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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Final Reflections on Action Research Course

Final Reflections:
  I truly have enjoyed this course and have learned so much in these past five weeks.  At first I thought, that online college would be difficult, but I find that I have learned a greater deal than I did when I took a masters course in a building.  Not to say that that was not great, I just find this online class more interactive. Using the blogs and discussion boards, email and even face book, I feel that I have connected and communicated with a large amount of students and professors.
I enjoyed all the lectures, but the ones that stood out were the ones from Week two.  Principal Johnny Briseno from Angleton ISD really made an impression on me and served as a great model implementing an action research situation.  He seemed totally available and approachable for all his teachers.  Mr. Briseno mentioned to use the internet to help aid in solutions for problems that may arise on your campus.  The solution may not be an exact fit, but at least will guide you in knowing what worked and what did not work for some campuses.  Basically he was talking about the transfer-ability of previous research inquiry without actually using those words.  I took his advice and did a Google search on my action research inquiry.  I found some interesting dissertations related and unrelated to my topic that I plan to use in my inquiry research.
The web conferences were a huge help as well.  Questions were answered promptly and the sessions felt very intimate and like we all knew each other as if we were in the same physical classroom.  Being able to discuss what we were doing made the assignment more clear.
What I have learned from action research is that it is a cyclical method and that even though you may get to a stopping point, your research doesn’t end.  One may choose to research another aspect that has come up and/or begin researching another pondering. In learning about action research, I realized that my principal has done this on several occasions and is still doing this. I learned that the most important thing an administrator can do is to build an inquiry stance.  Not so much to complete one or two action research inquiries, but to make inquiry a part of administration.
The discussion boards and blogs provided great insight as to what others were doing and the unique and universal situations going on at their campuses.  It also provided opportunities to have colleagues comment and question our positions.  This helped make our stances or beliefs stronger and clearer.  It was fascinating to see how suggestions helped and refined our action research plans to be the best that they can be.
I felt that the assignments followed a sequential order and built on what was previously learned.  The textbooks for this course were very easy to follow and read.  I plan on keeping these textbooks and putting them in my professional library.  I am excited about continuing my action research plan full force and this course has provided me the tools to do just that.   

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Tool 8.1 CARE Model: Planning Tool
Identify Concerns that must change (look to the future)
(Assign points to concerns from 1 to 3 in the order of the most important issues to consider.)
1.  Teacher’s negativity toward a different model of teaching.  Teachers would be teaching two grade levels, but only two subjects, for example, Language Arts/ Social Studies or Math and Science.  
2.  Teacher’s concern over what grade level they have to teach.
3.  Concern over how many parts/sections each subject has, for example, writing has four sub groups of grades that need to be assigned.
Identify Affirmations that must be sustained (look to the present)
(Assign points to affirmations from 1 to 3 in the order of the most important issues to consider.)
1. The belief that we do what is best for the children and not necessarily the grown-ups.
2.  Positive working relationships with colleagues helps make this model more efficient. The teachers piloting this model this year have a great relationship professionally and personally.
3.  For the most part, the staff has a positive working relationship and must maintain those relationships to allow this model to be successful.
SMART Recommendations that must be implemented:
(Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely)
(Assign points to recommendations from 1 to 3 in the order of the most important recommendations to implement.)
1.  In teaching multiple grades, allow teachers to have one of those grades be a grade-level that they are currently teaching.
2.  I will look at benchmark data and curriculum assessments to see how these students are performing compared to classrooms that are not using this model.
3.  During faculty meetings, allow for concerns and ideas to resolve any issues that may arise using this model.
EVALUATE – Specifically and Often
(Identify the best ways to evaluate the implemented recommendations.)
1.   One way to evaluate would be to look at benchmark testing and assessments.
2.   Provide online surveys to provide another avenue to voice concerns.
3.   Provide parent and student surveys and/or interviews to see what the public and intended audience thinks about this model.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Action Research Plan

Action Planning Template-Maria Regalado
Goal: To find out if students perform better academically with the implementation of a multiple grade-level departmentalization model.
Action Steps(s):
Person(s) Responsible:
Timeline: Start/End
Needed Resources

Survey teachers on my campus about how they feel about this model.  Survey other teachers in another campus that implemented this model campus wide this school year.

Maria Regalado
Wendy Williams-Principal and Site Supervisor
February 2013
Online Survey such as Survey Monkey.
Compare results with the results of the two teachers that are piloting this model this school year.

Decide which teachers and grade levels to follow/research from other campus.  Will definitely research and follow the two teachers participating on my campus.
Decide on other methods of receiving and analyzing data.
Maria Regalado
Laura Ledbetter-colleague
Rebekah Jones-colleague
Principal and Site Supervisor, Wendy Williams
Assistant Principal, Jo Morast
March 2013
Permission or approval required from other campus’ principal.
Survey-for other campus teachers
I will choose grade levels that are administering STAAR tests as well as grade levels that are not. The two teachers on my campus are doing 2nd and 3rd grades. So they both are dealing with a STAAR grade level and one non-STAAR grade level.

Begin collecting data on students on my campus.  Teachers and administrators will provide results from Benchmarks, Curriculum-Based Assessments and I-Station.

Maria Regalado
Laura Ledbetter
Rebekah Jones
March 2013-April 2013
Printouts from class summary reports from various tests and diagnostic measures.
Using the various summary reports, decide any specific areas/subjects to research and follow.
Continue analyzing data from the participating classrooms. Analyze data and interview participating teachers to discuss any other issues or feelings that have come up now that STAAR test is about to be administered. 

Maria Regalado
Laura Ledbetter
Rebekah Jones
April  2013
Interviews from teachers and possible surveys if needed using Survey Monkey.
Student interviews and conversations.
How is this model affecting teacher feelings as the STAAR test is nearing administration? Have students voiced any concerns?
Compare STAAR results of students in the departmentalized model and the results of the students in the traditional classroom setting if the results are available at this time.
Maria Regalado
Laura Ledbetter
Rebekah Jones
May 2013-June 2013
STAAR Results
Analyze and document results from STAAR.  Are there measurable differences in the findings?

Provide a questionnaire for students and their parents that participated in the departmentalization model.
Maria Regalado
May 2013
Compare parents and student views/feelings on this model.
Plan strategies for long term research since this model will more than likely be implemented on a larger scale or even campus wide for the 2013-2014 academic school year.

Maria Regalado
June 2013-July 2013
Results from surveys and interviews.
Classroom summary results.
Compare pros and cons of this model.  What adjustments could be made before implementing campus wide?