Essential Question Week 8

The actual process of data collecting is going smoothly.  I have already developed the routine of recording my classroom at the same ten minute time period each day.  We have been doing our brain breaks at the same time each day, my students are getting used to the routine and handling the breaks and the recording well.  I have developed the routine of watching and recording my observations from the data each day after school.

So, while the data collecting process itself is going well, the results I am receiving are not what I expected.  I took a week of baseline data for my student engagement levels before implementing brain breaks and the rate of student engagement I have been getting this week with brain breaks is almost identical.  So far it does not appear that taking brain breaks is having any impact on student engagement.  I have a few theories about why this is happening.  First off I think that the students are adjusting to a new process and routine in our classroom, so this adjustment period is interfering with the expected increase in engagement, perhaps after get used to the brain breaks, and they are no longer new or a novelty, I will see the increase in engagement that I am expecting.  Additionally, after watching a weeks worth of recordings without brain breaks, and a weeks worth of observations with brain breaks, I am noticing that the same 2-3 students are presenting most of the off task behavior data in both videos, unsurprisingly the 2-3 students presenting the most off task behavior in all recordings are my students with the most behavior issues, they are students that have special circumstances that cause their behavior issues such as being cognitively impaired, chronic absenteeism and oppositional defiance tendencies.

As I continue to collect data I think I am going to write down some notes about what I see the students doing and how I feel about the classroom’s engagement and improvement as a whole, and with out the severe behavior issue kids.  If I really want to see how brain breaks works on students, I need to make sure to focus on the students who don’t have special circumstances, I should make sure to focus on the regular students in my class who would be influenced by small changes like brain breaks, and not allow the outlying students who have more serious issues in their background that contribute to their engagement issues, skew my data.

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6 thoughts on “Essential Question Week 8

  1. I think that is a very interesting finding. I had only 2 days of school last week, so I really haven’t gotten to delve into my research. I wonder if I’ll be finding the same issue with my students. Looks like we may all be surprised be our research!

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  2. I completely agree that you should look more closely at how the behaviors of students that don’t have special circumstances are impacted by the brain break. However, have the behaviors of your “behavior students” been less severe at all? It would be interesting to see. I mean, it’s is extremely unlikely that their behaviors will totally disappear simply because of brain breaks. So, is there a way you could measure the severity of their disruptions, rather than just on task/off task? Just a thought…

    Also, how are you recording your classroom? I’ve really struggled to get a good recording with my class. I’ve tried iPads, and it’s just not working out. I don’t get the whole class in the recording (students are pretty scattered during this (mostly) independent work time) and the iPads keep randomly stopping during the recording session. Looking for different ideas. Thanks!

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  3. I am glad that recording data during the same time every day is going smoothly, but I, too, am surprised that your results are not showing an increase in engagement levels. Do you think the brain breaks might be having an overall effect on the whole day in general? Since we are doing qualitative research, I would think that you could expand your data to include a general, overall view of the day. Maybe not even put specific names or ratings to the day, but just jotting down a note on how the day went as far as student engagement. I realize this is not a part of your original plan, but that is what is so nice about qualitative research!

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  4. hmdavis2013 says:

    I found that I cannot really see a difference in my students from before to after brain breaks. Your question is different than my question though since you are focusing on student engagement. I would not worry about the data not showing what you expected. Thinking back to our Twitter session and me commenting that I worry that my project will be an epic fail and then Dr Jones reminding me that it can’t be because it is research. We may not get the results that we expect, but that is why we are researching to see how it really affects things in our own personal classrooms with the group of students we have today.. Remember, every group is different, and we are trying to see what can make a difference in our classes. The other thing is, if it doesn’t make a positive difference, it is fine to still implement as long as it is not making a negative influence if it is something that you enjoy doing in your classroom.

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  5. I have a student that is “busy”. I have used brain breaks too, but found that he had a hard time “winding down” after. When it it time for “circle time” he has to be doing something. Rather than dealing with his behavior issues, I have given him the job to set up centers in our room. In order for him to do this, we talked about how he had to do his job. He had to take this very seriously and with great responsibility. He is responsible for taking things out and setting them up quietly. He is very high academically and has this great ability to pay attention while setting things up. He has been less disruptive during our circle time, but feels like he is contributing to our learning as well. Student engagement means being an active participant. This is one way I am able for him to be an active participant, even though he isn’t sitting with us. He is busy, but he is also listening to us as well.

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  6. You have some great reflections here. Save these for your discussion section and your next steps section of your paper. That’s exactly what you’ll be adding after you’ve finished your data analysis.

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