• Effective ways to embed the L1 into a Math curriculum to increase the performance of English Language Learners in Math standardized exams.

      Nuñez, Lucy C. (12/11/2013)
      Since No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the goal was to have 100% of all students, including English language learners (ELLs), to meet state standards by 2013-2014. ELLs are expected to progress at the same rate as native English speakers, not taking into account that these students are in the process of learning a new language. ELLs are not given enough time to gain the academic vocabulary needed to pass the NYS standardized tests (Solórzano, 2008). Some teachers would say that ELLs need as much exposure as possible to L2 input during limited class time, which is why some opt out from using the L1 in the classroom (Schweers, 1999). Other teachers are pressured to have students meet the standards and pass the NYS standardized test in order to meet AYP, that they are not incorporating effective strategies into their instruction. Research has shown that students perform better when they are allowed to use their native language in the classroom (Lightbown & Spada, 2006; Pica, 1994). It is beneficial to embed the use of the L1 during class instruction because Ells struggle with the English language and rely on their L1 to communicate and grasp concepts being taught. The purpose of this curriculum project, therefore, was to develop a curriculum where the L1 has been incorporated into math lessons. Doing so may assist in teaching concepts to ELLs more successfully which in turn may help increase the performance of ELLs on the NYS Math exam. This curriculum project was designed for teachers to use with 3rd grade ELLs.
    • The impact of “Clickers” on student achievement in second grade math class.

      Alrouqi, Fawaz (2015)
      This thesis sought to answer the question: Does using personal response systems, or "clickers", improve the achievement of second grade students in addition and subtraction facts as measured by their performance on chapter tests? The research was carried out in a school in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, where participants in the study were second grade students and their math teacher. There were two sections of second grade students with a total of 20 student participants, with ten student participants from each section of the class. The technology was introduced and used during instruction centered on addition and subtraction. Students in both sections were given a pretest and post-test consisting of three questions on subtraction and addition, comprising of single, double and triple digit numbers. The data collection period was during the second half of May 2014. Weekly continuous assessments or diagnostic exercises were also conducted. A survey questionnaire was conducted after the instruction and the use of the clickers in order to examine the students’ experience of using clickers. The responses of the students were collected from the class using the clickers. The test results showed the scores in both classes were similar in post and pretests (26 correct answers), compared to 23 and 24 correct answers without the clickers, thus showing a slight advantage with the use of clickers.
    • Literacy instruction in math classes.

      Near, Shannon M. (2014)
      This thesis capstone project is a research synthesis to address the question of which literacy instructional practices, when applied to mathematics teaching, produce positive math performance results for elementary students? For this exhaustive literature review, 36 published studies were found that addressed the question. These studies were grouped into four categories: the relationship of reading performance to math performance, the relationship of comprehension of reading and the comprehension of math problems, vocabulary instruction in reading and mathematics, and specialized instruction in reading and mathematics. Synthesis of the findings produced a number of results: first is that this problem of the relationship between literacy and math has been around and been researched for decades and in many countries besides the United States, with the main focus being on students in grades three to six. A major result from this study is that there appears to be a direct correlation between reading performance and math performance but not math to reading: proficient reading performance translates to proficient math performance, but proficient math performance does not appear to directly correlate to proficient reading performance. The two subcategories of reading performance that appear to most significantly impact math performance are comprehension and vocabulary development, while the instructional strategies of conducting think-alouds, providing direct instruction, modeling, and using graphic organizers appear to have a positive impact on both literacy and mathematics learning. These results are packaged for the professional development of elementary teachers in the form of a DVD.
    • Response Cards.

      Hubert, Heidi L. (2014)
      On task behavior, assessment scores and students participation levels were examined in this project. 20, 2nd grade students, 16 Female, 4 male, 18 of which were Caucasians, and 2 were African Americans students were used for this study. Response cards were used during mathematic lessons on time for 10 days, using an A – B - A – B system. An observation checklist, frequent assessments and a student survey was used to collect data. Overall, the students on task behaviors, assessment scores and students participation levels increased because they enjoyed using response cards and found them helpful.
    • Retangular fraction models.

      Kibler, Rachael H. (2015)
      The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore how implementation of a new, researcher-developed simple improvised manipulative (SIM) impacted 5th graders in an urban, Common Core-aligned classroom. The Rectangular Fraction Model, a SIM created with two overlapping pieces of transparent plastic, was tested through performance of this experiment. This research sought to answer the following two central questions: How does implementation of a SIM, the Rectangular Fraction Model, impact 5th grade students’ math achievement in a mathematics class at an urban Chautauqua County elementary school in Western New York? How does use of a concrete representation affect students’ conceptual understanding of abstract material as taught through the Common-Core aligned EngageNY curriculum? The researcher was interested in two areas of possible impact on student learning; student achievement measured by a formal assessment and student understanding of abstract materials evaluated through use of an interview and questionnaire. Twelve students participated in the study; they were placed in heterogeneous control and experimental groups. The results indicate that although students in the experimental group scored better on the post test and appeared to have a better understanding of the concept taught, the difference between the control and the experimental group was not statistically significant. Thus, the use of SIM is not more effective than the traditional teaching approach. However, student responses indicate an interest in using this type of intervention material, and further research should be conducted on the impact of SIM in the mathematics classroom.
    • The use of concrete manipulatives in third grade special education and student achievement.

      Corsi, Laura (2014)
      This action research project was designed to examine the effects of student achievement using concrete manipulatives versus traditional lecture style teaching in mathematics education. A fraction tile set of manipulatives was used to study individual’s achievement of mathematical understanding. While substantial evidence exists to support the empirical foundations of this approach, very little, if any, systematic research has been conducted on its impact on student earning. This project, therefore, examined the effects of concrete manipulatives on the acquisition and retention of new knowledge by 5 third grade special education students. The effects of concrete manipulatives were compared to a more traditional didactic teaching approach. Results suggested that concrete manipulatives were more effective than that of the traditional lecture style. Students were compared to themselves in terms of scores, mean and percent change. An identical paper and pencil pretest and post test was given before and after both interventions. The findings showed that all students improved from the baseline data to the post test scores. Students' mathematical achievement was positively impacted when students used concrete manipulatives during the equivalent fraction unit.
    • The use of virtual manipulatives in fourth grade to improve mathematic performance.

      Morris, Jaimie (28/02/2014)
      Virtual manipulatives are mathematical tools recommended by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), which are underutilized within elementary schools. This study investigated the impact of virtual manipulatives on fourth-grade students’ mathematic performance. Students in one general education math class were randomly assigned to either a treatment group or one of two control groups. Together the three groups were comprised of twelve fourth-grade students who were taught by the same math teacher. The treatment and both control groups studied adding and subtracting three to six digit whole numbers. The treatment group used virtual manipulatives to practice the concepts from the lesson, while one control group used concrete manipulatives and the other control group used paper and pencil worksheets to practice the concepts. An identical paper and pencil pre-test was given prior to instruction to all groups as well as an identical paper and pencil post-test after the unit of adding and subtracting whole numbers. The findings showed that all three groups scores improved between the pre-test and post-tests. However, there was a significant improvement with the students who participated in the virtual manipulative group. Students’ mathematical performance was positively impacted when students used virtual manipulatives during the adding and subtracting whole numbers math unit.