Phase V:
Documenting Project Outcomes
Summary of Data
As part of the implementation of my technology intervention, I utilized several different data collection strategies. This included informal assessments (thumbs up/thumbs down, informal polling, observation, and discussion), traditional testing (standardized unit assessments and original tests/quizzes), and performance-based assessments (movement sequences). From these assessments, I have been able to determine that the use of the online program IXL Math has significantly improved my 4^{th} grade on-grade-level math student’s understanding of geometry concepts.
Throughout the progress of the unit, I kept track of student scores on a color-coded spreadsheet. For each assessment, students were given a numeric score. If they scored 90% or above, they were labeled green; if they scored between 70% and 89%, they were marked yellow; and if they scored 69% or below, they were marked red. This spreadsheet started with the geometry pre-assessment and concluded with the geometry portion of the Unit 1 assessment (provided by MCPS). This chart was able to demonstrate student growth as the unit progressed.
Below is the color-coded data collection spreadsheet:
Data Interpretation:
From this data, I have been able to form several conclusions. The first is that, from the pre-assessment at the beginning of the unit to the final assessment at the end of the unit, student understanding of the 4^{th} grade geometry concepts increased significantly. At the beginning of the unit, 12 out of 18 students (about 67% of the class) scored a 68% or below on the geometry pre-assessment. The remainder of students (6 out of 18 or about 33%) scored between 74% and 82%. My goal for the unit was for all students to score a 90% or above on the final geometry portion of the unit 1 assessment. Through interactive lessons on the Promethean Board and the use of IXL Math software, by the end of the unit, a vast majority of the class (16 out of 18 students or about 89%) scored a 90% or higher on the geometry portion of the final unit 1 assessment.
The following graph compares each student’s scores on their pre-assessment and the geometry portion of the unit 1 assessment. The bars representing the final unit 1 assessment scores are significantly higher than those for the pre-assessment.
In addition to overall growth, a vast majority of my students were able to achieve the goals for each of my unit objectives.
Objective & Assessment |
Student Outcomes |
Objective: After working with the online resource “Lines, Line Segments, and Rays” (provided by IXL), students will be able to identify, draw, label, and describe points, lines, line segments, and rays with at least 90% accuracy. Assessment: Students will complete a 12 point paper & pencil quiz to assess the outcomes (numbers 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, & 12 on Lines and Linear Relationship Quiz). |
All students were able to score a 92% or higher on the Lines and Linear Relationship Quiz. This clearly achieves my intended objective of at least 90% accuracy. |
Objective: After working with the online resource “Parallel, Perpendicular, and Intersecting” (provided by IXL), of students will be able to identify, draw, label, and describe linear relationships (parallel, perpendicular, & intersecting) with at least 90% accuracy. Assessment: Students will complete a 12 point paper & pencil quiz to assess the outcomes (numbers 2, 4, 9, & 11 on Lines and Linear Relationship Quiz). |
All students were able to score a 92% or higher on the Lines and Linear Relationship Quiz. This clearly achieves my intended objective of at least 90% accuracy. |
Objective: After working with the online resource “Acute, Right, Obtuse, and Straight Angles” (provided by IXL), students will be able to identify, classify, and sketch acute, right, obtuse, and straight angles, and relate them to real-world examples with at least 90% accuracy. Assessment: Students will create a list identifying and sketching at least 4 acute, right, obtuse, and straight angles around the classroom (Angles in the Real World! Worksheet). |
All students were able to score a 100% on the “Angles in the Real World” worksheet. This clearly achieves my intended objective of at least 90% accuracy. |
Objective: After working with the online resources “Identify Planar and Solid Figures”, “Which 2-Dimensional Shape is Being Described?”, and “Which 3-Dimensional Shape is Being Described?” (provided by IXL), students will be able to identify and describe the attributes of solid figures with at least 90% accuracy. Assessment: Students will use a geoboard to make different polygons and parallelograms based on attributes provided by the instructor. |
All students were able to create and describe at least 4 out of 5 (about 80%) polygons and parallelograms based on provided attributes and descriptions. While this does not fully achieve my intended objective, I am confident that students have a proficient understanding of the concepts. |
Overall, my data show that student understanding of 4^{th} grade geometry concepts were improved through the use of interactive technology and the software program IXL Math.
Recommendation for Revision:
During this unit, I encountered several issues that forced me to modify my plans. However, this is to be expected in any teaching situation, and I was able to quickly adapt and proceed with my program. The biggest challenge that I encountered was with the use of the Netbook computers. Having worked with these computers before, I know that they can be very temperamental and do not always perform as expected. Fortunately, this was only an issue once during my technology implementation and I was able to overcome the situation and adjust my future plans to allow computer lab access as well as time management that allowed for better use of our class period. In the future, I would revise my unit to allow more time in the school computer lab rather than using the Netbook computers.
Another challenge that I encountered was with the use of IXL Math at from personal computers. As stated in my logistical plan, I arranged with students who were absent to make up their work with the program at home since this is a web-based software program. However, I did not realize that, when accessing the program from a personal computer (i.e. one that is not connected to the school network), students are only granted visitor access and are not able to complete the full version of each math activity. Fortunately, I was able to work with individual students to set up time during their lunch or recess to make up the missed work on a school computer, but this is something I will need to take into account during future units.
Finally, the last challenge that I encountered during this unit was that of time. As always, teachers find that there is often not enough time to complete all lessons and activities as they were originally planned. Thus, we learn to think on our feet and utilize “teachable moments.” However, with this unit, it was imperative that students have enough time to work independently to complete the IXL Math activity while I worked with the small groups. Occasionally, one of my informal assessments (thumbs up/thumbs down, informal polling, observation, and discussion) would reveal that students were not comfortable with a topic and, thus, not able to move on to the next step in the plan. This occasionally resulted in my having to cut off a lesson early or reschedule some parts of my plans as follow-up activities for use in small or whole-group lessons.
Overall, I had great success with the use of this program and, after some slight modifications and revisions, I will definitely plan on utilizing IXL Math with my students again.
Recommendations for Implementation:
Having worked at my school for several years, I have found that my teaching methods and lessons have developed into a sort of habitual pattern. On occasion, I have found that this pattern can be difficult to break in order to allow new ideas and lessons in. This is an issue that many other teachers at my school have, and I can see it being a challenge to convince them to start using additional technological interventions in their classrooms. However, the best way to convince people to try something new is to demonstrate how exciting and effective it can be. I work very closely with a third grade teacher and together we form the Technology Committee at our school. As part of this committee, we are responsible for learning about and testing new hardware and software that the school has purchased. As of yet, we have only been able to use these programs in our own classrooms or grade levels. However, it is my goal to plan trainings which will spread this technology throughout the school and offer support to those who are interested. In this way, I can definitely see other teachers taking an interest in IXL Math.
My Technology Committee Co-Founder and I are very excited about IXL Math, particularly because it offers programs and activities that support all of the different grade levels at our school. By publishing my results and presenting my enthusiasm to the staff, I am hopeful that others will want to experiment with this program, as well.
Recommendations for Future Research:
In this age of booming technology, there is no shortage of research on how different technology programs affect student learning and engagement. However, I would be interested in exploring how the use of IXL Math activities at home and outside of school influence students achievement. With this plan, I was able to examine how the use of IXL affects student progress in a controlled environment in the school setting, but I wonder if students will demonstrate any increased motivation or engagement in math concepts if they are also using the program at home. In order to explore this, I will have to convince my administration to purchase a school license (rather than just a site license) to IXL Math so students are able to access the program both at school and at home. This will be able to tell me not only about student academic achievement, but also about their engagement and motivation. When it comes to the any level of math class, positive engagement and motivation are half the battle!