• 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.
    • A supplemental writing curriculum designed for primary English language arts instruction.

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

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

      Langworthy, Matthew (08/01/2013)
      No Author abstract.
    • American history simulations, reenactments, and educational games: a supplemental middle school curriculum.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Erny, Brea (11/11/2013)
      This is a professional development project that examines research regarding the effects of literacy education programs within incarceration facilities on the rehabilitation and recidivism rates of inmates. This project also reveals the factors that affect the success of such programs. The findings indicate that literacy education programs within incarceration facilities have positive implications on rehabilitation and post-release life as well as decrease the recidivism rates of the inmates. In addition, the findings indicate that positive relationships between teachers and inmates, incentives as motivation for program completion, and the age and race of inmates affect programs’ success. Based on these findings, the researcher develops a professional development workshop as well as coaching follow-ups for literacy education teachers within a federal prison.
    • How does technology impact a struggling adolescent students' writing process.

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

      Winkler, Andrea R. (11/12/2012)
      This study focused on musical performance anxiety and techniques to lower it. Five female collegiate music majors participated in training sessions on three specific anxiety lowering techniques: deep breathing, the Alexander Technique, and progressive muscle relaxation. Directly prior to their solo recital performances, each participant chose a technique to use to lower their anxiety. Measures consisted of an intake survey, a pre-recital survey, and a post-recital survey. The results of this study showed that the deep breathing technique was the most appealing and practical technique to perform prior to an anxiety-inducing musical situation.
    • The effects of class wide peer tutoring on fifth grade students' weekly spelling test performance.

      Kryszak, Lindsay (12/11/2013)
      Class Wide Peer Tutoring is a well-established strategy for improving pupil academic performance, particularly in basic academic skills (e.g., reading, math, and spelling fluency) and the acquisition and retention of content-related, factual knowledge. The present study provided partial replication of CWPT’s powerful academic effects, albeit to a lesser degree than previous research. Using an alternating-treatments design, CWPT produced slight but noticeable improvements in17, 5th grade pupils’ weekly spelling test scores. Results were limited somewhat by high baseline scores and lower fidelity ratings during initial tutoring sessions. More importantly, however, there were perceived improvements in pupils’ interpersonal and communication skills, more attention to instruction, and increased team cooperation. The classroom teacher and students provided positive acceptability ratings for most CWPT goals, procedures, and outcomes. Implications for future research are discussed.
    • 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.
    • Effects of African American vernacular English on English Language Learners' academic writing.

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

      Pettis, Jillian (12/11/2013)
      A CWPT study was conducted in a job training programs certified nursing assistant classroom. Students involved in the study ranged in age from 18-24. Vocabulary words were chosen to assist the students with their daily quizzes. Sixteen students participated in the study. Students were randomly paired with other students and placed on either the red or blue team each week the study was in place. Students participated in tutoring for a total of 20 minutes a day. Students acted as both tutors and tutees, switching roles after ten minutes. Points were earned for correct answers and were added with their team’s scores after each day’s session. Results showed that CWPT raised the daily averages of test scores and their ability to work with their peers.