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EIU: Research in Action

Volume V: 2015

Karla Gorman

Impact of Hands-On Activities in Second Grade for Improving Math Fact Fluency

This action research study was conducted to investigate the effect math bag activities might have on students’ ability to recall addition and subtraction facts more fluently. Participants in this study included a classroom of twenty students. Half of the students participated in fifteen minutes of various hands-on math fact activities each day in addition to their regular whole group classwork. The activities allowed students to physically manipulate game type pieces to solve equations using addition and subtraction. The remaining students in the class continued with the regular math curriculum but did not participate in the hands-on portion of the research. Students were given a pretest and posttest to determine growth. Findings indicated that implementing hands-on addition and subtraction fact activities daily, increased the fact fluency overall.

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More about Karla

Kara Gorman

Educational Background: I graduated from Eastern Illinois University in May 1999 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. In May 2015, I received a graduate degree in Master of Science in Elementary Education from Eastern Illinois University.

Teaching Background: : I began teaching first grade for Paris District 95 in August 1999. I moved to my current position as a second teacher in August 2002.

Action Research Project Title: : Impact of Hands-On Activities in Second Grade for Improving Math Fact Fluency

Purpose of Action Research: This action research study was conducted to investigate the effect math bag activities might have on students’ ability to recall addition and subtraction facts more fluently. Participants in this study included a classroom of twenty students. Half of the students participated in fifteen minutes of various hands-on math fact activities each day in addition to their regular whole group classwork. The activities allowed students to physically manipulate game type pieces to solve equations using addition and subtraction. The remaining students in the class continued with the regular math curriculum but did not participate in the hands-on portion of the research. Students were given a pretest and posttest to determine growth. Findings indicated that implementing hands-on addition and subtraction fact activities daily, increased the fact fluency overall.

Impact of Master’s Program: The Master’s program at EIU has allowed me to feel more prepared to meet the challenges of a 21st century classroom. I have a greater knowledge of the standards and how to implement standard-based instruction in my classroom. Having a greater knowledge of how to use assessment materials to understand what each students needs has helped me differentiate instruction to reach all of my students at their level. Collaboration with other teachers during my time at EIU has been of great benefit. It is always helpful hearing what other educators are doing in their classrooms and using their success stories to create my own successes. Mostly, the Master’s program at EIU has given me the opportunity to reflect on my teaching practices and confidently make changes where needed. My students are now getting the best I can give.



Missy Peters

Examining the Impact of Explicit Daily Five Instruction on Kindergartner’s Literacy Skills

The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of the implementation of the Daily Five framework on kindergarten student’s ability to read three-phoneme CVC words. Five literacy stations were introduced and small groups consisting of three or four students participated in one Daily Five station each day of the week. After compiling and analyzing the data and reflecting upon the instructional procedures engaged during this research study, the findings suggest that the Daily Five framework may be an effective teaching strategy to assist struggling readers. Although all students showed growth, statistically significant growth was shown in struggling readers and in students receiving intervention services.

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More about Missy

Missy Peters

My name is Missy Peters and I am currently employed by Cumberland Elementary. I received my Bachelor of Science in Education from Eastern Illinois University in 2000 and was a substitute teacher at Cumberland until I was hired as a kindergarten teacher in 2008. I returned to Eastern and received my Master of Science in Early Childhood Education in the Spring of 2015.

Action Research Project Title: Examining the Impact of Explicit Daily Five Instruction on Kindergartner’s Literacy Skills

Purpose of Action Research: The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of the implementation of the Daily Five framework on kindergarten student’s ability to read three-phoneme CVC words. Five literacy stations were introduced and small groups consisting of three or four students participated in one Daily Five station each day of the week. After compiling and analyzing the data and reflecting upon the instructional procedures engaged during this research study, the findings suggest that the Daily Five framework may be an effective teaching strategy to assist struggling readers. Although all students showed growth, statistically significant growth was shown in struggling readers and in students receiving intervention services.



Kelli Wells

Improving the Automaticity of Multiplication Facts with Fourth Grade Students

The purpose of this action research project was to examine the effectiveness of different interventions to improve the automaticity of multiplication facts with fourth grade students. One classroom based intervention and one computer based intervention were examined in this study.

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More about Kelli

Kelli Wells

Educational Background: I graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education in December of 2007. I returned to Eastern and received my Master of Science degree in Elementary Education in May of 2015.

Teaching Background: I have been a fourth grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School in Charleston since 2008.

Action Research Project Title: Improving the Automaticity of Multiplication Facts with Fourth Grade Students

Purpose of Action Research: The purpose of this action research project was to examine the effectiveness of different interventions to improve the automaticity of multiplication facts with fourth grade students. One classroom based intervention and one computer based intervention were examined in this study.

Impact of Master’s Program: The Master’s program at Eastern has taught me to be a more reflective teacher. Through the program, I have examined the effectiveness of practices in my classroom, and thought critically about the lessons I provide to my students. Research has been an integral part of this program and allowed me to implement effective teaching strategies in my classroom. I am very appreciative of this experience at Eastern, and I have developed into a stronger, more confident educator.



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