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Action Research Projects

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Real Life Problem Solving In Eighth Grade Mathematics, Michael Bomar Jul 2009

Real Life Problem Solving In Eighth Grade Mathematics, Michael Bomar

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of eighth grade Pre-Algebra, I investigated how student understanding and achievement were affected when the lessons were centered around real-life problem solving when the students had input on the problems used through the use of mathematical journals. I discovered that there was an increase in achievement and understanding when the lessons were centered on real-life problem solving and that the interest level of the students increased through offering their suggestions of applications to real life. As a result of this research, I plan to implement the usage of real-life problems into my ...


Algebra In The Fifth Grade Mathematics Program, Kathy Bohac Jul 2009

Algebra In The Fifth Grade Mathematics Program, Kathy Bohac

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of fifth grade students, I investigated the incorporation of more algebraic concepts in their mathematics curriculum. Due to the restructuring of mathematics courses at the secondary level, my district has suggested that more algebraic concepts be included in the intermediate elementary mathematics curriculum. I discovered that the fifth grade students were not only capable of, but also enjoyed solving algebra equations. As a result of this research, I plan to continue to use the Hands On Equations program each year to enhance the current mathematics curriculum and to improve the fifth graders ...


Using Cooperative Learning In A Sixth Grade Math Classroom, Teena Andersen Jul 2009

Using Cooperative Learning In A Sixth Grade Math Classroom, Teena Andersen

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of sixth grade mathematics, I investigated the impact of cooperative learning on the engagement, participation, and attitudes of my students. I also investigated the impact of cooperative learning upon my own teaching. I discovered that my students not only preferred to learn in cooperative groups, but that their levels of engagement and participation, their attitudes toward math, and their quality of work all improved greatly. My teaching also changed, and I found that I began to enjoy teaching more. As a result of this research, I plan to continue and expand the ...


Communication: A Vital Skill Of Mathematics, Lexi Wichelt Jul 2009

Communication: A Vital Skill Of Mathematics, Lexi Wichelt

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of seventh grade mathematics, I investigated the impact of communication in the classroom. I focused on asking more open-ended questions in the hopes that students would engage in mathematical discourse with a focus on correctly using mathematical vocabulary. I also looked at the level of students’ understanding and achievement in mathematics class and the accuracy of students’ assessments of their own understanding when there is a focus on asking and answering open-ended questions. I discovered that students had a better understanding of vocabulary when they were asked more open-ended questions. I also ...


Mathematical Communication Through Written And Oral Expression, Brandee Wilson Jul 2009

Mathematical Communication Through Written And Oral Expression, Brandee Wilson

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of sixth grade mathematics, I investigated the use of communication of mathematics through both written and oral expression. Giving my students the opportunity to communicate mathematics both in writing and orally helped to deepen the students’ understanding of mathematics. The students’ levels of comprehension were increased when they were presented with a variety of instructional methods. Through discussion and reflection the students were able to find methods that worked best for them and their learning ability. Students’ understanding increased from probing questions that made the students reflect and re-evaluate their solutions. This ...


The Use Of Vocabulary In An Eighth Grade Mathematics Classroom: Improving Usage Of Mathematics Vocabulary In Oral And Written Communication, Amy Solomon Jul 2009

The Use Of Vocabulary In An Eighth Grade Mathematics Classroom: Improving Usage Of Mathematics Vocabulary In Oral And Written Communication, Amy Solomon

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my mathematics classroom of eighth grade students, I investigated the use of mathematics vocabulary by focusing on improving the usage of this vocabulary in both oral and written communication. I discovered oral communication tended to show more improvements compared to written communication done by the same group of students. As a result of this research, I plan to continue to focus my teaching on the use of mathematics vocabulary in an effort to help my students gain a greater understanding of the daily use of that vocabulary.


Oral And Written Communication In Classroom Mathematics, Lindsey Sample Jul 2009

Oral And Written Communication In Classroom Mathematics, Lindsey Sample

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of sixth grade mathematics, I investigated the impact of an increase in student oral and written communication on student level of understanding and student self-confidence. I also investigated the changes in my teaching as I increased opportunities for student oral and written communication of mathematics. While I discovered that student level of understanding was not necessarily increased if written communications were increased, I did find that there seemed to be a rise in student level of self-confidence and understanding throughout the course of the research project due to an increase in oral ...


Making Sense Of Word Problems, Edie Ronhovde Jul 2009

Making Sense Of Word Problems, Edie Ronhovde

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of sixth grade mathematics, I investigated word problems. I discovered that my students did not like to try word problems because they did not understand what was being asked of them. My students also saw no reason for solving word problems or in having the ability to solve them. I used word problems that covered topics that were familiar to the students and that covered the skills necessary at the sixth grade level. I wanted to deepen their understanding of math and its importance. By having my students journal to me about ...


Written Communication In A Sixth-Grade Mathematics Classroom, Mary Schneider Jul 2009

Written Communication In A Sixth-Grade Mathematics Classroom, Mary Schneider

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my sixth grade mathematics classroom, I investigated what happened to students’ mathematical achievement when they had increased practice on written explanations to problems. I wanted to see if writing out solutions to problems helped them overall in daily mathematics. By using specific mathematic vocabulary more frequently and deliberately during my instruction, I wanted to investigate whether students would correctly use specific math vocabulary in their written explanations. I also increased my expectations of the students’ written explanations throughout the research project. I wanted to determine whether students would try to meet or even exceed ...


Enhancing Problem Solving Through Math Clubs, Jessica Haley Thompson Jul 2009

Enhancing Problem Solving Through Math Clubs, Jessica Haley Thompson

Action Research Projects

This action research paper was about a mandatory math club of seventh graders that met once per week over a 12-week period. The students gathered in the classroom during their regularly scheduled math class. The focus of the math club was to solve challenging math problems, usually cooperatively, and sometimes competitively. The math club activities varied from week to week to offer an element of surprise. Frequently, the students presented their solutions to peers, along with an explanation of the way they solved the problem. Instruments were used to collect information about problem-solving accuracy, student attitudes, and student and teacher ...


Improving Achievement And Attitude Through Cooperative Learning In Math Class, Scott Johnsen Jul 2009

Improving Achievement And Attitude Through Cooperative Learning In Math Class, Scott Johnsen

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of eighth grade mathematics, I investigated the use of cooperative learning groups and whether working in groups changed students’ individual achievement and students’ attitudes toward mathematics. I used my eighth grade class of 13 students along with two different types of group formations: teacher-formed groups and student-formed groups. I discovered that the type of group formation can have an impact on the attitudes of students and how well they work together. I also discovered that there was no real change in students’ achievement, but the longer the group worked together the better ...


Oral Communication And Presentations In Mathematics, Brian Johnson Jul 2009

Oral Communication And Presentations In Mathematics, Brian Johnson

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of eighth grade mathematics, I investigated the attitudes of students toward mathematics along with their achievement levels with the use of oral presentations in my Algebra class. During the second semester the class was divided into groups of two for each presentation, changing partners each time. Every other week each group was given a math problem that required more work than a normal homework type problem. On the last day of that week the students gave a short presentation on their problem. I discovered that while there was no significant evidence that ...


Reasonable Or Not? A Study Of The Use Of Teacher Questioning To Promote Reasonable Mathematical Answers From Sixth Grade Students, Marlene Grayer Jul 2009

Reasonable Or Not? A Study Of The Use Of Teacher Questioning To Promote Reasonable Mathematical Answers From Sixth Grade Students, Marlene Grayer

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my sixth grade mathematics class, I investigated the influence a change in my questioning tactics would have on students’ ability to determine answer reasonability to mathematics problems. During the course of my research, students were asked to explain their problem solving and solutions. Students, amongst themselves, discussed solutions given by their peers and the reasonability of those solutions. They also completed daily questionnaires that inquired about my questioning practices, and 10 students were randomly chosen to be interviewed regarding their problem solving strategies. I discovered that by placing more emphasis on the process rather ...


Cooperative Grouping Working On Mathematics Homework, Maggie Pickering Jul 2009

Cooperative Grouping Working On Mathematics Homework, Maggie Pickering

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of sixth grade mathematics, I investigated the impact of cooperative grouping on mathematics homework completion, achievement, and attitude toward mathematics. I discovered that many students do benefit from cooperative grouping in the mathematics classroom; however, low-ability students tended not to benefit as much as other students. Also, homework completion and student attitude toward mathematics did not change with cooperative grouping. As a result of this research, I plan to continue to use cooperative groupings but will change the way cooperative learning is used in my mathematics classroom to see if there is ...


Students Writing Original Word Problems, Marcia Ostmeyer Jul 2009

Students Writing Original Word Problems, Marcia Ostmeyer

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my eighth grade mathematics classroom, I investigated what would happen when I shifted part of my instruction to focus on students writing original word problems. I also investigated whether students could show measureable growth in the quality of word problems they wrote throughout the research project. Additionally, I explored whether my students would develop a more positive attitude toward word problems as a result of writing their own word problems. Through surveys and journal responses, I discovered that the focus of my teaching shifted to a role as a facilitator for my students’ writings ...


Student Understanding And Achievement When Focusing On Peer-Led Reviews, Ryon Nilson Jul 2009

Student Understanding And Achievement When Focusing On Peer-Led Reviews, Ryon Nilson

Action Research Projects

Math in the Middle Institute Partnership, Action Research Project Report, In partial fulfillment of the MAT Degree. Department of Mathematics. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. July 2009.


The Role Of Manipulatives In The Eighth Grade Mathematics Classroom, Michaela Ann Goracke Jul 2009

The Role Of Manipulatives In The Eighth Grade Mathematics Classroom, Michaela Ann Goracke

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of eighth grade mathematics, I investigated the use of manipulatives and its impact on student attitude and understanding. I discovered that overall, students enjoy using manipulatives, not necessarily for the benefit of learning, but because it actively engages them in each lesson. I also found that students did perform better on exams when students were asked to solve problems using manipulatives in place of formal written representations of situations. In the course of this investigation, I also uncovered that student attitude toward mathematics improved when greater manipulative use was infused into the ...


Writing In Math Class? Written Communication In The Mathematics Classroom, Stephanie Fuehrer Jul 2009

Writing In Math Class? Written Communication In The Mathematics Classroom, Stephanie Fuehrer

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my seventh grade mathematics classroom, I investigated what written communication within the mathematics classroom would look like. I increased vocabulary instruction of specific mathematical terms for my students to use in their writing. I also looked at what I would have to do differently in my teaching in order for my students to be successful in their writing. Although my students said that using writing to explain mathematics helped them to better understand the math, my research revealed that student writing did not necessarily translate to improved scores. After direct instruction and practice on ...


Holding Students Accountable, Jeremy Fries Jul 2009

Holding Students Accountable, Jeremy Fries

Action Research Projects

This action research study of approximately 90 high school algebra students investigates how frequent quizzing benefits them during the course of a semester. The intent of the research was to see how well students kept up with the material and if frequent quizzing helped them on the chapter tests. It was also designed to help me gain a better understanding of what students know and how I need to adjust daily routines so that all students stay caught up. I discovered that although frequent quizzes are not the students’ favorite activity to take part in, they learn to accept the ...


Making Better Problem Solvers Through Oral And Written Communication, Sheila Mccartney Jul 2009

Making Better Problem Solvers Through Oral And Written Communication, Sheila Mccartney

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of eighth grade mathematics, I investigated the impact of oral and written communication on students’ problem-solving skills. I collected data to see how emphasizing oral and written communication affected small-group work, usage of precise mathematical vocabulary, and student attitudes toward mathematics. Oral and written communication allowed students to periodically evaluate their own learning and their involvement in math class. I discovered that the vast majority of students enjoyed working in small groups, and when they got to work in small groups, they felt more confident in their solutions to problems. Data on ...


Meaningful Independent Practice In Mathematics, Michelle Looky Jul 2009

Meaningful Independent Practice In Mathematics, Michelle Looky

Action Research Projects

In this action research of my seventh grade mathematics classroom, I investigated how students’ explanations of math homework would improve their learning in math. I discovered these explanations can be very beneficial in helping students to improve their understanding of current skills although it did not affect all students. As a result of this study, I plan to incorporate these student explanations in my instruction next year but not as a daily expectation.


Using Non-Traditional Activities To Enhance Mathematical Connections, Sandy Dean Jul 2008

Using Non-Traditional Activities To Enhance Mathematical Connections, Sandy Dean

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of seventh grade mathematics, I investigated the use of non-traditional activities to enhance mathematical connections. The types of nontraditional activities used were hands-on activities, written explanations, and oral communication that required students to apply a new mathematical concept to either prior knowledge or a realworld application. I discovered that the use of non-traditional activities helped me reach a variety of learners in my classroom. These activities also increased my students’ abilities to apply their mathematical knowledge to different applications. Having students explain their reasoning during non-traditional activities improved their communications skills, both ...


Mathematical Communication, Conceptual Understanding, And Students' Attitudes Toward Mathematics, Kimberly Hirschfeld-Cotton Jul 2008

Mathematical Communication, Conceptual Understanding, And Students' Attitudes Toward Mathematics, Kimberly Hirschfeld-Cotton

Action Research Projects

This action research study of my 8th grade classroom investigated the use of mathematical communication, through oral homework presentations and written journals entries, and its impact on conceptual understanding of mathematics. This change in expectation and its impact on students’ attitudes towards mathematics was also investigated. Challenging my students to communicate mathematics both orally and in writing deepened the students’ understanding of the mathematics. Levels of understanding deepened when a variety of instructional methods were presented and discussed where students could comprehend the ideas that best suited their learning styles. Increased understanding occurred through probing questions causing students to reflect ...


Using Descriptive Feedback In A Sixth Grade Mathematics Classroom, Vicki J. Barry Jul 2008

Using Descriptive Feedback In A Sixth Grade Mathematics Classroom, Vicki J. Barry

Action Research Projects

In this action research of my 6th grade math class, I investigated whether or not my students would improve their ability to reflect on their learning process when they received descriptive feedback from a peer. I discovered the process of giving and receiving feedback was challenging for the students to initially learn, but eventually using the feedback was highly beneficial. Descriptive feedback allowed the students to learn and understand their mistakes immediately, which in turn improved their learning. In my action research, I also began to discover more ways to implement descriptive feedback in my instruction so it could be ...


An Uphill Battle: Incorporating Cooperative Learning Using A Largely Individualized Curriculum, Anna Anderson Jul 2008

An Uphill Battle: Incorporating Cooperative Learning Using A Largely Individualized Curriculum, Anna Anderson

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of 8th grade mathematics, I investigated if cooperative learning could be an effective teaching method with the Saxon curriculum. Saxon curriculum is largely individualized in that most lessons could be completed without much group interaction. I discovered that cooperative learning was very successful with the curriculum as long as it was structured. Ninety-five percent of the students in the study preferred to work in groups, and I observed mathematical communication grow with most of the students. As a result of this research, I plan to continue to incorporate cooperative learning into my ...


Calculators In A Middle School Mathematics Classroom: Helpful Or Harmful?, Leah Wilcox Jul 2008

Calculators In A Middle School Mathematics Classroom: Helpful Or Harmful?, Leah Wilcox

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of eighth grade mathematics, I investigated the use of calculators. Specifically, I wanted to know the answer to three questions. I wanted to know more about what would happen to my students’ ability to recall basic math facts, their ability to communicate mathematically during problem solving, and their attitude when my students were or were not permitted to use their calculator. I discovered that in my research, I did not find enough evidence to either support or reject my initial hypotheses, that calculators largely influenced my students’ behavior, and also that my ...


Building Confidence In Low Achievers Through Building Mathematics Vocabulary, Val Adams Jul 2008

Building Confidence In Low Achievers Through Building Mathematics Vocabulary, Val Adams

Action Research Projects

In this action research study, I investigated the use of vocabulary strategies and the effectiveness of the strategies in building confidence in low achievers. My subjects were twenty-three eighth grade mathematics students. They were introduced to vocabulary activities and then were asked to use them in class through the use of note-taking graphic organizers, group class discussion, and partner work. I assessed their confidence and use of vocabulary through a pre and post survey, class work, notebook checks, and student interviews. I discovered that the use of vocabulary strategies built the confidence and increased the achievement of my students. As ...


Producing More Problem Solving By Emphasizing Vocabulary, Jill Edgren Jul 2008

Producing More Problem Solving By Emphasizing Vocabulary, Jill Edgren

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 classrooms with ninth to eleventh grade students, I investigated word problem completion while emphasizing vocabulary. A word wall was implemented along with notes organizers, vocabulary sheets, and written definition during class. Data was gathered about attempts and completion of mathematic word problems on daily assignments, quizzes, journals and tests. Through observation of student work, surveys, interviews, and in class word problem journals, I discovered that many students are least likely to do word problems on assignments, then tests, and most likely to complete word problems on a quiz ...


Rubric Assessment Of Mathematical Processes In Homework, Aubrey Weitzenkamp Jul 2008

Rubric Assessment Of Mathematical Processes In Homework, Aubrey Weitzenkamp

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of 11th grade geometry, I investigated the use of rubrics to help me assess my students during homework presentations. I wanted to know more about the processes students went through as they did their homework problems, so homework presentations were implemented with the rubrics being the main form of assessment. I discovered that students are willing to speak about mathematics and can gain more understanding of mathematical processes as a result of homework presentations. The scores of the class improved after they talked about the homework assignments with each other. As a ...


Does Decoding Increase Word Problem Solving Skills?, Jalena J. Clement Jul 2008

Does Decoding Increase Word Problem Solving Skills?, Jalena J. Clement

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of 7th grade mathematics, I investigated whether the use of decoding would increase the students’ ability to problem solve. I discovered that knowing how to decode a word problem is only one facet of being a successful problem solver. I also discovered that confidence, effective instruction, and practice have an impact on improving problem solving skills. Because of this research, I plan to alter my problem solving guide that will enable it to be used by any classroom teacher. I also plan to keep adding to my math problem solving clue words ...