• The impact of using a bilingual dictionary (English-Arabic) for reading and writing

      Almaliki, Ali (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2017-12)
      The purpose of this study is to explore the impact of using a bilingual dictionary (English- Arabic) for reading and writing in a Saudi high school and also to explore the Saudi Arabian students' attitudes and EFL teachers' perceptions toward the use of bilingual dictionaries. This study involves 65 EFL students and 5 EFL teachers in one Saudi high school in the city of Alkobar. Mixed methods research is used in which both qualitative and quantitative data are collected. For participating students, pre-test, post-test, and surveys are used to collect quantitative data. For participating teachers and students, in-person interviews are conducted with select teachers and students so as to collect qualitative data. This study has produced eight findings; first is that the use of a bilingual dictionary has a significant effect on the reading and writing scores for both high and low proficiency EFL students. Other findings include that most EFL students feel that using a bilingual dictionary in EFL classrooms is very important to help them translate and learn new vocabulary words but their use of a bilingual dictionary is limited by the strategies for use that students know or are taught, and that both invoice and experienced EFL teachers agree that the use of a bilingual dictionary is important for learning word meaning and vocabulary, but they do not all agree about which grades should use bilingual dictionaries. The results of this study have a potential to alert Saudi policy-makers to the benefits of using bilingual dictionaries in the English curriculum through all grade levels in Saudi schools. [from author's abstract]
    • 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.
    • Impacts of authentic children's literature and literacy strategies on teaching mathematical comprehension in elementary grades.

      Sliwa, Elizabeth M. (12/11/2013)
      In this Master’s thesis project, empirical studies regarding the use of children’s literature and literacy strategies to teach mathematics are researched. The impacts on mathematical comprehension are discussed and include: An increase in motivation, an increase in achievement, and increase in early numeracy, and an increase in interest of mathematics. The studies researched include findings on how using children’s literature to teach mathematics can increase their motivation for learning and increase their interest in mathematics. Studies about using literacy strategies to teach mathematics include information on how activating prior knowledge, direct vocabulary instruction, and inferencing can have a positive impact on students’ mathematical comprehension. A series of professional development workshops are prepared from the findings from the literature review. The workshop consists of small group and whole group discussions on ways to use children’s literature and literacy strategies to teach mathematics in elementary classrooms.
    • Implementation of effective home language practices into NYS 8th grade social studies curriculum for ELLs.

      Kurtz, Bridgette (2015)
      Over the past years the population of English language learners within United States’ schools has increased (Castañeda & Misco, 2009). This increase has led to challenges for all teachers, but especially content area teachers at the secondary level. ELLs struggle in content area classes, especially social studies, due to several reasons, including, their English language proficiency, the de-contextualized format of social studies text, enormous amount of vocabulary which is linguistically complex and abstract, and a lack of visuals within social studies text, among other issues (Brown, 2007; Cho & Reich, 2008; Lindahl & Watkins, 2010). One approach to improving ELLs' success in the secondary social studies classroom is through the use of home language practices. Many teachers are afraid to utilize the home language for many reasons. Through research these fears have been rebutted. With the belief that home language use is beneficial to ELLs in the social studies classroom, a curriculum was created around the NYS social studies framework and the American Journey textbook, for eighth grade ELLs a middle school with a high population of Spanish-speaking ELLs. This curriculum aims to assist teachers with having more success in educating their ELLs and supporting ELLs in attaining the necessary content area material in a more comprehensible manner. This curriculum includes 45 lesson plans that incorporate home language practices, along with home language materials, in order to teach three chapters of the American Journey textbook.
    • Implementing a Spanish/English Dual-Language Bilingual Program in a Diverse Elementary School Setting

      Richir, Jacklyn (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      With the passage of Part 154 in New York State, Bilingual Education has become more prominent and necessary in public schools with a high population of English Language Learners (ENLs). Dual-language Bilingual Programs have become increasingly more significant because they are designed to build bilingual and biliterate learners from a variety of home languages. This curriculum project is designed to assist schools, specifically Dunkirk City School District, in implementing a Dual-Language Bilingual Program in an elementary school. The curriculum project includes guidelines for assessment and accountability, curriculum, instruction, staff quality and professional development, program structure, family and community engagement, and support and resources. Although this program is specific to one district, with modifications it could be implemented in other districts as well.
    • Implementing the Common Core State Standards to Students with Disabilities

      Benson, Natalie (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      With the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in 2010, challenge and rigor for all students is a must. With the passing of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), students with disabilities (SWD) are required access to these challenging standards with any necessary supports and modifications needed. A multitude of research has already been made on the instructional strategies, such as explicit and scaffolded instruction, that would be helpful in implementing the standards and the concerns teachers who have SWD have on instructing these standards, such as time constraints and academic ability. Although much research has been conducted on the strategies to use in order to help implementation, there was little to no research on the implementation of actual modified lessons. Due to this, I created a curriculum project where I modified a Common Core 6th grade ELA figurative language unit in order to appropriately teach it to my special education class. The unit resulted in 17 lessons and two summative assessments. After evaluating the results upon completion of the modified unit, results indicated three major areas where I made appropriate accommodations in order to fit the needs of my students. Those accommodations include, adding in a lesson of the teaching the different types of figurative language before reading the required texts, creating exit tickets for formative assessments that were easier to understand and limited the number of questions given, and adding in accommodations to the summative assessments in order for the students to not feel overwhelmed. The use of this modified unit can be used as a guide for other teachers creating a modified unit and future research and work will be completed in order to create other modified units for other grades and subject areas.
    • Implementing WebQuests in the elementary classroom.

      Kicak, Lauren M. (2013-03-25)
      Technology, including computers, is an ever increasing topic within the world today. Since technology is finding its way into classrooms, WebQuests, a particular learning tool that fosters student learning while working with the computer and the Internet are the focus of this curriculum project. The Internet can be a vast, unsecured network with a mix of accurate and inaccurate information. Teachers become responsible for sifting through the information on the Internet to create quality learning environments in the form of WebQuests for their students. Although the research related to this topic is limited, several studies have shown positive outcomes for using computers technology in the classroom. Within this curriculum project is a manual, How to Create a WebQuest for Your Students, designed to provide teachers with a step--by-step guide for creating a WebQuest, implementing the. tool in the classroom, and providing research-based ideologies for its use.-- Author abstract
    • The Importance of Incorporating Critical Literacy Instruction Into the Early Elementary Classroom

      Valvo, Samantha (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      Early literacy experiences are critical for the development of young children. More specifically, quality literacy experiences are beneficial to children’s understanding of the world around them (Ekvall, 2013). Exemplar critical literacy instruction was evaluated for its significance at the Pre-Kindergarten to second grade levels. Data came from a collection of current critical literacy research and the following themes were created: the need to foster information literate students, how to address emotional collisions in the classroom, the importance of deconstructing and reconstructing familiar texts, critical awareness in the areas of identity, race, and culture, and social justice dialogue and student emotions. Analysis focused on the two methods of critical literacy instruction, teacher-led discussions and student-engaged strategies. The most effective method, student-engaged strategies, was then further evaluated for potential lesson structure in the classroom. The results led to four findings. The first finding suggested critical literacy instruction could be incorporated into the classroom through teacher-led discussion and student-engaged strategies. The second finding revealed student-engaged strategies as the most effective way to incorporate critical literacy instruction into the classroom. The third finding discovered the most often used critical literacy strategy, using familiar texts to engage students in interacting with the text from a new perspective. The fourth finding supported New York State learning standards, which expects students to have critical literacy skills to demonstrate their college and career readiness as they continue into higher levels of education, thus all suggesting the importance of students learning critical literacy at the early elementary level.
    • The importance of sound design and its affect on perception.

      Drake, Jessica Ryan (2013-01-17)
      The purpose of this research is to clearly define the importance of sound design in film, television, and movies, with emphasis on how the audience is affected by the use of sound. Sound design is the overall aural image of a production, from pre-production to post-production. Sound designing is a process that greatly influences the outcome of a production. Sound is the secret emotional messenger in narrative Western film making and without it a film falls flat. However, to fully influence the perception of the audience, sound and visuals need to work together in a symbiotic relationship, where each element benefits from each other. Sound and picture should never compete for dominance, but in our Western visual culture, sound often fights for its right to belong. Filmmakers need to realize and fully understand the importance of sound design and how it can greatly improve their production. Without sound, narrative Western Films, only have moving pictures that are absent of depth and lack connection with the audience.
    • The importance of students with disabilities learning the importance of community helpers

      Bankoski, Taylor (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2018-05)
      This Curriculum Project reviews all of the different ideas and concepts dealing with the term community helper. The community helper project touches on multiple ways to educate both students with or without disabilities on their community, who to contact in certain situations and the familiarities of each community professional. The importance of educating students on the community, the different jobs and all the different people working for the same community is very relevant. Young children today are not as familiar or comfortable as they should be with their community helpers. They are to be educated on the uniforms they wear, the tools they use and the types of jobs they are in charge of. Essentially this project shows how to incorporate the community helpers unit in all subjects throughout the day and the research that supports each and every lesson [from author's abstract]
    • Improving English pronunciation among Arabic EFL school-age students using minimal pairs.

      Altamimi, Ali K. (2015)
      This study investigated whether the use of the minimal pairs’ strategy improves English pronunciation of unfamiliar consonant sounds for native Arab student in a 2nd intermediate grade in Saudi Arabia. The minimal pair defines as patterns of words which sound similar but are in fact different in only one sound (phoneme). Thirteen of participants in this study were male Arabian school students who had been studying English as a foreign language. The type of research used in this study was action research which was designed to enhance teaching in the classroom. The researcher had used four phases in conducting this study; plan, act, observe and reflect. The intervention (use of minimal pairs) was used in this study for approximately fifteen minutes each time, four times per week over a four-week period. Three instruments were used in this study: pretest, post test and oral assessment (based on observation). This research was designed using pretest and post test to determine if there was any improvement with the pronunciation of specific English consonant phonemes (/p/, /ʒ/, /v/, /tʃ/ and /ŋ/) by the study participants. Finally, the findings revealed that teaching strategy, minimal pairs, is effective in improving the pronunciation of the 2nd intermediate grade Arab speakers.
    • Improving home-school relations for Spanish speaking families

      Robertson, Jane (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016-05)
      Parental involvement in the education of their children has been a widely popular area of study in the past. There is general consensus among many scholars as to the importance and potential positive outcomes of effective parental involvement. Educational researchers such as Lee and Bowen (2006), Marschall (2006), and Jeynes (2007) agree that high levels of parental involvement can result in the improvement of students' academic achievement and improve their attitudes toward education. This area of educational research can be especially impactful among typically lower achieving subgroups of students, such as students of low socioeconomic status (SES) or English Language Learners (ELLs). That makes this issue particularly important for researchers studying English Language Learners or related fields, because parental involvement could have the potential to help diminish the achievement gap for them. The purpose of this research study is to investigate parental attitudes to and perceptions of their involvement in their child's education in a middle school setting in a small city school district in Western New York. It also seeks to delineate specific factors that parents at this school perceive to positively or negatively impact their involvement at the middle school level, specifically those related to language or cultural differences. The goal of this study is to determine specific ways this school can improve parental involvement and home-school relationships for Spanish-speaking parents' based on their own perceptions, in turn, improving the educational outcomes of their children. [from author's abstract]
    • Improving reading comprehension for Saudi Students by using the Reading Aloud Strategy.

      Alshehri, Mohammed (2014)
      Reading is important to help students gain access to many different kinds of knowledge, information, and ideas. The reading aloud strategy can be used to reach effective outcomes and increase students’ reading comprehension. The purpose of this study is to provide support for the reading aloud strategy to improve reading comprehension. The study was conducted during the summer of 2014 in Saudi Arabia. The participants of this study were 41 male students in the 5th grade. The researcher explained the reading aloud strategy to the participants to increase their reading comprehension. Then the students employed the intended strategy during the reading lessons in order to increase their reading comprehension. This research study used the 5th grade textbook to determine if the use of the reading aloud strategy improved reading comprehension for students. This was measured by a comparison of pre and post intervention reading comprehension tests. In addition, a survey created and designed by the researcher for this study measured if students’ enjoyment of reading increased through the use of the read aloud strategy. Lastly, the researcher conducted observations and recorded field notes on students’ behavior during reading lessons. According to the results, the reading aloud strategy showed positive effects on the development and improvement of Saudi students’ comprehension. The participants were able to connect their own experiences and personal knowledge with the daily texts to share their opinions and demonstrate a high level of understanding.
    • The In-Crowd: A Study of High School Students' Problem Solving Techniques When Calculating the Area of Irregular Polygons

      Bradford, Cara (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2016-08)
      This research investigates student preferences of approaches and techniques used when calculating the area of irregular polygons. On a more conceptual level, this study was designed to analyze whether students demonstrate appropriate problem solving skills or simply the memorization of a single procedure. It was hypothesized that high school mathematics students would tend to choose one method and use that method regardless of its efficiency. To be more specific, it was hypothesized that students would choose the to use the addition method (breaking the polygon into smaller familiar shapes with known area formulas) more than the subtraction method (enclosing the shape in a rectangle and subtracting the area of the empty space) or any other method. The results of this study suggest that, as predicted, students do not use the most efficient method for calculating the area of an irregular polygon 72% of the time. However, further analysis reveals that students most often choose to employ methods other than the addition or subtraction method. While less than half of participants were able to use those other methods correctly, approximately two thirds of those who used the preferred methods (addition or subtraction) obtained correct answers.
    • Inclusive Education at a 4 Year Institution in New York State: Perspectives of Students, Faculty, and Administration

      Halewski, Daniel (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      The goal of this research was to conduct an overview assessment of the inclusive education program at Rush University through the perspectives of students, faculty, and administrators. This research was developed and conducted in order to add to the existing knowledge on inclusive education at the post-secondary level. The study used quantitative surveys to poll students with disabilities (SWD) and faculty that have been involved in the program. The findings found a several commonalities between responses related to effectiveness and an understanding of inclusive education. The inconsistencies arise in the students understanding of their personal accommodations and the faculty opinions of effectiveness, training, and support from their institution. These results highlight a need for further research into the inconsistencies and a larger scope of the effectiveness of the program.
    • 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.
    • Increasing students' participation by using cooperative learning in library and research course.

      Alhabeedi, Ezdehar (2015)
      The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of cooperative learning strategies on students' participation in a high school library and research course in Saudi Arabia. Increased student participation provides social, psychological and academic advantages to students. The review of the literature focuses on four primary frameworks. The first section addresses Vygotsky's theory of social constructivism. Second, previous studies completed in regards to cooperative learning are presented including definitions, benefits, potential drawbacks, elements and strategies, as well as the role of the teacher in cooperative learning. The third section focuses on student development while the last section focuses on curriculum of the library and research course. This research specifically targeted female first grade high school students who were 16 years old from an urban high school in Western Saudi Arabia during the fall semester of 2015. The experimental group was 15 students working in three cooperative groups while the other 15 students in the control group were taught in a traditional teacher centered method. Data was collected using quantitative techniques of participation tallies. The results showed students who were taught by the cooperative learning strategy increased their participation as compared to the students who were taught by a lecture approach. Therefore, the conclusion of this study is that cooperative learning had a positive impact on increasing students' participation in Saudi Arabia.
    • 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.
    • Influence of cooperative learning strategies for English Language Learners with disabilities

      Langworthy, Allison L. (2015)
      Research has shown the amounts of English Language Learners (ELLS) with disabilities are on the rise in the United States. Parallel to the rise of ELLs with disabilities, are the struggles these types of students endure in the classroom. This study investigated the use of specific Kagan cooperative learning structures in the classroom with ELLs with disabilities and if students’ engagement, motivation, and other positive outcomes were affected by these strategies. This study also investigated teacher perspectives in regards to Kagan cooperative learning strategies. Further, a case study was conducted evaluating the use of Kagan cooperative learning structures in the classroom, when implemented by two special education teachers. Overall, findings distinguished that when specific Kagan strategies were implemented in a classroom with ELLs with disabilities, these students experienced increased motivation, engagement, self-esteem, confidence, and peer-acceptance. Findings also determined the teacher perspectives were conclusive with previous literature and were affirmative. Implications for further research are discussed in regards to Kagan cooperative learning strategies use in the classroom.
    • The Influence of Digital Writing on Writing Development and Writing Instruction in Traditional Paper-Based Curriculum

      Florian, Emma (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016)
      Digital (technology-based) writing is becoming prevalent especially among children and youth; they in turn bring many forms of digital writing into the classroom. On the other hand, proficiency level with paper-based writing remains low for many students. To address this problem of low proficiency and increasing digital writing from the perspective of a literacy specialist, the research question is, "how does digital writing influence writing development and writing instruction in the traditional paper-based curriculum?" To answer that question, a literature review and research synthesis have been conducted and have produced several findings. First is that the most frequently used forms of digital writing appear to be e-mail, blogs, wikis, software programs such as Microsoft Word, and writing that includes mixed forms or multimodal writing. The greatest influence of all forms of digital writing appears to be on students in grades 4 to 6, while the writing development of elementary and high school students is influenced in the areas of grammar and text structure. The influence of digital writing appears to becomes more complex as grade levels increase, with grades 1 to 6 influencing willingness to write and grades 10 to 12 influencing higher-level thinking. The fifth finding is that researchers appear to view digital writing as an instructional tool to benefit diverse, struggling and at-risk students. These findings form the basis of a professional development project presented on Google sites for Kindergarten to grade 12 classroom teachers. [from author's abstract]