Action Research

Great teachers are constantly looking for the next great thing to improve their teaching.  We are always implementing new things, and looking at data to see how well our students are progressing.  Did you know that there is a formal name for this?  Action research can be defined as identifying a problem in your classroom, looking for research about the problem, make a plan, implement the plan, collect data, and reflect.

I have been reading and researching implementing the blended learning model into my classroom as well as my school for my innovation plan.  Action research is the next best step to gather real-world data from my classroom to share with my principal.  The goal is to start slow, that way to not overwhelm teachers.  I decided to focus my research on math and the blended learning model. Before implementing the action research, I created an outline to get my ideas down, and to focus exactly on what I wanted to measure and how I wanted to measure it.  Next, I began researching the blended learning model and the station rotation model specifically and wrote a literature review to share what I learned.  After researching, I have made my plan and the implementation outline below as well.

The Topic

The effectiveness of using the blended learning model (station rotation) in a first-grade classroom for math instruction.

The Purpose

I have been teaching for ten years, with eight of those years being spent in first-grade.  I have spent all eight years teaching math whole group.  My data has not been terrible, but I struggle with reaching each one of my students due to having twenty-two students and one me.  I cannot reach every student when they are struggling.  I also have students that have gaps and are not currently on grade level and ready to tackle some of the tasks I am teaching.  The blended learning model would allow me to create small groups in my classroom.  Students would rotate through three total stations.  The first station is me which is where I teach a small group, the second station is a technology station where they will work on Study Island, a math program, that will allow me to assign students assignments that meet their current level, and the last station is a collaborative station where students work in groups to complete the assignment.  Teaching this way would allow me to reach students quickly when they are struggling because they will be directly in front of me and a very small number.  The technology station will help me plug the gaps and push students that need it.  The purpose of this action research is to see if implementing the blended learning model during my math block with change my students’ math data.

Fundamental Research Question

Will the blended learning model (station rotation model) increase my student’s math achievement?

Research Design

I will focus my research design on the quantitative research.  Since my question is focused on achievement, I will be looking at tested data to see growth.  I will also look at data from the technology program Study Island to see student growth.

Type of Data

Students take a beginning of year math test created by the district math coordinator.  They take this test in August.  I will be using this data to group students, and to identify where I should place students on Study Island for their technology station.  Weekly I will be looking at their data on Study Island to see which students are progressing, and which students are struggling.  Students will take another district created math assessment in December.  I will use this data to regroup students and to see if students are progressing.  I will be looking closely at students that did not perform well on the beginning of year assessment.  Hopefully, I will see growth on their middle of year assessment.   I will continue to look at their data weekly on Study Island, and make adjustments as needed.  Students will take one more district created assessment in May, and this will be my final piece of data.

Measurement Instruments

My district has a math coordinator that creates math assessments for each grade level based on our grade level standards.  Students take these assessments in the beginning, middle, and end of the year.  I will be looking at how many questions students miss, what types of questions they miss, as well as their final score.

Time-Line

  • August 2018
    • Test students to build groups.
    • Meet with first-grade teachers, instructional coach, principal, and assistant principals to discuss the action plan and develop it further.
    • Teach students procedures for moving during stations.
    • Teach students how to handle Chromebooks properly, and the program Study Island.
    • Teach students the collaborative station.
  • September 2018
    • Half of the month students will continue to practice everything that was taught in August.
    • The second half of the month students will begin the station rotation model.
  • October 2018
    • Look weekly at Study Island data.  Regroup if necessary.
  • December 2018
    • Look at district assessment data.
    • Meet with first-grade teachers, instructional coach, principal, and assistant principals to relook at data as a grade level.  Make changes to anything that may not be going well.
  • Second Semester 2019
    • Continue gathering data, regrouping if necessary, and meeting with grade level team to discuss things that are going well and things that need to be changed.
  • May 2019
    • Final data will be collected from the district assessment.
    • Grade level team will share and communicate our results with the principal, assistant principals, and instructional coach.
    • We will reflect on the process, and share with other grade levels our successes.

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