Browsing by Type "Action Research Paper"
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ItemThe Effect of Daily Social Skills Instruction on Students with Emotional Behavioral Disabilities(2019-07-01) Edwards, Tiffany; Masters of EducationThis study explores the effects of a daily social skills intervention, Incredible Flexible You (Volume One), on students with Emotional Behavioral Disabilities (EBD). This study followed a pre-experimental design, beginning with a 20-day baseline period in which the researcher collected and recorded student daily point sheet data. Data continued to be collected during a 20-day intervention period by using daily point sheets. Scores were prorated to adjust for absences. The mean number of points earned during the prorated intervention period (Mean = 1247.13, SD = 30.41) was significantly higher than the mean number of points earned during the prorated baseline period (Mean = 1200.25, SD = 42.16) [t (7) = 5.30, p = .001]. Hence, the null hypothesis, that there would be no significant difference in point sheet scores during the implementation of the Incredible Flexible You (Volume 1) daily social skills curriculum as compared to the baseline period among students with emotional behavioral disabilities within a primary level self-contained classroom, was rejected. Further research on the effect of the daily social skills instruction intervention, Incredible Flexible You (Volume 1), for students with EBD in more and diverse categories may be warranted. ItemThe Effect of Participation in Extracurricular Activities on the Academic Achievement of High School Age Students(2021-08-05) Bywaters, Russell; Masters of EducationEducators across the nation are trying to find a way to help all students reach their potential inside and outside of the classroom. With limited time during the school day, educators need to find a way to maximize the time that they do have. Over the years, research has shown that involvement in extracurricular activities (EA’s) has helped students with their GPA, attendance, and incidences leading to school referrals. For the following study, the researcher tracked the GPA, attendance, and referral rate of 517 students, 91 of whom were involved in fall EA’s, over three school quarters. The research hypothesis for the study was that involvement in EA’s would lead to higher GPA’s, lower absences, and fewer referrals. Data for all 517 students was retrieved from the county’s data system and processed. The results of the study showed that the sample students who did participate in EA’s maintained higher GPA’s and lower absences and referrals than participants in the study who were not involved in EA’s. ItemThe Effects of Close Reading on Third Graders’ Reading Comprehension and Writing Skills(2019-05) Higdon, Nicole; Masters of EducationThe study was designed to examine the effectiveness that close reading strategies have on the improvement of reading comprehension, writing, and attitudes toward reading in third-grade students as compared with similar students using the customary county curriculum. The reading comprehension and writing tests were measured using Anne Arundel County Public Schools Quarter 2 and 3 English Language Arts Reading Benchmark Assessment. The students’ attitudes toward reading were measured using the Elementary Reading Attitude Survey. This research employed a quasi-experimental design using a pre-and posttest with the intact classrooms. The results of the study showed non-significant gain from pre-to posttest for both the treatment and control groups. The small increase in test scores were most likely due to the small sample size rather than the lack of substantial treatment effects. Further research needs to be conducted with a larger sample size for a longer time period. ItemThe Effects of Restorative Practices on Negative Student Behavior and Disciplinary Action(2020-07-20) Barrett, Andrew; Brager, Gary; Brennan, Sarah; Rhoades, Thomas; Sunshine, Phyllis; Miller, Natasha; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this study was to determine if a novel, school-wide initiative known as Restorative Practices would influence student misbehavior. The measurement tool was the Office Disciplinary Referral written by a staff member when a student’s negative behavior is so egregious, it requires a consequence from an administrator. This study involved comparison of data from before implementation (SY2018), to information gleaned post implementation of Restorative Practices. Although there were fewer referrals, the study showed no significant statistical change between study groups. A number of mitigating factors may be attributable to the results. Further study addressing the long-term impact of Restorative Practices as well as research into the impracticality of traditional student discipline methods are warranted by this study. ItemThe Impact of Cell Phone Use on Academic Achievement in College Students(2020-05-13) Duranti, Michaela; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this action research was to determine if the academic achievement of college students was affected by the amount of time spent on their cell phones. The measurement tool was the online application Canvas and Screen Time, two applications that collect data. The study involved the use of weekly data tracking through multiple forms of online applications that measured times in minutes, and GPA (grade point average). Academic achievement was found to be negatively impacted the more time a student spent on their cell phone. Research in this area should continue given the heightened state of technology in our current times, and in an effort to put preventative measures in place. ItemThe Impact of Guided Reading Instruction on Students’ Reading Achievement in First Grade(2020-05-13) Gardner, Keri; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this study was to examine the impact that guided reading has on first grade students’ reading levels. The students’ reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension were assessed by using the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment Kit. These three components were then used to determine the students’ independent reading ability. Using the pre-test data that was collected in September, targeted small-group instruction was implemented within the classroom setting over a period of 22 weeks. Each of the four small reading groups that were created met five times per week for twenty minutes during the classroom’s literacy block. The Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment Kit was administered again in February to collect post-test data. Findings show that guided reading had a positive impact on students’ reading achievement. ItemThe Importance of Parental Involvement and Support in a Child's Education(2020-05-10) Western, Hayley; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this study was to determine the importance of parental involvement and support in a child’s education. There were two groups of middle school students that participated in the study. Each group received a letter requesting parents complete the activity presented. One group (n=18) received the task of completing 10-15 minutes of academic time with their child. The other group (n=16) received the task of completing a 10-15 minute discussion about their child’s educational goals. Student’s ILA (Integrated Language Arts) and math grades prior to the study were compared to their grades in those classes after the study. A qualitative review of the data did not indicate there was a difference in academic achievement between children whose parents spent academic time with their child and spent the time holding a goal setting discussion. With only four total students participating in the activity requested, the study began to focus more on parent participation, or lack thereof, and the implications of that. And even further, these types of activities may not be happening in homes without the guidance of a teacher or school system. Observational data showed multiple reasons for the lack of participation, including that the study relied on students bringing the form home to parents. Further research should focus on providing families executable strategies for home that will benefit the student. ItemReducing Math Anxiety Through Art(2021-05-01) Pruitt, Mercedes; Hecht, Allison; Bowman, Christina; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this study was to determine if reduction of math anxiety through an art-related therapeutic session would improve accuracy on a math-based assessment among eighth grade students. Previous research demonstrates that consistently used mindfulness activities that involve the arts have been successful in alleviating anxiety and improving assessment scores; however, teachers often lack time to complete mindfulness activities. Eighth grade math students were administered pre and post assessments of basic math facts in a virtual environment due to COVID-19 closures. After baseline data was collected, the experimental group (n = 19) was provided a 5-minute free draw art session prior to administration of the post assessment; the control group (n = 13) received a 5-minute return to school safety presentation. The mean score on the post-assessment was not significantly different between the children in the control group (Mean = 78.54, SD = 23.97) and the children in the experimental group (Mean = 71.68, SD = 21.82) [t(30) = 0.84, p = .41]. There was no significant evidence in this study that a one session art therapeutic improved assessments scores by reducing math-related anxiety. Further studies should consider changes in physical environment, types of art (free draw, specify drawing, color, complex designs), and frequency of intervention. ItemThe Relationship between Vegetarian Diets and Injury Rates in Intercollegiate Athletes(2019-05) Fioretti, Elizabeth; Miller, Natasha; Beard, Kay; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this study was to determine if there is a relationship between athletic injury rates and style of diet, specifically omnivores and vegetarians. The researcher used a questionnaire to survey a group of NCAA Division III athletes at a small liberal arts college about their athletic injury history and dietary preferences. There was no indication that vegetarian style diets lead to more musculoskeletal injuries. Future research in this area should focus on larger sample sizes and look to eliminate extraneous threats to internal validity ItemStrategies and Approaches to Support Reading Instruction for Students with Severe and Profound Disabilities(2019-12-12) Heath, Megan; Brennan, Sarah; Dwarte, Marquis; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this study was to determine which literacy strategies are believed to be most effective in supporting improved reading comprehension for students with severe special needs. The measurement tool for the study was a survey distributed to 15 teachers at a public-separate day school in Baltimore County. This researcher reviewed the results of the survey to infer findings about the most effective interventions, strategies, and techniques to facilitate achievement on reading comprehension. The results of the survey indicated that teachers strongly agree or agree that seven of the ten reading strategies increase reading comprehension achievement for students who have severe special needs. The results also indicated that teachers either frequently use or always use the strategies during instruction to increase achievement with reading comprehension. Further research should be conducted in order to best define and provide evidence for using additional modes of presentation during reading instruction, to support students who have severe and profound special needs. ItemSustained Silent Reading in First Grade(2020-05) Esbrandt, Ashley; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this study was to determine the effect Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) has on first graders’ reading levels. SSR was implemented in order to improve student’s fluency and reading abilities. Students instructional level was used to determine a baseline using the Fountas and Pinnell assessment. A pretest and posttest was used in order to determine the growth students made during the duration of the study. Findings from the study indicated an overall increase in student reading levels as a result of using the Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) strategy. ItemWhat are the Effects of Traditional Teaching Methods versus the Extended Teaching Methods on the Acquisition of 8th Grade Science Content Vocabulary?(2020-05-15) McCusker, Joseph; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of teaching science content vocabulary in a classroom setting by using various teaching methods. The students were provided with a list of the vocabulary words. The students were then paired off into groups of two to three students each in order to collectively define the science content vocabulary words. All the vocabulary words were defined using the standard teaching method, in which students define each word in their own words using a science text (BCPS Science Curriculum) or an internet source as a resource. A pretest (standard multiple-choice content vocabulary test) was administered to the entire class. Following the pretest, the class was divided into random groups for a second time. The class divided the vocabulary words into three types; those vocabulary words that could be clearly defined into a Greek/Latin prefix and/or suffix, and by those that would be defined by word origin. In this way the pretest would show the results of using the ‘standard method’ of teaching science content vocabulary, and the posttest would show the ‘enhanced vocabulary method’ or using the Greek/Latin prefix and/or suffix and by additionally defining vocabulary words by word origin. After the data was collected and analyzed from the students’ summative assessment scores on their pretest and posttest, the null hypothesis was rejected due to the fact the p-value = 00.0 < 0.05, which indicated a statistical significance within the data. Lastly, due to both internal and external errors in terms of testing validity, it is recommended that this study be repeated to validate results.