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Annotated Bibliography

Association for Middle Level Education. (2010). This we believe: Keys to educating
young adolescents. Westerville, OH: Association for Middle Level Education.
In their resource, This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents, the
Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) (2010) defined the 16 characteristics of
successful middle level schools and curriculum. Throughout their research, they found
that effective middle level curriculum must be developmentally responsive, challenging,
empowering, and equitable (AMLE, 2010). AMLE (2010) also discovered that the most
effective culture and community to foster cognitive, physical, and social-emotional
development occurred when the school actively tries to engage and involve the families
of their students.
These points were especially important to examine throughout the development
of this unit due to the age of our students. Throughout the creation of this unit, we
wanted to ensure that the decisions we were making were developmentally responsive
and appropriate for the students we were teaching. We also wanted to ensure that we
provided enough additional resources to our parents so that they could be equal
stakeholders in their child’s success as well.
Dodge, J. (2009). 25 quick formative assessments for a differentiated
classroom.Scholastic Teaching Resources. Retrieved November 25, 2014, from
Formative assessments are ongoing assessments, observations, and summaries
that provide information to both student and the teacher. These assessments are
especially beneficial in a differentiated classroom. Dodge (2009) discusses how
formative assessments check for student readiness and can be used as a guide for
preparing instruction. Formative assessments also help the student asses their own
learning and provide them with feedback on how they can improve their
performance. Done correctly, these assessments take a short amount of time and are
very beneficial to both the teacher and the students.
This journal provided me with many examples of formative assessments that can
be used in the classroom. These assessments ranged from summaries and reflections,
list, charts, and graphic organizers, visual representations of information, and
collaborative activities. Within each strategy, Dodge (2009) provided step-by-step
instructions on how to use the formative assessments in the classroom. These
strategies were great examples of assessments I plan to use.
Isiksal, M., & Askar, P. (2005). The effect of spreadsheet and dynamic geometry
software on the achievement and self-efficacy of 7th-grade students. Educational
Research, 47(3), 333-350.

In this article, Isiksal and Askar discuss their research on the effects of dynamic
geometry software, spreadsheet software, and traditional teacher centered instruction
on the Mathematical achievement and self-efficacy of seventh grade mathematics
students as well as their self-efficacy of computer use and how these things interact and
relate to gender. The programs they used were Excel and Autograph. All student
participants in the study were given the same problems. The instructor worked through
examples with the control group, but only addressed technical issues with the
experimental groups. All of the guidance for these other two groups for learning the
mathematics was provided in their instructions. Statistical analysis of pre and post test
results revealed that students in the Autograph group outperformed the other two
groups in Mathematical achievement. Other interesting results include boys reporting a
higher self-efficacy for computers and strong correlation between Mathematical selfefficacy and Mathematical achievement consistent with other research.
The results of Isiksal’s and Askar’s research in “The effect of spreadsheet and
dynamic geometry software on the achievement and self-efficacy of 7th-grade students”
supports our decision to use GeoGebra (a dynamic geometry program) as a learning
tool in our unit. As in the experiment, we will allow students to move through an
exploration at their own pace using their lab instructions as a guide. It is our hope that,
as in the research, the incorporation and use of the dynamic geometry software in our
class will boost student performance, self-efficacy, and attitude toward the Mathematics
being learned.
Lo, J., & Watanabe, T. (1997). Developing Ratio and Proportion Schemes: A Story of a
Fifth Grader. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 28(2), 216-236.
This article deals with the relationship between ratios and proportions. The research was
done by and supported by Arizona State University West Research Grant. The relationship,
which is one that is direct, tells us that you cannot have ratios without proportions and vice versa.
Ratios and proportions are things that students struggle with, but they are so important to
mathematics and real-world situations. There is a progression to the learning of ratios and
proportions in mathematics curriculum. Because ratios and proportions deal so heavily with
multiplication, researchers have come to the conclusion that students need to tie their
multiplicative skills into their ratio/proportion struggles at an early age. Based on this
conclusion, researchers looked into a teaching experiment to analyze the information further.
Bruce was the 10 year old student being researched. He was one of the top mathematical students
in the class, but he could never really explain his answers. He followed what his teacher wanted,
which was the cut-and-dry answer the book gave. The reason Bruce was selected was based on
the strategy he used to solve ratios and proportions in fourth grade. What Bruce did that many
other students do not do is play with numbers until they “even out”. With the story problem he
was given, Bruce was also given the amount of material to match the problem. With this
material, he tried his best to match up the numbers in a way that made sense to him. The
experiment with Bruce gained insight to how students think mathematically. One key for
teachers is to make sure to listen to students as they reason so that we can pinpoint exactly the
things they are struggling with. There were many different sessions Bruce went through to
develop his ratio and proportion skills. The ratio-unit/build up method is the most common
method for students to learn. The easiest way for students to learn is through using physical

objects as representations. Once the physical materials were taken away, though, Bruce then had
to learn by drawing pictures (visual learner). There was a conclusion that ratios and proportions
can be learned so many different ways. The question remains as to what are the most effective
ways of learning ratios and proportions, but the good news is that there are so many different
ways of learning and developing skills.
Tomlinson, C. (1995). How to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability classrooms.
Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Tomlinson (1995) shows how one-size-fits-all instruction has no place in the
classroom. She compares this idea to buying clothes. Kids have the option to choose
what kind of clothing they want to wear, based on their size, styles, and
preferences. People understand this without justification that they get this variety
because it makes them more comfortable and gives them a chance to express
themselves. We don’t expect students to wear the same clothes just because they are
the same age. Similar to this, Tomlinson (1995) says, “one-size-fits-all instruction will
inevitably sag or pinch- exactly as single-size clothing would- students who differ in
need, even if they are chronologically the same age.” Tomlinson (1995) breaks down
the different components of differentiation. She discusses the new role of the teacher,
how to manage a differentiated classroom, and how to create differentiated
lessons. Tomlinson (1995) also writes about to prepare the student and the parent for a
differentiated classroom.
Tomlinson (1995) states, “a differentiated classroom provides different avenues
to acquiring content, to processing or making sense of idea, and to developing
products.” This book gave a lot of great strategies on how to begin differentiating
lesson in the classroom. These strategies included, time differentiated activities, anchor
activities, and flexible grouping. Tomlinson (1995) mapped out exactly what a
differentiated classroom should look like and also showed what a differentiated
classroom is not. She talks about the process of creating a differentiated classroom
and makes it realistic for all teachers to reach.
Vatterott, C. (2009). Rethinking homework: Best practices that support diverse needs.
Alexandria, Va, ASCD.
Throughout her novel, Vatterott (2009) discussed the main beliefs concerning
homework and the myths that follow. These five main beliefs are as follows: The role of
homework is to extend learning beyond the classroom; intellectual activity is intrinsically
more valuable than nonintellectual activity; homework teaches responsibility; lots of
homework is the sign of a rigorous curriculum; and good teachers give homework –
good students do homework. Vatterott (2009) also examined the culture of homework
and discussed ways to make homework the most effective and beneficial for all
students. To do so, she argued that if educators choose to give homework, they have to
ensure that we give it intentionally and purposefully. She stated, “the needs of individual
learners must be the driving force behind all instructional decisions” (Vatterott, 2009,
While not math-oriented, this resource is particularly important to examine within

the context of this project as it provides another perspective on this common
educational practice. Assigning homework is a practice that is especially common within
the math classroom, and while Vatterott (2009) is not arguing against the assigning of
all homework, she does challenge educators to ensure that the homework they assign
is meaningful and relevant to the task at hand. As such, this is a perspective that is
important to examine further.