DOCUMENT RESUME AUTHOR Benko Alice Loaiza Rosemary

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Alice Benko Minor changes have,improve reproduction quality. Rosemary Loaiza stated in this, TO THE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES Points of view or opinions. INFORMATION CENTER ERIC Robert Long document do not necessarily represent. official OERI position or,Michael Sacharski,Jennifer Winkler. An Action Research Project Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the. School of Education in Partial Fulfillment of the, Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Teaching and Leadership. Saint Xavier University IRI Skylight,Field Based Masters Program.
Chicago Illinois,BESTCOPYAVAILABLE,SIGNATURE PAGE,This project was approved by. Dean Sc I of Education, This report describes a program for improving elementary school students ability to solve. mathematical word problems The targeted population consisted of primary middle and. junior high students attending two different kindergarten through eighth grade schools. Both schools were located within blue collar neighborhoods in a large metropolitan area. Students weakness in the area of problem solving was documented by teacher made tests. journaling standardized test scores student surveys and teacher surveys. Research literature and measurement tools revealed the following probable causes. inability to read story problems adequately poor reading ability in general improper. strategy use lack of strategy use lack of desire to properly understand mathematical logic. of problem strategies that rely on memorization insufficient instructional time spent on. problem solving and inadequate time spent on finding solutions. A review of solution strategies suggested by knowledgeable others combined with an. analysis of the problem setting resulted in the selection of seven major categories of. intervention problem of the day cooperative grouping pair sharing illustrating problem. data math journaling classification of word problems and use of analytical worksheets. Post intervention data indicated an increase of strategy use a positive change in student. attitude towards word problems and an increased in time spent on each problem solution. TABLE OF CONTENTS,CHAPTER 1 PROBLEM STATEMENT AND CONTEXT. General Statement of the Problem 1,School and Community Descriptions 1. National Literature Citations 11,CHAPTER 2 PROBLEM DOCUMENTATION 13.
Review of Literature for Probable Causes 13,Problem Evidence 16. CHAPTER 3 SOLUTIONS 50,Literature Review 50,Project Objectives and Processes 57. Action Plan 58,Methods of Assessment 60,CHAPTER 4 PROJECT RESULTS 62. Historical Description of the Intervention 62,Presentation and Analysis of Results 68. Conclusions 81,REFERENCES 83,APPENDICIES 86,PROBLEM STATEMENT AND CONTEXT.
General Statement of the Problem, A major challenge elementary school teachers face is to successfully teach and motivate. students to utilize math word problem strategies Evidence of a need for improvement in this area. are poor student attitudes regarding word problems and low standardized test scores on these types. of problems Five classrooms at two sites have been the focal point of this study Site A includes. three targeted classrooms a third grade self contained classroom and a sixth grade self contained. classroom as well as an eighth grade departmental classroom Site B includes a fourth fifth grade. self contained split classroom and an eighth grade departmental classroom. School and Community Descriptions, The targeted classrooms discussed at this site will be referred to as classrooms one two and. three The first site A researcher teaches in a third grade classroom The second site A researcher. teaches in a sixth grade classroom The third site A researcher teaches in an eighth grade. classroom The first and second classrooms are self contained and the third classroom is. departmental Social Studies Included in the weekly schedule for the researchers are three 40. minute planning periods Students take library music and gym classes during these times All. classrooms receive 20 minutes for lunch per day, Classroom one is located within a four room mobile unit that is independent of the main. school structure The class consists of 30 students who range in age from eight to nine 17 students. in the targeted classroom are male and 13 are female Twenty four students receive free or reduced. lunches due to economic need One student has been classified as having learning disabilities One. of the students in the targeted classroom is repeating the third grade. Classroom two is located within a 12 room annex that is also independent of the main. school structure The class consists of 34 students who range in age from 11 13 Twenty three. students in the targeted classroom are male and 11 are female Thirty students receive free or. reduced lunches based on economic need One student receives bus services to and from school. Six of the students have been classified as having learning disabilities two students receive. bilingual services and three attend speech classes. Classroom three is located in the main school structure The class consists of 28 students. who range in age from 13 15 Fifteen students in the targeted classroom are male and 13 are. female Twenty students receive free or reduced lunches due to economic need Two of the. students have been classified as having learning disabilities two students receive bilingual services. and two attend speech classes, Site A was built in 1926 as a single structured K 8 Devor style public school The campus. covers half a square city block in area Surveillance cameras and high powered lights have been. added outside the school to protect against graffiti and loitering The dramatic population increase. within the targeted school s attendance area has necessitated the construction of a 12 room annex as. well as the addition of three four room mobile units. The main structure consists of 30 classrooms 16 of which are on the first floor and 14 on. the second floor All rooms in all buildings are equipped with one new computer The first floor. consists of a main office auditorium gymnasium library two reading resource rooms a speech. resource room 10 regular classrooms from grades kindergarten through two a teachers lounge. and four washrooms The first floor includes framed portraits of the past 18 graduating classes as. well as famous prints from the Art Institute of Chicago The second floor consists of a support staff. office two bilingual resource rooms a reading math resource room 10 regular classrooms. including grades three seven and eight the counselor s office school cafeteria and four. washrooms The second floor is decorated with student work monthly by alternating staff members. The newly constructed annex contains an office 12 classrooms from grades four five. and six two janitorial supply rooms and two washrooms Site A is currently in the process of. wiring all classrooms in the annex for interne access All classes in the annex have lunches. delivered to them to avoid overcrowding the school s cafeteria which was originally designed. for a school of 500 students In addition there are three mobile units which each contain four. classrooms One of the mobile units contains usable student washrooms The first mobile unit. consists of grades three and four Another mobile unit contains grades two five and six The last. mobile unit contains rooms for the school psychologist social worker nurse and special education. teachers All mobile units are surrounded by flower boxes and potted bushes. Site A consists of 1207 students and has an average class size of 30 students Of the. enrolled students 71 are of Hispanic descent 27 are White and African Americans and. Asian Pacific Islanders each account for one percent Approximately 34 of the students are. classified as having limited English proficiency There are approximately 250 students enrolled in. the Spanish bilingual program and another 60 in the Polish bilingual program offered at Site A. Low income students comprise 74 of the student population and are eligible for free or reduced. lunches Site A has a 96 student attendance rate and a student mobility rate of 21 According to. the School Report Card there are no chronic truancies at Site A. Site A has a dedicated staff of 75 employees Of these 61 are teachers whose average. teaching experience is 15 years Forty one percent of the teachers have educational backgrounds of. Master s Degrees or above The average teacher salary for 1997 was 40 505 The racial makeup. of the staff is 51 minority and 49 White Arab or Asian The attendance rate for the teaching. staff in 1997 was 95 according to the School Report Card. There are nine career service personnel employees at Site A Included in this group are a. bilingual aid three school assistants two teacher assistants a child welfare attendant and two. clerks School aids and assistants often lead small group reading sessions and are given other duties. by the assistant principal In addition Site A employs 16 safety patrol members who serve as. crossing guards monitors and parent tutors, The administration at Site A is a highly motivated team comprised of a male principal and.
two female assistant principals All three administrators have been at Site A for the past five years. and in the education field for at least 15 years The average administrator salary at Site A for 1997. was 66 100, There are many extracurricular activities for students at Site A In order to improve. students reading and math skills after school tutoring programs have been implemented Students. two grades below grade level in either reading or math work on basic skills twice a week with staff. members The student to teacher ratio is approximately 10 1 There is also a computer club. student peer program writing contests school newspaper club student council and a Great Books. program Site A also has both a volleyball and basketball team There is also a social center. program which offers basketball table games movies art and homework help sessions twice a. week after school Parent volunteers help make this program possible Site A is located within. Region Five of the school system which coordinates with the extracurricular and academic events. within the scheduled school year, The community to which Site A belongs is a blue collar working class neighborhood on the. southwest side of a major city Transportation to and from the downtown area is easily accessible. by public bus or train The neighborhood is near many major intersections and a major expressway. It is located one mile from a major airport and less than a mile from a major healthcare center. There is a public library within one half mile of the school Also to relieve overcrowding in many. local schools there is a new public school currently under construction in the area. The community is composed mostly of well kept single family homes and apartments The. neighborhood is well established with older homes having an average cost of 110 000 As of. 1990 82 of the homes were owner occupied In addition 85 of the area was White 13 was. Hispanic with 1 African American and 1 Asian The median family income for the area in. 1990 was 37 400 The population in the area has steadily increased in the past eight years due the. increase in multi family residences Its racial makeup has also changed dramatically in the past. eight years with Mexicans making the most dramatic increase at eight percent The area is a. rapidly aging onealmost one fourth of its residents are at least 65 years old These statistics have. been gathered from the School Report Card, Site B is a K 8 school located in a major metropolitan area of the Midwest The targeted. classrooms discussed at this site will be referred to as classrooms one and two. Classroom one is a self contained fourth fifth grade split class of 32 students The make up. of the class consists of approximately 90 neighborhood children the remaining students are. options children bussed in from other school populations options program will be explained further. into the site description The school day begins at 9 05 AM and ends at 2 30 PM with a 20 minute. lunch occurring at 11 30 AM Within the school week students also attend Music Computer Lab. Library Gym and Art This time is used as preparatory time for the classroom teacher. Classroom two is a departmental room in which mathematics is taught the first four periods. each day to seventh and eighth graders In addition to mathematics instruction the targeted. classroom is taught spelling and health in the afternoon Departmental classrooms also receive five. 40 minute periods consisting of the same aforementioned special classes which allow the classroom. teachers preparatory time Furthermore the researcher in the classroom is involved in some. extracurricular mathematics instruction which affect the length of some of the school days On. Tuesdays and Thursdays a Pre Algebra class is taught to eighth grade students for one period in the. Site B is a two story brick building built in 1936 It is located in a blue collar working class. TITLE Math Word Problem Remediation with Elementary Students PUB DATE 1999 05 00 NOTE 107p Master s Action Research Project Saint Xavier University and IRI Skylight PUB TYPE Dissertations Theses 040 Tests Questionnaires 160 EDRS PRICE MF01 PC05 Plus Postage DESCRIPTORS Elementary Education Learning Strategies Mathematics Instruction Problem Solving Teaching Methods Word

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