Sunday, August 14, 2011

Whew! One challenge ends and another begins...

I have turned in my last assignment for EDLD 5301.  This has been a very thought-provoking course, one that I have actually enjoyed.  I was expecting to do some research the way I learned in high school with brainstorming, research in the library with the card catalog, outlines, rough draft, final draft, and done! Wow, was I mistaken!  I had never heard the term action research before.  After completing this course, I realize that teachers do this in a smaller fashion each year, generally on a smaller scale: 
                 How can I get this group of students to understand [topic]? 
                 Ask others for best practices. 
                 Choose one.
                 Try it. 
This is confirmation that we are doing what research says we should be doing. :)

I have learned so much about action research and myself throughout this course.  Today only marks the end of the course.  Now the real fun begins...collecting and analyzing the data.  My plan is about changing the curriculum to be more engaging through the 5E Instructional Model and the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy.  I pray I can live up to this challenge now that school is beginning.  It will be time consuming, but I think the rewards will be great.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Week 4 Reflection

I am nearing the end of the 4th week in EDLD 5301.  Although reading and responding to many of my classmates' action research plans was time-consuming, it was very rewarding.  I gained confirmation in some of the aspects of my research plan, and I saw a few things I can change based on what I saw and the comments made.  It was also nice to have feedback on my research plan.  "Two heads are better than one" is a saying that fits here.  We get so wrapped up in what we are doing that we may miss something that monumental to the outcome.  Having others look at it without any preconcieved ideas allows for fresh ideas to be implemented.  I appreciate the feedback that my classmates offered, and I have made changes based on it. 

I also met with my site supervisor this week to ask her to review my action research plan.  She gave me some suggestions on implementation.  Overall, the meeting went well, and she is "on board" with my plan.  I'm pleased with the layout of the course.  We have eased right into creating this action research plan, have gotten necessary feedback from our peers through blogs and discussion questions, and have been asked to discuss our plan with our supervisor.  I was really concerned about this class, at first.  I'm glad to say that it hasn't been as hard as I originally thought it would be.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

How will I remember my action research after this class?

I was looking over my Action Plan today and revising.  I also was thinking back to the conversation on the web conference Wednesday night.  Dr. Abshire mentioned that we will not be reminded to work on our project.  She said that in our 7th Course we will be required to write a paper on the progress.  She also mentioned that some of the current students of that class were in a bind because they had not been working on theirs.  I know that life will happen when this course is finished, and I need something to keep me thinking and working this plan.  Here's my idea...I will put a reminder in my phone.  I put reminders about the web conferences, my daughter's soccer games, etc.  Why not put a monthly reminder in there to tell me to reflect on (or work on) my project???  I will actually go a step further and put a reminder in for each of the steps and the timeline that I set for myself.  What are your thoughts?

Revised Action Research Plan - Week 4

Action Plan
Goal: Increase deeper level of understanding using more engaging curriculum

1)      In what ways will the creation of more engaging and exciting lessons increase student learning at a deeper level?
2)      In what ways will using differentiated instruction meet the needs for all learners as well as prepare them for the new state assessment?
3)      How can the 5E model work into creating the curriculum?

Action Steps(s):
Person(s) Responsible:
Timeline: Start/End
Needed Resources
Discuss action research topic with site supervisor.

Kristi Guest & Sharon Zabloski
July 2011
Internship Plan Draft
Action Research Plan
Build spreadsheet for recording data, including past two TAKS scores, math class averages for the past two years, six weeks’ benchmark scores, semester averages, 2012 TAKS score

Kristi Guest
August 18, 2011
Ready to use Recording Sheet
Create a survey that asks how students learn best and decide on an interest or personality test.
Kristi Guest
August 1 – August 15, 2011
Computer, survey monkey or clickers
Ready to use survey and interest inventory or personality test.
Review 2010-2011 curriculum and revise 2011-2012 curriculum based on 5E Model
Kristi Guest, MMA Curriculum Team
August 2011 – May 2012
-2010-2011 Curriculum
-5E Model

Curriculum Team’s agreement and Site supervisor’s approval of curriculum changes
Choose the students for study (Group 1: Concepts of Math students from 2009-2010 who took Geometry in 2010-2011, now taking MMA   & Group 2: Concepts of Math students from 2010-2011, who are taking MMA before Geometry)
Kristi Guest & Sharon Zabloski
August 22 – September 2, 2011
-Roster of students
Recording Sheet with names of 10  students from each Group
Record past two TAKS scores and the math class averages for the past two years
Kristi Guest
September 2, 2011
AWARE data, & student files
Recording Sheet with current data
Give students survey and have students take interest inventory or personality test.
Kristi Guest
August 22 & 23, 2011
Survey & Interest Inventory or Personality Test
Student survey responses and results from inventory/test.
Record Benchmark Scores each six weeks.
Kristi Guest
Last day of Six Weeks
Gradebook Program
Analysis of Six Weeks Benchmark Scores
Reflect each six weeks on the progress of the project
Kristi Guest
First day of next six weeks
Computer & Blog
Continuous Reflection and revision if necessary
Record Semester Averages
Kristi Guest
Last Day of Semester
Gradebook Program
Analysis of Semester Averages
Record 2012 TAKS Scores
Kristi Guest
May 2012
TAKS data from state
Completed Recording Sheet
Compare Group 1 and Group 2 Scores
Kristi Guest
May 2012
Recording Sheet
Creation of graphics to show results and reflect on results
Complete summative Report on findings
Kristi Guest
May 2012
Curriculum Agendas, Survey & Inventory/ Personality test results, Recording Sheet, Graphics
Documentation of results of project.
Reflect in Blog
Kristi Guest
July 2011 – May 2012
Classmates’ feedback

Format based on Tool 7.1 from Examining What We Do to Improve Our Schools

(Harris, Edmonson, and Combs, 2010)