A Bit of an Introduction

Welcome to my Instructional Technology Blog! This particular blog was initialized as a requirement of my EDUC2201 course. I'm very new to the concept of blogging, so I am looking forward to all that I will learn throughout this semester. I'm currently an Elementary Education major; however, I would ultimately like to teach education courses on a collegiate level. Whether I end up in an elementary or college class, I will need to have a good grasp on the technology available to me as an educator. I hope to gain that necessary knowledge from this course so that I will be more readily able to offer my students helpful technological tools to enhance their learning.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Test Data

1. Analyze test data: At Lumberport Elementary School, I am placed in 4th and 5th grade math. For this reason, I was particularly interested in the Math scores on the WEST test. The following are the 2009-2010 testing results:

According to the table, the students at Lumberport Elementary are at a 48% proficiency level. While compared to other subjects this percentage seems high, there is still more than have of the school performing below mastery level. This is evidence of the continuing need for math intervention in the school.

2. While the specific learning need is not described, it is evident when reviewing the data that many students are in need of math skill improvement. Close to 35 % of the students are performing at or above mastery, but only 3% are at the distinguished level. This is lower than the state average of 5%. For this reason, we need to strive to raise these math skill levels.

3. Instructional Intervention-Technology Applet for math skill

4. Strategy: Simulations and Games
•Games are dynamic, intrinsically motivating, and involve high levels of involvement. They provide immediate feedback to participants, and mistakes do not result in actually losing assets (Hood, 1997).
•The effective use of games differs depending on the educational areas where the games are employed. The best results were found to be in the areas of mathematics, physics, and language arts (as opposed to social studies, biology and logic). The beneficial effects of gaming are most likely to be found when specific content is targeted and objectives precisely defined (Randel et al 1992).

•Games have been found to serve a range of functions in education including tutoring, exploring and practicing skills, and attitude change (Dempsey et al., 1994).

5. Question- "How can technology applets improve fluency in math skills?"

6. Assessments to use to gather data-google forms for students to record the scoring results of games

I will discuss these ideas this coming week with my host teacher and PDS principal.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Action Research Introduction

1. What is the title of the project?
"parents and web enhanced afterschool program"

2. What is the problem?
In this action research, the teacher wants to see the difference in mathematical achievement scores when fifth grade students and their parents interact in an after school web-enhanced tutorial program. Several fifth grade, low achieving math students only become engaged in learning mathematical skills and strategies while using computer based tutorial programs with limited adult guidance.

3. Describe the instructional intervention.
web-based practice to enhance important mathematical skills

4. What kind of strategy is the instructional intervention?
This type of instructional intervention would be considered a "homework and practice" strategy. The students are participating in a computer-based program in which they receive practice for math skills. Parents are encouraged to support the students' participation of this practice time at home.

5. What evidence is presented that the strategy will work?
1-Mastery requires focused practice over days or weeks. After only four practice sessions students reach a halfway point to mastery. It takes more than 24 more practice sessions before students reach 80 percent mastery. And this practice must occur over a span of days or weeks, and cannot be rushed (Anderson, 1995; Newell & Rosenbloom, 1981).

2-Teachers in the United States tend to compress many skills into practice sessions and instructional units. Students learn more when allowed to practice fewer skills or concepts, but at a deeper level (Healy, 1990).

3-Appropriate parental involvement facilitates homework completion.

6. How will data be collected to determine if the strategy will work?
Data collection was based on the students’ scores achieved on their quarterly math grades.This was done by analyzing their Quarterly grade level math test, and their FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test) scores in mathematics. The Quarterly grade level math test is administered at the beginning of every nine weeks to give the district and the classroom teacher an indicator of students’ improvement in math skills and the use of math strategies. The FCAT is a test used to assess the achievement of the students within each school district and across the state of Florida. The web-based tutorial began for only a brief period before the FCAT, but it will be interested to note any increase in the math scores for the targeted students.

7. How was the data analyzed?
In the analysis of the data, the teacher examined how similar the web-based tutorials were to the exercises used in the classroom. The ease of use was also considered by the students as well as the parents. Parents sent information on how the students performed on their math home learning assignments. The teacher also took a survey of her students to determine that the students were very aware of their difficulties in mathematics and seemed receptive to the implementation to this instructional intervention.

8. What were the results?
Overall, there were improvement of each student’s math scores. Overall there was an average gain of about 9.2% for the students’ fourth grading period math scores.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Interest Inventory Results

I gave my whole class an interest inventory to avoid pointing out my struggling student. A link to the interest inventory given is in a previous posting, but the results were interesting.

My struggling student has two brothers, one older and one younger. She listed several friends under her "special friends" and mentioned liking playing outside and watching T.V. Her favorite hobbies were to "help neighbors". She had several favorites she listed including "meet molly" as her favorite book, "broken bridges" as her favorite movie, "miranda lambert" as her favorite singer, "drake and josh" as her favorite t.v. show, "pasta salad" as her favorite food, and "gun powder and lead" as her favorite song. She wishes she could have a big ballerina in her room and claims school would be better if it had a pool and a hot tub. If she had a million dollars, she would buy everything she could. The think I have done that she liked most was helping her in math. The thing I have done that she liked the least was talking a lot.

This information could be very helpful when planning instruction for this struggling student. While she doesn't struggle behaviorally, she does seem to struggle academically at times. Perhaps allowing her to use her interests in the classroom would help her be more engaged and understand the concepts taught more. I have a hard time seeing this being helpful in math class, which is the only setting I see these students in, but I can see how it would be very helpful in language arts. Also, knowing she doesn't like when I talk a lot could help me individualize instruction for her. I know that some talking is necessary, but for her I need to back off of discussion so much and let her work with manipulatives instead of sitting and listening so much.

Formative Assessment

This is the formative assessment I've added to my webquest. Click here to view the document.