Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Action Planning Template

Action Planning Template
Goal:  What is the Effectiveness of the Use of Interactive Science Notebooks Towards Student Achievement?
Action Steps(s):
Person(s) Responsible:
Timeline: Start/End
Needed Resources

Establish the selection of the  bilingual and
monolingual students.

Pam Mitchell

Susan Allen, Assistant Principal
Patricia Shoffit, Principal

4th Grade Science Students & Teachers

Feb. 2013

Class roll of one 4th grade monolingual and one 4th grade bilingual

These are the targeted students that my research will be based on.

Calculate the % of  students and teachers that enjoy and those who do not like the science notebooks

Pam Mitchell

4th Grade Science Students and 4th & 5th Grade Teachers

Feb. 2013


Reveal the data positive/negative feelings

Gather 3rd, 4th , and 5th  grade science benchmarks at end of each term.

Pam Mitchell

Susan Allen, Asst. Principal
Patricia Shoffit, Principal

School year: 2011-2012 Fall and Spring

School year: 2012-2013 Fall and Spring

2013 Fall

School district benchmarks

Data Showing Comparisons of 3rd grade scores of same students from Fall 2011- Fall 2013


Gathering of 3rd grade science notebooks for 2011-2012 if possible.

Pam Mitchell

4th Grade Science Students and Teachers

Feb. 2013

Note to go home

Established Class newsletter

Show data of same students’ work beginning in 3rd through 5th grade

Samples of student’s work

Poll Targeted groups to determine % of students using science notebooks in grade 3

Pam Mitchell

4th Grade Teachers of Targeted Groups

March, 2013

Poll Survey

Survey data

List and elaborate on extent of cross-curriculum use of science journals, Grades 3-5

Pam Mitchell

All 3rd through 5th Grade Teachers

May, 2013


Results of use of journals with cross-curriculum

Track writing benchmarks (if taken) of students & collaborate with teachers

Pam Mitchell

4th & 5th  grade students

4th & 5th grade Teachers

Spring 2013-Fall 2013

Writing benchmarks Fall & Spring 2012-2013, Fall 2013

Analyze data to see if an increase in student achievement with science journals

Sample organizational skills 

Pam Mitchell

4th and 5th grade students, possible teachers

Spring 2013-Fall 2013

Science journals

Pictorial samples from students’ journals displaying organizational skills

Analyze all data results and share results with teachers and administrators

Pam Mitchell

Spring 2014

Research summary and data

Communicate all resulting action research data.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Week 2 Reflection on My Action Research


   This weeks lessons in research have led me to focus my attention on the topic that I will be using as my action research topic  While I have learned a lot concerning action research, I am excited to see where my action research topic takes me.  I have decided to research the topic, The Effectiveness of the Use of Interactive Science Notebooks Within the Classroom.  I want to learn and research how these interactive student notebooks enchance student learning outcomes in the classroom?  I feel as though this research will shed some information on their effectiveness on science test scores, writing abilities, vocabulary enchancement, and the list goes on!  Do these notebooks serve as a springboard for other learnings like for writing class, vocabulary learnings, outlining and note taking procedures.  Do these notebooks teach students how to become organized and productive in their gatherings of science information?  I am looking forward in my research and how it will affect students including bilingual students as well.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New Idea for Action Research Topic

   My original idea for action research was to research the effectiveness of the use of iPad math apps towards student's math achievement.  Upon meeting with my interning principal and assistant it was decided that our iPads didn't have the necessary math apps for such research.  Upon further discussion with my assistant principal, it was decided that I could research the effectiveness of interactive science notebooks at our campus.  It is mandatory that all grade levels use the interactive notebooks this year on this particular campus.  I am curious as to how these notebooks will help the bilingual classes in science on our campus. What do you think?

Friday, January 18, 2013

My Knowledge in Action Research


   Prior to enrolling into Lamar University’s Online Master’s Program, I had no knowledge of the meaning of action research.  I still have a lot to learn, but I want to share with you a couple of unique characteristics of action research and just touch on the vast description of what it is.
   Action research is simply taking a problem, idea, or an inquiry and researching this problem to accumulate as much data as you can.  It’s involving other educators and/or students to share your data with.  This data will be used to tweak or resolve the problem.  Upon stepping back and taking a second look at the problem, if it is not resolved then keep researching and evolving yourself and your strategies until the problem is better or resolved.  
   One unique quality of action research is that the people wanting the change are the same people that are conducting the inquiries to help themselves improve in their own practices.  Through their own observations and communications with other people, they will generate solutions to their own problems.  Action research empowers those who use it.
   Another unique quality about action research is that people will come together to work collaboratively on the problem, thus helping each other become more effective because they can step back and look at their own work and consider how they could change for the better.
   Upon learning about action research it became obvious that as a teacher, I had used action research most of my teaching career!  What teacher doesn’t observe their students and then collect data on these students as well as change their practices towards these students to help the students improve or to help their school environment improve?  While our schools continue to change with the rapid development of technologies and other factors, our schools challenge us to adapt.  It is apparent that educators must meet these challenges and strive to seek ways to be great leaders if our schools are to be lead into the future with success. Using action research as their launching pad is a great way to begin to go forward successfully.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

How Educational Leaders Might Use Blogs

   Blogging makes communication interactive with discussions, feedback, and collaborating with others.  What a great way for educational leaders to help others learn!  History teachers could set up a blog for students to read about an important event that took place on that day in history.  These events could be archived and as the lists grow, teachers could have trivia questions that students could give feedback on.  Teachers could use blogs to post an assignment that would require some type of writing feedback, like using vocabulary words to fill in the blanks on a particular story or to give an opinion on a particular current event.  School leaders could use blogs to keep the school community updated with relevant information concerning their schools, like bond issues, school closings or current events.  The ways that educational leaders can use blogs is endless.  They can keep us informed and in touch!