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Chapter 4: Text Review 3
 
Two ideas that I will certainly use in my classroom in the future are the student survey component and student talk as a focus.  I normally give a reading interest survey at the beginning of the school year to aid in the process of determining what additional books I might add to my class library.  However from looking at the mid-year scenario, I see how this tool can be used to shape my instruction and make the class more student-friendly.  I foresee myself using different types of surveys for different purposes throughout the year from determining reading interests to advance guides for units of studies or books; from generating data as a pre-write for a persuasive paper to a during reading activity. 
In terms of the talking piece, I have students who can verbally express themselves better then they can in writing.  I’m not quite sure how I can get the most out of the interview process, however I will definitely use it as a prewrite for a persuasive unit and also when the activity has ended I will use it to consolidate my students learning and as a measure to generate data to aid in preparation for the next unit.

Two ideas/thoughts I came away with from chapter 4…
The anonymity of surveys allows people to feel more candid with their responses. To get accurate data, you need your participants to be as honest as possible with their answers. Surveys provide more honest responses than other types of research methodology, especially if it is clear that the answers will remain confidential. I currently use student, parent, and teacher surveys periodically through the school year to rate levels of performance in multiple areas. The most recent survey I used had questions regarding communication on all levels, school safety, discipline, and academics. The data from the survey was able to offer me feedback on how all major stakeholders viewed our school; therefore, I am able to make necessary changes while in the planning phase for the 2013-2014 school year.  
 
Also, the idea of audio and video recording would pair nicely with the new Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES). Being able to play back an audio/video recording would be a great tool to use doing one-on-one conferences after you have observed a staff member. Such a tool would provide immediate feedback and would be great for personal reflecting. Often times people have mannerisms, or have things we say without even thinking and being able to hear or view yourself in action is a great way to begin to improve in areas you never thought you needed to improve on; i.e. saying the word umm too often, or the number of times you actually pin point or address a particular student—singling out. Audio and video recording would also be a nice tool for students to use during any type of cooperative learning.  

Happy Saturday Everyone!
Anyone coaches out there looking to take on the questions of:

What are some possible academic and social impacts of participating in varsity athletics at the high school level? How do you as a student-athlete view yourself in the athletic community? How do you view yourself in the academic community? What do you believe your role is within the school? within the community?

These are just some ideas I had this morning during breakfast! 
If interested please let me know on here or through email (cconklin@ashland.edu) 
-Thanks, Chris

Activity 6 Response

If I were teaching Physical Education and coaching football/basketball/baseball like I currently am, I would be reluctant to participate in such a project. The time commitment required to correctly complete this type of project would be greatly sacrificed and not fulfilled to my satisfaction which would hinder my fellow researchers. I believe this is a valuable topic that can improve the efficiency of the schools teacher and administrative team that will benefit progress towards Student Learning Objectives (SLO’s). 

Two issues that should be addressed by these researchers are:
1. At what point does research of teacher collaboration take away from the importance and effort of student instruction?
2. How do we protect against unintentional use of classroom power by instructors that are interviewing students?

The potential benefits of the study do out weigh the potential ethical issues. I believe that researchers can utilize given time to come together to analyze findings and discuss research on a weekly basis.  Researchers will have to use time management skills to give themselves extra recording opportunities. Researchers will need to have a balance between gathering data through observation and interviews, eliminating chances for directed responses by the interviewee. In the end, the collaboration of teachers in research will only improve student achievement, not take away from it. 

Optional Reflection Posting About Story-Telling:
1.  What are some possible effects/impact of telling stories?
Some of the possible effects/impacts of story-telling: enlightening others about an issue/situation, sharing a differing opinion on a subject with others, and keeping a story or memory alive for future generations.
2.  What are some possible effects/impact of listening to others' stories? Learning about a wide variety of topics you did not know about previously, broadening your horizons/changing your perspective and growing as a person.

Two ideas mentioned in chapter four that I can see myself using in my classroom are: surveys and inventories, and audio and video recording. I feel that I could utilize the surveys and inventories to increase communication with my parents at the beginning of the school year, as well as with my students to see what they think about different topics and ideas we are using in class. I could use this data to shape how I am covering material in class, as well as possibly what type of material or topics are most interesting to my students.  As for the audio and video recordings, I feel that these could be very helpful not only to keep track of key points made by students during a discussion, but also to reflect on my own teaching style. During my student teaching I was really dreading the whole idea of being video recorded; however, it turned out to be very insightful for me. I feel that by doing more of this in the future I will learn more about myself as  teacher.
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