Friday, June 12, 2015

I need homework help!

I have to do an action research project in the fall for my grad program.  That's fine.  I thought I knew what I wanted to research, but the idea sort of got shot out of the water because the teacher didn't really like it.  (She's against anything scripted, which I understand, but I wanted to research the effectiveness of a peer-mediated intervention - which would have been scripted for the kids.  Personally, I thought it was a great idea, but I understand her reservations.)

Anyway.  After a lot of thought and conversation and changing my topic 856 times, I decided to go with researching the effectiveness of a workshop model as an intervention.  She loved that, but I am not in love with the idea.  It's going to be hard to put my whole heart into a topic that I don't really care about, but I also just want to keep my 4.0 GPA.  Arguing with the teacher doesn't get you an A. Haha!

Then, in class last night, she posed a question:  "What do you really want to know? Why do you want to know that?"  That got me thinking... 

I don't really want to know what happens when you use a workshop model as an instructional structure.  I really want to know about interventions that can be done in the classroom, either whole- or small-group, to work on closing the achievement gap *before* it gets to the point that students are being pulled out for tier 3 interventions.  Pulling students for interventions means they are missing time the the classroom.  Whether the time is during core instruction or small-group work or community building activities is irrelevant.  They are missing that time in class!  Maybe it's not an actual intervention that I'm looking for.  Maybe it's just a structure (for example, the workshop model).  I just want my students in class, and I want to know how to keep them there!

So I have to come up with a topic, and from there I need to derive a research question.  This is where I'm stuck.

Feel free to poke holes in this, provide suggestions, offer your insight...

Here's the evolution of my question:

"What happens when interventions are provided in class instead of in a pull-out model to increase academic achievement and decrease required tier 3 support?"

Honestly, I just didn't like how I worded that question.  I don't know if I want to use the word "interventions" because I don't know that I would strictly focus on providing interventions.  A classmate suggested differentiation rather than interventions, but I don't know about that because research already supports differentiation.  I want to get more at the idea of keeping my kids in my classroom.  

I guess "differentiation" is exactly what I would need to do then... ... ...

But I kept thinking...

The question became:

"What happens to student identify and achievement when tier 1 instruction and tier 2 interventions are structured and differentiated with the intent of preventing the need for pull-out tier 3 interventions?"

I thought that was a little wordy, but it sort of says what I want... I think...?

That became:

"What happens to student achievement when instruction is structured and differentiated with the intent to prevent the need for pull-out interventions?"

I just don't know about that one because I got back to the idea that we, as teachers, should be doing that anyway... So why research it?

Then I circled back around to the workshop model.  My question changed to:

"What happens when a workshop model is used in core content areas in a primary classroom as a means of differentiation and intervention?"

But that takes out the other component that I wanted to research:  the peer tutoring as a whole-class intervention.

The more I think about it, the more frustrated I get.  I'm hoping that, by putting it out there in cyberspace, someone will be able to help me find the words to really get to the root of my curiosity.

Your opinions? 
Please and thank you! 

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