Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week Three Web Conference with Dr. Borel

This week we talked about the action research project that will be do next week.  Dr. Borel had a problem 

showing us the power point she had planned, so she just kind of walked us through the action research 

template.  We will be required to complete the title page and sections one through three on the action

 research template.  She told us what we needed to accomplish on each of the sections and how we should 

go about writing the paper.  She also gave us a list of library sources that we could use to help us with our 

topic.  Dr. Borel then went over three of the APA assignments for this week.  She showed us how to use the

 APA style and gave us some hints on how to complete number one of the assignment.  

Monday, April 1, 2013

Action Research Project Update-5326 Class

I decided to choose extra-curricular activities and student achievement as my action research project because as a coach I have always wondered if students perform better if they are involved in an extra-curricular activity.  I have been coaching and teaching for nineteen years and have deduced that achievement is higher in students that do something productive outside of the school day.  It could be playing in the band, participating in UIL activities, cheerleading, sports, dancing, chess, robotics, and any other activity that follows the standards of the “No Pass-No Play.”  Students tend to work harder on grades and on tests if they know they will not be allowed to participate in their extra-curricular activity.  I am currently doing research by getting information from various websites that will further foster my idea that extra-curricular activities increase student performance.  

 I decided to do a study on our high school football and volleyball teams to see their performance on standardized tests, attendance, grades, discipline, and benchmark testing.  I will need to gather information from our PEIMS clerk, attendance office, testing coordinators, and discipline centers to get all the data that will help me prove my theory.  I will compare these student-athletes with the students who are not involved in an extra-curricular activity on all the data mentioned above.  I also decided to look at a male and female group to show that the data will be the same in comparing the both sexes.  I have been working on my project for only about fifteen hours because of my coaching, teaching, family, and masters responsibilities.  I plan on working more during the open week between my classes and will finish the bulk of my research and internship plan during the summer when I will be free from teaching and coaching.  I have learned a lot from my first three classes that will help me develop my action plan, and I look forward to the upcoming classes to continue my research.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

5326 Family Community Project

 Here is my URL address to look at my Prezi. Let me know what you think

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Final Reflection on research

This research class was a very important class because it taught me many different things that I took for granted.  In my first class we learned about leadership and how important leadership is to developing a great school for our students.  We learned many leadership styles that will shape the culture of our campus, teachers, and students.  I developed a better understanding for administration and the roles they play in making our school great.  I also realized that teachers and administration need to work together for a common goal which is to increase student performance.  In this class we talked about leadership in week two and Kouzes and Posner state their five practices of leadership as follows: “model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, encourage the heart”.  These principles are important because they guide us as leaders to bring out the best in our students and staff.   In this class we learned what research is and how important it is to developing an action research plan.  We also learned the importance of collecting data and what that data can do for the overall research of your action research project. 

In 5301week one, we learned how to develop a very important tool which will allow us to put many of our research concepts into reality.  The action research plan as defined by Fitchman is,” Administrative inquiry or action research is a process of and administrator engaging and determining and idea and taking action for change based on what is learned by principals, teachers, and people involved in the school.”  The ultimate goal of any action research inquiry is to increase student performance in your school.  This class also taught us the difference between action research and the old traditional style of doing research.  The difference in action research to traditional educational research is the involvement of the administrators and staff to participate and use their personal experiences.  They collaborate with one another these experiences and decide what the best results are based on the collaboration with the entire staff.  Basically, it gives everyone a stake in the decision to determine what will help our students be more successful.  We also discussed the importance of professional learning communities in developing our action research.  The learning communities as stated by Fichtman are” small groups of faculty that meet weekly to learn and study more effective teaching strategies and practices.  It is becoming an effective tool to replace outside professional developments with staff based professional developments which are geared more for action research style projects.


In week two we discussed the nine areas that administrators feel are crucial in developing an action research project.  One particular are of importance that hits our school hard is social justice and equity.  We are dealing with a lot of students that come from Mexico that are leaning the English language and are struggling on our TEKS and STAAR exit exams.  We have a high number of these kids and they are still expected to pass our exams from the state.  Administration is working hard with teachers to develop a plan to get these kids on level to be successful not only on the exams, but in the rest of their lives.  This is a prime example of learning communities helping develop action research.

Throughout the entire process we have developed a great tool in action research.  In this class each week, we developed a blog and put different things that we felt were important in developing our action research project.  Each week something different was put on the blog that our colleagues had to comment on to help us shape our plan.  We met with our site supervisors and developed three ideas that would be great action research topics and decided on one final product that we put on our blog for others to critique and comment.  We also developed an outline for our action research.  The SIP/PIP model in the resources section of blackboard helped us shape our action research plan by outlining the main points of interest for my project.  We developed an outline that consisted of goals, activities, data gathering, timeline, monitoring, and assessing our research draft for our site supervisor.  We then collaborated and came up with the idea for and action research topic that pertained to extra-curricular activities and increased student performance.  This topic is of great interest to me because I coach and teach at a high school in Texas and I believe through my research and data that I can prove the significance of these activities and the increased performance of students. 

In the final weeks of our course we have put our plans and outlines on our blogs and asked for our classmates to comment and share what sounds good or ways to improve our research.  We also learned strategies from our Harris text book that can be used for my action research project.  These strategies as stated by Harris are the “Force Field Theory, the Delphi Method, and the Nominal Group Model”.  These three strategies can help support and sustain our action research project.  As I sum up my experience in the 5301 research class I can tell you that I have learned more about research and the importance it plays on solving problems and developing issues.  The benefits of action research are to develop a deeper understanding by working collectively on issues that affect our campus.  We must identify the problems and successes, identify the solutions to the problems, and improve the overall success of the issue at hand.  This process creates a learning environment that is significant and relevant.  It also promotes and energizes staff members to work harder so they can get the best out of their students.  Action research can create a support group for the administration, teachers, parents, and students of our school.  The overall goal of any action research project is to increase student improvement and performance in our schools.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Action research Project-Extra-Curricular Activities and Student Performance

In my final meeting with my supervisor we agreed that my action research project was well thought out and relevant to student improvement.  I will be researching and collecting data to determine if extra-curricular activities are important in our schools and if they lead to increased student improvement.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Care Plan 8.1 Action Research

Tool 8.1 CARE Model: Planning Tool
Identify Concerns that must change (look to the future)
(Assign points to concerns from 1 to 3 in the order of the most important issues to consider.)
1.  Extra-Curricular activities need to continue to stay in or schools because they promote student improvement with the teaching of goals, organization, and many other life skills.
2.  We need to keep the athletic periods in our schools because they align with national fitness gram.
3.  Keep the current amount of money in our budget for extra-curricular activities, but may increase because of the economy and the split of our high school into two schools.
Identify Affirmations that must be sustained (look to the present)
(Assign points to affirmations from 1 to 3 in the order of the most important issues to consider.)
1.  Student-athletes make better grades and score higher on state testing when involved in extra-curricular activities rather than those who are not involved in extra-curricular activities.
2.  Extra-curricular activities teach students to be better organized, disciplined, goal-oriented, and responsible young men and women in our school.  These attributes are also exhibited in the classroom with our student-athletes.  These activities also teach them teamwork, fair play, and how to overcome issues that face our students every day.
3.  Continue to adhere to the “No Pass No Play” rule by holding athletes to a higher standard and monitoring grades every six weeks for participation in extra-curricular activities.

SMART Recommendations that must be implemented:
(Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely)
(Assign points to recommendations from 1 to 3 in the order of the most important recommendations to implement.)
1.  Understand the importance of extra-curricular activities in our schools and to value what it does for our student-athletes every day.  The values that are taught in extra-curricular classes only emphasize what is being taught by our core teachers.  They co-exist with each other to make the high school experience relevant and important to the students.
2.  Understanding the value of state testing and how it deals with extra-curricular activities.  Using extra-curricular activities as an avenue to help students develop goals and traits to be successful in the classroom, on tests, and on the field.
3.  Seeing the value of keeping athletic periods in our school day.  Understanding that physical fitness (Annual Fitness Gram) is important for the overall success of our students.  It allows for a break in the day to relieve frustrations for our students.  Also, keeping the current budgets for our extra-curricular activities will ensure fairness and equality for all our students to succeed.

EVALUATE – Specifically and Often
(Identify the best ways to evaluate the implemented recommendations.)
1.  The best way to evaluate is to compare the AYP performance, STAAR testing results, and overall grades at the end of the semester of extra-curricular kids versus non-extra-curricular kids.
2.  T get with the PEIMS clerk and testing coordinator to study and develop data to see if extra-curricular activities has a positive impact on testing.  The AYP of our core subjects will be the data used to help us determine the correlation between those involved and not involved in extra-curricular activities.
3.  Compare with other districts in our area and in the state to determine the amount of time and money spent on extra-curricular activities in our school.  Is it fair and adequate for our students or is it below what other schools are doing for their students.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Steps of My Action Research Plan

Examining the Work: Goals

The setting of my action research project will be Sharyland High School.  We have about three thousand students on our campus and about sixty percent are involved in some sort of extra-curricular activity.  I will study a small fraction of extra-curricular activities by looking at our current football players against the rest of the students who don’t participate in extra-curricular activities.  The reason for choosing this action research project is to look at student improvement and its correlation to extra-curricular activities.  As a coach I am concerned that extra-curricular activities will be taken out of the general curriculum of schools.  Budget expenses for sports and athletic periods are things being targeted by administrators to cut because they don’t see the value of sports when it comes to the new requirements for testing and graduation requirements.  My goal is to show factual data to administrators that will provide evidence that justifies the importance of extra-curricular activities in our school.  It will also show that budgets don’t need to be cut and athletic periods help students learn things that they can use in the classroom.  Extra-Curricular activities teach our students teamwork, organization, time management, fairness, sportsmanship, and many other characteristics that are important on the field and in the classroom.  The final result of this study will show administrators that we need to keep extra-curricular activities, remain consistent on budgets for these activities, and to keep athletic periods in the school for the overall improvement in our students.

Analyzing Data:

1.    I will identify all football athletes in athletic period grades 9-11 (class rosters).

2.     We will look at their STAR Test results in Reading/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and History to compare with students who are involved in extra-curricular activities and those who are not involved.

3.    Compare the graduation rates of students in extra-curricular activities who will be moving on to the next grade versus those who are not involved.

4.    Look at overall grades at the end of the semester and compare those grades with students involved and not involved.

5.    Conduct a survey for administrators/teachers on survey monkey on “How they feel about extra-curricular activities and their role in student performance”.

6.    Conduct a survey for extra-curricular students on survey monkey on “How they feel extra-curricular activities benefit students and their performance in school”.

7.    Conduct a survey for non-extra-curricular students on “How they feel about extra-curricular activities in the school and do they help in overall student performance.

8.    Conduct a survey for all parents and determine what they think about extra-curricular activities in the school setting.

Developing a Deeper Understanding:

Looking at the data may lead to other questions and interpretations of the data. Involvement in extra-curricular activities may also lead to less absence’s, less tardies, improved student behavior, decreased suspensions, more involvement in other activities, and many other things in the school that will lead to overall student improvement.


Engaging in Self Reflection:

I want to be able to show the administration that extra-curricular activities are an important part of every student’s time when they are in school.  Cutting budgets and getting rid of athletic periods is not going to increase student performance in the classroom.  As a former coach and top ten student, I look back and can recall every coach that has influenced my life and molded me into the teacher/coach I am today.  Kids need an outlet during a tough day of taking core classes and extra-curricular activities provide some relief for our students. As stated before sixty percent of our kids at our school are involved in some sort of extra-curricular activity.  It can be in sports, band, drama, UIL, cheerleading and many other activities that make our students well balanced.


Exploring Programmatic Patterns:

The first step is to target which groups we will be comparing in the study.  The first group is the students that are involved in extra-curricular activities particularly football players.  The second group will be the students that are not involved in extra-curricular activities in our school.  The next step would be to get with the counselors and PEIMS clerk to get all the information on grades, testing, and attendance for the students we will be studying.  The final step would be to look at the data and decide how we interpret the data as we compare the two groups in our study.  I would also like to develop a survey for the football players and ask them questions about how they feel extra-curricular activities have helped them not only on the field, but in the classroom.  As a coach I’m concerned that athletic periods will be cut, budgets reduced, and extra-curricular activities phased out in our schools.  With the data studied above I hope to show our administration that extra-curricular activities only increase performance in our schools.  I will also look at the surveys completed by the athletes and put together a chart of how the kids feel about extra-curricular activities.


Determining Direction:

I would like to study the data for about one year to compare the students and their progress on grades and testing.  We will look at the data from the above groups and determine whether student performance increases with the involvement of extra-curricular activities.  I will be conducting the action research plan with the help of my site supervisor, counselors, athletic director, athletic coordinator, PEIMS clerk, and Testing Coordinator throughout my study.  These people will be vital in developing my action research plan and helping study and analyze the data to provide for administration when determining the importance of extra-curricular activities.  The process for monitoring the goals and objectives of my research project will come from the PEIMS data, AYP data, and data from the testing coordinator for the STAR test.  The results from this data will help me understand the correlation between testing scores and grades between extra-curricular students and non-extra-curricular students in our school.  The data obtained and analyzed will provide information for administration that shows the value of extra-curricular activities on our campus and the role it plays in motivating our students to perform better in the classroom.  The survey that we put on survey monkey will also help us with data to show the importance of extra-curricular activities.



The assessment instrument for evaluation of my action research project will be the comparison between extra-curricular kids and non-extra-curricular students on overall performance in the classroom.  The final study will be using overall grades and STAR testing results to see if the outcomes are validated for increased student improvement in extra-curricular activities in our school.


Taking Action for Improvement:

The whole idea of creating an action research plan is look for better ways to study and analyze data for increased student improvement.  In our readings we have talked about how we need to move away from traditional teachings for research and move towards a more active approach to solving the issues that affect our students and curtail learning.  My action research project will show the value of having extra-curricular activities in our school.  Developing an organized plan to inform staff, students, and parents of the goals/objectives of the action research is crucial in keeping these activities in our schools.  Explaining the importance and value of having extra-curricular activities and presenting factual data that states how we monitor and assess the value only shows the importance it has on school improvement.  What is taught in extra-curricular activities far outweighs a monetary value.


Sustaining Improvement:

After all research has been monitored, assessed, and evaluated, a finalized report will be shared with the administration, faculty, parents, and students addressing the issue of keeping extra-curricular activities in our school.  Administration can use the research to show other districts that extra-curricular activities are an important part in student success and improvement.  What they learn during these activities only enhances what they learn in school and is crucial for the total development of a well-rounded student at Sharyland High School.