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.