Data Analysis

Data Analysis

Data in this project was collected using three different methods, and presented two major themes. The first theme being that the use of brain breaks in the classroom improves student morale and classroom environment. The second theme is that the use of brain breaks in the classroom leans toward a trend that suggest improvement in student engagement in the classroom.

Data from the student on task/off task engagement observations is presented in the following table.

Day Before Brain Gym Implementation During Brain Gym Implementation Change
1 82% 80% -2
2 83% 82% +1
3 85% 83% -2
4 85% 85% 0
5 84% 85% +1
6 84% 86% +2
7 83% 86% +3
8 83% 95% +12

Before implementing Brain Gym in the classroom, student engagement levels were between 82% and 85%. After Brain Gym implementation there is a slow, but clear pattern of improvement with each day that the program was implemented. Though at the beginning of implementation the student engagement rate dropped. It can be assumed that students were thrown of by the change in routine, and the challenge of trying out something new. However, after an initial setback, the engagement levels demonstrate clear but increasing gains with each day. By the final day of data collection, the student had reached and ideal level of engagement.

The second method of data collection supports the first and second theme. Each student who participated in the Brain Gym implementation was given a survey to complete answering questions about their feelings and opinions of the use of Brain Gym in the classroom. Eleven students total were surveyed. The following table complies student response rates.

Happy Face Okay Face Sad Face Ready to Learn Warmed-Up Hyper Sleepy Bored Refreshed
7 4 0 7 7 4 2 3 6

It is very clear that a majority of the students and participants enjoy the Brain Gym activities and that only a few of these student feel neutral about the activities, but none of the students find the activities to be negative experiences. Whether the numerical data represents it or not, if the students think they feel warmed up and ready to learn after doing the Brain Gym activities, then their engagement will improve. The vast majority of students replied positively on the student survey. Many of the students responded that they enjoy Brain Gym and that they feel better after they have done them. The fact that the students enjoy the activities helps contribute towards their positive morale as students in a rigorous academic setting and helps improve the classroom environment.

Lastly, a focus group was conducted to develop and understanding of what the activities mean to the students and how they affect their ability to learn and work productively in the classroom. The results of the focus group conversation support the second theme that the data presented. After concluding the conversation and discussion the eight focus group questions with the four students selected, I was able to understand the students’ value of physical activity in the classroom and the way it is applied in their classroom. The students think that physical activity is important and should be used in the classroom. They believe that it helps them learn better to move around and have some freedom in the classroom. They believe that Brain Gym is good and helps them learn better because it gives them a break while in class. They like the way the activities are going on class and the way that physical activity is incorporated into regular activities and had no suggestions on how to change or improve its use in the classroom. These results support the second theme that student morale and classroom environment are improved by the use of Brain Gym activities.

Reflection Week 10

As always, I learned a lot after receiving feedback and contributing comments towards my peers this week!  As we get further and further into this course, and I think back on all the things I have accomplished in this class so far, its hard for me to believe that I have been able to do all of this without direct instruction from a professor!  I guess this experience is a true testament to the power of learning from your peers.  It’s not just good for students to interact this way, but its also true!  We can learn just as much from one another as we can from a teacher.

From the comments I received from my peers on my blog post, I was able to see some parts of my explanation where I needed to be a little more clear and explain myself to give better understanding for the reader.  And other comments left me feeling reassured that I was doing somethings right, and that people learned and noticed the same things in their results as I did.

As I looked around at other people’s blog posts, I learned a lot.  I was able to see the different ways other people were analyzing their data and it helped me feel sure, or change the way I am approaching my data analysis.  I was also thankful that a few other people had their data analysis section completed and posted.  i always feel a little less lost if i am able to see other examples or ideas before I get mine started.

Essential Question 10

Although my data did not necessarily provide with the results that I expected, after collecting and tabulating all my data, I am very pleased with the data I have.  I have  a combination of quantitative and qualitative data that leads to really great opportunities for interpretations.

First off, I will explain the students engagement percentages that I got from the on task/off task observations by comparing them to the control data I collected before implementing Brain Gym.  By making this comparison I can explain that initially, the Brain Gym implementation did not improve student engagement, but as days progressed, student engagement increased with each day, and were this trend allowed to continue, it can be assumed that student engagement would have continued to improve until it topped out in the mid-high 90s.  I can make the assumption, that after an initial stagnation, while students adjusted to the new routine, engagement in the classroom was improved.

Secondly, I can assess student approval of the new routine after analyzing student surveys.  Using the surveys I can make generalizations about how students feel about using Brain Gym in the classroom.  Overall, student feel ‘happy’ about the Brain Gym activities, the favorite activity was “infinity drawing” and the students tend to feel refreshed, warmed-up and ready to learn after doing the activities.

Lastly, after conducting the focus group, I was able to understand the way students perceive physical movement in the classroom. The students understand and believe that physical activity in the classroom is important and they believe that it helps them be better learners.  The students are enjoying the ways we are incorporating physical activity and movement into the classroom and did not have any ideas about how to change or improve its use in the classroom.

What I learned from my data, is how much I can learn by asking my students questions about the functions and routines in the classroom.  It’s great because it really helps the students feel like their thoughts and opinions are being valued (they are!) and it helps me understand how well my classroom design is working for the students I have.  I really enjoyed this opportunity to get to hear from my students, and hear their opinions about what we do in class.  It was really refreshing to me as a teacher to her their personal thoughts and opinions about non-academic topics, and it was also reassuring to me to hear from them that they are enjoying what we do in class, they understand its value and they approve of its use.  The surveys were really quick and easy to do, but so insightful!  I may continue to use more informal surveys in the future!

Raw Data

Results

The following data includes the results of a two week long study of the effect of implementing Brain Gym on student engagement in a 4th grade classroom. The study was conducted using three different types of data collection including engagement checks, student surveys and a focus group discussion.

Engagement Checks:

The classroom was recorded and observed for the same ten-minute period over eight different days. During this ten-minute period the observer marked, every five seconds, whether a student was on task or off task. The total number of marks then divided the on task marks for the given period for a percentage, which was the percentage of on-task student behavior for the time. These results will be used comparatively in the analysis portion the project to compare engagement percentages take before the use of Brain Gym and during Brain Gym implementation.

Day 1: 127 on task marks, 80% student engagement

Day 2: 142 on task marks, 82% student engagement

Day 3:141 on task marks, 83% student engagement

Day 4:138 on task marks, 85% student engagement

Day 5: 140 on task marks, 85% student engagement

Day 6: 142 on task marks, 86% student engagement

Day 7: 141 on task marks, 86% student engagement

Day 7: 186 on task marks, 95% student engagement

Student Surveys:

Surveys were administered to student participants to obtain an understanding of individual and personal effect of brain gym on participants.

Seven of eleven students marked that doing Brain Gym activities makes them feel happy (smiley face on survey), while 4 students marked that it makes them feel okay (neutral face on survey). No students marked that it makes them feel unhappy. Six students indicated that the ‘infinity drawing’ activity was their favorite two marked that ‘drinking water’ was their favorite and the remaining 3 students marked answers unrelated to the question. Seven students indicated that Brain Gym makes them feel ready to learn, seven students indicated it makes them feel warmed-up, four students indicated it makes them feel hyper, two students indicated it makes them feel sleepy, three students indicated it makes them feel bored, and six students marked it makes them feel refreshed. Written in responses included: tired, good, smart, fun, sick, awake, a little hyper, playful, nice, and fun.

Focus Group:

A focus group was conducted to develop and understanding of what the activities mean to the students and how they affect their ability to learn and work productively in the classroom. After concluding the conversation and discussion the eight focus group questions with the four students selected, I was able to understand the students’ value of physical activity in the classroom and the way it is applied in their classroom. The students think that physical activity is important and should be sued in the classroom. They believe that it helps them learn better to move around and have some freedom in the classroom. They believe that Brain Gym is good and helps them learn better because it gives them a break while in class. They like the way the activities are going on class and the way that physical activity is incorporated into regular activities and had no suggestions on how to change or improve its use in the classroom.

Week 9 Reflection

This week I received some great feedback from my peers.  From the feedback I got, I could tell my peers had thoughtfully read my data analysis explanation, and provided some very helpful words of advice.  I noticed, after reading a few different blog entries that a couple people are doing some very similar data collecting methods as I am.  This has been very helpful for me to see how people who are doing similar data methods as I am.  I am still deciding on the exact type of data analysis method I should use, but after reading the rationales provided my peers, I have a much better understanding of the different methods available, and which method would be most applicable for me and the data I am collecting.

My peers also provided some support of the rationale I provided and the explanation I wrote about what kinds of results I will be looking for.  For example, I explained that I will be reviewing the different data I am collecting to see if the brain beaks are improving the morale and community in my classroom, and if the students are enjoying the process, and I will use these feeling to determine whether or not to continue or discontinue brain breaks in my classroom.  My peers acknowledged my understanding and application of the big picture point of view this interpretation of data represents.  Hearing this positive feedback in addition to the constructive feedback I received about data analysis method helps me feel positive and confident about the work  I am doing and helps me feel as though I am on the right path.

Essential Question Week 9

I will have three main methods of data collection.  First, each day I am recording a ten minute segment of my classroom. I review the recording and track on/off task behavior and use this to create a student engagement percentage.  After collecting all the days worth of data, I will analyze these percentages to determine if there has been a significant impact in student engagement in the classroom since implementation of Brain Gym.

Second, I will give students a survey about their opinions of Brain Gym.  Students will be asked how they like doing brain break activities, which their favorites were, and how they felt, in relation to academics, after doing brain break activities.  I will analyze the results of the surveys to determine how the students felt about the brain break activities and if they have had a positive impact on students in the classroom, outside of engagement data.  The survey results are particularly important, because even if there is no direct, data demonstrated improvement in student engagement, if doing brain breaks is an activity my students enjoy and if it is somethings that improves their mood or morale in class or sense of classroom community, then the breaks are definitely worth continuing.

Lastly, I will analyze the results of a conversation I will have as a focus group with some of my students.  I will use the result of this conversation to further determine the impact that Brain Gym has had in my classroom.  I will use the results to determine if I should continue using Brain Gym, or discontinue its use.  I will also be able to determine from this conversation if I need to adjust the program or implementation in any way as well.

Reflection Blog Week 8

Wow, I really got a lot of great feedback from my peers this week.  It is so interesting to see how the beginning f our research projects are beginning to turn out.  We spent about seven weeks carefully researching and preparing and getting familiar with our topics, but all our careful preparation and expectations become irrelevant once implementation begins.

It is reassuring to me to see that others are not receiving. the kind of data they expected.  Since I began implementing brain breaks in my classroom and recording and taking data from their use, I so far haven’t really seen a big change in my classroom engagement.  This was surprising to me, and not what I expected at all,  My peers have been very supportive of me and my work though, by reminding me that it is okay to not get the results I expected and also by suggesting different ways to take data and see if the brain breaks are affecting my classroom positively in other ways, outside of the ten minute observation period.  They have also been reminding me that just because engagement hasn’t improved doesn’t mean what I am doing is a waste of time, if the kids enjoy it and I do too, then what we are doing is good nonetheless.  I am looking forward to giving my students the survey to see how well they like doing brain breaks, and what I will learn from the focus groups, I suspect that I will get positive reactions, but then again last time I had expectations about results, they were not met, so who knows!  It’s great to have the support of others who are going through the same things as me right now, and I am grateful I have such thoughtful peers who are able to give me such helpful feedback.