Vocabulary/Reading - Lake County Schools

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LAKE COUNTY SCHOOLS
ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT
OFFICE USE ONLY
Component 4-401-002
Point Value: 10-30
Posted ______________
By _________________
TO BE COMPLETED BEFORE ACTION RESEARCH IS INITIATED
Teacher
Researcher
Name
Nancy M. Grucza
School or
Department
Tavares High School
Issue or Topic
Emp.
ID
There is a need to implement more rigorous vocabulary development with the inclusion of hands on
lessons to enhance and grow the reading levels of all students.
Utilizing differentiated vocabulary instruction will increase FCAT reading scores for students in my
Research
Hypothesis
classes that have a level 2 reading ability. 75% or better of these students will increase their scores
by a minimum of 30 points. If FCAT scores are not available, FAIR testing scores will be used from
the Fall and Spring testing.
Principal‘s
Signature
Date
TO BE COMPLETED AT CONCLUSION OF ACTION RESEARCH
RESEARCH PROCESS
1. What student data formed the baseline?
FCAT reading scores, Lower quartile, Lunch, homeless, Maze scores, Fair testing
2. What research resources, i.e., books, documents, were studied?
Car –PD and car-pd practicum
3. What student demographic groups were used and how were they selected?
Lower Quartile from FCAT reading, Free and reduced lunch; homeless, sophomores and juniors
4. What strategies were implemented during the study?
Reading and vocabulary strategies from CAR-PD and CAR-PD Practicum
5. What was the timeline for the study?
August – May and ongoing
Approved
Disapproved
Comments
Principal
assigns
10-30 points
Principal’s
Signature
Director of Staff
Development
Signature
MIS 64 035 05-01-07 RVS
Submitted by Staff Development
Date
Date
Acknowledged
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LAKE COUNTY SCHOOLS
ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT - SHARING THE RESULTS
[Complete online and email to [email protected]]
Title of Action
Research Project
Vocabulary/Reading
Name of Teacher
Researcher
Nancy M. Grucza
Name of School
Tavares High School
Grade Level
10-12
Answer the following questions in your abstract. DO NOT USE teacher or student names.
1. Classroom Problem: Provide a description of your identified classroom problem.
2. Research Process: Provide a detailed description of your research process.
3. Collection and Analysis: Provide a narrative summary of your collected and analyzed data.
4. Action: Provide a summary of your decisions based on your analyzed data.
5. Professional Reflection: What did you learn through this process? How did conducting action
research impact your teaching?
ABSTRACT:
1. Classroom Problem:
Initial problem: The reading level for some of my students is below the reading level of my books.
E.g. Object –Oriented Programming Using C++ Joyce Farrell; Microsoft VB 2005 Reloaded; An
Object –Oriented Approach to Programming Logic and Design.
Programming, logic, and web design books are written at a college reading level. Vocabulary is a
challenge for some students. The vocabulary for Web Design and Business Computer
Programming can be deemed as unusual by non-technical adults and some students who are not
prepared for the level of language needed to complete the core curriculum.
Specifically: Of my 24 Web students, 2 did not make reading gains on the FCAT Reading test; 7
are on free and reduced lunch; 8 are low level readers on the state testing. Of my second period
class(27 students ), 9 students did not make reading gains on the FCAT Reading test; 6 are low
level readers; 11 are on free and reduced lunch. Of my 27 students in fourth period, 6 students did
not make reading gains; 5 are low level readers; 11 free and reduced lunches. There is a need to
implement more rigorous vocabulary development with the inclusion of hands on lessons. After
noting all of this, the current FCAT statistics are not in at the time of this writing. Consequently, I
switched to Maze and FAIR testing results so I would have sufficient data to draw conclusions.
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Five students in my first period class had results for Maze and FAIR. There are ten students in my
second period class and five students in my fourth period class. I have three junior level 2 readers
that were not tested. I would have preferred to utilize the FCAT results for a number of reasons.
Students tend to take the FCAT more seriously and will put forth a greater effort on that test. By the
time the students have taken the third FAIR test, some of them no longer put forth the necessary
effort to succeed. . When this happens, the test results cannot be depended upon to be one
hundred percent accurate.
2. Research Process: Scores: Students were given FAIR testing in the fall, winter, and spring. From
the FAIR testing, you can also deduce the MAZE score. FCAT scores will be added when the state
releases the results. Differentiated instruction: For-PD; CAR-PD, and CAR-PD Practicum.
3.
Collection and Analysis:
The initial collection of FCAT and lunch data was taken from FCAT star. When this was completed,
I gathered additional data utilizing FAIR and MAZE testing. (see attached spread sheets).
My subgroup data is displayed in graphic form with exhibit 1-3 showing all 3 classes.
It should be noted that I have two periods of predominantly male classes. The data is insufficient to
allow any type of analysis of male versus female strategies. I have one ESOL student in fourth
period that is showing outstanding work. He received a 1 on his initial FCAT Reading. He has
shown reading gains (47-59) on his MAZE test and he gained an additional 50 points on his FAIR
testing (lexile scores) from fall to the winter testing.
4. Action: By definition, “differentiated instruction applies an approach to teaching and learning that
gives students multiple options for taking in information and making sense of ideas. Differentiated
instruction is a teaching theory based on the premise that instructional approaches should vary and
be adapted in relation to individual and diverse students in classrooms (Tomlinson, 2001).”
Due to the multitude of reading and vocabulary levels, I changed the way vocabulary was
introduced, presented, and tested.
Students were introduced to the vocabulary in technical terms. The words were written on the
board and said out loud. We had an open discussion on what each word meant in laymen’s terms.
The students then decided on the ten (10) most important words. With these words in mind, they
created a picture for each and the definition for each word in non-technical terms. The next class
meeting, the students were given an index card. They were asked to write a vocabulary word that
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they remembered, draw a picture of what it means, and put the definition of the word in their own
vernacular. These words were posted on the word wall. Giving the students a multitude of ways to
remember the definition of a word caters to their varying abilities.
I also chose one word for the web class and one word for the programming classes for them to
write a paragraph on each week. The word was supposed to be utilized correctly in the paragraph.
This was not used as a way for them to write the definition. They already had been given and
discussed the meaning of the word given to them. They were not permitted to copy and paste their
paragraph from any Wiki or previous work.
5. Professional Reflection: I am not happy with my overall results. 55% of my targeted group
elevated their Fair score; 73% increased their MAZE score. I am still waiting on the FCAT scores
to make an absolute decision on gains and losses that would impact further changes in my
vocabulary teaching methods.
Every year produces different dynamics in each class. No two classes are alike. One almost needs
to wait to study the makeup of next year’s classes in order to finesse strategies for the students that
need a boost in their reading and vocabulary areas.
My books are designed for students with a college reading level. I include logic based problems
and word problems in my curriculum out of necessity. These problems must be dissected by
students that often times are befuddled by such atrocities to their brain cells. It is seldom that they
comprehend how to break them down into a puzzle they understand. In order to clarify the
problems, it is imperative that the students comprehend the jargon native to the problem. This
means a successful teaching strategy to give not only an explanation of each word, but a meaning
the student can relate to in order for them to understand the significance of the definition. There is
a good amount of my vocabulary that is technical by default, thus is the world of programming from
the simple HTML to the complexity of Java and C++.
The bottom line is that everything goes back to the overall comprehension of specific vocabulary
related to what curriculum is being taught. If the student does not understand the inherent
vocabulary, they cannot understand what they are reading and they are unable to utilize the
vocabulary in a proper way. If they cannot absorb the vocabulary and thus the reading and
programming material, they fail. If they fail, than I am doing something that needs to be changed.
Regarding the Fair scores, some students did not take the testing seriously. Several students
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mentioned they were “tested out” and did not try to improve their scores for the spring testing. . I
would have preferred to utilize the FCAT results for a number of reasons. Students tend to take the
FCAT more seriously and will put forth a greater effort on that test. By the time the students have
taken the third FAIR test, some of them no longer put forth the necessary effort to succeed. . When
this happens, the test results cannot be depended upon to be one hundred percent accurate.
With all of this being said, I will continue to modify the delivery of vocabulary to my students. I will
continue to bring it to them in a multitude of ways. I will analyze each class to find who is deficient
in their vocabulary, who is deficient in their reading, and who needs a slight push to accomplish
even more then they have.
6. With whom did you share your action research?
I collaborated with two other CTE teachers. The three of us were participating in the CAR-PD
practicum. We had also completed CAR-PD together. We shared our lesson plans and thoughts
about what we could change, our teaching methods, what worked, what did not work and why.
Hall, T., Strangman, N., & Meyer, A. (2003). Differentiated instruction and implications for UDL
implementation. Wakefield, MA: National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum. Retrieved [insert
date] from http://www.cast.org/publications/ncac/ncac_diffinstructudl.html
Source: A Guide to Becoming an Action Research – Department of Education
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