• Developing Comprehension in Upper Elementary Students.

      Britt, Amber M. (18/10/2012)
      The purpose of this Master’s Thesis (Project), which resulted in a Professional Development Project, was to explore effective comprehension strategies and their effectiveness on improving students’ understanding. The comprehension strategies that were explored in the project included rereading , generating questions, reciprocal teaching, and paraphrasing. The project also explored the literacy approaches Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) and Scaffold Silent Reading (ScSR). The professional development project contained a one day workshop on effective comprehension strategies. With the goal of having teachers who participated being able to implement the strategies with their students creating critical readers and thinkers.
    • Effective intervention programs and their impact on children in poverty.

      Rokitka, Justin R. (19/11/2012)
      The purpose of this master’s project was to investigate the growing problems of illiteracy in the United States, how it relates to poverty, and both literacy intervention programs and frameworks that may have a positive effect on those students who struggle. The first stage of this investigation involved research into the issue of illiteracy in the United States and its connection to poverty. Research articles were collected on the topics of illiteracy, poverty, and effective literacy programs and frameworks through the use of database searches. The second stage of this investigation was to analyze the relevant research articles discovered and identify which literacy programs and frameworks would have a positive effect on students struggling with illiteracy. The third and final stage of this investigation developed a professional development experience that would most efficiently teach these programs and framework to professionals who may use the information to improve their student’s literacy abilities. The findings of this investigation indicated that illiteracy and poverty are correlating educational issues, that READ 180, the 4 R’s program, and the RTI framework are possible ways to improve student’s literacy abilities, and that professional development experiences may improve teacher’s ability to utilize these programs and framework to benefit their students.
    • Effective professional development for literacy coaches.

      Beebe, Matthew (2014)
      This thesis examines aspects of professional development that a literacy coach might focus on in order to provide a positive impact on professional literacy practice of classroom teachers. An extensive literature review was conducted to determine an answer. The selected studies sort into four categories: high quality professional development for educators, specific types and methods of delivery of professional development, delivery of professional findings from the high quality category indicate high quality professional development appears to be that which matches school district goals, is relevant to the participants, and consists of active participation and collaboration. From the types and delivery methods category, findings are that beneficial delivery methods are those that model for participants the strategies being taught and provide a large amount of time for follow-up support. Specifically for professional development in technology, a hands-on use delivery method appears to be effective, while peer coaching with observations appears to be an effective delivery method for professional development generally. Findings from the delivery of professional development through technology category indicate that online professional development through message boards appears to be a more comfortable way for some professionals to learn; however, other professionals prefer a more focused and moderated forum for their online professional development. Findings from the category of literacy coaching as a form of professional development reveal that literacy coaches seem to be most effective at changing teacher practice when they demonstrate and model how to use a strategy, when they discuss assessments and assessment results with the educators, when they provide feedback after observations, and generally when they have a good rapport with the teachers.
    • Professional development for elementary teachers use of group contingencies for behavior management.

      Addison, Danelle (27/10/2012)
      Behavior management in the classroom is an important aspect and pressing issue for teachers. When children are disruptive in the classroom, it is not only a problem for their peers and teacher, but it is the disruptive child who is affected the most, academically and socially. Due to increasing behavior problems in the classroom, teachers need to be better at management [even]. This paper looks at three different types of group-oriented contingencies which are known as independent group-oriented contingencies, dependent group-oriented contingencies and interdependent group-oriented contingencies. There has been much research conducted on group contingencies with the use of randomized reinforcers aimed at decreasing inappropriate behaviors. Of these group-oriented contingency interventions, interdependent group contingencies were found to be utilized more in a classroom environment. This project presents a review of the literature on the use of randomized reinforcers, also referred to mystery motivators in this paper, with the group contingencies and their effectiveness. These interventions have been proven to be practical, efficient and economical to use for teachers addressing a target behavior. The focus of this project is a professional development plan for teachers interested in using group contingencies with randomized reinforcers in their classrooms.
    • Professional development plan for cooperative teaching.

      Bestine, Lauren L. (31/10/2013)
      Many schools have been faced with the challenge of meeting the needs of its diverse learners. Many districts have turned to co-teaching as the answer to the question of how to meet the needs of all students. The review of the literature follows the history of special education from self-contained all the way to inclusion, touching on the laws that have been passed to help assure that each student is guaranteed access to the least restrictive environment possible. Co-teaching is shown as an effective approach to meet the needs of the students. Five approaches have been thoroughly explained and then a full and complete professional development program has been designed to be implemented in a rural school district in western New York.
    • Supporting the complex needs of new Puerto Rican Students by designing a professional development curriculum for teachers in Buffalo, New York.

      Knapp, Sara A. (2014)
      In the past two decades, increased immigration to the United States can be observed everywhere: our society’s racial, cultural, ethnic, religious, and social populations have diversified and minority groups have become more of a presence around the country. There are many new faces and languages in our country and the term newcomer is used to define many of the people included in this demographic revolution. In schools, newcomer students often require assistance with English acquisition, social adjustment, and overall acculturation assistance. In response to the increased newcomer population in schools, scholars began to investigate pedagogical approaches and effective teaching methods for these students. More specific and localized than newcomers is the presence of new Puerto Rican students (NPR students), especially in Buffalo, New York, where this curriculum project takes place. Similar to newcomers, NPR students need additional support in schools in order to fully access the curriculum and school community but the teachers who welcome new Puerto Rican students are often unaware of their students’ backgrounds and individual needs. This Master’s Project was designed as a professional development curriculum for teachers in Buffalo, New York in order to provide them with methods and strategies that can enhance and improve their instruction and experiences with NPR students.