Monday, October 17, 2011

A Look Back

       Looking back on my GAME plan, I am I have begun to close the gap between my enthusiasm and my competence in promoting 21st century learning skills.  As part of my Walden journey I had to evaluate and acknowledge my limited knowledge of 21st century technology tools (Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer, 2009).   Next, as my plan indicates, I had to research and practice using technology tools that included wikis, blogs, concept maps and a myriad of other engaging web 2.0 online aids to assist me in  learning the course content.  Quite surprisingly, the ISTE NETS for Teachers (laws, n.d.) (2a) that calls for incorporating digital tool into standards based instruction wasn’t the gradual two to five year integration plan that I had anticipated.  Our Walden coursework demanded that, as self directed learners, not only did we utilize these tools in our own professional development, but we had to instantly incorporate them into lessons we designed and implemented.  In addition we effectively participated in online professional learning communities providing guidance in carrying out our GAME plans.
       Upon reflection of this experience, the most astonishing revelation was how the integration of technology tools motivated my students to create, collaborate and communicate at a much higher level than they had ever demonstrated before (Stevens, 2011).   Providing the incentive to use the ubiquitous technology tools to learn grade level content released them from the mundane pencil paper tasks required in the past.  Even pre, formative and summative assessments of learned content could be conducted using a wiki, blog, voice thread, or digital story (Cennamo, et al., 2009).
        While the technology tools actively engaged students in learning the content, teaching the GAME plan provided an organizational strategy for implementing their problem based learning activity.  Making a plan to solve their problem gave them a structured format to help to ensure their success.  Although a stretch for some of my more challenged learners, I think the repetitive use of it as an organizational strategy will help all students refine their critical thinking skills. 
        Through my online collaboration with my peers, I not only benefited from their feedback on my lessons, but saw how technology tools can truly be integrated “seamlessly” into every facet of our content areas.  My new competencies gained through this course have also given me the confidence to expand my recent co-teaching experience to recruit other teachers willing to take a risk with the integration of 21st century learning skills (laws, n.d. 5d).  Although my stagnate staff will be hard to infiltrate, positive feedback that I have already received has sparked interest among them. 
       The enthusiasm and popularity among my students generated by using technology tools in my lessons were irrefutable.  In order to “turn on the lights”(Prensky, 2011, p59) and keep them on for my students,  I will make a conscious effort to ensure that technology tools are integrated into every facet of my lesson planning from assessment, to instruction, through  the evaluation process. 

Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009).  Technology integration for meaningful classroom use:  A standards-based approach:  Mason, Ohio:  Cengage Learning.
ISTE | NETS for Teachers. (n.d.). ISTE | Membership, NETS Standards, Books, Journals and  Professional Development for Teachers. Retrieved September 14, 2011, from        
 Prensky, M. "Turning on the lights." Education Leadership Mar. 2008: 40-45.  
 Stevens, M. “Create, communicate, collaborate.”  NEA Today, summer 2011:  59-62.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

GAME Plan Update

      Last year our fifth grade class adopted the program, “Alias”, to increase and refine vocabulary development and ignite deep level critical thinking skills.  The program also included a writing component that required students to use text content to respond to related prompts.  While reviewing its merits, my co-teacher and I decided that technology can effectively be integrated into these same lessons.  Assessing progress toward my GAME plan, I have come to realize how complex the task is.  During our first discussion my co-teacher and I agreed to review parent permission slips regarding the use of technology.  For those students not able to participate, we will have to plan alternative activities that align with our instructional goals.  Another important consideration is the availability of computers for student use.  Prior to this meeting, I did not take into consideration how the sequence of the lesson would have to be planned to coordinate with computer lab time.  We agreed to plan our instruction around our scheduled computer time so that the integration of the technology tools will seamlessly support our goals.
       Collaborative learning communities have not been a part of my school’s landscape.  My co-teacher partner and I were both surprised at how productive and beneficial a short lunchtime planning session could be.  We both were able to contribute our knowledge and access to the resources necessary to ensure our lesson’s success. We also discussed two different back up plans in case of a technology glitch that interferes with our access to technology resources.  Heterogeneous grouping for our problem based learning activity was also discussed.  In addition we decided, as suggested by Dr.Ross (Laureate, 2010), that since written conventions were not a focus of this lesson, students would be encouraged to make use of word processors spell and grammar checkers.   
     One question that was generated but not yet answered included, “how can we differentiate instruction to facilitate the different prior knowledge levels of content and technology. Another yet unanswered question is how much guidance and direction should we provide our collaborative learning communities in their follow-up problem based learning activity?  These questions will be revisited at our next planning meeting where we will use formative assessment to adjust our teaching in accordance with student learning (Cennamo, Ross & Ertner, 2009).
     Independently toward my goals, I have engaged our resident “techies” to show me how to use available lab technology as well as to share their class blogs.  Using the tutorials I procured from the internet on my chosen technology tools, I have begun to create examples of how students can demonstrate knowledge learned.  Although the tutorials are not always complete and effective, as I practice on these tools I find increased confidence in my proficiencies
     In addition to collaborating in a fifth grade class, I have connected with a former Walden graduate who feels that she has returned to her digital immigrant status she had prior to receiving her master’s degree.  Although afraid to take a risk independently, she has welcomed me into her classroom to support her in setting up blogging to support her children in learning to write letters.

Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009).  Technology integration for meaningful classroom use:  A standards-based approach:  Mason, Ohio:  Cengage Learning.
Laureate Education, Inc. 2010 (Producer). Assessing Student Learning with Technology (DVD).  
            Integrating Technology across the Content Areas.  Baltimore, MD: Author.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Following My Game Plan

     My GAME plan to design and incorporate digital tools into my instructional lessons will require that I strategically decide on those that will most effectively motivate and engage my students.  I will use assessment data collected and student surveys to identify learning tools that will most effectively match the interests, learning preferences, and intelligences of my students (Cennamo, Ross & Ertmer 2009).  After selecting those tools, I will need to open accounts as well as to verify parent permission for students to use the internet for learning.  I will also survey my students to determine which students have prior experiences using Google Reader, Digital Stories, or Voice Threads.  Those students will serve as support for their peers that have had limited or no exposure.  I have also determined that two of my staff members have just begun to use blogs.  I will employ their expertise to devise a plan to give all students equal access to our available technology.   This past week I downloaded tutorials for three tools I will be using with my students.  I will practice using each of the tools to become familiar with the nuances of each program.  This coming week, I will meet with my co-teacher to decide on when, where, and how we will implement the use of these tools into our instruction.  It will be necessary to consider the availability of computer resources both in the lab and in the classroom, the instructional time to model the use of the technology, and the assignment of collaborative learning teams.  Although we plan to utilize these tools in mathematics as well as language arts, we have chosen to focus on language arts first. 
       In order to contribute to the effectiveness and self renewal of the teaching profession and my school community I will first need to recruit the support of my administrator to deviate from “business as usual” (Laureate, 2010).  As my co-worker and I develop our instructional plan for our students, together we will formulate a plan for methodically helping our staff and community embrace teaching 21st century skills.  We will informally survey our staff to find the teachers that are most comfortable using technology in the classroom and initiate conversations about the advantages of integrating technology into our instructional practice.  It is my intent that we form a collaborative learning community among interested teachers to implement more lessons using 21st century technology tools in order to develop authentic learning experiences.

Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009).  Technology integration for meaningful classroom use:  A standards-based approach:  Mason, Ohio:  Cengage Learning.
Laureate Education, Inc. 2010 (Producer). Promoting Self-Directed Learning (DVD). Integrating Technology across the Content Areas.  Baltimore, MD: Author.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Technology: The Illuminator

Technology:  The Illuminator
            If my enthusiasm for technology matched my proficiency level in all of the ISTE NETS performance indicators, I would be satisfied with my competency in effectively promoting 21st century learning skills. Understanding the power of technology to motivate and engage students, I must develop the competency to seamlessly integrate these tools into my daily lessons.  In order to refine my skills following the ISTE NETS for Teachers (ISTE NETS n.d.) (2a) in designing or adapting learning experiences that incorporate digital tools, I will follow the following G(oals), A(ction), M(onitor) and E(valuate) plan as recommended by Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer (2009).  Through my Walden journey, I have had the opportunity to preview a multitude of technology tools that are motivating, engaging and challenging.  Digital storytelling, wikis, blogs, and voice threads are just a few of the versatile tools that would easily support the English language arts standards.    Acknowledging my lack of confidence in using these tools seamlessly, I will preview a tutorial on each tool, practice the process using a tutorial, and prepare to model the steps for my students in creating these products. (Cennamo et. al., 2009).   Before presenting the initial lesson, I will ask for a peer review to critique my lesson plan and provide guidance for improvement.  After presenting my lesson, through journal writing, I will assess my own progress in using technology effectively to support student learning, I will reflect on the experience with each tool, identifying the highlights as well as the possible pitfalls that might be troublesome for my students and make adjustments along the way.  Finally, at the conclusion of each lesson, I will evaluate my success using a self designed rubric.  It will include an evaluation (1-4) of my proficiency with the studied tools, a short narrative on student engagement and work samples to demonstrate student performance.  As a follow-up activity, I will ask the students to submit personal response to pre-designed questions to assist me in future planning.  In addition, I plan to survey my staff to identify teachers using these tools and observe how they use these tools to teach the standards.
            Marc Prensky (2009) explains that kids today already have reservoirs of knowledge from their numerous connections to the world.  It is our job as educators to design lessons that use, build on, and strengthen that knowledge.  At my school, our seasoned teachers are resistant to extend beyond their traditional instructional practice. ISTE NETS for teachers performance indicator 5d describes the importance of contributing to the vitality and self-renewal of the teaching profession (ISTE NETS, n.d.).   This year I have developed a GAME plan to begin to methodically introduce 21st century skills and the integration of technology tools into our standards based instruction.  I am fortunate that one of our teachers is willing to risk a co-teaching format in which we will collaboratively plan to use technology tools to acknowledge our students learning preferences and teach to their interest.  We will plan our lessons and then release our roll as providers of information and take on the job as explainers, context providers and meaning makers of information (Prensky, 2009).  Additionally, as part of this process, we will monitor the effectiveness of our teaching through formal and informal formative assessment.  At the conclusion of each unit, we will reflect on the effectiveness of our lessons relying on student observation, reflective journal writing, (both our students and our own) surveys, and our students products.  This will be my first attempt to infuse 21st century skills into a very professional, yet sedentary staff.  Recognizing my own enthusiasm for this “not business as usual” plan for instruction, I can’t help but feel that using technology tools to foster critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, and collaboration will be contagious and “turn the lights on” for both students and my staff (Prensky, 2009, p45).


Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009).  Technology integration for meaningful  

      classroom use:  A  standards-based approach:  Mason, Ohio:  Cengage Learning.
ISTE | NETS for Teachers. (n.d.). ISTE | Membership, NETS Standards, Books, Journals and  Professional Development for Teachers. Retrieved September 14, 2011, from    
            Prensky, M. "Turning on the lights." Education Leadership Mar. 2008: 40-45.  

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Online Inquiry: A New Plan

Online Inquiry:  A New Plan
            Reflecting upon the last eight weeks has ignited my passion to better understand the complexities of using Web 2.0 technology.  This journey has enhanced my understanding of the Internet and the empowering possibilities it has for my students.  Prior to our investigation of information literacy and online inquiry, I understood online research skills to mirror those used in traditional textbook inquiry.  As proposed by Eagleton and Dobler, (2007) researching on the web requires additional skills to navigate through the plethora of information available.  To access and effectively use information from the Web, students must be taught to adapt to the faster pace of online research.  They must be able to switch between the variations in the text features and structures of each website while concurrently analyzing it for reliability, truthfulness and suitability (Eagleton and Dobler, 2007).  The innumerable resources available on the Web add another layer of complexity to online research.  Until my investigation of the Martin Luther King  ( ) website and  the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus ( ), I never  realized the importance of teaching our students to be critical consumers of information (Eagleton and Dobler, 2007).  This includes teaching them to recognize bias, how to balance information with other sources to validate truthfulness, and  most  important,  how the information  learned  relates to the world around them. 
            Toward this goal, the QUEST model will be an instrumental component in every curricular area of my future instruction.  Acknowledging the importance of engaging my students in authentic learning experiences, I will actively pursue ways to transform my instruction into online inquiry.  As most teachers recognize, presenting lessons that are organized, presented sequentially, and scaffolded (when needed) are essential to the success of any lesson.   The QUEST model of internet inquiry provides a built in structure for students  and teachers to follow.  It dictates that students cycle through the steps to complete their inquiry, but encourages them to revisit any step when their findings are inconclusive or unsatisfactory (Eagleton and Dobler, 2007) Students learn to formulate “deep thinking” questions that they investigate and that often   lead to additional questions that contribute to their learning.  They are taught how to search for information and evaluate resources they find for suitability, reliability, and truthfulness.   Next, they practice identifying important information and combining it with their own thinking relying on their prior knowledge and experience.  In the transformation stage students learn to communicate what they have learned through a final product.  Demonstrating and helping students to practice using this structured and well defined model will not be my biggest challenge.  However, acting as a facilitator, rather than the deliverer of information ,will be an adjustment.  I plan to conduct research along with my students modeling the steps and providing prompts to help them engage in their own self reflection as they proceed through their inquiry (Eagleton and Dobler, 2007 ).
            In order to enhance the online inquiry experience for my students and prepare them for their connected futures online (Richardson, 2009),  I am going to implement at least one inquiry project in which my class collaborates with another classroom outside of my school  (Richardson, 2009).  We will begin by procuring pen pals through SchoolMail.  The exchange will begin with a collaborative effort between the teachers to teach cyber etiquette, internet  responsibility,  and the various parts of an  e-mail.   Students will then be paired up between the two classes and begin introductory e-mail exchanges.  As the year progresses, the teachers will collaborate to direct the conversations and use of internet tools to be more standards based and content oriented.  . In the  last third of the school year, the pen pal pairs will engage in an inquiry project that they have mutually agreed upon and that has been approved by the teachers.  It will culminate in a selected product that will be presented to both classrooms at the end of the year (Demski, 2008).
            Students entering the 21st century workforce will need to be self-directed, self-motivated, lifelong learners (Richardson, 2009).  My new and enhanced understanding of the potential for learning through online inquiry requires my immediate attention.    As I await the beginning of the 2011-12 school year, I look forward to the opportunity and challenge of incorporating the new litereacies and online inquiry into my curriculum.  This new plan will play a significant role in preparing students with the skills they need to be self-directed, self-motivated, lifelong learners (Richardson, 2007)

Eagleton, M. B., & Dobler, E. (2007). Reading the web: Strategies for internet inquiry. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Demski, J. (2008, November). E-palling around. THE Journal, 35(11), 18–19.
Richardson, W. (2009, March). Becoming network-wise. Educational Leadership, 66(6), 26–31.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Teacher Inquiry: What Does It Mean?

Teacher Inquiry:  What Does It Mean?
Prompt #5-Identify any trends and themes you find in the data.  Look to find and share any triangulation processes in May’s data collection and analysis work.  Evaluate the data and provide reasonable explanations for what you think might be happening over time that would explain the story that the data are revealing.
The analysis of the student survey clearly indicates that 2/3 of the students wanted more consistency in class routine (Dana, n.d.).  Taking into consideration Sienna’s comments, the first field note data report indicates that from the time students entered the classroom, through a forty minute period, redirections were required almost every minute with the exception of a time when students were engaged in reviewing their worksheets as a class (Dana, n.d.).  This suggests that when students have a clear understanding of what they are supposed to be doing, less off task behavior occurs.  Transition times were also a time of increased redirection.  Hence transitions from one activity to the next must be better defined and organized.  In observation number two through four, redirection did not occur the first ten minutes of class.  This data confirms that the five minute challenge agenda was actively involving students in learning reducing off task behavior.  Siena included additional insights into classroom behavior.  Lack of eye contact and targeted redirection (sometimes as “wait” time) to particular students also contributed to behavior management disarray.  Improved eye contact with students and the ten minute challenge activity represent the triangulation process in which both observations by Sienna represent a reduction in the necessity for redirection.  Implications from Sienna’s data include the need for May to make changes in her practice instead of trying to change her students’ behavior. Reviewing Sienna’s data, May acknowledged the benefit of the five minute challenge and planned to make changes that included changing her seating arrangement, improving eye contact and give more direct attention to students in need.
Prompt #6-Describe May’s class graph.  What happened over time and what are some reasons for the trends and patterns you notice?  What new goals do you think May should set for the class as a whole based on her students response to the timed agenda challenge?    
Reviewing May’s class data chart there was a little less than double the number of students completing the agenda over the nine day periods that was charted.  Although there was consistent growth from day one to nine, it is noteworthy that the most significant gain was from day one to day two (Dana, n.d.).  This might indicate that a change in the challenge might be needed to maintain students’ engagement and enthusiasm.  One suggestion I would have is to increase the stakes in the five minute challenge so that quality of work counts.  Many students will rush through their work without regard to quality.  The class as a whole could set up quality standards for the agenda parts.  Those that fail to meet the criteria will not count as having the agenda completed.   As quality increases, the time limit could decrease.  I also think that May could incorporate concrete rewards for whole class success to maintain whole class enthusiasm and effort.
Prompt#7-Describe Anthony’s and Leah’s data.  What happened over time?  What do you think May might do in the future to capitalize on Anthony’s and Leah’s success and Keep them on track during the entire class period?
In reviewing both Anthony’s and Leah’s data there was a dramatic drop from day one to day two (Dana, n.d.).  I was impressed by their immediate enthusiasm for challenging themselves and trying to meet the goal.  At day six for Anthony and day seven for Leah there was a slight regression in time (Dana, n.d.).  I was impressed by Anthony’s ability to take the responsibility for not meeting his goal on Tuesday, 5/11 due to a bathroom break.  Both students continued to make significant gains by dropping from 30 seconds to one minute daily.  Anthony and Leah are becoming role models for the class.  It would be beneficial for Anthony and Leah to serve as research assistants and graph the whole class results.  In addition they could share some tips on how they continue to improve their scores.  They could also become judges of quality work making sure that classmates are following the rubric requirements.  May’s initial wondering will naturally evolve into behavior management practices for the entire period.  She can use Anthony and Leah to participate in a focus group to help her design and implement engaging inquiries to manage behavior throughout the instructional period. 
Prompt #8-Pretend you are May, and it is now the start of the next school year.  Your assistant principal, Mr. Brown, asks you to talk about the inquiry journey at the first faculty meeting of the year.  Discuss a plan for your presentation.  What will you share and how will you share it?  Refer to Chapters 6 and 8 of The Reflective Educator’s Guide to Classroom Research for support in responding to this prompt.
Dana (2009. p. 188) states “unless that inquiry is tossed into the professional conversation and dialog that contributes to the knowledge base for teaching, the inquiry has little chance of creating change.  My biggest challenge in deciding how to prevent teacher “tune out” is how to share my enthusiasm, yet not overwhelm a staff that is often not receptive to anything new.  I would request a small portion of time to introduce the inquiry using Leah, Anthony, and Sienna to introduce our inquiry and document how they participated in our wondering.  Using these students will allow my peers to make a direct connection to similar challenges they face in their classrooms.  Following this introduction at a follow up professional development, I would present a power point of my inquiry in abbreviated form.  Its content would include: “(1) providing background information, (2) sharing the design of the inquiry (procedures, data collection, and data analysis), (3) stating the learning and supporting statements with data, and (4) providing concluding thoughts” (Dana, 2009, p188).  I look forward to the opportunity to dialogue with my peers and generate conversations about the implications of this inquiry.


Dana, N. (n.d.).  Creating a positive behavior support system in a seventh-grade science classroom [case study].  Retrieved June 2, 2011 from:
Dana, N. F., & Yendol-Hoppey, D. (2009). The reflective educator’s guide to classroom research: Learning to teach and teaching to learn through practitioner inquiry (2nd ed.).

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Teacher Inquriy: A Shared Experience

     I have the opportunity to share in the action inquiry with a researcher named May.  As I follow the process from her wondering to the findings and the subsequent questions that evolve with the research, I will answer questions to clarify and reflect on the experience. 

Setting the Context, Studying the Literature, and Developing the Wondering
Prompt # 1-Why is it important for May to look at literature as a part of her inquiry journey?  What insights did may gain about her inquiry topic through her readings?  In what ways might May’s readings inform how she will collect data for her study?

Literature is an essential component to May’s action inquiry as well as for all inquiry researchers.  May used the Pre-Referral Intervention Resource Manual (as cited in Dana, n.d) to help her clarify what the behaviors interfering with instruction are and what strategies could be used to measure improvement (Dana, n.d).  The literature not only prompted her to reword her wondering to better define her inquiry, but to consider the behaviors her students were exhibiting in a positive rather than negative way.  Furthermore, May learned from the article “Classroom Management Strategies for Difficult Students:  Promoting Change through Relationships” (as cited in Dana, n.d.) about Seligman’s theory to appreciate students negative behavior as a strategy they have had to use to survive.  Looking at the behaviors from a different perspective helped May to better understand her students and want to provide them with alternative strategies for getting what they want (Dana, n.d.).  A third review of literature provided May with the idea to directly involve her students in the action research by having them participate in the data collection as well as the decision making process.   With this in mind, May changed her inquiry empowering her students to become active participants in improving classroom climate.
Having identified the problem as one reflected in behaviors and attitudes, student surveys would be an important part of May’s data collection. In addition field notes to capture action in the classroom; taken during collaborative science experiments, class discussions, or learning community/research team meetings, would serve as another important data source.  Through her literature review, May had a better understanding for the possible causes of the disruptive behaviors.  Focus groups could serve as an additional platform for the student/teacher research teams to participate in conversations that could divulge differing perspectives and lead to positive change in classroom management (Dana & Yendol-Hoppey, 2009).

Designing the Inquiry through Collaboration with Colleagues
Prompt #2-What specific benefits did May receive as a result of collaborating with her colleagues?  Why is collaboration an important component of the action research project?
            A collaboration team is an essential part of teacher inquiry. They help provide a source of energy to support the teacher researcher through the discovery process.  Their collective expertise, generated through discussions, allows inquirers to build upon one another’s knowledge. In addition, teacher talk provides a platform in which teachers can question present practices looking at them from different perspectives as they progress through their inquiry (Dana & Yendol-Hoppey, 2009) 
            In May’s professional learning community (PLC) her team helped her think of better learning conditions for her students.  As a goal, her team sought to help change her classroom management to allow her to return to investigation-based teaching of science. To ensure that data collection was both manageable and controllable, they recommended and helped select her fourth period class to use as her inquiry research subjects.  The research findings could then be applied to her other classes and be used by the other teachers who have similar behavior management struggles with the same students.  Sharing information from “Classroom Management Strategies for Difficult Students:  Promoting Change through Relationships” (as cited in Dana, n.d.), May presented her understanding of the challenging behaviors exhibited by her students Sienna and Leah.  Referring back to this literature and sharing it with her colleagues helped May to reframe her wondering from the original, “How can I get my students excited about science again?” to “How can I create the classroom conditions needed so that my students can be successful in supporting my instruction” (Dana, n.d. p. 5)?  May also used her team as a sounding board to consider a positive behavior support model that she learned about from attending a recent conference.  Although it was designed as a school wide program, she felt that the team could learn a great deal from using the strategies from this program in her inquiry as tier one interventions.  The knowledge gained from this inquiry could then be used in the team members’ classrooms as well as school-wide.  The PLC elected to engage in further research to understand strategies, share data collection ideas, and determine how positive behavior support can be used in Mays inquiry.  The conversations about May’s newly formed wondering transformed her professional learning community to the Positive Behavior Support (PBS)/Response to Intervention (RtI) team.  Their support was instrumental in allowing May to identify desired outcomes, develop an action plan that included instructional strategies, measure student progress, and analyze data to make changes in interventions (Dana, n.d.)

The Intervention and Data Collection Plan
Prompt #3  What part of May’s data collection plan do you feel will be most meaningful?  Why?  What parts of May’s data collection plan do you believe to be the most practical?  Why?
What parts of May’s data collection plan do you believe to be impractical?  Why?
Pretend you are one of May’s colleagues.  Suggest one additional form of data you think May might collect that could inform her research.  Be sure you provide an explanation that describes why you think May should consider collecting this form of data.
            May’s intervention and data collection plan has many strategic and meaningful components that I fully intend to include in my own teaching practice. Directly engaging Sienna (a tier three student) in the research process analyzing student achievement toward goals will have a profound effect on behavior management in May’s class.  As the research suggests, if Sienna develops a sense of importance as a contributing member to the research team, it is likely to have a profound effect on the choices she makes in her own behavior.  May’s behavior intervention plan also uses an interdisciplinary approach to integrate standards into her inquiry.  Teaching her students graphing skills, while simultaneously working toward attainment of inquiry goals, reduces the frustration teachers feel when behavior management continually interferes with valuable instruction time.  May’s reflection on her fourth-period class revealed that the critical first three minutes “coming in procedure” was no longer working.  Teachers understand this to be a critical time to set a tone for the working environment necessary for optimum learning.  Limiting the interventions to the first three minutes is an excellent test to see how effective they can be at a crucial part of the instructional period.  Graphing the results of each day and setting a new goal for the next is a powerful visual representation to remind the students of the challenge ahead.   
            There are certain facets of the plans that could be possibly problematic.  Students that struggle with visual integration problems (copying from the board) could really struggle with completing the agenda, especially under time constraints.  I also have concerns that relying on additional personnel, the RtI coach for the Tier 2 intervention might be unrealistic. In addition it is also essential that Tier 2 students have several modeling and practice sessions to ensure they understand the meaning of the personal graphs that they will be complete.  Furthermore, concrete rewards for Tier 1, 2, and 3 groups could be available to provide additional incentives for students to actively work toward their goals. 
            As a member of May’s PLC team, I would recommend that video could be a very revealing source of data collection to evaluate and inform instruction as well as to measure growth.  Since her inquiry has been limited to the three minute entrance to class time, it would be easy to video students three times as a pre-assessment, formative, and summative assessment of student behavior.  Review of the video with the PLC team will allow all members to constructively comment on the changes over time with the implementation of the three tier intervention strategy.

Coding May’s first Data-The Wish List for Great Classroom Learning Condition
Prompt #4-Share the categories you named, as well as examples of responses that were included in each category.  If you were May, what do you think analysis of this initial data is telling you?
            The data May collected from the student wish list would prove to be invaluable in the design of intervention strategies to improve classroom climate and behavior.  The categories that I named to describe her findings include:  Showing respect for all teachers and classmates, reduction in homework and increase in real life experiences such as field trips, and more structured class organization.  Inclusive in the showing respect category I included:  students’ requests for respect to teacher and classmates, reduction in drama to allow for more instructional time, and a decrease in the classroom noise level.  In the reduced homework and life experiences category I included: everyone gets an A, more field trips, parties and fun.  Finally, in my class organization category I included:  requests for daily completion of agendas, beginning the period work in a timely manner, students coming to class on time and for the design of daily routines so that students know what to do.  Analysis of this initial data suggests that May needs to establish with the class some guidelines for showing respect for peers and teachers.  She also needs to re-evaluate homework to determine what can be changed to make it a more positive and engaging experience for students.  Furthermore, classroom structure and organization needs to be revamped.   It is evident that the “coming in” activities are presently not clear, thus causing students to lose the settling in time that prepares them for the student-centered science lessons May prefers.

Dana, N. (n.d.).  Creating a positive behavior support system in a seventh-grade science classroom [case study].  Retrieved June 2, 2011 from:
Dana, N. F., & Yendol-Hoppey, D. (2009). The reflective educator’s guide to classroom research: Learning to teach and teaching to learn through practitioner inquiry (2nd ed.).