Friday, December 21, 2012

Final Thoughts for 2012

As I think about my course, I am reminded of how important it is to find an action research project that will help my school grow in academics with success at the end. I struggled with this project because I couldn’t get the right questions to come out. I think reading my fellow peers discussion post and sitting down and reading Dana and Harris text helped me gain control of my thoughts and create an action research project that not only interest me, but will help me grow in my abilities to read and interpret data. I am also using Harris’ eight strategies to help me create a environment at school that helps students grow in academics.
Listening to principals and superintendents discuss how important it is to use our data to produce academic success really got me to thinking about how schools should incorporate a blog site for staff to visit to share what might help specific students that are struggling. I know that when I talked to the previous year teachers about students, I am learned how to teach students that struggle with reading and math. 
My favorite part about EDLD 5301 was writing my blog and reading other peoples blogs. I never realized that so many of my classmates would respond to my posts. I learned that I have a point to make about what I am thinking and my peers gave me additional support. I gave my blog page to a few colleagues at work and they told me that what I am doing is going to help struggling students in our school.  When I would blog I couldn’t help but notice that I was actually writing a journal about my thoughts. I enjoyed this part of the class.
If I were to rate what part of the class that helped me most it would be the discussion questions and responses. When I read my peer’s discussion posts about our question for the week, I noticed that many of my peers were in the same boat as me. On week one I was lost because I knew what an action research paper is about because I did one in college. I didn’t realize the amount of work that would go into the paper. I finally came up with my action research paper after reading sample questions from Dana text and my peers. I look at the discussion as another way to learn the curriculum being taught.
I took several nights searching the library and specific action research projects online. I actually found a EDLD 5301 blog from several students from the year 2010. I read their topics and finally decided that I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. Every day I see students struggle with math and reading and I honestly do not have an answer for this question. I do know that I need to focus my attention on the students I work with every day. Reading prior blogs from students that took the same class that I am in know actually helped me set my sights on how software in tutoring can help students. I even found other elementary teachers that were awarded money for their excellent action research papers. I was very impressed with all the papers I had a chance to read.
I struggled with how to state my question, but once I sat down and thought about what I actually wanted to accomplish, the words just flew onto the page. I honestly think I have a winning topic; I just need to know how to get the words from my head onto my paper. After concentrating on what I felt was a need at the school, I became very confident in the topic that I want to research.  I believe that having the professor see my “rough” draft and telling me that my project can be done, but I will have a lot of obstacles ahead of me. I realized that I was making the project harder than it should be.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Assignment 4-Revision

Today is our 12-12-12 reading day and everyone spent time reading to a class on our campus. Developing an action research plan is hard to develop if the topic is not interesting or does not provide enough data. One change in my action research plan is to change the question some. The new question Goal: Can Accelerated Reader and I-Station program at Roger Q. Mills be used to monitor and improve struggling students to improve reading and math skills of identified RTI (Response to Intervention) Tier II & III students?  I added in the name of the school and changed the question to use software that is already on our campus.
I had a chance to talk to our Accelerated Reader representative and she showed me how to use the program to monitor students’ progress. Specific reports can be looked at on the Accelerated Reader and I-Station program. I went to my principal and told her about the lasting effects of Accelerated Reader and explained to her how I would use AR in the library to help struggling readers.
Subfield Questions Changed:
  1. Is the Accelerated Reader (AR) and I-Station program going to help progress monitor reading or math program for Tier II and III students?
  2. What specific area of reading and math, does the school need to focus attention on with I-Station and AR?
  3. What types of reports can AR and I-Station help build student success?
  4. How many times a week do students need to be pulled to work on RTI lessons online?
Need Resources Changed:
  1. I-Station
  2. Accelerated Reader (AR)
  3. Google Docs
  4. STAAR results
  1. I-Station student progress reports
  2. Accelerated Reader (AR) reports
My principal is the only administrator on the campus of 500 students and the information I gather from her is precious because of her tight schedule. I know how important it is to get the students level of knowledge/understanding up because our principal is focused on the academic success of her staff and students.
Providing feedback on the Action Research project is important to me and I know that my principal is doing all she can to help me understand what needs are important to our school and how can we (the staff) make changes that will leave a lasting and positive effect for the students.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Action Research Plan

Due to leaving Dallas ISD, I am changing my Action Research Plan to organizing and starting a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) or a Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). I am one step closer to completing my new plan.

See my new Action Research Plan titled "RCEs PTO or PTA"

I am excited to share my Action Research plan for Response to Intervention software schools can use to help struggling students. 

Action Planning Template
Goal: What specific software can librarian use to improve reading and math skills of identified RTI (Response to Intervention) Tier II & III students?
Action Steps(s):
Person(s) Responsible:
Timeline: Start/End
Needed Resources
Is there a particular software reading or math program for Tier II and III students?
-Library Media Specialist
January 2013-May 2013
I-station reading and math (includes Exceed)
Research surrounding school districts RTI software programs
What specific area of reading and math, does the LMS need to focus attention on as far as locating specific RTI software?
-Library Media Specialist
-Special Education Teacher
January 2013-April 2013
RTI Observation Checklist of students
Other school districts that use RTI software

-Teacher survey
-SPD survey
-List of reading/math software available
What software program is needed to monitor students’ academic progress?
-Library Media Specialist
January 2013-May 2013
The librarian can progress monitor students during each I-Station story/math problems. 

(includes Exceed)

How many times a week and minutes do the students need to be pulled to work on RTI lessons online?
-Math/Reading teacher
-Special Education teacher-
July 2013-August 2013
Two weeks into school all students will be tested to be placed in groups.
The librarian will work on a flexible schedule to pull students throughout the day for the 2013-2014 school year.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Real Life Action Research

I learned that data is a major part of learning about our students. When students come to our school, we (the staff) needs to make sure that we know about our new student. Find out what school the student went too and find out the scores from the school, locate the teacher and discuss what helped the student learn, and learn everything possible about the student. The same information also needs to be applied to current students in the school. 

Action Research Scholars:

Dr. Johnny Briseno, Principal, Rancho Isabella Elementary, Angleton ISD
Dr. Kirk Lewis, Superintendent, Pasadena ISD

Although both men are at two different districts, both discuss how important it is to look at the data available before making any decision about a school district, individual school, and individual student. We should never make a decision unless we have the facts to back it up.

If you are reading this blog please visit and check out Dr. Kirk Lewis' involvement in the school. 

Dr. Briseno was originally at Angleton ISD but has since move to Alvin High School. You can visit his website at After doing research on Dr. Briseno I found out that he won the 2011 Dr. Ted Sizer Dissertation Competition.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Educational Leaders and Blogging

Educational leaders (principals) can use blogs to explain what was learned at a professional workshop, thoughts about what is going on at the school, and collect data to use in future plans. Blogging is an easy way for administrators to communicate new ideas, provide weekly announcements to the staff, and to journal thoughts about articles read. 

Action Research

Action research is a supported evidence centered process that solves problems and making decisions. The research collected helps the person in charge create a timeline, develop individual/instructional needs, understand school needs, involve the community, and develop questions/surveys/data to help improve the school environment. Action research is built around a particular problem within a school.  The information studied helps to make changes to questions generated from the action research study. Involving the teachers, teacher’s aids, parents, students, and other school staff helps provide a greater vision of changes that need to be made to specific programs within the school. Improving problems, formulating strategies to improve problems, implementing action plans, and improving situations at school are important to making an action research plan successful.  Action research also involves existing data, ethical understanding to the parents, and writing and implementing specific action plans. The objective of an action research plan is to continue improvement never-ended change.
          A successful action research must ask questions as to why the research needs to change the current situation brought forth. Good research characteristics should be meaningful, focused, challenging, and supportive. Schools have different methods of making changes at school. Depending upon the school grade level brings forth various situations that need attention; a principal needs to put the situations in order from greatest to least and begin working on the highest priority problem first.