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 RISING TIDE

Volume 4 – Summer 2011

 

Our fourth volume of Rising Tide consists of work from our 35 Master of Arts in Teaching students.  This action research was conducted during their school internships in St. Mary’s County and Calvert County.  As in the past, interns identified student needs by observing classrooms, communicating with school faculty, and reading School Improvement Plans.  They then identified an appropriate theoretical framework and consulted with faculty at both the college and the school in designing the study.

The topics chosen by interns for this volume were as diverse as the classrooms in which they taught.  Some interns explored how effective they could be in a particular instructional context (e.g., inclusive classroom, ability-grouped classes).  Others investigated the effectiveness of instructional strategies, both broad (e.g., culturally relevant pedagogy) and specific (use of vocabulary images).  Still others examined the effectiveness of technology as a teaching tool.  In addition to concerns for effectiveness were interns’ concerns about motivating their students, and seven projects were dedicated to the subject of motivation.  Another common theme pertained to the ways in which teachers can establish positive relationships with students and serve as their advocates.  Related to this theme, some interns focused on strategies to foster a classroom environment of fairness and collaboration.  Finally, many explored their ability to challenge various stereotypes and inequities in their new role as teachers. 

Examining Instructional Strategies

Katie Bartz, Math is worth it: Investigation of instructional strategies in the math classroom

Kaitlin Boswell, Learning together: The benefits of cooperative and collaborative education

Stefanie GloriosoThe Effects of Reading Comprehension on Persuasive Writing in Eleventh Grade English Students 

Katie McDermott, Visual literacy and the use of images in the language arts classroom

David Yost, Exploring critical consciousness & culturally relevant mathematics education

Meeting the Needs of Students

Connie Cardwell, Improving independent reading in the inclusive first-grade classroom

Christine Chadwick, Inquiry and ability grouping: Can standard students benefit from inquiry teaching practices?

Megan Howell, The high school band: Are students learning what the teachers are teaching?

Stacey Meyer, Learning styles and study habits: Teaching students to take control of their own learning

Elizabeth Vicini, Methods for students with ADHD: Improving the success of all students

Exploring the Student-Teacher Relationship

Harmony Biscoe, What do you know about me anyway: How does student reported perception of learning and engagement affect teacher effectiveness?

Alexia Gay, Will you learn for me? The effect of teacher-student relationships on student motivation

Brent Tomchik, Some teachers are just awesome: Building positive student-teacher rapport in a middle school mathematics classroom

Teacher As Advocate

Cameron Leischer, “Threepeaters:” Student retention in ninth grade and preventing retained student dropout

Chris Rodkey, In Loco Parentis: Reaffirming the role of teachers

Louis Sheppard, Graduation rates: An examination of possible strategies to increase high school graduates

Increasing Student Motivation

Joanne Buchbinder, Leading a horse to water: Increasing student motivation through relevance

Philip Gibon, Examining the connection between self-efficacy and reading proficiency in a first grade class

Samantha Ives, To read or not to read: Motivating high school seniors

Amanda Kerby, Effects of breaks on elementary school students’ classroom behaviors

Lindsay Myers, Motivating the reluctant learner: A study in stimulating the classroom environment

Donald Redmiles, “Pound it!” Using informational rewards as motivation in the classroom

Laura Swann, Motivating with movement: Using active learning practices to increase student motivation and engagement

Enhancing The Classroom Environment

Linda Cruikshank, Creating classroom harmony

Laurel Matthew, Using LEGO® to construct positive peer interactions in inclusive classrooms

Daniel Morris, Democracy in the classroom: More than just an idea

Ben Casto, Implementing goal-oriented activities to improve classroom cohesion

Challenging Stereotypes and Inequities 

Julia Becker, Breaking from “Princess Culture”: Female participation in mathematics in an early childhood classroom

Cat Holland, Recognizing the hidden curriculum of gender roles in the classroom

Marc Pirner, Individual human agency shaping the broader context: Using Bronfenbrenner’s theories to identify and remove inequitable teaching practices

Matt Stone, Observational detection of stereotype threat

Krysta Wersten, Examining and reducing stereotype threat within an elementary school context  

Integrate Technology

Brennan Davis, Teaching for the 21st century: The impact of technology on student interest and content mastery

Sarah Kramer, Investigating the effects of technology integration on a fifth-grade art class

Takako Mato, Integrating technology in the music classroom