Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sharing My Research Findings

At this point in my action research plan, I hope to share my action research plan with my interning principal, assistant principal and the teachers in my school. Sharing the findings of my action research with the teachers is something that I will need to confirm with my administrators on my building. Since this is my first action research project, and I feel very green with the process. My goal is to not only search and process the data that can answer my leading question of whether interactive science notebooks are effective with students’ learning, but to walk away from this experience with new knowledge of how the action research actually works and learning its’ process. This new knowledge is what I want to share with my administrators and teachers. If I can prove my research question with the supporting data that can answer the leading question of my research, then I can share that result with a sense of confidence that I have increased my knowledge and their knowledge as well, which will increase the success of the student. This is one of the most prevalent reasons educators should be conducting research; to help increase student success. On the other hand, if my research falls short of being able to answer the leading research question, then all of the processes and data gathered hopefully will bring about new questions and learning regarding my research. Either way, I am learning and growing as an educator. These shared new learnings might be just enough to intrigue the teachers to think about how and why they are using the interactive science notebooks, which will increase their knowledge and thus, lead to an increase in student success.

Another Action Research Update

I have reviewed the four critical tasks that I used in sharing my action research project, and I want to briefly explain why these tasks will be covered. According to Dana (2009), the first of the four critical tasks is “providing background information” (p.163). It will be important for me to share the background information so that I can tell others why I am intrigued by the topic I chose. I am curious how others feel about my action research topic and what I hope to gain from their insights. The second critical task is “sharing the design of the inquiry (procedures, data collection, and data analysis)” (p. 163). So that I don’t just reflect on what I did, I will include the systematic way of how I performed my action research, and why I chose the particular methods of what I did including the data collection and the analysis of that collection. The third critical task is dealing with “stating the learning and supporting the statements with data” (pg. 163). This is where I will prove my case or build my argument. I will need to support the findings by providing the evidence from my data. I will use as much data as possible so that I have a running record of evidence to support my statements from my learning. The more sources I have, the stronger my case becomes. The fourth and last critical task from Dana (2009) is “providing concluding thoughts” (p. 168). I will need to remember that after I complete my action plan, I may or may not have the answers to the initial questions or leading question of my research. All of my work will not be done in vain, as I will have answers to my questions, or now I will have additional questions and new areas for inquiry towards my research.


Dana, Nancy F. (2009). The travelogue: Sharing your work with others. Leading with passion and knowledge: The principal as action researcher (pp. 135-170). Thousand Oaks, CA:Corwin.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rolling Along with My Action Research Plan (Progress Update)

As a reminder, by action research is researching the effectiveness of the use of student science journals towards student achievement. My action research plan is moving at a slower pace than my internship plan. I have logged many hours into my internship plan hoping to put it on the back burner, so that I could concentrate on my action research plan this summer. I am currently gathering the necessary data to complete my research. I want to do this while school is going on, so that if I run into a problem, I have the support of my school staff and administrators to help me. As I gather the data, I am formatting it into charts and graphs where the data can easily be compared. This summer, I will apply this data to my action research paper. I have established the selection of the bilingual and monolingual students that I will use in my research. I have already gathered the district benchmarks in science for the participating students from the school year 2011-2012. I have gathered the district benchmarks in science for this year 2012-2013 and am up to date with those results. I have copied the organizational skills used in the students science journals and will continue to gather more samples from this year towards the end of the year. I am researching on the web trying to find as much research as I can that pertains to my action research. I have found several good sources like and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) as a couple of examples. The NSTA has some great articles concerning the use of science notebooks and has documented some of the research that has been developed to study the use of the science notebooks. I have not ran into any obstacles yet, but I know that if I do, I can rely on my administrators, the staff and the professors to redirect me in the right direction.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

5326 School Community Relations--Partnership Timeline


Seek Approval

School administrators
-Share & collaborate partnership idea
-seek approval to proceed with development
March 2113

Establish Campus Base Site Committee (CBST) to oversee partnership development

School’s established planning committee -(Including but not limited to):
-Teachers from each grade level
-PTO/parent org. representatives
-Teacher aid
-Community representatives

-Organize members for campus base site committee to oversee development of partnership
-Inventory current discipline practices
-Ensure need for partnership align with school/student goals
-Ensure school’s need with cultures—schedule school personnel to use the Self-Assessment Checklist on the NASPW, (National Association of School Psychologists Website
April 2013

CBST to collaborate on development of partnership
CBST Members:
-School psychologist(as guest if possible)
-Teachers from each grade level
-Community representatives
-Parent representatives
-PTA/other parent org. representatives
-Develop 3 year outline broadly defining goals of partnership for each year including ideas of behavior workshops, guest speakers, parent child activities, family/student take home activity bags, evaluations, etc.
-Produce 1 year action plan including activities, resources, funding, and evaluation
-Develop the SOS (Success of Students) Plan which is a step by step procedure plan for severe behavior interruptions that all staff will use
-Establish reward system for no severe behavior outbursts
-Mentoring including upper grade students,  parents, special visitors (Houston’s professional sports players, etc.)
-Establish chairperson/co-chair to coordinate, schedule meetings, & share information
April – May 2013
CBST to collaborate funding sources,  resources, marketing, supplies

Established CBST members
-Make decision of how guest speakers(if needed for workshop will be obtained/funded
-Funding of supplies: PTO, grade level funds
-Send out help call to community & parents via, school newsletter, website, established weekly communication from classroom teachers for reading books, puzzles, math flash cards, etc. for Take Home Book Bags
May 2013

Make Take Home Activity Bags

CBST members
-Make Take Home Family Activity Bags: use canvas bags to fill with 2-3 activities including a book activity
June  2013
Collaborate on development of partnership
Established CBST
Meet to tie up loose ends on any of:
-3 year broad outline
-1 year action plan
-SOS (Success of Students) Plan
-Family Activity Bags
-Begin planning and marketing of the first year Behavior Workshop that will occur in January 2014
-Any relevant issues

End of June, July 2013
Plan & collaborate on Behavior Workshop for February 2013

-Established CBST
-Other Community members
-Plan for 1st year guest speaker for 1 hour informational session regarding behavior issues as it related to medications, disorders, food allergies, etc. and parenting tips
-Plan how (in person, video, website, etc.) it will be implemented
-Plan when (Open House, on a Saturday, with Meet the Teacher Night, etc.)
-Finalize funding (if any) for speaker
July 2013

Planned Parent Activities
-CBST members chairperson & co-chair
- Teachers
-Teacher aids, assistants

-All grade levels with SOS Plan students will plan to incorporate parents to be involved with their child, their grade level, or class
-Teacher will have a generic list of pre-planned activities planned by the CBST that she/he will individualize toward her/his class and or students to meet their academic needs.
August 2013

Collaborate & Share w/Staff
-CBST chairperson
-CBST co-chair
-Review staff of established discipline guidelines for campus
-Explain & collaborate refining step by step procedures between school/parents regarding severe behavior issues which is the SOS (Success of Students) Plan
-Illicit commitment from staff for new SOS Plan

August 2013

Share SOS Plan w/ Community
-Illicit commitment from parents-staff-students
-Explain the SOS Plan steps
-Share via use of school/student handbooks, school website, beginning of year grade level meetings w/parents to inform all members of SOS Plan

Beginning of school-
August/September 2013

1st Year Behavior Workshop

- CBST members
-Selected guest speakers (if any)
- Community
- Teachers
- Administrators
- Students
- Other school staff

-1 scheduled 1 hour sessions to occur during 1st year involving speakers or information to discuss behavior issues that may be related to medications, disorders, food allergies, parenting tips, etc.

February 2014

Analyze Data & Evaluation of Behavior Exhibited w/Planned Activities and SOS Plan
-Participating Teachers
-Participating Parents
-Communicate & collaborate on successes of SOS Plan and gather feedback from parents on how to be more effective on SOS Plan
-Check if reduction in behavior outbursts or severe behavior infractions
Monthly, possibly weekly depending on student’s issues beginning in August 2013
Evaluate overall partnership plan and review/update 3 year plan
CBST members
- Review and collaborate the 3 year outline of partnership
- Review, update, improve SOS Plan to ensure it is linking to academic achievement
- Reduction of Student’s Behavior Outbursts on an individual basis of each participating student
June 2014

5326 School Community Relations--Wk. 2--Gathering Data for Partnership Prosposal

Current Reality: Identify a current student issue or need that interferes with academic achievement at your school. Cite data that supports the need. This could be data that relates to academic achievement, student attendance, discipline, or other sources. Look at trends of data and disaggregated data, where available.
  A current student issue that interferes with academic achievement at my interning school is the behavior of a 2nd grade male student that I will refer to as Needs2.  Since December Needs2 has outbursts involving disrespect to the teacher and other students. These outbursts involve some type of physical and verbal disrespect.  He has a daily behavior log that travels with him wherever he goes that has documentation of his good and bad behavior.  Teachers have documented his behavior in the Skyward computer system, which is an educational software program used by schools.  He has these behavior outbursts logged on forms, labeled “Outclass Conduct Notices” as well.  He has a cool-off spot in the classroom. Interventions from the school psychologist have been put in place for the teacher in dealing with Needs2.  Some of the behaviors he exhibits is running in classroom, making loud noises with his mouth, doesn’t stay on task, sings out loud, doesn’t follow simple rules, bangs on things in classroom, yells out, throws objects, talks back to teacher, refers to his teacher as “lady”, and has other inappropriate behaviors as well.  His behavior is detrimental to the other 2nd grade classmates and their learning as well as his own.  While this is just one student, there are more students at the school with severe behavior issues. The school does not currently have a program in place to engage with parents over the long-term to address these behavior issues. Whether it is one student with severe behavior issues or ten, these students have the capability of disrupting the entire classroom and lowering academic achievement for the whole classroom. Therefore, we must develop a program to systematically deal with these behavior issues.
Vision: How will the family-school-community partnership that you are proposing resolve the issue by meeting the demonstrated need, and how will it support student achievement?
   I plan on building a model for engaging with parents of students with severe behavior issues, using the specific facts of Needs2 (outlined above) as the basis for the model.  Upon looking at this student issue, it has lead me to inquire about other students in this school that have had severe behavior issues within the classroom that have disrupted student achievement for the entire classroom. There are a couple more students that also have behavior issues that would benefit from a partnership with the community at this school.  Needs2 is definitely not the first nor will he be the last student with a strong behavior issue!  Therefore, my plan is to develop a discipline model plan that is implemented by all staff members.  This plan is a step by step process that allows the parents and the school to work together to resolve behavior issues that are occurring at school.  It will be beneficial for all other students-parents-school members when the occurrence arises with a different student.  It will help guide the parents and school towards successful behavior that will not deteriorate the learning environment.  This model program will be the standard for engaging families across the entire school year in addressing severe discipline issues. Applying this model for each family will not only increase the student achievement of the children with poor behavior, but will also provide a better learning environment for other students in the classroom and grade level.

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Reflection of 5301 Research

   As I reflect back upon this course, 5301 Research, I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to attend this course!  I have learned so much and am already growing as an educator that leads.  The lectures that I have viewed by Dr. Jenkins, Dr. Arterbury, Dr. Abshire and especially the videos of Dr. Briseno, Dr. Chargois, and Dr. Lewis have enriched my studies.  I especially enjoyed the advice Dr. Lewis extended to us explaining that our research doesn’t have to be fu-fu and glitzy!  It should be practical and be something that we personally have a desire to learn more about.  Dr. Chargois’ video inspired me due to the fact he stated that any research you do must always lead back to helping our students achieve more. 
   The readings, electronic searches of topics, assignments and activities have all been enjoyable as I have learned something new with all of them.  I will keep the books, Leading with Passion and Knowledge, The Principal as Action Researcher by N.F. Dana and Examining What We Do to Improve Our Schools, 8 Steps from Analysis to Action by S. Harris, S. Edmonson, and J. Combs in my professional library as I work towards becoming an administrator.  They are books I can share with my staff as I am now beginning to see the broader picture of the responsibilities of an administrator from reading these books.  The strategies introduced with the “Harris” book seem so straight forward and highly beneficial.  I especially liked the Delphi method as a tool for developing a deeper understanding and a great strategy for identifying ways to improve school needs.  Using this method, the participants are encouraged to reconsider and revise their answers in light of the collection of information from other members of the group.  The involvement of the people who would be affected by a new decision or change are the very ones who implement this strategy.  As I become a school leader, these processes towards improvement of a school is vital!  The course assignments helped me reflect upon the learning found in these books that I have mentioned above.  The reflections in the assignments helped me prioritize the learning and how to apply it.  As I still have a lot to learn in my Master’s program, I will learn so much with my action research.  I will remember that the Leadership and Research courses set the beginning building blocks for my program.  Again, I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to learn so much through these two courses.
   When I reflect upon the new friendships I have encounter on this journey towards new knowledge a smile enters my face.  Even though I have not met anyone personally, I feel a sense of bonding with them as we are all on the same journey.  The group discussions have helped me understand the assignments, readings and pushed my expectations to do more than what I thought I could.  The feedback and encouragement from the discussion board and the blogs have been helpful in my growth.  I had never developed a blog before and with the Research course, I now have my own blog.  The comments that others have shared with me regarding my research have helped me to rethink my ideas.  Being able to read their blogs, lends a comparison that helps me understand the concepts better.  For them to share their learning and feelings, it has helped me gain courage and insight within my own learning.  I look forward to leading others and helping my staff be the best teachers possible.  Our children deserve nothing but the best.  They have one chance to be in school and those school years will help define who they are and who they will become.  We, as leaders, must accept the challenge and be willing to change, grow and nurture them with all that we have.  I am excited to be part of this and look forward to becoming an administrator some day!  I am thankful that I have this opportunity for others to affect my life and I hope that I have affected the lives of others!