• Are teachers promoting extracurricular activities to low achieving students?

      Kirsch, Stephen (2014)
      This research investigates teacher support of extracurricular programs to low-achieving students. Students who participate in extracurricular activities generally benefit from the many opportunities offered to them. Benefits of participation in extracurricular activities include better grades, scoring higher on standardized tests, fewer school absences, learning life skills that are not learned in the classroom, and a feeling of connectedness to their school. This study was designed to determine teachers’ perceptions of extracurricular activities and their advantages, as well as how they encourage or discourage these opportunities to low-achieving students. A survey containing both Likert-scale and free response questions was administered to teachers in a rural middle and high school to analyze the aforementioned research questions.
    • Does improvement of multiplication fluency improve fifth graders' overall Math achievement?

      Jackson Jr., Ralph E. (2014)
      New federal common core standards adopted by New York State require students to master rigorous material at earlier grades than previously. It is a concern for teachers that without a strong foundation in math fact fluency students will not be able to master the demands of the new curriculum. A study involving 10 and 11-year-old students, at a rural elementary school district, was conducted to determine how students’ math fact multiplication fluency, for numbers 0-10, affected their overall math achievement. Students’ math achievement was based on pre and post intervention STAR test results. The acronym STAR originally stood for the Standardized Test for the Assessment of Reading, but the Renaissance Learning has since expanded into the area of math. The study combined multiple intervention strategies to re-mediate the students with the lowest scores on STAR and/or multiplication fluency testing. Results of this study indicated that the interventions used were successful and that the students who received these interventions also showed significant growth in their overall math achievement based on STAR test results.
    • Effectiveness of the Chance Jars Game and Mystery Motivators to reduce disruptive behaviors in minority students living in poverty.

      Stephenson, Jillian K. (2015)
      Disruptive behaviors negatively affect the learning environment by taking time away from academic instruction (McKissick, 2012). Studies have indicated that these behaviors are prevalent in high risk schools, characterized by high rates of poverty among their students (Webster-Stratton, Reid, & Stoolmiller, 2008). Furthermore, 56% of students in high-poverty schools with large minority populations reported that disruptive behavior by other students get in the way of their learning (Webster et al., 2008). The current study examined the effectiveness of the “Chance Jars” game and Mystery Motivators on the disruptive behaviors of minority students living in poverty. The study was conducted in a second grade classroom in a small metropolitan school district in Western New York during afternoon mathematics and listening and learning instruction. Results of the study indicated a mean percent change of -2.6% from the first intervention phase to the second of target student disruptive behaviors during mathematics; only one target student showed a decrease of disruptive behaviors from the first intervention phase to the second during listening and learning (-23.66%). The present study was completed with a mean fidelity score of 94.05%.
    • The effects of Mystery Motivators on Homework Completion and Accuracy of a 10th grade Mathematics class.

      Robin, Heather L. (2014)
      Homework is a teaching strategy used in mathematics to promote student mastery of new material through practice. Unfortunately, many students fail to complete homework regularly, accurately, or independently. This study examined the effects of an intervention package consisting sting of dependent and independent group contingencies and mystery motivators on a 10th grade class' homework completion and accuracy rates. Using an A-B-A-B research design, the investigator found that the intervention package produced immediate and noticeable increases in all students’ homework performance. These experimental effects were documented across subsequent experimental phases and anecdotal evidence suggested that the teacher and pupils found the intervention to be fun and helpful in completing math homework. These findings are highly consistent with previous results from the group contingency and mystery motivator literatures. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.
    • Group contingencies and mystery motivators for improving classroom behavior.

      Gard, Jaime N. (31/10/2013)
      Much of the psychological foundations coursework for future and practicing teachers focuses on the psychology of individuals. Yet most teachers instruct groups of students and there are important differences between individual and group psychology. One particularly relevant topic for teachers involves the use of group-oriented contingencies. A group-oriented contingency was defined as, "A contingency in which reinforcement for all members of a group is dependent on the behavior of: (a) a person within the group, (b) a select group of members within the larger group, or ( c) each member of the group meeting a performance criterion (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007; p.696). There are three types of group-oriented contingencies, independent, dependent, and interdependent, and each has differential effects on pupils' academic and behavioral performance. This illustrative literature review examines the relative strengths and limitations of each group-oriented contingency and describes research findings associated with their use with elementary-aged school children. Implications and guidelines for the use of group-oriented contingencies to reduce disruptive classroom behavior are provided.
    • The Impact of Dunkirk High School Technology Education on Overall Student Report Card Grades.

      Wright Jr., Steven R. (2014)
      This study’s focus was to identify whether or not Dunkirk high school technology courses had an impact on overall student report card grades. This research was conducted using the report card grades of roughly 600 students at Dunkirk High School in Dunkirk, NY. The data was collected through access of the schools computer software E-School. The report card scores were grouped into two groups: students who took technology education classes and students who did not take technology education classes. The mean averages of both groups’ report card grades were calculated, and used to determine whether technology courses had an impact on overall student report card scores. The results indicate that students who were enrolled in technology education courses scored higher on their final report card compared to students who were not enrolled in technology classes.
    • Impact of music on student achievement.

      Szentgyorgyi, Emily A. (2015)
      This study compares the impacts of playing classical and pop music as background music on student achievement in reading. The study took place over a period of four weeks in one elementary classroom, and was conducted in an A-B-A-B Single Subject Design. The target population was 17 students in a general education, 5th grade classroom in a public elementary school within a rural school district. The findings suggested that playing pop music improved student scores more than playing classical music did.
    • Mystery motivators and the success of alternative education students

      Peil, James (2014)
      Teachers are always looking for ways to keep their students on task with fun things that keep the students engaged. Often times, these activities will help the students not only stay on task but learn in the process. A problem throughout classrooms in today’s alternative education school ls is how educators can get their students to come to school prepared for the day and ready to learn. In a recent research study involving extrinsic motivation and behavior modification in a rural Western New York alternative education school, the question sought to be answered was "Do mystery motivators improve non-residential high school alternative education students’ ability to attend school with their work done, prepared for the school day without any behavioral issues? s?” The study took place in a 10th grade alternative education global studies classroom. Three of the nine students were used as participants in the collection of data. Due to attendance issues and behavioral problems, the data was not consistent with the literature that had been reviewed prior to the study. The significance of the results of this research study is that it is difficult to find a mystery motivator intervention that can easily be formatted to the individual needs of each student.
    • The relationship between self-concept and academic achievement.

      Alrehaili, Naseebah (2015)
      This study focuses on the relationship between academic achievement and self-concept in students with learning disabilities attending an elementary school in Western Saudi Arabia. It is an attempt to answer the research question, "What is the relationship between self-concept and academic achievement in Saudi girls age 8-10 with learning disabilities?" The previous studies suggest that because of the cognitive challenges that students with learning disabilities have, it is understandable if they have negative academic self-concept. The participants of this study were six elementary students with learning disabilities and a control group of 12 students without learning disabilities. Students' self-concept data was collected using the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale™, Second Edition (TSCS™:2), which measures self-concept in six content domains: Physical, moral, personal, family, social, academic. A measure of students' academic achievement was collected as well by examining students' final school marks. The findings suggest that academic self-concept is affected by learning disability status, but not general self-concept, which is a similar finding with Al Zyoudi (2010) study, and confirms, as Zeleke (2004) pointed out, that general self-concept is less understood as a factor to academic success than academic self-concept is.
    • Rewriting the achievement gap through engagement and discourse analysis.

      Niemi, Kristen Irja (2013-07-09)
      No Author abstract.
    • Using informational text to motivate marginalized male readers.

      Bigelow, Jackelyn (02/11/2012)
      This Master’s Thesis, which resulted in a professional development project, focused on using nonfiction text to motivate marginalized male readers. The project was guided by the following questions: What reasons cause boys to become marginalized? What is the role of informational text in the classroom? In what ways could teachers use informational text to motivate marginalized male readers? Research pertaining to struggling male readers shows many boys experience literacy under achievement in schools, which could be contributed to gender identities, societal norms and expectations, or lack of motivation. Informational text may facilitate engagement in reading and assist in narrowing the reading achievement gap for boys. The professional development project resulted in a workshop consisting of one full day with three follow-up sessions over the course of one month.