• Reading preferences of elementary males and females.

      Langworthy, Matthew (08/01/2013)
      No Author abstract.
    • A supplemental writing curriculum designed for primary English language arts instruction.

      Baumgarden, Megan (08/01/2013)
      The purpose of this curriculum project was to develop a combination of writing programs/strategies that would be most effective as a supplemental writing curriculum for kindergarten and first grade. Writing is an important literacy skill. It gives students an opportunity to express themselves, understand others’ perspectives, and prepare for a successful future. In order to become productive members of society, students need to be taught the conventions of writing, carrying their knowledge with them when they leave school. There is an assortment of different writing programs available to teachers. This study reviews three popular writing programs/strategies, specifically: Writing Workshops, 6+1 Traits, and Step Up to writing. The project examines the positive and negative characteristics of each program with the aim of combining specific aspects of each program into an effective supplemental curriculum for kindergarten and first grade.
    • Teachers’ perceptions of the benefits of recess on the development of elementary students.

      Jones, Marlena J. (08/01/2013)
      The primary purpose of this study was to examine teachers' perceptions of the effects of recess on elementary students‟ academic and interpersonal development. Recess duration in schools has declined drastically over the years in some schools and doesn't occur at all in others (Blatchford, 1998). Recess time is being taken away by increased demands for academic work that have resulted from new federal and state mandates for accountability. As a result recess has been used as a reward or motivator if work gets completed. Focus must be directed, however, on the broader developmental benefits that recess provides for students. Study participants included 38 elementary teachers from two school districts, one rural and the other urban, in Western New York. Teachers completed the Teachers' Perceptions of the Benefits of Recess for Elementary students Survey, a 5-point, Likert-type scale, anonymously and independently. Teacher ratings reflected the perceived importance and potential benefits of recess and also noted trends and barriers against its use in contemporary schools. Implications for research and discussion are provided.
    • Effects of gifted and talented programs on standardized test scores of fourth grade students in two school districts.

      Ruggiero, Melinda J. (08/01/2013)
      Gifted and Talented (G/T) programs have been implemented in many school districts for a number of decades. In that time, these programs have sought to improve academic and intellectual abilities of students with unique gifts and talents. Unfortunately, these programs have often been surrounded by problems such as insufficient funding, inadequate professional development, limited program availability, and excessive rules and regulations. In addition, there is little research to support specific academic, intellectual, and/or interpersonal benefits that such programs have produced. This is particularly true with regard to improved student achievement. This investigation compared the performance of two groups of 4th grade students, one of whom received G/T services and the other who did not, on New York State ELA test scores. Results indicated that 4th grade students enrolled in a program for Gifted and Talented students received higher average test scores on the 2010-2011 New York State English Language Arts (NYSELA) exam than those students in a similar district with comparable grade averages who did not participate in a program for Gifted and Talented program. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
    • Effects of mental-skills training on collegiate divers' performance and perception of success.

      Sponholz, Kelly (10/01/2013)
      An experiment was conducted with nine divers at a Division III college matched for age, experience level, sex, and skill level, to investigate the effect of mental-skills training on divers’ overall performance and perception of success. The athletes were part of a study where in addition to their diving practices they were exposed to training in three different psychological skills: goal setting, self-talk, and visualization. Program effectiveness was evaluated through two different measures, anxiety and performance. The mental-skills measures consisted of pre and post results on (a) the Test of Performance Strategies (TOPS), (b) the Sport Competition Anxiety Test (SCAT-A), and (c) the Trait Sport Confidence Inventory (TSCI). The performance measures consisted of (a) the athletes recorded scores for each meet, and (b) the Questionnaire A: The Athlete’s Perceptions of Quality of Performance during Practice.
    • Readability of the common core standards 11-CCR text exemplars : a text sequence reference guide.

      Carapella, Jenell A. (10/01/2013)
      For a smooth transition, secondary students must be equipped with the skills to navigate and comprehend texts associated with college and career readiness. Educators are concerned that a gap in text complexity may cause some students’ lack in readiness. Although many factors play a part in students’ comprehension of a text (e.g. readability, the purpose for reading, and motivation), readability statistics may predict comprehensibility. This research used the Flesch-Kincaid and SMOG readability formulas to evaluate the readability grade levels of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) 11-CCR text exemplars. Results indicate that CCSS texts were, on average, within the expected grade level band, informational texts are more complex than literary texts, and the Flesch-Kincaid readability formula evaluates the texts as less complex, on average, than the SMOG formula. The results informed the development of the Text Sequence Reference guide that rank orders all 34 CCSS 11-CCR grade level texts according to their relative complexity. This reference guide may prove useful when developing an English Language Arts curriculum that aligns with the new standards.
    • American history simulations, reenactments, and educational games: a supplemental middle school curriculum.

      Moore, Kerrie L. (10/01/2013)
      This curriculum project is designed to supplement the New York State seventh and eighth grade American history social studies course with active learning strategies. Three strategies including simulations, reenactments, and educational games will be supplemented into each unit. A total of 33 active learning activities, equal numbers of each, will be added to the 11 units that comprise the two-year course of study. Students often find it difficult to absorb the information and be motivated by the content (Russell & Waters, 2010). Teachers find it hard to teach all the necessary content and still be able to go in depth on the material (Pattiz, 2004). The three active learning strategies designed as supplements to the social studies curriculum have been proven to be effective in increasing student interest on the subject as well as their achievement.
    • The effect of metacognitive think-aloud strategy on reading comprehension of kindergarten students.

      Bentley, Kristi L. (10/01/2013)
      Comprehension is the key to reading success. Best practices for teaching children to read conventionally begins in the Emergent Stage of literacy. In this study, five Kindergarten students participated in read-aloud lessons using high-quality children's literature. The researcher taught students to use the metacognitive think-aloud strategy to increase story comprehension. Students then employed the strategy during read-aloud lessons in order to increase their comprehension. Treatment versus non-treatment sessions provided data to see the effectiveness of the metacognitive strategy on reading comprehension. Findings show that the metacognitive Think-Aloud strategy increases reading comprehension of Kindergarten students. The participants were identified as above average, average and below average in literacy skills, but there was an increase in overall comprehension assessment scores by all participants, showing that the participants internalized the strategy and were able to use it independently to increase their comprehension.
    • How does technology impact a struggling adolescent students' writing process.

      Duffy, Benjamin E. (11/11/2013)
      Technology is an ever-changing tool for educators. This Masters project was designed to demystify technology and show teachers how struggling writers can be impacted by proper usage of technology in the classrooms. A professional development workshop for educators was designed to share findings from the research findings that examined technology applications in the four stages of writing: Planning, drafting, revising, and publishing . The workshop was based around hands-on group work to foster ideas in the teachers to bring back to their classrooms to better reach those students who struggle with writing. Embracing today‟s students and their technical skills, and how to transfer these skills into a chance for academic is the goal of this project.
    • Evaluating a college connection program designed to enhance features of global citizenship.

      Pulice, Bethany M. (11/11/2013)
      Despite an increased number of international college students studying at U.S. colleges (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010), research suggests international college students do not interact with non-international college students (Arber, 2008; Hsieh, 2007; Rose-Redwood, 2010, Yin, Huang, & Hare, 2010). Such interaction is essential in developing features of global citizenship, which can then benefit both society and the students themselves (Morais & Ogden, 2010). This mixed method study evaluated Adopt a College Student, a program which sought to develop global citizenship by pairing international college students with non-international college students or local community members. Initial and final interviews and surveys were conducted with twelve international college students, non-international college students, and community members before and after program participation. While quantitative analysis showed a marginal decrease in global citizenship, qualitative analysis suggested non-international college students and community members, not international college students, showed increases in global citizenship in relation to Adopt a College Student. Increases may have been due to utilization of catalysts and suppression of inhibitors for global citizenship. These findings suggested programs like Adopt a College Student may effectively promote features of global citizenship if experiences with the program are significant. Implications for collegiate global citizenship initiatives and future research are also discussed.
    • Increasing teachers' knowledge of ELLS' linguistic and cultural backgrounds through the use of a flip chart describing the differences between English and ten languages.

      Cunningham, Amy-Catherine (11/11/2013)
      Research has found a linguistic and cultural mismatch between teachers and students in the United States, with many teachers lacking training in how to work effectively with English language learners (ELLs). Therefore the purpose of this Master’s project was to provide teachers with a resource for understanding the linguistic and cultural differences of ELLs through the creation of a flip chart. This flip chart is intended to be used as a resource by any teacher who works with linguistically and culturally diverse students. A thorough examination of each language and culture was conducted through the use of articles, reports, encyclopedias, books, and websites in order to create the flip chart. Ten languages were chosen based on which were the most-spoken by ELLs in Western New York and the United States. The ten languages presented in the flip chart include Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, French, Karen, Korean, Nepali, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The flip chart was designed to provide teachers with specific linguistic differences and similarities between these languages and English, in order for teachers to have an understanding of when students’ first languages may aid in the acquisition of English or may cause confusion. Cultural differences between interactions in ELLs’ home countries and interactions in the White, middle-class, culture of the United States were included, as well. This information may help teachers to have a more culturally responsive classroom.
    • A review of the effect of literacy education on the rehabilitation and recidivism rates of formerly incarcerated criminals.

      Erny, Brea (11/11/2013)
      This is a professional development project that examines research regarding the effects of literacy education programs within incarceration facilities on the rehabilitation and recidivism rates of inmates. This project also reveals the factors that affect the success of such programs. The findings indicate that literacy education programs within incarceration facilities have positive implications on rehabilitation and post-release life as well as decrease the recidivism rates of the inmates. In addition, the findings indicate that positive relationships between teachers and inmates, incentives as motivation for program completion, and the age and race of inmates affect programs’ success. Based on these findings, the researcher develops a professional development workshop as well as coaching follow-ups for literacy education teachers within a federal prison.
    • Challenges, benefits, and effective strategies for teaching informational texts in the primary grades.

      Westling, Amanda (11/11/2013)
      The Common Core State Standard (CCSS) Initiative (2011) for English Language Arts places an increased emphasis on teaching informational texts in the primary grades. However, many primary grade teachers may not have the knowledge to teach the informational text genre effectively. In order to address this challenge, the master’s project focuses on the challenges associated with teaching informational texts in the primary grades, the benefits it may present for primary grade students, as well as, effective instructional strategies for teaching informational texts in primary grade classrooms. The findings are presented through a professional development workshop that intends to increase teacher knowledge and enhance informational text instruction in the primary grades.
    • Finding effective and practical techniques to lower musical performance anxiety.

      Winkler, Andrea R. (11/12/2012)
      This study focused on musical performance anxiety and techniques to lower it. Five female collegiate music majors participated in training sessions on three specific anxiety lowering techniques: deep breathing, the Alexander Technique, and progressive muscle relaxation. Directly prior to their solo recital performances, each participant chose a technique to use to lower their anxiety. Measures consisted of an intake survey, a pre-recital survey, and a post-recital survey. The results of this study showed that the deep breathing technique was the most appealing and practical technique to perform prior to an anxiety-inducing musical situation.
    • Increasing homework completion and accuracy among mathematics students using the Jars Game.

      Hargis, Debra Zibreg (11/12/2012)
      Homework is a teaching strategy used in mathematics to promote student mastery of new material through practice. In addition, homework completion and accuracy has a positive effect on academic achievement (Madaus, Kehle, Madaus, & Bray, 2003). Unfortunately, the literature also suggests that many students fail to complete homework and many others fail to do so at appropriate levels of success. As such, classroom teachers are in need of effective, efficient, and socially acceptable interventions that can improve the homework-related performance of all their students. The present study examined the effects of the jars intervention, a combination of interdependent and dependent group contingencies with randomized behaviors, criteria, and rewards, on the homework completion and accuracy of an 8th grade math class. The jars game produced immediately and educationally important improvements in all students’ completion and accuracy rates and replicated these effects across subsequent experimental phases. Teachers and pupils rated intervention goals, procedures, and outcomes quite favorably. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.
    • Attitudes and opinions on the current Seneca language revitalization efforts.

      Gautieri, Gina G. (12/11/2013)
      Indigenous languages all over the world, including Native American languages, are being lost at a rapid rate (Baker, 2011). This is often the result of years of suppression and assimilation to the dominant White culture. Therefore, there is a need for heritage language revitalization and maintenance to ensure the languages remain. Today, efforts to revitalize these indigenous languages are ongoing, including those for the Seneca language. Very few studies, however, have focused specifically on these efforts with the Seneca language. The goal of this study was to determine the attitudes and opinions of those learning or involved in the current Seneca language revitalization effort and thus add to the literature on language revitalization. The participants of this study included teachers and students from schools in Western New York near the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation where Seneca language classes are offered. An online Likert-scale survey was used to collect data from teachers, while a paper version of the survey was given to student participants in their Seneca language classes. Results indicated that the current Seneca language revitalization efforts are effective, but may need some improvement to fully revitalize the language. In addition, the Seneca language, culture, and traditions are valued in the schools, but not as much as in the communities outside of the schools. This study may serve as a basis for further research in this area.
    • 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.
    • Effects of African American vernacular English on English Language Learners' academic writing.

      Johnson, Danika V. (12/11/2013)
      The purpose of this study was to provide a better understanding of how a community dialect, in this case African American Vernacular English (AAVE), impacted language acquisition of English language learners’ (ELLs) in regard to written work. Using ten markers based on Thompson, Craig, and Washington’s (2004) examination of morphosyntactic features of AAVE, this study investigated the writing samples of high school ELLs who resided in an AAVE prevalent community in New York State. Three writing samples per student were analyzed to determine the incidence and frequency of the ten AAVE markers. Results indicated ELLs' written work was not strongly influenced by living in an AAVE speaking community, but instead, incidences of markers were more likely attributed to the influence of ELLs’ acquisition of the English language.
    • The effects of Three Jars and Mystery motivators on homework completion and accuracy in a 2nd grade classroom.

      Kestner, Christina (12/11/2013)
      Homework is a strategy used by teachers to promote the understanding of content and student mastery through practice. Academic benefits of homework include retention of new knowledge and better understanding of class material. Homework completion and accuracy are essential for student success in school. However, research shows students may lack self discipline and the academic skills required to complete homework assignments (Rathvon, 1999). Therefore, classroom teachers need effective, efficient and socially acceptable interventions to improve homework performance among their students. The present study examined the effects of the three jars intervention on homework completion and accuracy in a 2nd grade general education classroom. The three jars game produced immediate and noticeable improvements in pupils' completion and accuracy over teacher-led instruction. Pupils rated intervention goals, procedures, and outcomes quite favorably and the teachers found it to be effective and efficient. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.
    • Utilizing Project 2061 and SIOP for ELLs learning science in the mainstream classroom.

      Kester, Corinna M. (12/11/2013)
      With the growing number of English language learners (ELLs) within the United States’ school systems, it is important to design content area curriculums that will benefit all students’ needs. Within content area classrooms, such as science, these needs are language based as well as academic based (Wright, 2010). By comparing the academic achievement of mainstream students and ELLs, it is evident that there is an achievement gap (Santau, Maerten-Rivera & Huggins, 2011). There is a possibility that the existing curriculum and materials used in science classrooms may not be suitable for ELLs learning content alongside their native English-speaking peers, which may exacerbate the achievement gap between these two groups. This curriculum project first illustrates what literature says about effective science instruction for ELLs and outlines the modification and development of a science unit about pond life to address the needs of ELLs. The purpose of this project was to create lessons that will work towards making mastery of sixth grade science concepts more attainable for ELLs learning science in mainstream classrooms. Designed for a school district with a high concentration of ELLs who are predominantly Spanish-speaking, five units with fifty lesson plans were created with the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) model to address the needs of ELLs. Further, Project 2061 was utilized to evaluate materials within these lessons.