• The development of inquiry-based kits to supplement elementary science instruction.

      Diesenberg, Jessica (16/11/2012)
      "Science has been left off the national agenda for too long, and now we are paying the price", said the executive director of the National Science Teachers Association on the results of the 2009 national science exam (Banchero, 2011, p.1). Results showed that only one third of US students had a solid grasp of science. The National Science Education Standards have encouraged teachers to use inquiry-based learning because it allows students to immerse themselves in science and gain content knowledge. As a response to low science scores and stretched budgets, NY teachers use inquiry-based learning designed for them by the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES). BOCES prepares and distributes hands-on science kits for grades K-6, making inquiry-based learning an option for all elementary students. BOCES provides schools districts with inquiry kits, however doesn't provide instruction for every topic covered over the course of the year. The purpose of this curriculum project was to create five science kits modeled after the Erie 2 Chautauqua Cattaraugus BOCES kits to enhance the current fourth grade curriculum at Pine Valley Central School District. Each kit is aligned to the science curriculum and includes: eight lesson plans aligned to the New York State standards, eight reflective assessments, three formal assessments, vocabulary lists, materials list and images/graphs. The new kits resemble the current kits and were created to supplement the curriculum, addressing the following five topics: energy from plants, systems of the human body, heat, sound and light, and simple machines.
    • The Developmental Benefits of Outdoor Play.

      Powers, April (2014)
      Play is a pivotal part of a child’s life. Outdoor play fosters opportunities for creativity, imagination, social learning and physical development. When children are given the opportunity to be engaged in outdoor play during the school day the effect is positive for both teacher and student. Children’s direct experiences in outdoor play shape their development in the classroom. Even though these positives have been identified, many classrooms during the school day do not give the students a chance to learn in the outdoor environment. A qualitative study was designed to get experienced teachers opinion about the importance of outdoor play during classroom time. Understanding the overall benefits of play will create a better learning environment for the students and a better teaching environment for the educator.
    • Differentiated Instruction in the General Education Elementary Classroom

      Adesso, Briana (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-07)
      Differentiated instruction is the way in which a teacher anticipates and responds to a variety of students' needs in the classroom. To meet students needs, teachers differentiate instruction by modifying the content, the process, and the product of the way that students demonstrate their learning. Differentiation involves making a learning task fit students need instead of the other way around. The goal of differentiated instruction is to bring the ideas and concepts of the curriculum to the learner at a pace and a depth that is appropriate for the ability of each student. I created a handbook for teachers to utilize when they need suggestions on differentiating instruction in the classroom. Different learning styles, and tips for teachers to accommodate to those learning styles will be categorized in the handbook. It will also include information on how the teacher can set up the classroom to promote differentiated instruction. The purpose of this handbook is to provide teachers information about differentiated instruction and give ideas about how it can easily be done. It is important to keep each student in mind when lesson planning, and making sure everyone is on the same page with the content being taught.
    • Disciplinary literacy and its implications for teacher practice

      Degenfelder, Kayleigh (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016-05)
      Implementation of the Common Core State Standards has increased the emphasis on literacy in the content areas and caused teachers to reflect on their literacy instruction within content areas. While many teachers appear to use the term "content area literacy" interchangeably with the emerging term "disciplinary literacy," these are two distinct forms of literacy with distinctive instructional practices. The problem related to equating these two terms is that teachers then equate the instructional strategies. A related research question is, how does knowing the difference between content area literacy and disciplinary literacy impact a teacher's instructional practice? This study addresses this question of definition and practice through a research synthesis. Findings indicate that disciplinary literacy refers to distinctive literacy skills and practices specific to disciplinary communities and their way of thinking, that this definition of "disciplinary literacy" carries implications for instructional practices in classrooms although there is yet no consensus about appropriate grade levels for employing these instructional practices, and that this definition and instructional practices meet the demands of both college and career readiness and Common Core Standards. Further findings indicate that disciplinary literacy instructional practices have the capability to be integrated with existing instructional practices, that no research on the implementation of disciplinary literacy has been conducted with practicing K-12 teachers, and that the research with preservice teachers indicates that they develop their understanding and instructional strategies based on their own learning experiences. These findings are then disseminated to teachers through an interactive professional development Workshop. [from abstract]
    • Disproportionate representation of English Language Learners in special education.

      Peterson, Sarah G. (2015)
      The disproportionate representation of English language learners (ELLs) in special education has been a persistent issue in the United States. This study examined Western New York teachers’ views of disproportionate representation, factors that influence disproportionate representation, and practices to help reduce the over representation of ELLs in special education. Eight teachers were interviewed in person at three different school districts. In addition, this study explored the extent of dis-proportionality in the identification and placement of ELLs in the learning disability, intellectual disability, and speech or language impairment categories in Chautauqua County, New York. The relative risk ratio was used to analyze the results. The results indicated that assessment practices, bilingual assessments, instructional factors, referral procedures, teachers’ beliefs and attitudes, teacher training, and low socioeconomic status are all factors that influence disproportionate representation. The results also indicated that there are a variety of strategies and practices that can help reduce disproportionate representation. Some of these practices include more training, more differentiated instruction, better bilingual programs and education, more positive attitudes and expectations when working with English language learners, and the use of various formal and informal assessments. Further, the results indicated that there is an over-representation of English language learners in the intellectual disability category, an under representation of English language learners in the speech or language impairment category, and a proportionate representation of English language learners in the learning disability category. Implications are discussed with regards to teachers and their classroom practices when administering assessments and providing instruction to English language learners.
    • Division Misconceptions in the Middle School Mathematics Classroom.

      Taylor, Sarah J. (2013-01-25)
      No author abstract.
    • Do extracurricular activities promote better academic performance and heightened sense of school connectedness in college athletes

      Champoux, Kristen (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016)
      Extracurricular activities allow students to express themselves in a non-academic manner but oftentimes have a positive correlation to academic performance. Extracurricular activities can also provide the students with an added incentive to be in school and enjoy the school experience. This research study was conducted on 18 students between the ages of 18 and 22 from a small liberal arts institution in western New York. The 18 participants are all members of the universities swimming and diving program. Grade point averages were compared from the Spring 2015 semester (when the participants were not highly involved in extracurricular activities) to the Fall 2015 semester (when the participants were highly involved in extracurricular activities). A questionnaire was also administered using both a Likert scale and open ended questions. The results of the study showed a 0.22 increase on average for the participants' GPA from the Spring to the Fall semesters. This information along with the data from the questionnaires showed that students performed better during the semester that they were heavily involved in extracurricular activities. Also, as a result the participants felt more connected to the university though their participation in extracurricular activities. [from author's abstract]
    • Documentation Panels' influence on Parents' and [Teacher] Assistants' perceptions about toddler art experience.

      Johnston, Marie (28/02/2014)
      This research proposal seeks to answer the following question: “Does the use of documentation panels on children’s visual art experiences affect parents’ and assistant teachers’ perceptions of what toddlers (children 18 months to 3 years) are learning in daycare centers?” The literature review includes a discussion on appropriate art experiences for toddlers, parental perceptions of daycare centers, and modes of communication between teachers and families. Documentation panels and their benefits for teachers and families are also discussed. The researcher asked parents and assistant teachers to fill out a Likert scale survey at the beginning and at the end of the study. Participants were asked to view one new documentation panel every week for four weeks. At the end of the study, the results of the surveys were calculated. It was found that documentation panels did have an effect on parent and assistant teacher perceptions of what toddlers are learning in daycare centers.
    • Does improvement of multiplication fluency improve fifth graders' overall Math achievement?

      Jackson Jr., Ralph E. (2014)
      New federal common core standards adopted by New York State require students to master rigorous material at earlier grades than previously. It is a concern for teachers that without a strong foundation in math fact fluency students will not be able to master the demands of the new curriculum. A study involving 10 and 11-year-old students, at a rural elementary school district, was conducted to determine how students’ math fact multiplication fluency, for numbers 0-10, affected their overall math achievement. Students’ math achievement was based on pre and post intervention STAR test results. The acronym STAR originally stood for the Standardized Test for the Assessment of Reading, but the Renaissance Learning has since expanded into the area of math. The study combined multiple intervention strategies to re-mediate the students with the lowest scores on STAR and/or multiplication fluency testing. Results of this study indicated that the interventions used were successful and that the students who received these interventions also showed significant growth in their overall math achievement based on STAR test results.
    • Does interactive white board utilization affect high school career and technical teachers perceived engagement levels of their students?

      Karpie, Sandra Przybyla (2014)
      The purpose of this study was to add to the growing research of interactive white board (IWB) technology. Specifically looking at Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher's perceptions of student engagement. For this study, six CTE teachers from an CTE school were asked to complete a 20 question questionnaire with both open and closed response questions. Participants were asked questions based on IWB use, tool, engagement, interactiveness, perceptions, and technical difficulties. Four CTE teachers completed the questionnaire. Results indicated IWB use in the classroom was frequent and the CTE teachers take advantage of the many tools and operations available on the IWB. Teacher perceptions of student engagement were very high across the board.
    • Does the quality of rival song affect the structure of cricket aggressive calls?

      Ladowski, Alexander (2013-01-11)
      Male crickets utilize calls prior to aggressive encounters with other males in order to gain a fitness advantage without resulting in costly physical altercation. In our study we looked at whether male house crickets (Acheta domesticus) changed specific call parameters in response to males that were perceived as being strong or weak through synthetic call playback. Our findings lend support to previous studies showing that there is a significant positive linear relationship between pulse duration and male linear size as well as condition. We also show that males do not change their call structures in response to males they perceived as strong or weak, and we offer evidence that male house crickets are actually physically constrained, and thus the signals produced are good indicators of resource holding potential (RHP).
    • Does using the interactive whiteboard assist social studies teachers in increasing the comprehension of students and increase classroom participation of middle school students in Saudi Arabia?

      Batarfi, Hanadi (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2018-05)
      In recent years, there has been increasing interest in integrating the latest technology tools into educational field with a view to improving teaching methods as well as activating the role of students as participants in the educational process in order to develop their intellectual, social and academic skills. Interactive Whiteboard is one of these latest educational tools. After reviewing the literature, the researcher found that there are few studies on this topic in the Saudi context. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of using the IWB to assist social studies teachers in Saudi Arabia to increase the comprehension of students to the curriculum and increase classroom participation in middle schools in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This study was conducted in an urban middle school in Western Saudi Arabia during the spring semester of 2018. The participants in this study were 8th grade students from the 33-middle school in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This study's sample consisted of 30 female students all the aged of 14. The students were assigned at random with n=15 students in the experimental group in order to study the material by using interactive whiteboard technology and n=15 students in the control group in order to study the material in the traditional way. Also, the researcher designed a Likert-style survey to investigate students' opinions and attitudes towards of the using the IWB in the classroom. The researcher analyzed the results of her research question using direct observation and surveys. A comparison was made between the data of the two groups using statistical analysis. The mean and standard deviation were determined via the use of the SPSS program. The results from this study indicated that IWB technology has successfully contributed to increasing students' comprehension and to increasing classroom participation. In addition, the results indicated that there were positive attitudes towards the use of IWB in the classroom. The results also indicated the ability of IWB technology to raise the academic performance of students and to give students the opportunity to participate in the educational process through the presentation of activities, educational lessons, as well as to use some advantages of IWB such as writing on the board in order to increase students' motivation to learn and to encourage to acquire skills. [from abstract]
    • The Effect of Artificial Night Lighting on the Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifungus).

      Alsheimer, Laura (2012-10-25)
      With increased human development, light pollution caused by artificial night lighting, has progressively become an ecological problem for a variety of species (Rich and Longcore, 2006). The concepts of light pollution and conservation are considered especially important for those species that are nocturnal. Bats, like other nocturnal species, could be at risk from the effects of artificial night lighting; however very few studies have investigated this. Depending on the surrounding environment, a bat changes it echolocation calls accordingly to avoid obstacles and also to forage for insect prey (Wund, 2006). We must consider that artificial night lighting may impact the use of echolocation in both in foraging and in orientation; changing the relative reliance on sonar and vision. We investigated the effects of light on echolocation and associated behaviors in this study. Sixteen Myotis lucifugus were captured from an attic of a resident of the Chautauqua Institution during the summer of 2010. Four randomized treatments were preformed for each bat by recording behavior and echolocation over 1 minute. Treatments were 1) 1 minute with the light off, 2) 1 minute with the light on, 3) 30 seconds light off and 30 seconds light on and 4) 30 seconds light on and 30 seconds light off. Behavioral results show significant difference in activity when the bats are exposed to a light on that then switches to lights off. This is in contrast to no significant difference in activity when the bats are exposed to a constant light treatment. We did not find differences in sonar call structure based on treatment. Our data demonstrate[s] that the little brown bat will have a slower response time to changing light conditions possibly because of the time [it] takes for light versus dark adaption, as well as their natural response to light and dark. We also suggest that the little brown bat has the ability to be plastic in their behavior as well as sonar in constant light conditions, enabling them to adjust accordingly and be successful in both sonar and behavior.
    • The effect of dialogic reading on second language acquisition, output, and literacy of migrant students in early childhood

      Barrow, Jasmine (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2018-05)
      This mixed research study addressed the research question: does dialogic reading influence migrant students' language output and literacy skills? The study was based in Western New York (WNY) and was conducted in an agriculture-based migrant center. The participants of the study were 4 years of age and were both female and male. The current literature indicated that the use of comprehensible input is beneficial to the language output of English language learners (ELLs) in both the home language and the target language. The data was collected through a series of interviews and observations using anecdotal notes and an interview protocol. The compiled data was analyzed and reported through themes and visual graphs which indicated that there was a positive correlation between the use of dialogic reading and the increased output of the target language, English. [from author's abstract]
    • The Effect of Extracts from Native Species on Invasive English Ivy Applied via Stem Injection

      Alruwaili, Munayfah (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2017-05)
      Native plants are as competitive as invasive species but may require a new strategy persist. As humans spread invasive non-native species and continue to disturb the habitats of native species the non-natives will continue to outcompete the native species. In this study, I employ a new mechanism, stem injection, to investigate allelopathic effects. English ivy stems were injected with native seed (poison ivy, goldenrod, milkweed and snakeroot) extract and goldenrod leaf, roots and entire plant extract. Native extracts significantly inhibited English ivy growth, especially roots. Native seed extract also, inhibited radish and lettuce germination. Allelopathy is one hypothesis to explain this relationship between native and invasive species.
    • The Effect of Home Literacy Practices on Emergent Literacy Skills

      Gangi, Ashley (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2018-08)
      If we want students to succeed and reach high levels of achievement in their reading abilities, it is important to recognize the development of emergent literacy skills in young children and their effect on later reading success. It is also important to recognize one way to develop these emergent literacy skills is through home literacy practices. Home literacy practices have a positive impact on children's emergent literacy skills prior to starting kindergarten and therefore having a positive effect on later reading success. A free, user-friendly website was created to share this information and research-based strategies with parents and families of young children, in hopes that it will create a positive effect on children's later reading success.
    • 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.
    • Effective classroom environments for students with disabilities and those prenatally exposed to drugs and alcohol

      Manzella, Dawn (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2017-05)
      This study's aim was to investigate teachers' and parents' perceptions of characteristics of effective learning environments in a small rural county in Western New York for students in elementary school with disabilities or an individualized education plan (IEP), including children who have been prenatally exposed to drugs and alcohol. The second purpose is to investigate how these classroom environments contribute to students' social/emotional and sensory development. My main questions are, what are elementary teachers' and parents' perception of the characteristics of an effective learning environment for young children with disabilities or an individualized education plan (IEP), specifically children prenatally exposed to drugs and alcohol? The participants were Kindergarten and first grade students in a special education classroom from a rural elementary school in western New York. The study was comprised of qualitative research including interviews with my participant's teachers and families. The quantitative research including an observation scale of participant behavior and classroom environment. The results were then compared to the appropriate information found within the literature review. The results indicated a specific need for appropriate classroom environments with the use of sensory and social/emotional interventions. The students responded positively the routine, schedules, and classroom set up put forth by the classroom teacher. The classroom was arranged for optimal student success. [from author's abstract]
    • Effective intervention programs and their impact on children in poverty.

      Rokitka, Justin R. (19/11/2012)
      The purpose of this master’s project was to investigate the growing problems of illiteracy in the United States, how it relates to poverty, and both literacy intervention programs and frameworks that may have a positive effect on those students who struggle. The first stage of this investigation involved research into the issue of illiteracy in the United States and its connection to poverty. Research articles were collected on the topics of illiteracy, poverty, and effective literacy programs and frameworks through the use of database searches. The second stage of this investigation was to analyze the relevant research articles discovered and identify which literacy programs and frameworks would have a positive effect on students struggling with illiteracy. The third and final stage of this investigation developed a professional development experience that would most efficiently teach these programs and framework to professionals who may use the information to improve their student’s literacy abilities. The findings of this investigation indicated that illiteracy and poverty are correlating educational issues, that READ 180, the 4 R’s program, and the RTI framework are possible ways to improve student’s literacy abilities, and that professional development experiences may improve teacher’s ability to utilize these programs and framework to benefit their students.
    • Effective literacy instructional strategies for use by General education teachers with students on the Autism Spectrum

      Haungs, Lindsey (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2018-05)
      This thesis project is a Professional Development Project used to complete a review of literature about what are effective literacy strategies for general education teachers to use when teaching students on the Autism Spectrum, literacy instruction. The researcher took a personal interest in this topic based on her own teaching experience of students on the Autism Spectrum. The most appropriate way to address this question was to complete an exhaustive literature review and synthesis. After a synthesis of the research was completed, four significant findings were produced. The first finding is that according to research, five instructional strategies produce effective results on literacy instruction with students with ASD. The second finding is at the middle school and high school level, comprehension is the area of literacy instruction where most instructional strategies are being applied. The third finding is that the instructional strategy of cooperative learning groups are most effective with students with ASD at the elementary level. The fourth finding is that the most effective instructional strategies can be applied across all three grade levels of elementary, middle school and adolescents: direct instruction (DI) and Class Wide Peer Tutoring (CWPT). These findings are pertinent to the professional development of general elementary teachers with students on the Autism spectrum and will be shared with them through a professional development project in the form of a handout. [from author's abstract]