Even as I begin to analyze my data from the past three weeks, I have decided that my research is not complete. Of course, that’s what action research is all about, right? Identifying a problem, determining a solution, testing your solution, analyzing your data to see what worked and what didn’t work. Then, using that information to adjust your thinking. Continue to test your original solution or come up with another solution to test. It is a cyclical process – one that continues until your problem is solved. I feel that I have learned some, but little from the last three weeks. I like the way that my research is headed, but I feel that one exam and two weeks of observations is not enough to answer my research question.
My data consists of a survey, some exam results and classroom observations. I have the results for the first two sets of data. I created pie charts to help visualize my results. I could not figure out how to add graphs to the actual blog, therefore I put information in a word document and posted them to my google docs. The links to those are here:
Quantitative Results: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5dsHcqLjk9SazdTRHY3cEpBcVE/edit?usp=sharing
I would definitely accept any observations you might have on the data that you see. Although, I agree it does not seem like a lot. The third set of data – my classroom observations – are still being analyzed. I feel like I am so far behind in this part of my research. The observations were done while my students were working on paired activities that related to the concept being learned. Students were asked to work together to complete the activity. They were not allowed to work on the activities separately. In fact, they were given one worksheet to complete between the two students. Each student had to use a different writing utensil so that I could distinguish between who did what on the worksheet. This is a dual language strategy that the elementary teachers at my school use in their classrooms as well. As you can see, communication and teamwork is key for this strategy to work well. I realize that I did not properly explain this process in my last few blogs; so, I completely understand the misunderstandings as some of you were trying to give me advice on how to get uncooperative students to work together. I did talk to a few of the students who were being uncooperative, and as I observed their paired activities this week, I am happy to note that some of them did improve on their teamwork. I also had some students who had to work in different pairs this week because their original partners were absent. Therefore, I am trying to also analyze how they worked with different partners. I am hoping that I will have this information completely analyzed by the end of the weekend and could maybe post my results by Monday morning. This would give some of you time to look over these results before my research paper is completely put together.
I feel that out of all three pieces of data, the observations are going to best answer my research question. And, I also feel like this is where the most work needs to be done with this research project. I am still trying to get my students to understand the importance of working together and helping each other understand the math concepts being taught. I want them to be able to rely on each other because I am not always available. I have some really bright students in my classroom, and I feel that they could be really helpful in explaining some of these concepts differently, maybe even using their native language, so that their peers might better grasp what I am trying to teach. I just need them to understand what I am trying to do with these cooperatively learning activities.