Browsing by Type "Action Research Papers"
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ItemThe Effect of a Multisensory Approach on Increasing Sight Word Acquisition and Fluency in First Grade Students(2020-05-08) Frank, Hannah; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a multisensory approach on sight word acquisition and fluency in first grade students. A pretest-posttest treatment-control group design was used with two groups of first-grade students, each formed by random assignment. One group of students, the control group, received traditional sight word instruction while the second group of students, the treatment group, received sight word instruction via a multisensory approach that incorporated visual, audio, tactile, and kinesthetic learning styles. The instrument used in this study was the First 100 Fry Words. The students had two minutes to correctly identify as many of the First 100 Fry Words as they could without hesitation (i.e., within 5 seconds of seeing the word). The words that were unknown to each participant were chosen as the target words for the length of the study. Each week, the students received a list of ten target words to practice. At the end of the week, the students were assessed and any words that were not mastered by all students were used again the next week. Words that were mastered were removed and new words from the target list were added to create a total of ten words for the week. A two-sample t-test assessed the difference between the treatment and control population means on the pretest and four subsequent null hypothesis tests. The null hypothesis could not be rejected as the students in the treatment group did not make differential statistically significant gains in sight word acquisition and fluency compared with the control. Future research should continue to provide researchers and educators with more information on the use of a multisensory approach when developing sight word acquisition and fluency. ItemThe Effect of Supplementing Guided Reading Interventions with Pre- and During Reading Discussion Strategies on First Grader's Reading Comprehension(2019-05-10) Grossman, Chelsea; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this study was to determine whether supplementing regular guided reading instruction, which included post-reading discussions, with pre-and during reading discussions would improve students’ reading comprehension. The Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment (Fountas & Pinnell, 2012) was used to determine the students’ comprehension levels. Students were asked “in the text” and “beyond the text” questions to determine their total comprehension scores and then grouped into closely matched treatment and comparison groups comprised of students with mixed reading comprehension levels. The treatment group received the supplemented guided reading instruction, while the control group did not. After the four-week intervention, the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment was used again to determine their posttest comprehension scores. While the control group outperformed the treatment group on each of the pre-intervention comprehension measures (statistically significantly on two of the measures), the treatment group’s scores were statistically significantly higher than those of the control group on all three post-intervention comprehension measures (in the text, beyond the text and total scores). Therefore, the null hypothesis, that the two groups’ reading comprehension scores would be the same after the intervention, was rejected. These results suggested that the addition of pre-reading and during reading discussion strategies to the regular guided reading lessons benefitted the participants’ comprehension and warrants further study. ItemThe Effectiveness of Guided Reading Instruction and Students Reading Comprehension(2019-07-05) Morris, Jamie; Masters of EducationThe descriptive study tracked student performance after interacting with small-guided reading. The participants included four third grade students receiving guided reading instruction in a general education setting. The instrument used was Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment (F & P). Findings show trends of small grouping instruction affecting students read comprehension. In fall 2018, two students read a level I (end of 1st grade) and the other two students reading level J (end of 2nd grade). In winter 2019, two of the students had improved to the 2nd grade level and the other two students to the 3rd grade. ItemThe Effects of Check in/Check out on Student Removal from the Classroom(2020-05-10) Burton, Ashley; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this action research was to determine the impact of the check in-check out behavior intervention on the number of times a student is removed from the classroom due to disruptive behavior. The first approach showed individual students' changes during the three-week period. The second approach used a t-test analysis to determine if there was a significant decrease in student removal from week 1 to week 3. The null hypothesis was that there would be no significant decrease in the amount of times a student on the check in-check out behavior intervention is removed from the classroom. The data showed there were some changes over the three-week period regarding the decrease and/or increase of students being removed from the classroom. Overall, the comparison was not significant enough, there was no significant decrease in student removal over the three-week period when students participated in the check in-check out intervention. ItemThe Effects of Restorative Practices on Student Discipline(2020-05-04) Lustgarten, Joseph; Goucher College; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this study is to determine if the use of Restorative Practices lowers discipline referral and suspension rates in school. The measurement tool was student discipline referrals from Quarter 4 of the 2018-2019 school year and Quarter 1 of the 2019-2020 school year, along with in-school and out-of-school suspension rates. This study uses a quasi-experimental design to determine the effects of restorative practices on student referral and suspension rates in school. The researcher analyzed the data using a one sample z-test. The mean numbers of student discipline referrals, in-school suspensions, and out-of-school suspensions under restorative practices (Mean =0.13, 0.03, and 0.07 respectively) were significantly lower than without implementation of restorative practices (Mean=0.46, 0.07, and 0.09 respectively). Further research would be beneficial to see the effect restorative practices can have when it is implemented over a longer duration of time. ItemThe Effects of Social Emotional Learning on Behavioral Disruptions(2020-05) McRae, Jenna; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this study was to determine how social emotional learning might affect the number of behavioral disruptions both in and out of the classroom. This study also examined the impact that one social emotional learning program, conscious discipline, has on behavioral disruptions. This was measured by collecting office referral data from two consecutive school years, examining fifth-grade students. It was found that the implementation of conscious discipline did not support a decrease in behavioral disruptions. It was concluded that more research needs to be conducted in the area of conscious disciple and that a multi-year study would provide a more beneficial perspective with clearer results. ItemThe Effects of Sustained Silent Reading, with Self-Selected Text, on Reading Comprehension of At Risk Second Graders(2019-05-21) Williams, Jeredine; Dangel, Dr. Timothy; Vickery, Dr. James; Masters of EducationThe objective of this research was to determine the effects of sustained silent reading, with self-selected text, on reading comprehension of at risk second graders. This study is a quasi-experimental design which included a pretest and posttest to compare reading comprehension of second grade students throughout the year. The measurement tools used to assess comprehension were the 2nd edition Fountas & Pinell Benchmark Assessment System and the Anne Arundel County Second Grade Benchmark. The posttest scores were significantly higher than the pretest score for both the Fountas & Pinell and Anne Arundel County benchmark assessments. Research on self-selected independent reading should continue to determine if self-selected independent reading can positively impact a student’s ability to comprehend a variety of texts. ItemExamining Anxiety in Early Specialization Athletes: Mindfulness Interventions to Improve Anxiety Management in Competition(2021-04) Martins, Andre; Woods, Rebecca; Vickery, James; Masters of EducationThis research sought to find information about anxiety levels in early specialization athletes and to determine if mindfulness interventions can improve how athletes manage their anxiety during competition. It was predicted that after using mindfulness interventions, participant athletes would feel less anxiety during high-pressure situations. The Sport Anxiety Scale (SAS) and Pre/Post Mindfulness Intervention survey were used to assess anxiety levels based on three trait categories: somatic, worry, and concentration disruption. A review of literature suggested that using mindfulness interventions can help regulate emotions and yield positive effects in sport, social, and academic settings. The researcher used mindfulness interventions at the beginning, middle and end of each of six total soccer practice sessions with eight participants with relatively competitive sport experiences, primarily focused on soccer. A paired samples t-test indicated that the athletes’ reported stress levels (SAS scores) were significantly lower after they participated in mindfulness activities during training sessions (t = 3.362, p <. 012). Therefore the null hypothesis was rejected. Pre- and post-intervention total SAS scores were also noted to correlate statistically significantly and positively, indicating there was a high degree of association between participant’s relative positions on the pre and post SAS score distributions (r=.758, p < .029) The small sample size and virtual nature of the competitive environments created by the researcher may have impacted results. Future research should examine more specifically how single or multi-sport experiences and types of competitive environments impact the efficacy of mindfulness interventions for reducing athletes’ anxiety levels. ItemThe Impact of Circle Time Intervention on Student’s Self-Regulation, Growth Mindset and Effort at School(2019-05-06) Stumpf, Megan; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this study was to examine the effects of circle time meetings on the self-regulation and growth mindset skills of fifth grade students. The participants in this study were 55 fifth grade students enrolled in a public elementary school in a suburban Maryland County. This study used a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest control group design, and was conducted during a four consecutive-week period. During the intervention, each morning at the school, participants discussed various self-regulation and growth mindset questions related to the pre- and post-survey. Findings did not indicate that there were statistically significant increases in student self-regulation or growth mindset skills resulting from the intervention, however, students did appear to become more comfortable within a classroom community where they felt able to discuss strategies to promote self-regulation and growth mindset ideas. Students appeared to enjoy learning of their classmates’ experiences and were observed referring back to strategies discussed during circle time meetings at times when they appeared frustrated by learning tasks. ItemThe Impact of Learning Stations on High School Students Ability to Solve Linear Systems of Equations(2019-05-07) Thurmon, Elijah; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this study was to determine the impact of learning stations on high school students’ ability to solve linear systems of equations. The measurement tool was a performance assessment aligned with the Anne Arundel County Public Schools’ Algebra 2 curriculum. The study was a true experimental design with 22 participants in group A receiving the treatment and 18 participants in group B receiving the control over a two-week period. A pretest posttest design was used for comparison between group A and group B. The null hypothesis states that learning stations have no impact on high school students’ ability to solve linear systems of equations which was supported. Regarding the achievement gains between group A and group B, there was not a statistically significant difference. Research in the area of learning stations impacting math achievement should continue given the importance of engagement and differentiated instruction. ItemThe Impact of Pull-Out Intervention Programs on Reading Achievement in Elementary Male Students(2019-05-06) Cook, Amanda; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this study was to determine the impact of pull out intervention programs have on reading achievement in elementary male students. The measurement tool was the Fountas and Pinnell Literacy Assessment as well as a Beginning/Advanced Decoding Survey. The study involved the use of a pretest/post-test design to compare data from prior to the intervention (November 2018) to immediately following four months of intervention (March 2019). The participants included a targeted group of “at-risk” elementary-aged students,grades third through fifth. Research showed that participants demonstrated a significant increase in both reading comprehension and decoding. However, when further data analysis was completed on specific grades, only fifth grade participants showed an increase in both areas while third and fourth grade participants increased in comprehension only. ItemImproving Daily Living Self-Care Skills in Middle School Students with Intellectual Disabilities(2018-12-18) Dodson, Sarah; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this study was to determine if middle school students identified with an Intellectual Disability (ID) would improve in daily living self-care skills (DLSCS) after participating in Community-Based Instruction (CBI). A one-way analysis of variance was used to compare rubric scores collected before and after students participated in Systematic Instruction (SI) regarding a cooking-related daily living skill in the classroom and then after they participated in a CBI outing during which the same daily living skill was practiced. Results indicated that the students’ scores improved significantly after SI and CBI, so the null hypothesis was rejected. The instrument used to conduct this study was a rubric that the teacher used to rate the students’ knowledge of and performance on a cooking task. The results of the study indicated that improvement was made in the knowledge of the steps used to make a grilled cheese sandwich. The analyses further indicated that the increases in mean total scores from 17.33 before instruction to 29 after SI and to 38.83 after SI and CBI were statistically significant, suggesting that student participation in both SI and CBI improved their performance on the daily living skill. Future studies should evaluate the relative and combined effects of SI and CBI on various skills, with more diverse and larger samples. Future studies also should be implemented over a longer duration and use control groups to clarify the specific effect of both kinds of instruction. Adding other skills and control groups or counterbalancing the design would provide more information and reduce possible spurious results. Research in this area should continue as there is limited information available regarding the impact of SI and CBI on teaching DLSCS to middle school students identified with an intellectual disability. ItemImproving Reading Comprehension in the Elementary School Grades(2019-07) Gallagher, Kelley; Brown, Gaye; Brennan, Sarah; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this study was to determine whether including an additional program, Junior Great Books, to the curriculum would impact the reading comprehension of second grade students. The measurement tool was the Scholastic Reading Inventory Assessment. This study involved taking the assessment three times throughout the year to look at the progress of each student. Scores from the two years tested, showed little difference in utilizing Junior Great Books or not utilizing the program. Research in this area should continue because reading is so important in our society and for student growth. ItemPreparing Student-Athletes for Success after College(2021-05-03) Fletcher, Jhaymonique; Masters of EducationThe purpose of the study was to assess the efficacy of collegiate coaches providing university career center information in assisting the overall preparation of the student-athlete after college. Subjects (n = 12) were from a Division III women’s basketball team. Student-athletes completed a test that examined their knowledge of resume building, cover letter building, and interviewing techniques before and after studying materials from the university Career Education Office. There was no significant difference between the mean pre-test scores (Mean = 6, SD = 1.13) and mean post-test scores (Mean = 7, SD = 1.65) [t(11) = 1.34, p = .21]. Research in the area of student athletes’ preparation for life after college should continue, particularly since there is often an unequal balance between academics and sport demands. ItemTypes of Vocabulary Instruction used by Content Teachers to Improve English Language Learners' Reading Comprehension(2020-05) Win, Htet Htet Aye; Education; Masters of EducationThe purpose of this study was to investigate what types of vocabulary instruction content teachers implement to support their ELLs' reading comprehension and how often they implement vocabulary instruction for their ELL students. This study is a descriptive study that used an ESOL Vocabulary Instruction Questionnaire developed by the researcher to collect data on student demographic in classrooms, participants' Professional Development experiences, types of vocabulary instruction used, and how often instructions were implemented. Word Banks and Defining Words based on Context are commonly used vocabulary instruction that focus on building reading comprehension. Additionally, most of the participants state that they often accommodate and implement vocabulary instruction for their students regardless of their students being ELLs or non-ELLs. More research should continue to study how an educators' knowledge of vocabulary instruction and development affect their ELLs' academic performance in terms of vocabulary and reading comprehension.