Essential Question Week 6

For me data collection will largely consist of taking observational data.  I will be reviewing ten-minute recordings during the same ten minute period over the period of a few weeks.  I will be randomly scanning the students and marking whether or not they are currently engaged at the moment they are scanned.  A plus sign on the data form means the student was engaged, a minus sign means the students was not engaged.  After collecting this data for 10 minutes, I will divide the number of plus signs by the number of marks collected total, and this will give me a percentage of engaged students for the given observed period.  Additionally, at the end of the data collection period,  I will be administering a survey to my students to collect their impressions and feelings about the Brain Gym program, and to collect their thoughts on how using these activities affected their engagement.

One of the biggest challenges I am anticipating is having to remember to record my class for the ten minute period each day for a few weeks.  Often when I am teaching I get so involved in what is going on with my students as school, that I forget about anything else!  There have been times before where I meant to record myself for other various purposes, but simply forget because I’m too busy thinking about my kids, rather than my academic obligations!  I will be using notes to remind myself, and I will prep my recoding area before school starts.  Also, hopefully after doing it a few times, I will get used to the routine of recording myself, and it wont be a struggle to remember.

Method/Research Design is posted below:


In this study on the effectiveness of Brain Gym as an intervention to improve engagement, I take a qualitative inquiry approach examining a real world situation without manipulating it. I take a naturalistic approach in this research through a case study that is both historical and observational.


The participants for this action research study were nine female students and three male students, among the ages of right through ten. Participants were selected because they are the students I teach in my 3/4 classroom. Students were not informed of the purpose of the study. Names and other personal information of the students is not presented in the research project, as the objective of the project was to analyze the influence the behavior of the students as a whole, rather than as individuals.


Observations will occur daily over a 3-4 week period. Instructional time will be recorded each day, occurring at 10:30 AM, which will consist of the instructional time that occurs immediately after Brain Gym exercises. Observations will be ten minutes long. First round of observations will occur before implementation of Brain Gym, second round of observations will occur while Brain Gym is being implemented, the purpose being to have comparable data and to clearly see influence and effectiveness of Brain Gym.

Observation Protocol


Towards the end of data collection, students will be surveyed on their perceived understanding and attitude of the Brain Gym implementation. Surveys will consist of questions that ask students how they feel about the Brain Gym activities, and if they feel as though the program has improved their engagement.

Brain Gym Survey


Internal validity in this study will be accomplished through triangulation, the analysis of multiple sources of qualitative data. A content analysis will be conducted using the collected sources of data. This analysis will determine the effectiveness of the Brain Gym program as a tool to increase engagement in the classroom.


12 thoughts on “Essential Question Week 6

  1. Something else to think about when it comes to recordings is getting the students used to having the camera in the room. Unless it is out of their site. I find for my class, I have to have the camera set up a few days before I’m going to record so that the students are not distracted by it and it get their silly camera antics out of the way beforehand.
    Check the age range you put under methods, I you said “ages of right through ten” and I’m guessing that is suppose to be a number.
    Question about the procedure, will the instructional time after the Brain Gym be the same every day? I was just thinking that if the activities after the Brain Gym were different, then you might see a difference in involvement since it might be intriguing to some but not others.
    I like your Brain Gym survey. Cute.
    Nicely done. Looks like you’re ready.


    • Thanks for the editorial comment about “right,” it was supposed to be eight! Good point you make about the different activities and how that might affect students. The activities will change but they will all be exercises that claim to improve focus/engagement, etc. So I will be collecting data at the same time every day just to see overall effects,


  2. Ten minutes seems like a long time to record on vs. off task behaviors. In my mind it should be as quick as taking attendance. You can just count the number of students on and the number of students off task. Also, if you plan on looking at a ten minute window, it seems like most of the student behavior should be similar throughout that window. (ie. off task students will be off task the entire time, on task tend to stay on task.) In order to try to remember to record each day, you might want to assign reminding you as a classroom job. (I know many of my students are better at remembering than me.) Anyways, I hope these ideas give you something to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks like you’ve got a solid plan in place for collecting data. In response to the challenge you identified, could you make “reminding Ms. Burns at a specific time” a class job? Kids love responsibility! Maybe you could draw a popsicle stick at the beginning of the day to decide who’s the Timekeeper for the day. If you don’t want to draw lots of attention to the fact that you’re collecting data, maybe assign the reminder job to a soft-spoken child in the class. Either way, I feel like giving responsibility is a good way to promote student buy-in.
    Also, it might be worth leaving blank spaces on the 3rd question in your survey to see if there are other adjectives the kids come up with to describe the experience. This could reveal other emotions or behaviors generated through participation in Brain Gym that you hadn’t considered. Maybe this gives you information for the “additional areas of research needed” section of our final paper.
    Finally, since you talk about triangulation of data, it might be worth collecting a work sample from an identical activity before Brain Gym begins and toward the end of the time you implement it. From the research I read, it seems that engagement is often measured by the amount of time spent actively involved with a task. An art activity would give kids lots of creative freedom to explore without time constraints. Maybe a pre-writing activity such as storyboarding where you could measure engagement with time spent at task as well as completeness according to a pre-determined rubric. Anyway, just ideas. You’re off to a nice start!

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  4. I think you have some solid ideas for collecting data! However, I agree with Kari. I think it might be easier for you if you maybe keep a class roster and simply mark an x next to the students’ names that are not behaving instead of putting x and +. I think it is a good idea though to check this randomly throughout the day and not the same time each day. You may find that students are more disruptive after recess or before lunch. Either way, whatever you decide to do I think you are definitely on the right track and you seem very prepared!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think my centers are going to be about 10 minutes as well. I think the 10 minute window will allow you to see if the same students start to check out at a specific minute mark. That may tell you that a specific student is unable to sit through that length of a lesson. My students all have different attention span abilities. I am really interested in reading the results of your research!


  6. The way you will be recording their on task/off task sounds very much like how my school takes data during our instructional rounds. A question I have is: Are you going to be marking the on task/off task for the entire 10 minutes? If so, how often will you be scanning to a different student? For example, we pick an order that we look at the students and then just keep going around to a different student in order every 5 seconds, marking a plus or minus. It sounds like a lot, but it actually goes by pretty quickly.


    • We do the same thing, scan the room, looking at a different student every five seconds. We don’t usually choose an order, but I really like that idea, helps the data be more fairly representative.


  7. hmdavis2013 says:

    How do you plan on recording? You are not the only one who I have read that is going to record. I am just wondering how you guys do that? Do you think that a recording will give you enough detail of the class to help you determine off task and on task behavior? I’m just wondering if a student looks like they are on task but really are not. Or those who look off task but who have finished the task.


    • I record using my computer. I’ll just have it set up in a corner of the classroom that can view the entire room. That’s a good point about appearance on the camera, I’ve recorded myself and my students many times before and it usually does a pretty good job of capturing what’s going on in the classroom, and I know my students pretty well, I think I’ll be able to identify their on/off task behavior.


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