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.

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