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http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch
Recent documents in Action Research Projectsen-usThu, 24 Jan 2013 19:02:39 PST3600Cooperative Learning as an Effective Way to Interact
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/78
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/78Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:41:03 PDT
In this action research study of my classroom of 8th grade mathematics, I investigated the effects of students’ interactions while cooperatively learning in groups. I discovered that in order to be cooperative, a lesson must be well-defined, open for discussion, and have positive face-toface interaction. The cooperative learning groups should be teacher generated rather than student-selected. When done correctly, cooperative learning tends to promote student relationships, more positive attitudes toward mathematics and the teacher, and greater self-confidence in a student’s mathematics abilities. As a result of this research, I plan to better incorporate cooperative learning into the classroom. Students will be instructed on how to effectively work in cooperative learning groups.
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Gary EisenhauerReading as a Learning Strategy for Mathematics
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/77
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/77Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:41:02 PDT
In this action research study of 55 sophomore and junior students in my Algebra II/Trigonometry classrooms, I investigated a reading strategy of learning mathematics. Students were given background information about reading and explored the benefits of reading for themselves. Next, students were taught to read their textbook, analyzing one section of the textbook at a time. Throughout the research project, students were given reading guides to fill out during class with whole class discussion following the reading time. I discovered that students are able to read a mathematics textbook with understanding and students who are gone for activities can learn independently. Teacher observations, student surveys, and student interviews provide quantitative evidence of increased student understanding and achievement. As a result of this research, I plan to continue utilizing the reading guides and incorporating reading as a method of learning mathematics within my classrooms.
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Monte ElseDaily Problem-Solving Warm-Ups: Harboring Mathematical Thinking In The Middle School Classroom
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/76
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/76Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:41:01 PDT
In this action research study of my classroom of 8th grade mathematics, I investigated the use of daily warm-ups written in problem-solving format. Data was collected to determine if use of such warm-ups would have an effect on students’ abilities to problem solve, their overall attitudes regarding problem solving and whether such an activity could also enhance their readiness each day to learn new mathematics concepts. It was also my hope that this practice would have some positive impact on maximizing the amount of time I have with my students for math instruction. I discovered that daily exposure to problem-solving practices did impact the students’ overall abilities and achievement (though sometimes not positively) and similarly the students’ attitudes showed slight changes as well. It certainly seemed to improve their readiness for the day’s lesson as class started in a more timely manner and students were more actively involved in learning mathematics (or perhaps working on mathematics) than other classes not involved in the research. As a result of this study, I plan to continue using daily warm-ups and problem-solving (perhaps on a less formal or regimented level) and continue gathering data to further determine if this methodology can be useful in improving students’ overall mathematical skills, abilities and achievement.
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Diana FrenchGenerating Interest in Mathematics Using Discussion in the Middle School Classroom
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/75
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/75Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:41:00 PDT
In this action research study of my classroom of 8th grade algebra, I investigated students’ discussion of mathematics and how it relates to interest in the subject. Discussion is a powerful tool in the classroom. By relying too heavily on drill and practice, a teacher may lose any individual student insight into the learning process. However, in order for the discussion to be effective, students must be provided with structure and purpose. It is unrealistic to expect middle school age students to provide their own structure and purpose; a packet was constructed that would allow the students to both show their thoughts and work as a small group toward a common goal. The students showed more interest in the subject in question as they related to the algebra topics being studied. The students appreciated the packets as a way to facilitate discussion rather than as a vehicle for practicing concepts. Students still had a need for practice problems as part of their homework. As a result of this research, it is clear that discussion packets are very useful as a part of daily instruction. While there are modifications that must be made to the original packets to more clearly express the expectations in question, discussion packets will continue to be an effective tool in the classroom.
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Jessica FrickeHolding Students Accountable
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/74
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/74Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:40:59 PDT
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 quizzes and benefit greatly because of the amount of information students learn from them. Holding students accountable with frequent quizzes forces students to stay caught up and pushes them to excel as many found the tests to be much easier because of the practice they received. My research revealed many advantages to holding students accountable through frequent quizzes and although it can be somewhat time consuming, it is definitely a practice that will be continued in my classroom for years to come.
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Jeremy FriesWriting In Math Class? Written Communication in the Mathematics Classroom
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/73
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/73Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:40:58 PDT
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 math vocabulary, my students did use the vocabulary words more often in their writing; however, my students used the words more like they would in spelling sentences rather than to show what it meant and how it can be applied within their written explanation in math. In my teaching, I discovered I tried many different strategies to help my students be successful. I was very deliberate in my language and usage of vocabulary words and also in my explanations of various math concepts. As a result of this research, I plan to continue having my students use writing to communicate within the mathematics classroom. I will keep using some of the strategies I found successful. I also will be very deliberate in using vocabulary words and stress the use of vocabulary words with my students in the future.
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Stephanie FuehrerThe Role of Manipulatives in the Eighth Grade Mathematics Classroom
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/71
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/71Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:40:57 PDT
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 lessons. Students felt more confident that they understood the material, which translated into a better attitude regarding math class. As a result of this research, I plan to find ways to implement manipulatives in my teaching on a more regular basis. I intend to create lessons with manipulatives that will engage both hands and minds for the learners.
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Michaela Ann GorackeStudent Transition to College
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/72
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/72Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:40:57 PDT
In this action research study of recent graduates from my district, I investigated their level of readiness for college-level mathematics courses. I discovered that the students have a wide variety of experiences in college. There are many factors that determine success in college mathematics courses. These factors include size of college, private or public, university or community college. Other factors include students’ choice of major, maturity level, and work ethic. As a result of this research, I plan to raise the individual expectations in my classroom. It is our duty as high school educators to prepare the students for a wide variety of experiences in college. We cannot control where the students attend college or what they study. High schools need to prepare the students for all possibilities and ensure that they have a solid knowledge of the baseline mathematics skills.
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Doug GlasshoffReasonable or Not? A Study of the Use of Teacher Questioning to Promote Reasonable Mathematical Answers from Sixth Grade Students
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/70
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/70Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:40:56 PDT
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 than the product, students became used to questioning problem solving strategies and explaining their reasoning. I plan to maintain this practice in the future while incorporating more visual and textual explanations to support verbal explanations.
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Marlene GrayerPerceptions of Math Homework: Exploring the Connections between Written Explanations and Oral Presentations and the Influence on Students’ Understanding of Math Homework
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/69
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/69Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:40:55 PDT
In this action research study of my fifth grade mathematics classroom, I investigated how homework presentations combined with written explanations of math homework influenced students’ understanding of math concepts and perceptions of math homework. I discovered that my students really do not like homework but they do believe that homework has a purpose. I also found that my students’ test scores were slightly higher when they had written about and presented a particular math concept. Finally, as a teacher I learned that my students can interact in a positive way and teach each other math, so I do not always have to be the one teaching for my students to learn. As a result of this research I plan to implement homework presentations and written explanations for the entire school year to see if students’ understanding of math concepts continues to increase.
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Kyla Hall“Let’s Review.” A Look at the Effects of Re-teaching Basic Mathematic Skills
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/68
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/68Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:40:54 PDT
In this action research study of my classroom of 8th grade mathematics, I investigated the effect of reviewing basic fraction and decimal skills on student achievement and student readiness for freshman Algebra. I also investigated the effect on the quality of student work, with regards to legibility by having students grade each other’s work anonymously. I discovered that students need basic skill review with fractions and decimals, and by the end of the research their scores improved. However, their handwriting had not. At the end of the research, a majority of the students felt the review was important, and they were ready to take math next year in high school. As a result of this research, I plan to implement weekly fraction and decimal review assignments in all middle school grades: 6th, 7th, and 8th. In addition, fraction and decimals must be incorporated into daily assignments, where appropriate, in order to encourage students to retain these skills.
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Thomas J. HarringtonHomework Presentations: Are They Worth the Time?
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/67
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/67Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:40:53 PDT
In this action research study of my eighth grade mathematics classroom, I investigated the use of daily homework presentations and how they impacted students’ written and oral reasoning, students’ attitudes towards mathematics homework and students’ grades and completion of mathematics homework. I discovered that implementing daily homework presentations had no influence on students’ grades or attitudes towards mathematics homework, however students did find homework presentations useful in helping them to better understand the mathematics they were learning. Students’ written and oral reasoning were increased through daily homework presentations as well. By requiring students to not only present daily homework problems, but also be active listeners during other’s presentations, students were more aware of their reasoning and thinking while completing mathematics homework. As a result of my research, I plan to continue using daily homework presentations in my classroom as a tool for students to communicate their thinking.
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Kacy HeiserReduce Late Assignments through Classroom Presentations
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/66
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/66Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:40:52 PDT
In this action research study of my 7th grade math class, I investigated homework presentations, to see if they would reduce the amount of late homework assignments. I did not find any significant results that weekly presentations given by students were beneficial to reduce the amount of late assignments, but found many other positive things that happened because of presentations. As a result of this research, I plan to use classroom presentations because they foster listening skills and student interaction, and promote deeper thinking.
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Cole HilkerEnhancing Thinking Skills: Will Daily Problem Solving Activities Help?
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/65
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/65Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:40:51 PDT
In this action research study of my classroom of eighth grade general mathematics students, I investigated how addressing problem solving activities each day would affect the thinking and reasoning skills of the students. I discovered that the students became more adept at problem solving as they practiced various strategies. As students justified their answers, both orally and in written form, their understanding of mathematics and its applications to the real world improved. I discovered that students worked more diligently on problems of interest to them. Also, some problems are better solved individually, and some are more geared as a group activity. As a result of this research, I plan on allotting time for problem solving in all of my math classes next year. I will give students the opportunity to work in groups, but they will also be required to complete some problems individually.
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Julie HoaglundImproving Achievement and Attitude Through Cooperative Learning in Math Class
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/64
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/64Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:40:50 PDT
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 they performed. As a result of this research, I plan to continue to find ways to incorporate cooperative group activities but keep groups together for a longer period of time.
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Scott JohnsenOral Communication and Presentations in Mathematics
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/63
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/63Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:40:49 PDT
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 student achievement increased, the students did enjoy the different aspect of presentations in a math class. I plan to implement presentations in my classroom more often with the intent to increase student enjoyment.
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Brian JohnsonThe Effects of Teaching Problem Solving Strategies to Low Achieving Students
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/62
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/62Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:40:48 PDT
In this action research study of an eighth grade Math Intervention class, we investigated the following:

• the direct teaching of problem-solving strategies to low achieving students; • the effect the academic achievement has on these students; and • students’ perceptions of themselves as problem solvers.

We discovered that students tended to have a positive experience with problem-solving activities when given direct instruction on a variety of strategies. Through the use of a four-point rubric, students’ written responses tended to be more comprehensive about their understanding of the problem. Over a span of four weeks during the spring semester in 2006, the researchers provided instruction on specific problem-solving strategies in Math Intervention class. Then students were given the opportunities to apply these strategies to several "Habits of Mind" problems presented in the Math 8 classrooms. As a result of this research, we plan to expand the current curriculum to include more problem-solving challenges for low achieving students.
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Kristin Johnson et al.Can homework become more meaningful with the inclusion of oral presentations?
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/61
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/61Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:40:47 PDT
In this action research study of my 7th grade math class, I investigated the inclusion of homework presentations to see if they would improve students’ attitude toward mathematics, participation, and understanding. I discovered that although the implementations of presentations into our homework routine did not drastically influence grades, or even improve attitudes (according to test grades and student surveys), a multitude of other changes surfaced. These changes consisted of an increase in discussion, a team effort among students in my class, and an overall “learning community” effect. I plan to continue to pursue presentations as a major part of my homework routine, and also incorporate presentations into review sessions.
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Emy JonesThe Importance of Vocabulary Instruction in Everyday Mathematics
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/60
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/60Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:40:46 PDT
In this action research study of my 6th grade math students I try to answer the question of how mathematical vocabulary plays an integral role in the understanding and learning of middle level mathematics. It is my belief that mathematics is a language, and to be fluent in that language one must be able to use and understand vocabulary. With the use of vocabulary quizzes and mathematically-centered vocabulary activities, student scores and understanding of math concepts can be increased. I discovered that many of the students had never been exposed to consistent mathematical terminology in their elementary education, which led many to an unfavorable impression of math. As a result of my research, I plan to incorporate vocabulary as a regular part of my mathematical teaching. As the students understood the language of math, their confidence, attitudes, and scores all began to improve.
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Chad LarsonConfidence in Communication: Can My Whole Class Achieve This?
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/59
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/mathmidactionresearch/59Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:40:45 PDT
In this action research study of my classroom of Algebra 2 students, I investigated the confidence levels and communication skills of these students. I discovered that students who have higher confidence levels are comfortable in their classroom situations. The students with increased levels of confidence also have more open communication with those they respect. As a result of this research, I plan to continue with the implementation of communication skills. I will also look to next school year as a place to start executing a plan to be more available and involved in the active learning process of my students.
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Emily Lashley