• U.S.history curriculum adapted for English language learner through flipped learning

      McCarthy, Daniel (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2017-12)
      The purpose of this project was to provide educators an alternative method to the traditional method of teaching content courses. Many areas of content are taught through the instructional method of lecture style where students are passive learner instead of active learners. This curriculum project was to address the change to active learning and the need to improve content course learning for English Language Learners (ELLs). As technology becomes a vital part of the classroom, teachers are in need to find effective ways to implement it. One effective way that would improve content learning education for ELLs is through the flipped learning or flipped classroom. Research has shown that flipped classrooms can impact student achievement, student learning outcome, student motivation, and teacher preparation. Flipping the classroom allows for educators to change the environment of the classroom to become more interactive and also suit each individual needs more. This curriculum project created videos and material for flipped classroom on the American Colonies unit, is to provide an active learning environment for teachers to use towards developing their flipped classroom. [from author's abstract]
    • Under the microscope

      Harper, Tyrus (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016)
      During the past two decades, an alarming trend has emerged in American education. Students in the United States are consistently plummeting in the global standings on international standardized assessments. Research suggests that scores on one such assessment, the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment), especially illustrate that students in the United States are continually falling behind those in other nations. Globalization and its relationship with instruction in the United States have also proven to be an important inquiry in regard to attempting to understand the current national education landscape. [from author's abstract]
    • Unveiling words within a picture

      Wells, Lea (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2017-05)
      The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for New York State include a set of standards for Reading Informational texts (RI). RI Standard #7 details the requirements for students from preKindergarten to grade 6 related to the reading of expository texts and their visuals. Moving from requiring an understanding of the relationship of pictures to words to the contribution of pictures to a topic requires some visual literacy skills. This capstone project has explored the question of the role of visual literacy when reading pictures in an expository text, and how educators might tap into this role to assist struggling readers. The most appropriate way to answer this question was with a research synthesis. The exhaustive literature review and subsequent synthesis for this study produced three findings. The first is that the role of visual literacy and the reading of graphics changes as grade levels increase, from connecting to a reader's interest and attention in the preKindergarten to grade 1 levels, to inspiring mental imagery or drawing that increases topic comprehension by the grade 10 level, to providing accurate and detailed information in addition to that provided by the words at the collegiate level. The second finding is that students at all grade ranges appear to benefit from direct instruction on reading comprehension strategies that specifically address reading the visuals in an expository text, and the third finding is that direct instruction and implementation of research based reading strategies increase students' comprehension of expository text structure including visuals. [from abstract]
    • 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 incentives for motivating students to read.

      West, Trina M. (2014)
      Motivating students to read seems to be a near universal problem for teachers. To address that problem, the question for this research synthesis is, what does research say about the relationship between reading incentives and a student’s motivation to read? Results of this synthesis indicate that research into motivation and incentives, both generally and for reading, focuses mainly on students in the elementary school age range. For the effects of incentives in general, findings indicate that while tangible extrinsic rewards are used by teachers and schools, the greater impact on motivation and academic performance comes from teacher verbal encouragement and activity selection, and student interests and intrinsic motivation. For the effects of incentives specifically for reading motivation, findings indicate that these effects are similar to effects of incentives generally: that tangible extrinsic rewards are used by teachers and schools but appear to have little impact on student motivation to read, and that the greater impact on reading motivation and academic performance can come from certain types of reading instruction, student access to books, and student intrinsic motivation. These findings are relevant to the professional development of elementary teachers and will therefore be disseminated to them through a professional development video.
    • The Use of Musical and Visual Interventions for Transitions in Children with Autism.

      McGarry, Erin M. (2013-10-24)
      The purpose of this descriptive survey study was to describe teachers' and therapists' reported use and perceptions of musical and visual transition interventions they use to help children with autism at an early childhood special education program. The perceived effectiveness was defined as the educational support team's perceptions of the effects musical interventions and visual interventions have on transition behaviors. Participants (N=19) were certified special education teachers and therapists who were employed by the early childhood program. An online survey consisting of 16 questions was sent electronically to participants via the employee email system. The survey questions consisted of five sections based on demographic information and the following research questions: 1) How often do teachers and therapists report using music interventions, visual interventions, or a combination of musical and visual interventions to aide children who have autism? 2) Which intervention is perceived to be the most effective? 3) What is the perceived effectiveness of musical interventions, visual interventions, and a combination of musical and visual interventions on social and communicative responsiveness in children with autism? and 4)What strategies do teachers and therapist use when selecting a transition intervention (musical, visual, or a combination of musical and visual) for children who have autism? Data from this survey was also analyzed for variation in perceptions based on professional background. The results showed participants used more musical interventions than visual interventions or a combination of musical and visual interventions, with 50% (n=9) stating they almost always used music when addressing transition behaviors. The results of this study also indicated a combination of musical and visual interventions was perceived as the most effective transition intervention by the teachers and therapists at this early childhood program, as almost all of the participants (n=18, 85.74%) chose this method as the most effective. Nine of these participants reported the musical component should be emphasized when combining musical and visual interventions, while the other nine reported the visual component should be emphasized. In regards to promoting social responsiveness and communication in children with autism, an overwhelming majority of the teachers and therapists in this study (17 out of 19 participants for the social responsiveness category, and 18 out of 19 participants for the communication category) reported a combination of musical and visual interventions was the most effective method for promoting these two key areas of need. When using this combined intervention approach, the musical component was reported as the most important modality in promoting social responsiveness (52.63%, n=l 0), while the visual component was reported as the most important modality in promoting communication (52.63%, n=IO). The results of this study also suggested that the individual needs and preferences of the child were a major factor professionals consider when selecting a transition intervention, as all of the participants in the study (n=19) reported this as a factor. It is the researcher's hope that these results may be used to inform our understanding of which interventions are perceived to be the most effective for children with autism. This study, along with future research, may help to improve transitional performance for children with autism. Keywords and themes for this study include "autism," "music therapy," and "transitions."
    • The use of student written web logs in ESL classes to improve composition.

      Reimer, Kyle A. (28/02/2014)
      With an increasing amount of technology being incorporated into teachers’ lessons, there is need for research to be done so teachers can include technology in a way that most benefits students. Previous research has found that, in the university setting, implementing student written web logs into ESL writing instruction and practice has shown improvement in the quality of student composition. The present study took place over six weeks, and included five intermediate level English language learners in a middle school setting. After receiving lecture-based instruction from the classroom teacher, each participant completed a writing assignment. The experiment group completed five assignments using a web log created on EDUblogs.org for this study while the control group completed five writing assignments using a word processor or pen and paper. Each assignment was scored using an ESL composition profile by the classroom teacher. The results showed that the participants in the control group showed the most improvement in their writing scores.
    • Use of tablets with Saudi girls, ages 5-7 to improve reading skills

      Bin saran, Ohud (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016)
      Reading is a fundamental literacy skill that must be taught to children at early ages for them to master. The integration of technology in reading skills helps to make the learning process easier and fun. Tablets have the ability to enhance the literacy skills of young children. This study was designed to answer the following research question : Does the use of tablets with Saudi girls, ages 5-7 improve reading skills? A review of the literature on the use of tablets and and e-books as educational tools is included as a foundation to this study. Also, literature on specific reading skills and the first grade reading level is included. The study was conducted in summer 2015 in Saudi Arabia. The participants of this study were 12 female students in the first grade at three public primary schools. The students were divided into two groups consisting of six students. For the first group, the experimental group, each student used a tablet with downloaded educational applications. Lessons on the same letters and sounds were given to the second group, the control group, by the traditional way of education. The study investigated if the use of tablets with children learning to read improved their literacy skills through a comparison of pre and post intervention reading comprehension tests. The results of this study showed that the use of tablets with students helped to improve reading skills for the students. Also, the use of tablets with students is a helpful way to encourage an increase in students' reading and learning. [from author's abstract]
    • 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.
    • Using a modified cultural relevance rubric to assess and implement culturally relevant texts in content area classrooms for ELLs.

      Hanzlian, Courtney G. (12/11/2013)
      Texts provided and utilized in many schools and classrooms are not always the most appropriate, relevant, or engaging for English language learners (ELLs) because ELLs’ backgrounds and schemata usually differ from those of their non-ELL counterparts (Ebe, 2010, 2011, 2012; Freeman, Freeman, & Freeman, 2003; Freeman & Freeman, 2004). ELLs who read culturally relevant texts (CRTs) are more likely to show an increase in reading comprehension scores (Ebe, 2010, 2011, 2012) and CRTs can lead to an increase in reading engagement (Freeman, Freeman, & Freeman, 2003). CRTs can be used in all content areas to enrich the learning of students. However, it can be difficult and time consuming to find CRTs that correlate with the curriculum topics and some teachers may not know how to determine if a text is culturally relevant. Therefore, this curriculum project focuses on identifying and utilizing both expository and literature CRTs across the content areas. Using these types of text in inclusive classrooms with non-ELLs and ELLs can help enrich all students by providing multiple viewpoints of an event and encouraging the use of critical thinking skills and questioning (Gay, 2010). This project was designed as a tool for both mainstream and ESL teachers. Included in the project are a variety of CRTs and lessons for each of the content areas. These CRTs address ELLs’ language/ethnic heritage backgrounds including Spanish, Russian, Arabic, and Chinese. The project is limited to secondary teachers that have students from these selected backgrounds in their classes.
    • Using African American Vernacular English and Hip Hop Nation language to teach standard American English.

      Ticco, Julie E. (2015)
      In American schools, teachers frequently enforce Standard American English (SAE) without teaching students about the nonstandard dialects they may speak, such as African American Vernacular English (AAVE) or Hip Hop Nation Language (HHNL) (Alim, 2007; Wheeler, 2010). This only makes students more protective over their linguistic identity and less willing to learn SAE (Alim, 2007). Thus, defending and valuing all students’ dialects should be a priority for a teacher in order to preserve their students’ linguistic identities. The opportunity to provide students with a bidialectal environment is present, but when schools focus on SAE, very few curricula on non-standard dialects are created or used (Alim, 2007; Kelly, 2013; Messier, 2012; Godley & Escher, 2012). In addition, there is also a lack of resources that address students and English Language Learners (ELLs) in a bidialectal environment. Without these resources, even well-intentioned teachers cannot properly execute an ideal bidialectal classroom. This project was created to solve these issues by providing a resource for teachers of AAVE and HHNL speakers. This project’s curriculum will specifically help students in two ways: they will better understand AAVE and SAE features and when to use each dialect, and they will hold onto their linguistic and cultural identities. This curriculum will also be unique in that it will also address the needs of ELLs who may be in environments where, while they are learning the English language, they are also learning local dialects (e.g., AAVE). The fifty lesson plan curriculum addresses 10th grade English Language Arts, Music, and Social Studies standards.
    • Using cooperative learning strategies to increase students' participation and positive learning outcomes

      Aldosari, Abdulmajeed (2016-05)
      There is a need for high-quality education in Saudi Arabia for the next generation to equip them for facing the challenges of the developed world, and traditional learning techniques are unable to perform well. One of the most powerful ways to increase student participation in class is through the creation of a cooperative learning environment. Research into the general effectiveness of cooperative learning techniques suggests that cooperative learning is superior to traditional learning in terms of academic achievement. Many schools in the United States and other developed countries are effectively implementing cooperative learning techniques to increase students’ classroom participation and positive learning outcomes. This study was conducted during the summer of 2015 in Saudi Arabia. The participants of this study were 24 students in the fifth-grade. The research was at a school in Sulail City of the Riyadh. The selected model consisted of pre-test and post-test activities. A quantitative approach was used in this study to gather empirical evidence on the effectiveness of cooperative learning strategies in math class. The students were divided into two groups, the experimental group and the control group. Each student's participation was analyzed individually. All students were tested by the same pre-test and post-test. According to the results, there was an increase in the student participation and learning outcomes by the experimental group as compared to the control group. This research indicates the need for further development of teachers’ pedagogical skills in Saudi Arabia.
    • Using cooperative learning to improve reading comprehension skills for Saudi intermediate students

      Aljadoa, Ashraq (2016-03)
      This research study investigated the effect of cooperative learning strategies to improve reading comprehension skills. It sought to determine whether the use of cooperative learning strategies in teaching Saudi 13-15-year-old female students reading comprehension skills in Arabic improved their academic achievement as measured by a teacher-made comprehension assessment. Many adolescents struggle with reading comprehension skills. Therefore, the use of effective strategies such as cooperative learning may motivate students to learn, raise their academic abilities and enhance their skills thus leading them to academic success. For the purpose of the study, it was important to read about cooperative learning strategies and the age group of the participants in the study. The literature on reading comprehension skills was also reviewed. The study was conducted in Saudi Arabia. Fifty female students participated in the study, divided into an experimental group and a control group. The experimental group received instruction using cooperative learning strategies while the control group received traditional instruction. The participants were tested at the end of the instruction period. The assessment scores were collected and compared to determine the effect of the use of cooperative learning. In addition, the researcher conducted observations and recorded field notes on students’ behavior during reading lessons. The cooperative learning strategies showed positive effects on the improvement of Saudi students’ reading comprehension. The participants in the experimental group were able to connect their own experiences and knowledge with the daily texts to share their opinions and demonstrate a high level of understanding.
    • Using criterion referenced assessment in a living environment curriculum.

      Turybury, Shane H. (03/01/2013)
      This purpose of this curriculum project was to design Criterion Referenced Assessment’s (CRA's) to be implemented into a New York State (NYS) Living Environment Curriculum to provide an ongoing means of formative assessment. All CRA’s within the project are aligned with the NYS Living Environment curriculum objectives and standards. CRA data can provide teachers with information that can influence their future instructional decisions. For the project, twenty-four daily CRA’s were made and four units were developed in connection to the four Living Environment units of Ecology, Mitosis, Meiosis, and DNA/RNA. By design, answers for each CRA are provided, as well as, two scoring matrices to link CRA scores to re-teaching strategies based on student group and test question scores. The data obtained from the CRA’s will then be utilized by the teachers to influence future instructional decisions as well as help students recognize what more is needed to be learned in order to meet criterion mastery. Limitations of this project are developing CRA’s for a partial amount of the NYS Living Environment curriculum (four units) and just two scoring matrices. Therefore, further research can be conducted to investigate whether or not the creation of CRA’s for the complete Living Environment curriculum and additional scoring matrices further enhanced the feedback mechanism of the project. Furthermore, an empirical study on the effectiveness of this tool on student state tests scores and implementing this tool into other content areas can be conducted.
    • Using effective strategies for the elementary English Language Learner with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

      Szymkowiak, Claire M. (12/11/2013)
      There exists a gap in literature between students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and English Language Learners (ELLs) (Petersen, Marinova-Todd, & Mirenda, 2012). While literature does examine the best effective strategies for students with ASD or those specific for ELLs, few studies have presented educators with instructional strategies designed for the ELL with ASD in their classrooms (Fernandez y Garcia, Breslau, Hansen, & Miller, 2012; Hambly & Fombonne, 2012). This curriculum project synthesizes current research on the two subjects separately, combining to find the best effective strategies that are aligned between the two. From that, the project outlines a leveled curriculum to be used with autistic ELLs at any stage of the English language proficiency, at the elementary level. The curriculum integrates typical elementary English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom content with the language skills necessary for students to interact and communicate with the world around them. Additionally, each lesson highlights a different strategy referred to in the literature to aid student learning the classroom. Some of the strategies include visual presentations, picture communication, and using textbooks specifically geared towards Autistic children. The curriculum is easily interpretable due its varied nature, therefore, available for general education, special education, or ESL classroom teachers. Teachers can use these lessons in order to provide more meaningful instruction for ELLs with ASD, allowing students to gain vocabulary and communication skills needed for success in the academic and social worlds of their lives.
    • Using funds of knowledge to design inquiry based Science lessons

      Schumacher, Richard (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016-12)
      The following is a Master's of Science in Education curriculum project. The problem this Master's project addresses concerns the lack of culturally relevant, linguistically supportive, curriculum for English language learners (ELLs) in science instruction. The project implemented Funds of Knowledge theory (Gonzalez, Moll, & Amanti, 2005). The candidate collected information on the everyday lives of ELLs and their families; this information to create lesson content in Science. The project was implemented in two phases. First, the candidate interviewed a family from Mexico that consisted of five children and two parental figures. The interview was divided among the different family members, in order to obtain perspective from multiple individuals. The recording of the interview was then synthesized into a table of themes. In the second phase, the candidate created a mini-unit of 5 science lessons for ELLs, based on the results of the interviews. [from abstract]
    • Using graphic organizers to increase writing performance.

      Miller, Stephanie Ann (31/08/2012)
      This qualitative case study examined the effects of using graphic organizers as a prewriting tool to increase student writing proficiency. Based on a review of the literature, I determined the key components of proficient writing as well as three research based graphic organizers to implement; outline, detail web, and compare and contrast. Qualitative data were collected through action research as two fourth grade students and one fifth grade student, in a small, rural, town in New York State, read a text and filled in a graphic organizer to organize their thoughts and ideas. Students then compiled a writing sample based upon the graphic organizer. Each graphic organizer was used three separate times and a follow up baseline was then conducted. The 6 + 1 Traits of Writing rubrics were used to assess students’ writing. Anecdotal notes were taken and students were interviewed about their writing. Results from this action research determined that the incorporation of outline, detail web, and compare and contrast graphic organizers to guide and organize students’ thoughts and ideas improved their overall writing in all seven trait areas up to three points on a six point, 6 + 1 Traits of Writing scale.
    • 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.
    • Using multicultural literature in an Elementary classroom

      Morse, Erica (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016-05)
      The increasing number of culturally and linguistically diverse children enrolling in elementary school means that white educators with limited cultural knowledge will be encountering classrooms with greater numbers of culturally diverse students. The problem arising from this increase is that with limited cultural knowledge comes limited knowledge about teaching "best practices" for use with culturally diverse students. Using multicultural literature in a classroom may be one way to increase teachers' cultural knowledge, but it raises the research question of what are effective or "best practices" for using multicultural literature in a culturally diverse elementary classroom? An extensive literature review and synthesize has produced five findings. First is that multicultural literature can have four uses in an elementary classroom: as self selected reading, as part of the curriculum, as a supplement to the curriculum, and as a teaching tool to generate classroom discussion. Best practices for these uses are to increase teachers' knowledge about the existence and quality of multicultural books; to use multicultural literature in the curriculum in a way that is cognitively and developmentally appropriate for the students; to use multicultural literature as a means for students to connect to cultural awareness and diversity and in ways that are meaningful to them; and to use the literature as a teaching tool for starting class discussions. These findings are relevant to the professional development of elementary teachers and will therefore be available to them in the form of a pre-made DVD. [from abstract]
    • Using music in literacy instruction and literacy development

      Davis, Emily (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016)
      Traditionally, learning to read meant learning one's ABCs. However, children did not learn their letters just by saying the alphabet, but also by singing it using the "Alphabet Song." So begins the relationship between music and literacy, but the precise role of music in literacy instruction and development has not been clearly determined. This research study addresses this problem of precision by asking the question, what does research show about the role of music in literacy instruction? The most appropriate way to answer this question is with a review and synthesis of the literature, which has determined five findings. First is that direct uses of music for positive results in literacy instruction include singing, playing instruments, listening, processing rhythm, and reading lyrics. Second is that direct use of music in literacy instruction is effective with diverse students such as struggling readers, EFL students, and students from low socio-economic diverse students such as struggling readers, EFL students, and students from low socio-economic status. The third finding is that direct use of music in literacy instruction is also as effective as traditional teaching methods for improving literacy skills. The fourth finding is that the primary indirect use of music in literacy instruction is as background music, with a positive effect on literacy performance coming from music that is characteristically soft, slow, and instrumental: for example, Baroque and Classical music. The fifth finding is that the types of background music that do not have a positive effect on literacy performance are characteristically complex,fast, and vocal: for example, hip hop and popular music with lyrics. [from author's abstract]