First Presenter's Institution

Georgia Southern University, Armstrong campus

Second Presenter's Institution

Georgia Southern University, Armstrong campus

Third Presenter's Institution

Georgia Southern University, Armstrong campus

Fourth Presenter's Institution

Georgia Southern University, Armstrong campus

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Family & Community

Relevance

Three teachers completing their Reading Specialist M.Ed. degree developed an action research plan centered around literacy instruction throughout the course of the semester. Students analyzed the validity, reliability, and personal bias inherent in their action research study; developed a literature review on a research topic; implemented a plan for conducting action research; and applied evaluation criteria to their own project.

Presenters will explain insights that they have gained from the action research process that will influence their pedagogy and instructional practices moving forward. The first portion of the presentation highlights the findings of an action research study conducted with three 7th grade middle school student who were attending a summer school program. This study provides strategies to motivate struggling readers to increase their vocabulary development, facilitating their comprehension skills. The second action research study evaluated if inclusion of technology will allow students to master sufficient reading standards to allow them to be promoted to the next grade. The third section of the presentation centers on early intervention strategies to assist students in developing metacognitive habits that will enhance academic achievement. In addition, the study promotes student self-efficacy and self-esteem.

Brief Program Description

The presentation will highlight literacy-based action research projects by three Reading Specialist M.Ed. graduate students. The topics of enhancing struggling readers’ vocabulary development using technology; effects of technology during summer school on student promotion; as well as infusion of dialogue and metacognitive strategies to promote self-efficacy and early reading success were explored. Tools for attendees to implement the process of action research in their own classroom will be outlined.

Summary

The presentation will begin with a discussion of the nature of action research. Participants will identify goals and rationale for action research and discuss the potential impact of action research on their teaching practice. In addition, development of an action research plan (area of focus statement, variables, research questions, intervention/ innovation, timeline, data collection ideas) will be facilitated.

The presentation will proceed to three vignettes that showcase action research in practice by three Reading Specialist M.Ed. graduate students.

1. Many students throughout a school year receive disciplinary actions for inappropriate cellphone use during school hours. These students are sometimes discipline for disrupting the learning environment. It is time to turn the “disruptions” into “discoveries.” The interventions used in this study will be shared with any and all stakeholders involved in the education of our students.

2. As teachers and parents, we spend lots of time and money looking for ways for our students to master standards ones they missed the first time around. As the world becomes more and more technology prevalent in schools, home and in our lives, what is its role in promoting academic achievement and student success?

3. Metacognition is a powerful tool that is often overlooked. This study focused on the effect of implementing metacognitive reflection activities and conversation on student self-efficacy and reading achievement. In a short presentation, the interventions used in this study will be shared with educators in hopes of propelling the teaching of metacognitive strategies. Viewers will be asked to participate in a self-evaluation questionnaire and reflective journal opportunity before and following the session. They will also be involved in an ongoing discussion throughout the session just as the participants in the study were.

Evidence

Action research is based on a process that involves the following process (Mills, 2014)-

1. Write an area-of- focus statement.

2. Define the variables.

3. Develop research questions.

4. Describe the intervention or innovation.

5. Describe the membership of the action research group.

6. Describe negotiations that need to be undertaken.

7. Develop a timeline.

8. Develop a statement of resources.

9. Develop data collection ideas.

The proposal is informed by research that showcases the following: (1)Students’ presentations showed evidence of students’ new knowledge and understanding of unfamiliar vocabulary terms at the end of a four-week period. (2) Technology such as Moby Max facilitates students' mastery of new reading standards towards promotion goals. (3)Student-teacher discussion during reflective activities shows evidence of students actively monitoring their understanding during the learning process. It has been proven in multiple formats that metacognition has a positive impact on student learning.

References

Burke, K., & Greene, S. (July 2015). Participatory Action Research, Youth Voices, and Civic Engagement. Language Arts, p. 387-400.

Fisher, D. & Frey, N. (July/ August 2015). Teacher Modeling Using Complex Informational Texts. Reading Teacher, p. 63-69.

Hudson, A.K. & Williams, J.A. (April 2015). Reading Every Single Day: A Journey to Authentic Reading. Reading Teacher, p. 530-538.

McTigue, E., Douglass, A., Wright, K.L., Hodges, T.S., & Franks, A.D. (July/ August 2015). Beyond the Story Map: Inferential Comprehension via Character Perspective. Reading Teacher, p. 91-101.

Mills, G.E. (2014). Action Research: A Guide for the Teacher Researcher: 5th edition. Boston, MA: Pearson.

Reutzel, D. Ray. (July/ August 2015). Early Literacy Research: Findings Primary Grades Teachers Will Want to Know. Reading Teacher, p. 14-24.

Shanahan, T. (May 2015). What Teachers Should Know about Common Core. Reading Teacher, p. 583-588.

Steckel, B., Shinas, V.H., & Van Vaerenewyck, L. (July/ August 2015). Artistic Technology Integration: Stories from Primary and Elementary Classrooms. Reading Teacher, p. 41-49.

Townsend, D. & Kiernan, D. (July/ August 2015). Selecting Academic Vocabulary Words Worth Learning. Reading Teacher, p. 113-118.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Anne Katz is an Assistant Professor of Reading in the College of Education at Georgia Southern University, Armstrong campus in Savannah, Georgia. She is involved in literacy research and community outreach projects in local schools. Dr. Katz was selected as a Governor’s Teaching Fellow by The University of Georgia Institute of Higher Education in 2015, and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group of the International Literacy Association. She enjoys mentoring graduate students.

Deborah Jaudon obtained her Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education from Armstrong State University in the Fall of 2007. She obtained her Master of Education in Reading Specialist Education in the Fall of 2017. Prior to obtaining her Bachelor’s, she served in the United States Army, and then later as a paraprofessional at a local Title-one high school in Savannah Georgia.

Danielle Russell obtained her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with a concentration in mathematics and physics from California University of Pennsylvania in 1998. She attended Armstrong State University and completed her Master of Education in Reading Specialist Education. Danielle has taught in Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia. She has taught mathematics and science as a lead teacher and as a co-teacher. for grades six to twelve in alternative schools, traditional school, and Job Corps.

Jennifer Formby obtained her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Armstrong State University in the spring of 2013. She returned to Armstrong State University and completed her Master of Education in Reading Specialist Education. Jennifer has taught in public and private early education institutions in the United States. She also completed a 5-month term teaching English as a foreign language in Chengdu, Sichuan, China.

Keyword Descriptors

action research, teacher research, graduate students, literacy, vocabulary, technology, metacognition, summer school

Presentation Year

2018

Start Date

3-6-2018 4:00 PM

End Date

3-6-2018 5:30 PM

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Mar 6th, 4:00 PM Mar 6th, 5:30 PM

Literacy-Based Action Research: Strategies for Improving Student Achievement

The presentation will highlight literacy-based action research projects by three Reading Specialist M.Ed. graduate students. The topics of enhancing struggling readers’ vocabulary development using technology; effects of technology during summer school on student promotion; as well as infusion of dialogue and metacognitive strategies to promote self-efficacy and early reading success were explored. Tools for attendees to implement the process of action research in their own classroom will be outlined.