Monday, April 1, 2013

Action Research Update

My Action Research project has really been a learning process. I have taken six students into a music program I have designed to build the confidence, social skills as well as musical abilities. The program has had to be tweaked due to school rules being broken. One child was taken out of the program due to the amount of times the student missed the program in the mornings. The program still has 5 students working hard and I can see improvement in self-esteem as well as socializing with one another. The skills learned in the morning have stimulated their brains I believe to where they can focus more in their homeroom after announcements. I have had few teachers come and thank me for doing the program. They can see the success of their students and the discipline for most has improved. I do, however, still have many more obstacles to reach. I have learned that everything looks good on paper. You can have the best ideas to help students but until you put it into action you will never know if it will work or not. Everything is trial and error. There is no right or wrong and it is a learning experience for both you and the students. This action research project has helped me grow as a teacher. I feel more confident in decision making and I feel like I am becoming a better teacher because of it. I will continue the program hopefully after the performance because I feel that they can still learn so much from the program and use their skills in the future. I am anxious to see how the performance will turn out.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Last Week of Class

Well, the last week has been refreshing for the action research course. Here are a few things I reflected on from the past few weeks...

This course has definitely educated me on Action Research. To be honest, I had no idea what I was getting into with this class. The first week our assignment was to create a blog. My knowledge of blogs was not much. I knew the word but did not ever follow one nor did I know how to create one. It took me a while to understand the lingo and flow of a blog but once I navigated through the other blogs for the first week I started to like blogs! I began searching for music blogs, because of my music background, and found so many! Along with my action research blog I decided to start my own blog for my classroom. I wanted to start a new blog to help new music teachers have a resource to go to when they were in a rut or just needed another idea! I love the idea of blogs and with sharing blogs with classmates, it has helped me in so many ways such as, proof-reading, having a better understanding for action-research, connecting to other students with their plan ideas, creating a blogger community to go to when in need of a new idea or how to do a specific assignment. If only every teacher and student had blogs of their own it would be an endless amount of learning opportunities!
The discussion board is also a great way of connecting with students in the class. I thought by taking an on-line course that I would be lost and feel alone taking courses. I have had that theory proved wrong in this class. I actually feel more connected in this class with my peers than I did in a physical classroom setting in my undergraduate university. With web chats, blogs and discussion boards I feel that I am connected all day every day. Giving and receiving feedback about assignments and activities I feel that there is a better understanding about the class material. We are all helping one another and it is a feeling of great success.
The online videos from the educational leaders from week two also helped me in the direction of my action research plan. During the first week of the course I felt so lost in my knowledge of action research. I tried to understand what was of highest importance at my school and I was thinking to in depth. No after reading and viewing the videos and reading other action research plans I found that there are so many studies I could to at my school. There really are endless possibilities. You can always make a change, try something new, and research an area that needs some work. The way you process your plan and give the time and effort to it will make a better impact in the long run. As what I have learned in this last assignment from part one, assessing the quality of inquiry in your plan will make a huge difference in your journey.
The assignment for this class, my action research plan, will be ongoing for the next few months and hopefully be implemented and continued in the future. My action research plan I feel passionate about and really hope it makes a difference in my students lives. I want my students to find their self-confidence and really grow from the skills we learn in the percussion program in the mornings. I hope they apply these skills towards their other classes and everyday life. I feel that motivating students can help and not destroy their self-worth. Each child is of the most importance and taking care of the ones that are struggling is my main goal. With this class I found a new understand for action research and can apply it towards my school.
With everything above being said, I really enjoyed the layout of the course. I think if you did all the assignments to the best of your ability, interacted through the blogs, web chats, discussions and read all the material you should understand and apply action research with any hesitation. The course was a great experience and I hope that my courses in the future prepare me with as much knowledge as I gained in this course.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Tool 8.1 CARE Model: Planning Tool

Identify Concerns that must change (look to the future)

(Assign points to concerns from 1 to 3 in the order of the most important issues to consider.)

1. Students success level rises in the following areas: Attendance, Behavior and Grades

2. Students confidence rises and the want for positive attention occurs

3. Students can successfully play a percussion instrument

Identify Affirmations that must be sustained (look to the present)

(Assign points to affirmations from 1 to 3 in the order of the most important issues to consider.)

1. Students success level in the following areas stay maintained: Attendance, Behavior and Grades

2. Students can maintain the confidence to excel in other areas of school and life

3. Students continues to learn skills to play the instruments used in the program

SMART Recommendations that must be implemented:

(Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely)

(Assign points to recommendations from 1 to 3 in the order of the most important recommendations to implement.)

1. Create positive feedback cards for students to start gaining the self-esteem that they need desperately

2. Scenarios and solutions written out incase students do not follow rules for program

3. Create probation letter and rules for students that need to get back on track with the program

EVALUATE – Specifically and Often

(Identify the best ways to evaluate the implemented recommendations.)

1. Reflect on data in 3 specific areas: Behavior, Attendance and Grades

2. Supervisor and Team Meetings

3. Performance-Students music program in front of an audience of teachers and parents

Revised Plan

Highlighted are the parts I changed for my plan...

Action Planning Template
Goal: How will learning a musical instrument affect students with behavior/self-esteem issues?
Action Steps(s):
Person(s) Responsible:
Timeline: Start/End
Needed Resources
Conference with teacher in the 3rd and 4th grade
Jacquelyn Silva, 3rd and 4th grade team, Amy Smith and Kathryn Velghe
Behavior Data
Teacher Recommendations
Results of conferences will determine which students will attend the program
Notify students who were chosen for the program
Jacquelyn Silva and Students Homeroom teacher
Notification letter
Students signature agreeing on program guidelines
Meet with students on an everyday basis before school
Jacquelyn Silva
Music Classroom,
Percussion Instruments, Students
Reflect on the week, look for any changes that need to be made
Look at Data from the first week
Jacquelyn Silva/Amy Smith and Kathryn Velghe
Behavior, Attendance, Grading
Collect Data from the week and discuss summary of program with supervisors
Continue program with students
Jacquelyn Silva
Music Classroom,
Percussion Instruments, Students
Collect data such as behavior, attendance and grades
Meet with students teachers and administrators to see if plan is effective or needs to be tweaked
Jacquelyn Silva
3rd and 4th grade Teams and  Administrators
Behavior, Attendance, Grading
Reflect on
What improvements were made? What do we need to work on?
Continue program with students 
Jacquelyn Silva
Music Classroom,
Percussion Instruments, Students
Collect data as specified above for each week*
Student instrument assessment
(Week 6)
Jacquelyn Silva
Music Classroom,
Percussion Instruments, Students
See if each student can play their instrument
Meet with administrator to look at data
Jacquelyn Silva
Amy Smith/Kathryn Velghe
Behavior, Attendance, Grading
Reflect on
What improvements were made? What do we need to work on?
Continue Program with students
Jacquelyn Silva
Music Classroom,
Percussion Instruments, Students
Specific requirements met for program
Performance with Students
Jacquelyn Silva, students teachers and administrators
Stage, Audience, Students, Instruments, Staff Support
Student Performance
Meet with Staff involved with program
Jacquelyn Silva, 3rd and 4th grade teams, administrator
Data from the past 9 weeks
Reflect over
The program’s success. Should it continue?