Week 3 Reflection

1.) What new resources, curated resources, or ideas did you share this week?

 Many of the ideas I shared this week were as a result of my own research. This week I learned it is extremely important for my success in this class to thoroughly read through the course requirements for the week. At first I thought I had a clear idea of what I needed to do and instead found myself in a crunch to get things done. I learned from reading other’s blogs that I was not the only one in this predicament.

2.) What did I intend these new resources, curated resources or ideas in terms of impacting other’s learning? 

My intentions this week were really to share the positive impact literacy books have had on my math classes and to get ideas from other’s who have had the sane experience. 

3.) What was the actual impact?

I found, as I was in panic mode to get things done, I started to form my research question. How do the use if literacy books impact the mathematical learning of students in my classroom? I also got a lit of positive feedback from my peers about this research topic. Most importantly I am feeling confident with my ability to successfully complete this project now that I have finally come up with research question. This week I felt like most of the collaboration helped me and I did little to help others. I made good use out of the Google scholar suggestion and saved myself some time while I researched.

4.) What would I do differently next week?

I will definitely read the specified requirements better on the course homepage. I found myself confused in the tweet session because I was uncertain of what was unexpected. This week I really learned from other’s. 

5.) What resources did other’s share that made a difference in my learning? 

I don’t know why I never knew about Google scholar before the tweet session, because this tool was amazing to help filter out articles I didn’t need. This week I really springboarded off other’s to get my work done. I am grateful for such intellectual peers. And appreciate the continued blog comments from Brandi and others.

Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography: Literature Books in Mathematics

 

Burns, M. (2005). 3 lessons by Marilyn Burns: using storybooks to teach math. Instructor, 114(7), 27-30.

 

Marilyn Burns article explains how storybooks can be used to teach mathematics using her 3 favorite classroom read alouds: Quack and Count by Keith Baker, Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni, and Night Noises by Mem Fox.  She states that children’s books are a great way to trigger children’s interest and are a great math-teaching tool (pg. 27).  Furthermore, the connection of literature and math helps to ease the anxiety of “math-wary” students and vise versa those who love the abstraction of math learn to develop a liking for literature. In this article, Burns gives a breakdown of how math can be taught with literacy books and mathematics materials.  Burns shows how you can connect basic math skills with literacy integrations. It is an excellent read for teachers who are just learning how to integrate literacy into the mathematics curriculum and provides rich mathematics examples.

 

Cotti, R., & Schiro, M. (2004). Connecting teacher beliefs to the use of children’s literature in the teaching of mathematics. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 7(4), 329-356.

 

This article provides models and illustrations of how teachers can use literature books in mathematics. The study investigates two research questions, “Can an instructional tool be developed that will highlight for teachers the different ways in which they and others use children’s literature to teach mathematics?” and “Can that instructional tool stimulate teacher discussion and reflection about their own beliefs?” (pg.329) The results of the study were favorable.

 

 

Hong, H. (1996). Effects of mathematics learning through children’s literature on math achievement and dispositional outcomes. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 4(11), 477-494.

 

This study examined the effectiveness of using children’s literature to foster mathematics learning. In which 57 kindergarten students, from two child-centered and play oriented classrooms, were randomly selected for either a control or experimental group. The experimental group received storybooks with a mathematical lesson and played with mathematical materials that related to the storybook. The control group had a storybook that did not relate to any mathematical ideas and were given mathematical materials that did not relate to the book.  The Learning Readiness Test and Early Mathematics Achievement Test were given and the results showed the experimental group did significantly better. The students were given 4 optional tasks and those in the experimental group favored the math tasks. Those in the experimental group did better in classification, number combination, and shape tasks. There was also a difference in the qualitative observance between the groups favoring literacy and math integration. 

 

Mink, D., & Fraser, B. (2005). Evaluation of a K-5 mathematics program which integrates children’s literature: classroom environment and attitudes. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 3, 59-85.

 

 

This article outlines and explains a one-year study that consisted of 120 students who participated in Project SMILE (Science and Mathematics Integrated with Literacy Experiences).  The overall goal of the study was to see how integrating literacy books positively affected reading, writing, and mathematics skills. The first step of the project was to get teachers using the strategies of SMILE in the classroom. In this study the researchers found their research support previous studies that had successfully combined qualitative and quantitative data. The qualitative data in this research found that literacy books had a positive impact on students’ attitudes towards mathematics and reading.

 

Moyer, P. (2000). Communicating mathematically: children’s literature as a natural connection. The Reading Teacher, 54(3), 246-255.

 

Moyer illustrates how she successfully integrated mathematics into her literacy lessons and offers suggestions on how to integrate literacy books. She points out that mathematical concepts naturally arise in children’s books and are usually never a focal point of teachers. This article stressed the importance of children’s literature books as a platform for problem solving, exploring real-world concepts, and investigating patterns (pg.246).  The overall purpose of the article is to show the ways in which children’s literature promotes mathematical communication. An annotated list of children’s books to teach mathematics is provided (pg.251).

 

Ruiz, E., Thornton, J., & Cuero, K. (2010). Integrating literature in mathematics: a

teaching technique for mathematics teacher. School Science and Mathematics, 110(5), 235-237.

 

This research investigation discusses the benefits of integrating literature into mathematics. Literature books that are integrated into the mathematics curriculum allow for natural repetition and contextualized scaffolding of key vocabulary that foster critical thinking.  The authors point out how important literacy integration is and a mathematics teacher who does this recognizes that mathematics involves both reading and writing. They also state that the integration of literacy is promoted but often presented as “tools for learning and understanding mathematics.” The article references a successful project originally called Creating Independence Through Student Owned Strategies (CRISS) and later called Science and Mathematics Integrated with Literacy Experiences (SMILE) that aimed to create deep learning of mathematical concepts through the use of reading, writing, and listening.  The authors state that project SMILE and CRISS improved students’ interest and confidence in math (p.235).  This article points out the many benefits of cross-content integration and the lack of integration because subjects are usually taught in isolation as a result of teacher training.

 

Shatzer, J. (2008). Picture book power: connecting children’s literature and mathematics. The Reading Teacher, 61(8), 649-653.

 

In this article the author outlines how she successfully used picture books to teach math concepts.  Providing picture books as a means of teaching mathematics allows for a natural connection. She strengthens her claim by siting Whiten and Wilde (1992, 1995) claim that literature motivates students to learn and provides a meaningful context for math (pg.649).  She stresses the importance of making a literature and math connection through picture books with the rising standards. In the new era of standards teachers are encouraged to make interdisciplinary connections and picture books are a way to do this.  This article provides a list of children’s literature with specific math content. The claims made in this article are supported by various research finds.   

 

Thatcher, D. (2001). Reading in math class: selecting and using picture books for math investigations. young children, July, 20-21.

 

This article was a basic overview on how  to select picture books for math class and offered suggestions on how to effectively use them. The four suggestions in selecting a book are: is it a book you would read in general, does it spark interest, can students make personal connections, and are the connections natural (pg.20-21).  In each step of choosing a book the author provides examples to illustrate the points.

 

Ward, R. (2005). Using children’s literature to inspire K-8 preservice teachers’ future mathematics pedagogy. The Reading Teacher, 59(2), 132-143.

 

This article focused on the inclusion of literacy books in mathematics. The author highlights how literacy instruction is fundamental in mathematics learning and thus there is a natural connection made when using literacy books.   Furthermore, literacy books can be used as a real world connection to mathematics, social studies, and science. This article was in favor of integrating literacy books into the mathematics curriculum because doing so holds much promise.  The author provided examples of how you can use literacy books within the classroom. The article also provides favorable responses of children who preferred this style of teaching.

WEEK 2 Reflection

Week 2 Reflection

 

This week was definitely another learning experience in terms of online learning. I am finding I really like the online learning experience. It is proving to be very beneficial to me, as a teacher, to learn from other teachers who have experienced some of the same and different challenges.

 

The most beneficial factor this week for me that occurred during collaborating with other on our Blog site was narrowing down my research topic. I am still not sure I am on the right track but ideas from tweeting and other’s blog helped me to decide on what might be helpful to me. I have always believed in spelling but I know this has been a debatable topic among colleagues over the years.  I would like to show a positive correlation with spelling practice at school and at home increasing literacy skills.

 

I am hoping to push for more spelling practice and reading logs to promote student performance in reading and spelling. Currently, my students have had minimal homework specifically in reading and spelling that are targeted skills. I am thinking targeted practice with parents’ signature might increase performance. To help ensure work gets done I might have a reinforcement chart that includes homework so students will be motivated to get homework done. I would love to see increased spelling scores.  Would it be possible to slowly add in practice to see a shift in spelling scores? 

 

I was thinking this would be a great activity to press for as homework as I have learned from this class and some training at the beginning of the year that common core is going to require a significant amount of time in teaching strategies. I am firm believer in reading more informational text. In the past, I have found that the informational books provided by the district have been challenging. I really believe that the challenge students and teachers faced was due to teachers never really continuing to teach literacy skills throughout all subjects. The new reform in education is definitely something I believe needs to happen and is well worth the time it takes to align teaching to the new standards.

 

#1.) Resources/Ideas Shared

#2.) Impact of Sharing with others

 

  • I realized I had the book by Wong, The First Days of School.  It is a resource I should utilize more and share with other new teachers. I tend to put things away after a few years and use new materials. Although older, it is something I might want to put out where it can readily accessible.
  • I spent most of my twitter meeting on Tuesday trying to figure out how the technology works. I am able to follow along on twubs but I am not sure if others are getting my feed because no one is responding to me.
  • Tweeting on twubs was definitely challenging and I plan on setting up tweetdeck for future meetings. I loved how so many conversations could be going on at once.
  • I thought of some research ideas for myself that would be manageable during the 8 weeks.  I got these ideas from other students.

 

#3.) Research Question

 

  • I would like to research the impact spelling practice has on students in the classroom. I need to fine tune it, yet. I am thinking about adding in a short 20 minute homework assignment 4 days a week before the test. Currently, all the spelling work is done in the classroom and students are not motivated to do well on the test.

 

 

Shifts in Standards Create a Change in My Classroom.

 

The goal of the new common core reform appears to be pushing for teachers to provide instruction that produces students who are twenty-first century work ready. This is no doubt a reasonable and necessary goal of education, and the idea behind the reform coincides with my overall goal to create students who can live successfully as adults. Fortunately, the new reform in education encourages and promotes successful adults in the work force.

 

I believe most teachers would agree that literacy lies at the heart of reaching these new educational reforms. Literacy education is also a concern because according to Susan R. Goldman (2012), “one-third of U.S. students do not achieve basic levels of reading competency by fourth grade (p.90).” This statement really hit home with me, because I am currently a fourth grade teacher. Wow! I have entrusted in my care, during a very important transitional year for students, literacy needs that change from learning to read to reading to learn (Goldman, p.91).  Thus, it is critical as a teacher I am familiar with how to teacher reading to learn so that I am meeting the new standards of education.

 

Knowing that I have such a critical year for students becomes an overwhelming thought. The dilemma becomes how do I change my teaching so that I can meet the raising literacy bar of common core. Goldman (2012) points out that although bar is raising teacher training and readiness to meet this bar is lacking (p.91). Therefore, it is basically change your way of teaching or don’t meet educational reform.

 

However, past practices and lack of training for teachers are not helping to ensure students are meeting the new reform in education. I agree because it is so easy to tell yourself that what you are doing has been right and even easier to say you just don’t have the time to learn a new system. Yet, we know we must do something different in order to meet the new reform. Yet, only a small about of research has been conducted on how to address the literacy challenges due to the reform (Goldman p.90). So the challenge of meeting the common core reform becomes how do we do it so that the transition is smooth and easy. The answer lies in applying research based teaching strategies that will promote students who can perform at the new standards.

 

Research has proven that literacy education goes beyond the literacy period traditional held in the classroom. Goldberg (2012) reviewed three researched based methods to teaching literacy and argues that literacy should be taught in all disciplines. More recently, I have had common core training and have discovered the new approach to reaching all literacy strands is to incorporate literacy instruction in all content. However, even with this knowledge, I think as educators we struggle with teaching content and literacy concepts.

 

I really think the missing part of this educational reform is teacher preparedness.

 

References:

Goldman, S. (2012). Adolscent Literacy: Learning and Understanding Content. Future of Children, 22(2), 89-116.

Week 1 Reflection

Wow–After beginning to figure out all the new technologies I am feeling more comfortable with this class.  I look forward to the upcoming weeks were I can focus on the content rather than learning the tools.

With that being said, I really enjoyed reading others post. It also confirmed some of my thoughts in regards to classroom research and helped to clarify what it is.  I came to the realization that classroom research is a tool that should be used to improve my teaching. It is what we should be doing as educator. And it is not is as daunting as it sounds.

Classroom research is something that we should be doing to become effective intentional teachers. We can do this by collecting, reviewing, and sharing data with colleagues. I really liked how others pointed out the need to collaborate with conducting classroom research. I couldn’t agree more with the importance of collaboration.

Classroom Research

What is Classroom Research?

How is one truly able to know when something is research-based? Especially when it takes time to research whether or not the research is valid.  Thus, it is not undoubtedly surprising that the term “research” is misused or misunderstood (Duke, Martin, and Akers, 2013). I found myself more recently in a situation where another teacher would continually use the catch phrase, “research shows.”  Or at least I liked to think about it as misuse because I felt like it was done in order for her to get what she wanted.  However, she is not the only one using this term, as it is being everywhere.

With that being said, how do we know as educators what classroom research is so that we can use it to help with teaching practices? It is very helpful to be able to recognize what classroom research is and is NOT.

I have found that sometimes we become so comfortable in our ways it is easy to accept things as the best way rather then go with what research is saying will improve learning. “A practice may be so widespread that it has been accepted as conventional wisdom (Duke, Martin, & Akers, 2013 p.8).” For instance, in the past we have taught literacy with more narrative text and presently current reform is pushing for more expository text.  I am currently, working with others on ways to make sure that more expository text is being taught in the classroom.  It hasn’t been an easy change because all of our teaching and materials have been primarily narrative text.

In order to make sure we, as educators, are on the track we need to make sure we are actively taking part in classroom research. Classroom research allows us to be at the top of our game if done correctly. As an educator, I always find myself reflecting on how to facilitate better learning whether that is coming up with new methods of teaching or behavior management systems.  I have learned that by using Classroom research effectively, I can save myself time by developing a question based on my need as an educator that can be addressed through a systematic collection and analysis of data (Duke, Martin, & Akers, 2013 p.10).”

Because research is being continually conducted we, as educators, need to be continually researching to improve our practices especially with the current reform agenda (Kiss & Townsend, 2012). If we choose not to be up-to-date with current research will get left behind and not at the top of our game. Classroom research will promote teachers who are the most effective with the current reforms.

References

Duke, N. K., Martin, N. M., & Akers, A. T. T. (2013). 10 things every literacy educator and school librarian should know about research. Teacher Librarian, 40(4), 8 – 22.

Kiss, K., & Townsend, J. (2012). Teacher Inquiry:Form Knowledge to KNowledges. Teacher Education, 21(2), 23-42.