• 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.
    • What are English Language Learners' Attitudes to NNES Teachers and What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of NNES Teachers?

      Guo, Qiang (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      With the Chinese economy developing, the relationship between China and the world has become stronger and stronger. English as a Second Language (ESL) education plays an important role in China now. There are millions Chinese English Language Learners (ELLs), and their attitudes toward non-Native English Speaking (NNES) teachers influences the prospects of NNES teachers. In this study, I interviewed 10 Chinese ELLs to explore their attitudes toward NNES teachers and the advantages and disadvantages they think regarding studying with NNES teachers. Some of my participants were university students and the rest of them were studying in a private institute. However, all participants had studied with Native English Speaking (NES) for teachers over 3 months. This point is the most distinctive factor of this study. During the interviews, most participants expressed positive attitudes to NNES teachers; nonetheless, when comparing NNES teachers with NES teachers, they chose to study with NES teachers? I used a number of graphic displays to show students’ attitudes toward NNES teachers and the advantages and disadvantages they found through their experiences that studying with NNES teachers. I hope that, through this study, NNES teachers can get an idea of their real status in students’ minds. Moreover, NNES teachers also can get a sense of the kinds of improvements they should try to make during the teaching practice.
    • What are the Main Factors that Contribute to ELLs' Pronunciation?

      Xiao, Haiying (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      Pronunciation is viewed as a difficult part in the English learning process of ELLs. This study aimed at exploring the factors that influence the pronunciation of ELLs. In this qualitative research, oral interview was a method for data collection. The sample of the study contained of 7 international students with age ranges between 18-25 from a State University in Western New York. The students were asked questions regarding their pronunciation difficulties. The results produced three general themes: personal reflection, difficulties and bias. Also, this study uncovered the implication of students’ pronunciation problems towards the teaching and learning of English. The findings of this study have implications for administrators, ESL educators and students.
    • What are the Parent Perceptions of Daily Homework Assignments Within a Kindergarten Classroom?

      Vara, Jessica (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      With the increasing educational demands and homework assignments within primary grade levels, it is important to understand the different structures and supports, or lack of structures and supports, that parents/guardians implement during homework completion. This study examined the views, beliefs, opinions and practices of the parents/guardians in regards to daily homework assignments within a kindergarten classroom and the overall home to school connection/relationship. Data for this study was collected from a parent/guardian survey that asked the participants to reflect on their parental involvement during their children’s homework completion. Findings indicated that parents/guardians established homework routines, offered support and assistance as necessary during homework completion and valued the homework assignments as a useful tool for children to understand how and when to complete homework as they become older. Findings also showed that that parents/guardians were made aware of all important happenings within the classroom, curriculum and school and felt comfortable engaging in open means of communication with their children’s teacher as necessary.
    • What are the Perceptions of International Students Regarding Their ESL Program?

      Hur, Hwibum (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      As the world gets more globalized and many people choose to receive their education abroad, there are an increasing number of international students coming to the United States. In this qualitative study, 8 international students that were currently attending or had graduated from an English as a Second Language (ESL) institution in a state university in Western New York were interviewed. The students were asked multiple questions regarding different aspects of the program and expressed their candid opinions regarding their current or past program. The three main themes investigated were facility, content, and personnel. Within each theme there were three subthemes: positives, negatives, and suggestions. The results from this study are intended to help educators, staff members, and students better understand this increasing subgroup.
    • What do my teachers think of me? The effect of deficit framing on emergent bilinguals' self-concept as language learners

      Schwartzmeyer, Tina (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016-05)
      When looking into best practice pedagogy for English language learners (ELLs), it is important to take a holistic view and explore the many different factors that can affect such complex learners, especially from a detrimental standpoint, such as holding a deficit perspective of these learners. Furthermore, it is important to look at teaching practices from the perspective of the students themselves, as this has not previously been researched. In this research study, the author chose to use the term Emergent Bilinguals (EBs) in order to focus on the students from a positive, additive perspective of language learners. This study had 3 main research questions focused on the constructs of teacher perceptions and academic self-concept. The first question focused on how EBs perceived their teachers' attitudes toward them as students followed by looking into what extent the EBs rated their own academic self-concepts. Lastly, the research explored the two constructs together to see if a relationship existed between teacher perceptions and academic self-concept. Using a survey comprised of twelve items rated on a four-point Likert scale and two short answer items, data was collected from eighteen EBs in an urban school district in Western New York. The results showed that the majority of students rated their teacher perceptions favorably and additionally, rated their own academic self-concepts in a favorable manner. The final research question determined that there was not a strong correlational relationship between the two constructs. [from author's abstract]
    • What effect does an extra-curricular physical activities program have on the behavioral ratings and academic performance of adolescent males in a residential setting?

      Yelich, Kyle (08/01/2013)
      What effect does an extra-curricular physical activities program have on the behavioral ratings and academic performance of a small group of adjudicated youth in a rural residential school? That was the primary question addressed in this project. Four male adolescent residents of a Special Act School participated in an after-school program designed to engage them in formal physical exercises, organized games, and structured partner- and team-building activities. The students' school-related behavior was then monitored before, during, and after the program was initiated. Present findings indicated that there were slight but positive improvements in all four students’ behavioral ratings and academic performance over time. Previous research has shown a positive correlation between student participation in organized physical activities and academic success, lower truancy rates, less consumption of unhealthy products, and fewer physical altercations. Implications for research and practice are offered.
    • What effect will a mathematics intervention have on 7th grade students' achievement solving equations?

      Gates, Leigh (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2017-05)
      The adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) came many high expectations including the CCSS offering a "foundation for the development of more rigorous, focused, and coherent mathematics curricula" (NCTM, 2016, para 1). The following study focuses on an intervention to investigate a specific differentiated instruction strategy to use in a mathematics inclusive classroom to increase student achievement. More specifically the intervention includes two strategies to solve equations (1) algebraic method and (2) hands-on method. The data showed that the intervention provided improvements to student achievement when solving equations in a 7th grade mathematics classroom. Another finding indicated that more students felt comfortable solving equations using the algebraic method. Future research can focus in a different setting to further investigate the differentiated instructional strategies from the study. [from author's abstract]
    • What is the academic impact mathematics journaling would have in a cooperative learning environment?

      Thompson, Michael (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2018-05)
      Educators have become increasingly concerned with the declining statistics of mathematics students in the United States; Americans continue to turn in flat results in tests that measure students' proficiency in reading, math, and science worldwide. As I have searched for various solutions to address the low achievement of students in mathematics, my review of the current literature has led me to believe that, if students use an interactive writing journal they could be more successful. Research has shown that when used with fidelity cooperative learning can increase student learning outcomes. Furthermore, when students use writing in mathematics as a strategy to communicate problem-solving, learning outcomes are also improved. This study focuses on mathematics journaling in a cooperative group with a fifth grade class in an urban school district in western New York. The results show there is a positive correlation between their Interactive Mathematics Journal and their cooperative group. Future research in a similar school district could speak to the validity of this project. Future research could increase the gap in the data to support mathematics journaling in a cooperative learning environment. [from author's abstract]
    • What research says about readers' theater and the impact of first through eighth graders' oral reading fluency.

      Vogan, Kaleigh L. (12/11/2013)
      This Master’s thesis project intends to examine Readers’ Theater and its impact on the oral reading fluency growth of first through eighth graders, as well as how it can be used as a motivational literacy tool. In addition, with increasing demands and tight time constraints, this project also attempts to reveal ways in which teachers can implement Readers’ Theater activities into existing literacy curriculums. A literature review is conducted in order to answer the project’s guiding questions. The findings reveal Readers’ Theater as an authentic and motivating literacy tool that can provide oral reading fluency growth in students with all reading abilities. This project also provides information on how Readers’ Theater can be adapted and fit into existing curriculums and other content areas. A professional development workshop is developed based on the characteristics and formats of successful professional development workshops identified in literature.
    • What research shows about literacy instructional strategies specifically for students with specific learning disabilities.

      Braunscheidel, Jennifer R. (2015)
      Within general education and special education classrooms are students with specific learning disabilities, and within these classrooms are general education and special education teachers who may or may not have specific training in how to teach reading to those students. This situation leads to the question of what literacy instructional strategies general education and special education teachers can use for literacy instruction with students who have specific disabilities related to literacy. The most appropriate way to answer this research question was with a research synthesis. The exhaustive literature review and subsequent research synthesis for this study produced three findings. The first is that research has determined five literacy instructional strategies that produce positive impact on students with specific learning disabilities: direct instruction with individuals, direct instruction in groups, repeated oral reading, technology integration, and simultaneous use of multiple strategies. The second is that the most useful and versatile instructional strategies are the three that produce positive results for all three age ranges of elementary, middle school, and adolescents: repeated oral reading which impacts oral fluency, direct instruction with an individual, and simultaneous use of multiple strategies, both of which impact reading comprehension. The third finding is that the main literacy skills to be targeted by literacy instruction for students with specific learning disabilities at the middle school and adolescent age range appears to be reading comprehension. These findings then form the basis of professional development for teachers that takes the form of an online interactive module.
    • What type of cooperative learning has the best results / Educational Outcomes?

      Eckley, Mary E. (2014)
      In researching cooperative learning, examining different types of grouping and group sizes will help teachers prepare to meet the needs of different students. In the classroom learning can happen when students work individually, in pairs, or in groups of three or more students. When choosing what size groups to use in the classroom it is crucial to look at the ability levels of the students in the classroom; this will help in deciding to use heterogeneous grouping or homogeneous grouping. Allowing students to work with others of different abilities levels and/or the same abilities levels can help in learning development. For this particular study the research was done using heterogeneous grouping and homogeneous grouping, with groups of three or more students. This study showed that for this particular groups of students involved in the research they performed best working in heterogeneous groups rather than homogeneous groups.