What am I finding as I collect data? #seaccr

My first week of data collection was a little slow.  I started the week off with my survey.  I had a total of 8 questions asking about their level of usage, understanding, and comfort with their native language.  I also wanted to know if they could count in their native language.  The results for my survey are below.  I actually started the survey with just 5 questions, and after reviewing those answers realized that I needed more information.  I was left with a feeling of incompletion, like what I really wanted to know was not questioned properly.  So, I made a second survey with 3 more questions and I am happy with my results.

First Survey

Q1: How strong is your Yup’ik?

            35% low/avg

            35% avg

            10% avg/high

            20% high

 

Q2:  What language do you feel comfortable using to explain information?

            15% English

            10% Yup’ik

            75% Both

           

Q3:  Can you count to 20 in Yup’ik?

            25% Yes

            75% No

 

Q4:  Can you count to 50 in Yup’ik?

            100% No

           

Q5:  Can you count to 100 in Yup’ik?

            100% No

 

Second Survey

Q6:  What language do you speak socially, with your friends and family?

            5% English

            30% Yup’ik

            65% Both

 

Q7:  How well do you speak Yup’ik?

            15% low/avg

            40% avg

            40% avg/high

            5%   high

 

Q8:  How well do you understand Yup’ik, if it is spoken to you?

            15% low/avg

            25% avg

            30% avg/high

            30% high

 

I was very surprised that not many of the students remembered how to count to 20 in their native language.  However, I remembered that the last time they had math in their native language was second grade.  I decided to put numbers 0-20 on my dual language word wall because I feel that this is a skill that should not be lost to these students.  I am hoping that seeing the numbers on a daily basis will strengthen that skill for most.

I realized from the second survey that even though most students do not feel comfortable speaking their native language to explain things, more of them do speak it socially and could understand what someone is trying to explain to them in Yup’ik.  I felt this was important information to have because I wanted to use the survey, along with their MAPS scores, to set my dual language pairs for the classroom. 

By mid week, I had the students paired up and was able to do a math activity to test their communication levels.  During the activity, I did some informal classroom observations.  I was happy to see that most of my students communicating well, or at least trying to .  There were a couple of pairs who were having difficulties.  I think most of the difficulties were not because they could not communication, but because they chose not to communicate with each other.  There are a couple of students in the class who just do not have the motivation to work well with others.  I tried to have a conversation with these students and will continue to observe them over the next couple of weeks.  Communication is the key for many of my dual language strategies to work.

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3 thoughts on “What am I finding as I collect data? #seaccr

  1. Ms. Bridges

    Hi Brandi,

    Well, it looks like your data collection is off to a great start. I will admit I was also surprised your Yup’ik students did not know how to count in their Native language. For me, numbers are the easiest words to remember in my Native language. They were drilled into my memory! I was very pleased to see you decided to include Yup’ik numbers on your word wall! You’re absolutely right, it is so important for them not to lose this skill. One observation you did not mention and I cannot help but be curious about is whether or not you have noticed the students utilizing the word wall? Has any student taken it upon him or herself to write down any of the words from the word wall? Also, have you thought about how you are going to accommodate those students who are more comfortable explaining information in Yup’ik instead of English? If 75% of them are comfortable with both then maybe what we should be doing as teachers is giving them the choice…but how do we do that if we cannot understand what they are saying….? You did not by any chance find these answers in your research and can enlighten me!?! Keep up the good work, I cannot wait to see your final results.

    Jamie

    Reply
    1. bsportie Post author

      Jamie,

      In my classroom observations, I have noticed that many of the students tend to communicate in their native language. I do recognize some of the words they are using from the word wall for the simpler vocabulary terms, i.e. their numbers. I think the word wall has given them a reason, and the ability, to use their language more frequently in the classroom. However, the students still tend to use English when having to use the more academic terminology. I am hoping that reviewing the word wall with the students will allow them to fill more comfortable using the more difficult academic terminology, also.

      As far as being worried about not understanding my students, I can see your concern. This is why I have decided to utilize my two native-speaking aides. I have talked with my aides about the importance of the students using whatever language they feel comfortable using and asking that they help me observe student conversations to ensure that students are on task and that they are explaining things correctly. My aides have been an important aspect of my research and I am happy that I have their full support.

      I cannot wait to see how the next two weeks of research unfolds.

      Reply
  2. Lexie Razor

    Brandi,

    Wow, I would be a little surprised by those results at first too. Besides working with others and trying to pair students up, are you changing your research any other way? Do you speak the language? If not, what do the students think about you trying to have them use the language? Were they excited about the idea of using the language? I would think that they would be excited about being able to use it in class and feel pride because of that. I am sure that there are some that are shy and embarrassed because they don’t know much, but I would think they would take advantage of this opportunity. In addition to the language and counting, what other strategies are you using for your word wall? In the past I have had students create the word wall strip, a picture for the word, and present the definition, the picture, and something to make it easy to remember to the class. I actually can’t believe that I have shared that with you before, but I just remembered it now! I would split the words from the chapter up and tell the students at the beginning of the chapter who had what word. I believe that I had each student do 1 word every 2 or 3 chapters, depending on the amount of vocab words. Some were good and some were crappy. If I were to do it again, I would take more time modeling the process with the students before just giving it to them.

    Great start so far!

    Reply

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