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       MAT 718- FINAL REFLECTION

Jean Clarke
University of St. Mary
During my previous course, Research Based Assessment, I focused on improving 
my student’s reading comprehension and fluency skills using guided reading. I 
experienced a lot of success with that project. My kids are continuing to improve and 
show a great deal of growth in the area of reading. Due to the great success of my last 
project, I decided to use the same format of small group instruction but focus on writing. 
This year, my school implemented the writing workshop model to teach 
writing. Learning to read and write are such important aspects of the first 
curriculum. The writing scores in previous years were weak. The district saw the 
need to enhance the writing curriculum and implement the writer’s workshop 
model. This change in programs has challenged me as a teacher. I saw this as a great 
opportunity to use the action research process to promote positive change in my 
classroom. 
My desired outcome is that 12 out of 15 students will increase their writing 
stamina and product from September to June as measured by a writing rubric. 
I have been conducing  small structured mini lessons followed my independent writing 
time followed by group share time. My three­part daily lessons are done 4­5 times per 
week.  Students are really enjoying more and their skills are vastly improving. 
The biggest change that I’ve seen since implementing this action research is the
positivity among my students. The new structured writing curriculum has the children
excited and motivated to write each day. It is very great to see. My students know the

daily routine very well. They know what to do each day during writing time. The
students are applying many of the writing strategies they have learned in other subject
areas as well. They are producing quality work. I am noting an increase in both their
skills and their writing stamina. I am excited to continue to implement the writer’s
workshop model in my classroom. I expect to continue to see a rise in students writing
scores, attitude and stamina.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the constructive criticism of my peers. One of the
benefits of online learning is being able to read and review peers work. I did not have this
experience in my other schooling years. I learned a great deal from my peers in class and
gained an interest on their research topics as well.
The USM conceptual framework states that "Our conceptual framework builds
upon the belief that teachers (our candidates) are leaders who shape change through
research and reflective practice." (USM Conceptual Framework of Knowledge in Action)
I have has the opportunity to complete several different action research projects
during my coursework at USM. I have continued to reflect and change my methods as a
result of these projects. We have to keep education current. The only way to do that is
through research. Teachers need to research best practices and put them into action. This
is exactly what I have done in the past nine courses.
One of the propositions of the National Board Profession Teaching Standards is
that " Teachers are committed to students and their learning. ““(NBPTS 2014) This is
something that drove me to USM in the first place. I did just choose the carret course of a
teacher and then leave it at that. I am dedicated to my students and to providing the most
meaningful education possible.

All of the USM graduate program outcomes align with the course. One that stands
out is “Demonstrate the ability to be reflective practitioners by identifying a problem, 
examining research, advocating solutions, implementing a plan, and measuring and 
evaluating outcomes.” 
I have done this process many times. I am fortunate that the program provides 
such a structured plan for graduate students to reflect, change, implement and measure. 

References
NBPTS. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.nbpts.org/
USM Conceptual Framework of Knowledge in Action