's schools that serve students from low income households has been extensively documented. This practical action research study, set in a

The need for improved mathematics education in many of America's schools that serve students from low income households has been extensively documented. This practical action research study, set in a suburban Title I school with a primarily Hispanic, non-native English speaking population, is designed to explore the effects of the progression through a set of problem solving solution strategies on the mathematics problem solving abilities of 2nd grade students. Students worked in class with partners to complete a Cognitively Guided Instruction-style (CGI) mathematics word problem using a dictated solution strategy five days a week for twelve weeks, three or four weeks for each of four solution strategies. The phases included acting out the problem using realia, representing the problem using standard mathematics manipulatives, modeling the problem using a schematic representation, and solving the problem using a number sentence. Data were collected using a five question problem solving pre- and post-assessment, video recorded observations, and Daily Answer Recording Slips or Mathematics Problem Solving Journals. Findings showed that this problem solving innovation was effective in increasing the problem solving abilities of all participants in this study, with an average increase of 63% in the number of pre-assessment to post-assessment questions answered correctly. Additionally, students increased the complexity of solutions used to solve problems and decreased the rate of guessing at answers to word problems. Further rounds of research looking into the direct effects of the MKO are suggested as next steps of research.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Using social media and professional learning communities as tools for novice teacher collegiality and improved self-efficacy

Description

Teacher attrition and the migration between schools and districts can have a negative impact on quality of education and teacher performance. Novice teachers leave the profession because they are overwhelmed

Teacher attrition and the migration between schools and districts can have a negative impact on quality of education and teacher performance. Novice teachers leave the profession because they are overwhelmed by the workload and responsibilities of the job. In a previous action research cycle, I found that novice teachers' perceptions of isolation and lack of opportunities to share experiences had a negative effect on teacher perceptions of efficacy. This action research project examines the effect of leveraging social media and professional learning communities to provide opportunities for a group of novice teachers to share experiences and seek advice. By addressing the challenges that novice teachers face and providing solutions for common problems, it is the hope of this researcher that highly effective teachers will remain in the classroom. The results of the study indicate that the combined use of Twitter and YouTube in collaboration with professional learning communities will improve teacher perceptions of efficacy. Teachers who participated in the social media based professional learning communities are also more likely to remain in the classroom.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Learning college algebra by creating student experts

Description

In any instructional situation, the instructor's goal is to maximize the learning attained by students. Drawing on the adage, 'we learn best what we have taught,' this action research project

In any instructional situation, the instructor's goal is to maximize the learning attained by students. Drawing on the adage, 'we learn best what we have taught,' this action research project was conducted to examine whether students, in fact, learned college algebra material better if they taught it to their peers. The teaching-to-learn process was conducted in the following way. The instructor-researcher met with individual students and taught a college algebra topic to a student who served as the leader of a group of four students. At the next step, the student who originally learned the material from the instructor met with three other students in a small group session and taught the material to them to prepare an in-class presentation. Students in these small group sessions discussed how best to present the material, anticipated questions, and prepared a presentation to be shared with their classmates. The small group then taught the material to classmates during an in-class review session prior to unit examinations. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered. Quantitative data consisted of pre- and post-test scores on four college algebra unit examinations. In addition, scores from Likert-scale items on an end-of-semester questionnaire that assessed the effectiveness of the teaching-to-learn process and attitudes toward the process were obtained. Qualitative data consisted of field notes from observations of selected small group sessions and in-class presentations. Additional qualitative data included responses to open-ended questions on the end-of-semester questionnaire and responses to interview items posed to groups of students. Results showed the quantitative data did not support the hypothesis that material, which was taught, was better learned than other material. Nevertheless, qualitative data indicated students were engaged in the material, had a deeper understanding of the material, and were more confident about it as a result of their participation in the teaching-to-learn process. Students also viewed the teaching-to-learn process as being effective and they had positive attitudes toward the teaching-to-learn process. Discussion focused on how engagement, deeper understanding and confidence interacted with one another to increase student learning. Lessons learned, implications for practice, and implications for further action research were also discussed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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From traditional to transformative evaluation: promoting teacher excellence through a learning-oriented process

Description

This action research project engages questions about the relationship of teacher evaluation and teacher learning, joining the national conversation of accountability and teacher quality. It provides a solid philosophical foundation

This action research project engages questions about the relationship of teacher evaluation and teacher learning, joining the national conversation of accountability and teacher quality. It provides a solid philosophical foundation for changes in teacher evaluation and staff development, and analyzes past and current methods and trends in teacher evaluation. Set in the context of a suburban elementary charter school, the problems of traditional evaluation methods are confronted. The innovation proposed and implemented is Teacher Evaluation for Learning, Accountability, and Recognition (TELAR), a teacher evaluation system designed to support learning and accountability. TELAR includes multiple data points and perspectives, ongoing feedback and support, an evaluation instrument centered on collective values and a shared vision for professional work, and an emphasis on teacher reflection and self-assessment. This mixed-methods study employs both qualitative and quantitative measures to provide an enriched understanding of the current problem and the impact of the change effort. Results suggest that TELAR 1) helps teachers re-define their role as professionals in their own evaluation, positively increasing perceptions of value, 2) promotes a culture of learning through a focus on shared values for professional work, a spirit of support and teamwork, and continuous improvement; and 3) empowers teachers to assess their own practice, self-diagnose areas for growth, and generate goals through a continuous process of feedback, reflection, conversation, and support. Implications for practice and future studies are presented.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Using lesson study with preservice secondary mathematics teachers: effects on instruction, planning, and efficacy to teach mathematics

Description

ABSTRACT There is a continuing emphasis in the United States to improve student's mathematical abilities and one approach is to better prepare teachers. This study investigated the effects of using

ABSTRACT There is a continuing emphasis in the United States to improve student's mathematical abilities and one approach is to better prepare teachers. This study investigated the effects of using lesson study with preservice secondary mathematics teachers to improve their proficiency at planning and implementing instruction. The participants were students (preservice teachers) in an undergraduate teacher preparation program at a private university who were enrolled in a mathematics methods course for secondary math teachers. This project used lesson study to engage preservice teachers in collaboratively creating lessons, field testing them, using feedback to revise the lessons, and re-teaching the revised lesson. The preservice teachers worked through multiple cycles of the process in their secondary math methods class receiving feedback from their peers and instructor prior to teaching the lessons in their field experience (practicum). A mixed methods approach was implemented to investigate the preservice teacher's abilities to plan and implement instruction as well as their efficacy for teaching. Data were collected from surveys, video analysis, student reflections, and semi-structured interviews. The findings from this study indicate that lesson study for preservice teachers was an effective means of teacher education. Lesson study positively impacted the preservice teachers' ability to plan and teach mathematical lessons more effectively. The preservice teachers successfully transitioned from teaching in the methods classroom to their field experience classroom during this innovation. Further, the efficacy of the preservice teachers to teach secondary mathematics increased based on this innovation. Further action research cycles of lesson study with preservice teachers are recommended.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Teachers' professional growth: the blending of technology, pedagogy and content

Description

ABSTRACT The integration of technology into content area teaching while taking into account state standards is a continuing challenge for secondary teachers. To address this challenge, six high school teachers

ABSTRACT The integration of technology into content area teaching while taking into account state standards is a continuing challenge for secondary teachers. To address this challenge, six high school teachers participated in one-on-one tutoring sessions conducted by the researcher. The Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK), which posits that teachers add technology into their practice by blending it with content and pedagogy, served as the theoretical framework and guided implementation of the project. During the one-on-one tutoring sessions, which occurred weekly in hour-long sessions for a five- to eight-week period, teachers selected the focus of the training sessions. To assess teacher perceptions of efficacy quantitative data were gathered prior to and following the intervention using an on-line survey tool. Although pre- to post-intervention scores on the survey increased, the difference was not significant. With respect to the qualitative data four themes emerged. First, there were specific processes and patterns that emerged within the sessions related to the TPACK framework. Teachers selected either technology or content to initiate sessions. Teachers did not begin sessions with high yield pedagogical strategies as a focus. Second, one-on-one tutoring fostered an initial sense of community, and as the project progressed, a community of practice emerged. Third, challenges emerged related to technology and high yield pedagogical strategies. At times technology did not work or teachers expressed there was too much to grasp and apply to their practice. Additionally, the appropriate applications of high yield instructional strategies also presented challenges to participants. Fourth, based on their participation in the project, teachers expressed an increased sense of efficacy with respect to conducting their work. The discussion was focused on how teachers created a community of practice to support their professional growth, which influenced efficacy for teaching as they became increasingly effective in blending technology, pedagogy and content.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Parent involvement as an instructional strategy: academic parent-teacher teams

Description

Families and schools share the monumental responsibility of educating children. Children and parent-teacher conferences remain the primary means by which parents and teachers share academic information. Given the limited effectiveness

Families and schools share the monumental responsibility of educating children. Children and parent-teacher conferences remain the primary means by which parents and teachers share academic information. Given the limited effectiveness of these conferences, a more compelling alternative for home-school collaboration on academic matters is warranted. The purpose of this action research study was to examine an alternative approach to parent-teacher conferences, Academic Parent Teacher Teams (APTT). APTT is a classroom-based parent involvement model composed of three 75-minute parent-teacher team meetings and an individual 30-minute parent-teacher session. Team meetings are highly structured and include six components: personally inviting parents by the teacher; sharing whole-class and individual student data; setting 60-day academic goals; coaching parents in `teaching' skills; distributing take-home practice materials; and networking. Quantitative data included pre- and post-intervention parent surveys, and pre- and post-intervention student scores on high frequency words and oral reading fluency. Qualitative data included field notes from APTT meetings, pre- and post-intervention teacher reflections, and teacher, parent, and student interviews. Findings from this study supported previous research that suggested most parents have high aspirations for their children's academic success. Findings also indicated parents understood their involvement was important to support academic growth. Increased quality and quantity of parent-teacher communication and interaction improved parents' ability to support student learning at home. Parents increased involvement in children's academics was related to teachers' provision of detailed information and training of parents. Qualitative results showed parents' teaching efforts contributed to students' improvement in reading. To understand this outcome, effectual congruence (EC) was offered as an explanation. EC occurred when parents and teachers agreed on an action plan for student achievement, when there was a mutual commitment to taking specific actions and when each person's role was clearly defined and implemented. EC became the process that supported achievement growth. These results demonstrated that relationships between parents and teachers are complex. Further, when teachers and parents were fully invested in collaboration it produced powerful results for students. This study provided critical information for parents, teachers, administrators and policy makers attempting to implement more effective parent involvement initiatives.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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The effect of a community of practice on English language development teachers

Description

.ABSTRACT The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) empowered a task force to design a new instructional model for English Language Development (ELD) students. The task force created a four-hour, language

.ABSTRACT The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) empowered a task force to design a new instructional model for English Language Development (ELD) students. The task force created a four-hour, language intensive instructional model which required ELD-indentified students to be immersed in grammar, reading, pre-writing, vocabulary and oral English conversation. This model also mandated a specific number of instructional minutes were to be assigned to each of the model's five components. Moreover, these instructional minutes were to be accounted for by ELD teachers as they developed lesson plans to teach these students. To address the substantial professional development requirements entailed by these mandates, Wenger's Community of Practice (CoP) framework was employed. A CoP was formed to assist nine ELD teachers to (a) meet mandates of the instructional model, (b) participate in professional development opportunities to gain language-based instructional strategies, (c) plan lessons together and eventually, (d) allow them to become more efficacious in their abilities to meet and implement the mandated ADE Sheltered English Instruction (SEI) instructional model developed by the ADE task force. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered throughout the study by means of a pre- and post-questionnaire, audio taping and transcribing CoP sessions and field notes. Findings suggest the CoP served as an effective forum for increasing ELD teachers' sense of efficacy towards becoming an effective ELD teacher. Moreover, the CoP helped increase understanding of the requirements of the instructional model, participate in professional development specific to their needs and collaborate, which was largely responsible for increasing teacher efficacy.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011