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Jean Clarke

Action Research
Week 8 Reflection
Being that this is the seventh course I have taken in this graduate program, I was
comfortable with the process of creating an action research project. The task of creating a project
and seeing in through to completion is essential to good teaching. It has caused me to reflect on
my teaching practices, make changes in the way I do things and be innovative in my ideas.
During the 8 weeks of this course, I focused on implementing guided math centers during
my weekly math lessons. My hope was that student test scores will increase from the Begging of
the year Go Math Assessment to the Mid-Year Go Math assessment with the help of small group
instruction. I am devoting time each week to teaching math in small groups. I am spending three
15-20 minute blocks with each small group consisting of 4 students for individualized math
instruction. My goal is that test scores will rise.
My desired outcome is that 6 out of 10 students who scored below a 60% on the
begging of the year math assessment will increase their score to 80% or higher by the mid-year
assessment.
I will the beginning of the year test and the mid-year test to collect and analyze my data. I
will also keep a student log during each small group math instructions to note student’s strengths
and weaknesses.

I teach in a small district in New Jersey. My first grade class consists of 16 students.
Reading and Writing is always stressed. Most of the professional development in my district is
geared toward enhancing reading and writing skills. Mathematics is often swept under the rug. I
believe more emphasis needs to be put on mathematics in the younger grades. This is the
reasoning for choice of action research in this course.
Although the mid-year test has not yet been administered, I already see an increase in
skills, attention and engagement during my guided math instruction. I am confident that the
student’s scores will rise along with their attitude toward mathematics class.
For my next area of focus, I would like to continue to work on increasing math scores in
the classroom. For this project, I plan to incorporate more technology. I would like to research if
the use of ipads and laptops during math centers, increase students skill level and math scores.
Through action research, I am better able to access my student’s weaknesses and strengths and in
turn differentiate instruction to better meet the individual needs of my student population.
The University of St. Mary’s conceptual framework “builds upon the belief that teachers
(our candidates) are leaders who shape change through research and reflective practice.” (USM
Graduate Conceptual Framework ) These action research projects that I’ve conducted throughout
my coursework align perfectly with this belief. This program teaches educators to not get set in
their ways. Teachers need to constantly strive to improve and reflect on their teaching.
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has four main components that
are clearly covered in the action research process. I think all of the components are learned but
component number 4, Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from

experience (www.nbpts.org), is strongly stressed. During action research projects, teachers are
thinking about ways to improve, grow and learn from their teaching.
The University of St. Mary also has several graduate program outcomes. One outcome
that stands out during this current research project of mine is outcome number 2, Candidates
demonstrate knowledge of diverse learners, including all forms of exceptionality, and create
instructional opportunities that meet the needs of all learners. (University of Saint Mary Master
of Arts in Teaching Program Outcomes ) My research allows me to focus on each student’s
needs. All students learn differently. Through my small group math instruction, I have the
opportunity to meet these needs.

References
NBPTS. 2014. Retrived from http://www.nbpts.org/
USM Conceptual Framework of Knowledge in Action
University of Saint Mary Master of Arts in Teaching Program Outcomes