Delve further into my Research
Google Classroom, G suite for educators, Mathematics, Special Education, Engagement, TPACK, Educational Tools.
Background and Need
It is crucial to make learning relevant to the real world in order to prepare students for the workforce and instill 21st century skills to compete in a global economy. According to the Nation’s Report Card (2017), average mathematics scores in 2015 were 1 and 2 points lower in grades 4 and 8, respectively, than the average scores in 2013. Even though scores at both grades were higher than those from the earliest mathematics assessments in 1990, even the slightest drop in math scores during a two-year period is cause to examine teaching practices. In the 2013-14 school year, California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), became the new student assessment system in California replacing the Standardized Testing and Reporting System (STAR).
The summative California Alternate Assessment (CAAs) for English Language Arts, (ELA), mathematics and science is administered to students with an individualized education program (IEP). These alternate assessments measure student progress on achievement standards more specifically designed for each student’s individual needs and are part of the (CAASPP) system. According to the 2016 CAAs Mathematics test results, 66% of students in 11th grade passed Level 1, 29% Level 2, and only 6% in Level 3. Within the Napa Valley Unified School District (NVUSD), the results in mathematics were very similar to the scores performed at the state level. In the 2016-17 school year, NVUSD CAA results revealed that 67% of students in the 11th grade passed Level 1, 27% Level 2, and 7% of the students passed Level 3. These results showed that students have low foundational understanding of core concepts in mathematics.
Research teams have developed and tested ways to improve the math skills of students using an instructional method called Enhanced Anchored Instruction. The overall goal is to provide school leaders with classroom-based research that describes one way of improving the math skills of middle school students . One study (Bottge, Grant, Stephens, & Rueda, 2010) employed a randomized pretest-posttest comparison group design to examine the effects of two versions of Enhanced Anchored Instruction (EAI) and a Business as Usual (BAU) condition on the math skills of middle school students in technology based education classrooms. The first EAI condition (Explicit) included a fractions module, a multimedia-based problem-solving module, and a hands-on problem. The second EAI condition (Embedded) consisted of two multimedia-based problem-solving modules and a hands-on problem. In the BAU condition, teachers proceeded with their usual instruction. Results showed that both EAI conditions were effective at improving the math skills of students over those of students in the BAU classes. The findings suggest that by integrating technology instruction, teachers can make important contributions in helping students develop their computation and problem-solving skills .
Researchers Satsangi and Bouck (2015) conducted a study to determine whether virtual manipulative instruction could effectively support the teaching concepts of area and perimeter to three secondary students with a learning disability in mathematics. Results showed the use of virtual manipulatives increased the performance of all three participants in solving area and perimeter mathematics problems. Students demonstrated improved performance from their respective baseline scores during intervention, maintenance, and generalization phases. One limitation in this study was the exclusive use of 90-degree angles in the problems given to the students to solve. An additional limitation was the relatively small number of participants, only three students were involved in the study.
In research associated with teaching mathematics to secondary students with emotional and behavioral disorders, Mulcahy, Krezmien and Maccini (2014) identified specific challenges and provided practical suggestions, on the basis of the limited existing research base. The purpose of the study was to assist special educators in understanding how to teach secondary students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (EBD). One of the recommendations of this research is that teachers get to know students on a personal level to enable them to play to the students’ strengths, and raise expectations for performance, thereby improving classroom and behavioral management. Another practical recommendation is the use of explicit instruction for teaching students with disabilities across content areas, including mathematics. The absence of high-quality research on effective mathematics instruction for special needs students exemplifies the field’s failure to adequately prepare teachers of students with EBD to teach mathematics aligned with grade appropriate state standards.
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