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Emily Thompson

Action Research
Dr. Debra Mishak
Action Research Intervention Report

Statement and Explanation of Research Question

My Action Research project is focused on the question How does focusing on a set of

vocabulary words each day improve academic and non-academic vocabulary? The students that

participated in this intervention received extra help with comprehending vocabulary. The

learning goal for this five day intervention is that students will be able to write the vocabulary

words presented in the book Daisy-Head Mayzie By Dr. Seuss in a word journal and use those

words in a sentence. We used additional resources such as worksheets and a matching game to

help ensure understanding of the words and their definition. In addition of my focus question I

hope to answer the follow question as well Can introducing and focusing on a few vocabulary

words each day improve students vocabulary?

Review of Literature/ Theoretical Grounding

To develop an effective intervention I used an article I found on the website The article was called Teaching Vocabulary by Linda

Diamond, Linda Gutlohn. This article provided me with models of lessons and also ideas of how

to use vocabulary effectively in my intervention. A quote for the article states "Vocabulary

knowledge is knowledge; the knowledge of a word not only implies a definition, but also implies

how that word fits into the world." (pg.1). In the article it provides four components of an

effective vocabulary program according to a gentlemen by the name of Michael Graves.

In addition to the information gained from the previous article, I also used Intervention

19 40 Reading Intervention Strategies for K-6 Students. This intervention was used a review

throughout my intervention. This intervention is for focusing on teaching more vocabulary every
Emily Thompson
Action Research
Dr. Debra Mishak

day. This intervention provided me with a sample five-day lesson plan that used to inspire my

intervention. Rather than focusing on 30 words from a core curriculum, I introduced a total of ten

words during this intervention from the Dr. Seuss story Daisy-Head Mayzie; 4 on two one and

3 on days 3 and 4. When introducing the words, I would as the students to repeat the word with

me and then write the word and definition in their word journals. Then I would ask them to write

the work in a sentence. We would also put an action to the word we just learned. This helped the

students retain the word and definition.

Research/Intervention Method

The students included in my Action Research project were Third Grade students from

Sumner Elementary School. In this school, there are three third grade classrooms organized into

a learning suite. My group consisted of three students, two girls and one boy. Two of my students

were of Asian descent. All three of my students were a part of the schools afterschool program

called Academic Stars. This program helped further students education in the areas of Reading

and Math. I met with these students approximately 40 minutes every Tuesday and Thursday

during their Academic Stars time. We sat either on the floor of the third-grade suite or around a

table. These students were picked based on teacher referral. They were able to pick the students

they felt need assistants with vocabulary.

The intervention was a total of five days meeting twice a week for two weeks and once

the week prior. On the first day of the intervention, the students were introduced to the

vocabulary words by participating in a pre-assessment. After finishing the pre-assessment, I read

aloud that story Daisy-Head Mayzie by Dr. Seuss. I would stop at the chosen vocabulary
Emily Thompson
Action Research
Dr. Debra Mishak

words and would ask for the students input on what they thought each word meant. On the

second day, we finished the story and I introduced the student to their word journals. We spent

the time writing the first four words in their journals. The students along with the words and its

definition wrote the words in a sentence and drew a picture. We also spent some time creating

actions for those vocabulary words. On the last day, the students were assessed and created a

Daisy with the vocabulary words written in the petals. I did have to change a few of definitions. I

found that a few of the definitions I had found were either too vague or too difficult for the

student to comprehend

One thing I should have added to this intervention was a better method of student

progress checking. I would ask the student show my a thumbs up, sideways, or down at the end

of each day to get an idea of how they felt the day went. I should have had them color in a smiley

face sheet or had used another method to collect this data. Each student was provided a folder

that I introduced as their word journals. I would also place any worksheets or activities that I had

planned of that day in the folders. I thought this method of organization proved to be beneficial

because each student always had what they needed for each day.

Due to Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts being on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I would have to

catch up one of my girls who was in Girl Scouts on Tuesdays. I would being my intervention by

getting my two student who were there every day started on that days activity, then being

working one-on-one with her to catch up. Once I was done catching her up, we would then

review our words, definitions, and actions.

Emily Thompson
Action Research
Dr. Debra Mishak

I will by using three different methods for data collection. First, I will be using a pre-

assessment. The pre-assessment served as a formative assessment, guiding my instruction of the

intervention. Second, I will be using a post-assessment. The post-assessment served as

summative assessment of what the students learned. The third and last assessment that I will be

using a three-sentence story I asked the students to write using three vocabulary words. The story

will serve as summative assessment as well. It will show me their knowledge of how to use the

word properly in a sentence. The three assessments were used to comparison and analysis of

students learning outcomes. As I mentioned before, I should have included a student progress

check. This would have served as another formative assessment allowing me to see what the

students understood and guided my instruction of this intervention.


Pre-Assessment- Independent, Students were given a matching worksheet where they had to

match the word with the best definition. (See Appendix A)

Read aloud words and definition for to students to better understand the content.

Individual assessment of knowledge.

Day 1

Introduce students to the ten vocabulary words.

Read Daisy-Head Mayzie.

Day 2
Emily Thompson
Action Research
Dr. Debra Mishak

Review previous day.

Finish Daisy-Head Mayzie.

Introduce word journals.

Focus on four of the vocabulary words. (Peculiar, Sprout, Noodle, Bursting)

Write vocabulary words, definition, sentence, and draw picture in word journal.

Create action for vocabulary words.

Days 3-4

Review previous day.

Focus on three vocabulary words Day 3: Yank, Declared, Wilting; Day 4: Herbaceous, Swarm,


Write vocabulary words, definition, sentence, and draw picture in word journal.

Create action for vocabulary words.

Complete worksheets. (see Appendix B and C)

Day 5

Review vocabulary words (see Appendix D)

Write a three-sentence story.(See Appendix E)

Create Daisy craft. (See Appendix F)

Post-Assessment- Same procedure as pre-assessment. See Above.

Emily Thompson
Action Research
Dr. Debra Mishak


Figure A- Comparison data from Pre and Post Assessment

Pre and Post Assessment



Student 1 Student 2 Student 3

Pre-Assessment Column1

Figure B- Change from Pre and Post Assessment data

Emily Thompson
Action Research
Dr. Debra Mishak

Change from Pre and Post Assessment


Nye Bu Kylee

Difference in assessment

The first two graphs I have included are data from the pre-and post- assessment. The first

graph shows a comparison for each students results on the assessment. The assessment was out

of 10 points. Figure B shows the difference in the students scores from the pre-and-post

assessment. As you can see, each student that was included in this intervention showed increase

in his or her results.

Student 1, Nye, had the lowest gain out of my students. She received zero points on her

pre-assessment and five points on her post-assessment. Nye was gone for three full days of the

intervention due to Girl Scouts being on Tuesdays. She missed out on three days of essential

instruction the other students received. When she was there I felt she seemed rather pressured to

catch up and it seemed like her mind was preoccupied with other things as well. These are the

reasons the I believe we did not see as much growth with her. I am still impressed with her

results in the sense that I only meet with her twice and she went from zero to five on the
Emily Thompson
Action Research
Dr. Debra Mishak

assessments. This is the student that also required more one-on-one assistants. I am wondering if

their could have been a language issue.

Student 2, Bu, had the greatest gain out my students. He received two points on his pre-

assessment and ten points on his post-test. Bu was present all five days of the intervention and

showed full engagement in all activities. With him I saw the most the growth, I saw that he

benefited from seeing the words and sentences written on the white board. Im very impressed

with his results because he was a rather quite individual and although he was engaged in the

intervention is was rather hard to grasp how much he was retaining.

Student 3, Kylee, had the second greatest gain out my students. She received three points

on her pre-assessment and ten points on her post-assessment. Kylee was present all five days of

the intervention and showed full engagement in all activities. I was pleasantly surprised with

results because she was my outgoing students. She was very talkative and would sometimes get

off task, but with some redirection I was always successful in gaining back her attention.

Figure C- Data from Three-Sentence Story

Emily Thompson
Action Research
Dr. Debra Mishak

Results of Three-Senetence Story





Nye Bu Kylee


Figure C is a graph of how well the students were able to use the vocabulary words in a

sentence to create a short story. I used a rubric with a scale of one to three. One being they could

not write a proper sentence with the vocabulary words, two being they used the word correctly,

but the story made no sense, and three they were able to use the words correctly and the story

made sense.

I found this activity to be rather difficult for the students because they didnt know what

to write about. Once I provided an example of what I wanted, the students were able to complete
Emily Thompson
Action Research
Dr. Debra Mishak

the activity. Notice that the student who wasnt present for most of the intervention proved to be

more successful in this activity than the other students.

Conclusion/ Final Reflection

Overall, I was happy to see the progress these students made as a result of my

intervention given our short time together. All of these students met at least part if not all of the

learning objective, and I feel they have gained some strategies to fulfill the objective completely.

An important part of this intervention was that the students were there every day. If a student

missed a few days of the intervention it was hard to catch them up without having the others

backtrack with the students.

If I were to change one thing, I would have added a student progress assessment. I feel

that it is important for students to see their progress and think they would have benefited from

something like this. I also believe that I would have benefited from this assessment as well. It

would have given me the opportunity to see how well my students are understanding the content

of the intervention.

Another thing I wish I could have done differently is have had the opportunity to have the

choice when to meet with my students. Our Action Research time was already a planned-out time

with our students. It was a scheduled 40-minute block, during an afterschool program, over a

five-day period. I believe that if I was allowed more time to implement this intervention I would

have been able to gain more conclusive results. With more time, I would have been able to plan

more in-depth materials and spend more time on certain aspects of the intervention.
Emily Thompson
Action Research
Dr. Debra Mishak

Appendix A- Pre and Post Assessment

Vocabulary Matching
Peculiar To rush in

Sprout A large group of insects moving

Noodle relating to a plant

Bursting To become limp

Yank To publicly announce

Declared To pull with great force

Wilting To appear suddenly

Herbaceous Another name for head

Swarm To begin to grow

Charging Not normal

Directions: Match the vocabulary word with its definition.

Appendix B- Crossword Puzzle Example

Emily Thompson
Action Research
Dr. Debra Mishak

Appendix C- Vocabulary Match Game

Emily Thompson
Action Research
Dr. Debra Mishak

Peculiar Not normal

Sprout To begin to grow

Noodle Another name for head

Bursting To appear suddenly

Yank To pull with great force

Declared To publicly announce

Wilting To become limp

Herbaceous relating to a plant

Swarm To fly of together

Charging To rush in (hurry)

Vocabulary Match It!

Directions: Cut out each and word and definition. Match the vocabulary word with is
correct definition.

Appendix D- Vocabulary Review

Emily Thompson
Action Research
Dr. Debra Mishak


Word Scrambler
Direction: unscramble the words using the definition.

Uncommon; not normal pceliaur

To grow begin to grow pursto

Another name for head Odonel

To appear suddenly Ingrbust

To pull with great force Nyak

Publicly announced cearedld

To become limp Ilitngw

relating to, or Oercubseah

characteristic of an herb
To fly of together Mawsr

To rush in (hurry) Gaigchrn

Appendix E: Example of Three-Sentence Stories

Emily Thompson
Action Research
Dr. Debra Mishak
Emily Thompson
Action Research
Dr. Debra Mishak

Appendix F- Daisy Craft


Diamond, Linda, and Linda Gutlohn. "Teaching Vocabulary." Reading Rockets. N.p., 26 Apr. 2017.

Web. 11 Apr. 2017.

McEwan-Adkins, Elaine K. 40 Reading Intervention Strategies for K-6 Students: Research-based

Support for RTI. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree, 2010. Print.