• 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]
    • Using Non-Print Multi-Media Texts with Literature Circles.

      Sievert, Denise (12/11/2013)
      Common core standards require students to be taught with evidence based practices. This thesis and design of a professional development workshop will include the evidence based research that describes how the instructional practice of Literature Circles combined with non-print texts can be used to help students improve their comprehension skills. The thesis will also describe how Literature Circles can prepare learners for literacy tasks of the 21st century.
    • Using Project-Based Learning in Special Education Classrooms

      Kilby, Ashley (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2018-12)
      This curriculum project investigates the use of Project-Based Learning (PBL) within special education classrooms. PBL is a student centered, evidence based practice that allows students to connect academic content to real-life investigations. Using PBL allows special education teachers to increase student motivation & socialization, target students’ Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), imbed cross-curricular concepts into one project, and begin IEP transition services in order to prepare students for life after school. Specifically, this curriculum is designed for a fourth grade resource room. This curriculum allows students to further investigate the Haudensaunee Culture that resides within New York State. Students play the role of a museum curator and design various artifacts to display in their museum to parents and community members.
    • Using Think-Aloud Strategy to improve English reading comprehension for 9th grade students in Saudi Arabia.

      Alaraj, Mohammed (2015)
      This study was designed to investigate what effect the incorporation of the Think-Aloud reading strategy into a Saudi Arabian middle school curriculum would have on the reading ability of students, in terms of both information retention and comprehension of material. Two groups of 23 students were studied. One group was designated as the control group, receiving traditional instruction, and the other was the treatment group, which received explicit instruction using the Think-Aloud strategy. A total of four assessments were administered to obtain data, and were then graded on a rubric scale for analysis. The results showed that the students in the treatment group had, in the majority of cases, improved their reading comprehension; as measured by the assessments, while the control group’s scores remained the same. These results lead the researcher to conclude that the incorporation of the Think-Aloud strategy has much potential as a topic of research for incorporation into future curriculum in Saudi Arabia.
    • 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.
    • A vocabulary analysis of the New York State 2017 Mathematics assessment constructed response questions (Grades 6-8)

      Czekanski, Shana (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2018-05)
      Reports of New York State Mathematics assessment results from the New York State Department of Education indicate that across the state only 40.2% of students 3rd grade - 8th grade received a proficient score on the 2017 mathematics assessment. The goal of NYS is to have 100% of student perform at the proficiency level. With students expected to take these assessments each year of six years the question is raised as to why more students are not performing at the proficiency level. One factor that may lead to the low proficiency levels received is the literacy expectation within the mathematics assessment. The research questions are; How does vocabulary affect the readability of the NYS Mathematics Assessments? And Is there a correlation between the vocabulary difficulty and students performance on the New York State Mathematics Assessments?. This research determines the vocabulary difficulty within the 6th - 8th grade 2017 NYS Mathematics Assessments. The finding of this research include; First, mathematics vocabulary that is included in the constructed response questions is not included in the NYS Common Core Standards. Second, the assessment includes ten constructed response questions which include many words with little or no necessity to the mathematics concepts. Assessments become focused on extensive word problem instead of focusing on the mathematics concepts. Third, there is no progression of vocabulary difficulty within the constructed response questions. Finally, there is a need for mathematics instructors to be familiar with not only mathematics concepts but also literacy as it relates to mathematics. [from author's abstract]
    • Vocabulary frequency comparison between NYS Living Environment Textbook and NYS regents exams.

      Wells, Elizabeth M. (29/03/2013)
      How do science content teachers decide which academic vocabulary words to teach to their students? Do they rely on their district textbook to identify them? Which vocabulary is the important vocabulary and how much are they going to see and use it? How much vocabulary is to much vocabulary? This study examined the frequency in which academic vocabulary words found in a New York State school district textbook compared to the frequency in which they were found on the New York State Living Environment Regents exams. The analysis of data indicate that there are significantly more academic vocabulary words identified in the textbook than what students will see on the New York State Living Environment Regents exam or what they are capable of learning. The findings from this study will help curriculum directors and teachers identify which vocabulary is important to teach and in which order to teach them. Further research will need to be done to determine how the choice of words will impact student scores on the NYS Living Environment Regents exam.
    • Vocabulary in math.

      Loomis, Michelle (08/01/2013)
      This Master’s Thesis Project focused on discovering the importance of effectively teaching vocabulary in math and how that could be presented in a professional development project. It was found, through a literature review, that many teachers were unaware of how to effectively teach vocabulary within the math curriculum. The results also revealed that the use of graphic organizers to directly teach vocabulary has a positive correlation on vocabulary knowledge. The project was created to inform teachers of the importance of teaching vocabulary in math and also how to effectively implement vocabulary instruction.
    • Vocabulary interventions for emergent bilinguals during sociodramatic play and project investigations.

      Weber, Natalie B. (04/01/2013)
      Research literature on vocabulary interventions for primary aged students, sociodramatic play, and project investigations is examined in this Masters project in relation to the reduction of the vocabulary gap for emergent bilingual students. Professional development was prepared from the results of the literature review. Research based techniques to incorporate the interactive vocabulary interventions used during shared storybook reading into sociodramatic play and project investigations were presented to Pre-K to 2nd grade teachers at a state conference. The workshop consisted of small group role-plays of interactive storybook reading strategies, small and large group collaboration and a presentation of the research literature. The workshop addressed instructional techniques to decrease the vocabulary gap, with an emphasis on emergent bilinguals. Continued opportunities for co-generative dialog and extensions into classroom settings were made available to participants through a group blog.
    • A volume conundrum : a study of high school geometry students misconceptions of volume of cylinders.

      Beck, Angela (2013-01-14)
      This research explores misconceptions of high school geometry students related to the volume of cylinders. Previous research has shown that students often have difficulties remembering the formula and visualizing the figures. This experiment asked high school students to answer problems regarding the volume of cylinders and to take a short survey on how they thought they did on the problems. These problems were then analyzed which showed that the majority of students did not remember the correct formula and that students who did not remember the formula used the circumference formula for a circle instead of the area formula or they created their own formula. From these results, it can be concluded that teachers need to emphasize remembering the basic volume formula and to read problems carefully.