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The Principals Role as Leader of Change -Critical Element Paper #3 Presented to the Department of Educational Leadership and Postsecondary

Education University of orthern !o"a -!n Partial #ulfillment of the Re$uirements for the %dvanced &tudies Certificate -'y Leicha () &cranton Taylor Elementary &chool Cedar Rapids* !% (ay +,* +-.3 -Timothy /) 0ilson* Ed)D)

Action Research

Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math

Introduction In this action research project, I studied the impact of Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math had on 3rd-5th grade students computation fluency. I was hoping through the use of the computer program Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math the students would increase their fluency and automaticity of either addition or multiplication facts. I was also looking to see if the num er of sessions a student had a week, related to the amount of fluency increase a student had. I was pleased to see that the majority of students showed an increase in the amount of facts they had mastered. !he more sessions a student had a week, the more facts the students mastered and the faster they were a le to recall the facts. "ith the importance of asic fact fluency, I plan on ha#ing the classroom teachers continue to implement the Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math program during independent time, ut will stress the importance of students completing at least $-3 sessions a week to see the amount of growth we are wanting and know can happen. In elementary education the a ility to recall math facts with automaticity continues to remain a focus for teachers. %tudents are e&pected to e a le to fluently recall their asic addition and su traction facts y 3 rd grade and recall asic multiplication and di#ision facts y 'th grade. It(s e&tremely important for students to know their asic facts with automaticity to mo#e on to higher le#el pro lem sol#ing,

which students are e&posed to at the upper grades. )ne of the issues students ha#e when they come to the upper grades is not ha#ing the foundation they need for those asic facts. !hey then struggle with larger computation pro lems. !he mastery of asic computation skills is necessary for students to ad#ance to higher le#el math concepts like what you would find in geometry, calculus or alge ra. Instructional strategies need to address the issues students are ha#ing with asic fact fluency. Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math is a computer ased program designed to help students retrie#e answers to asic facts from their memory oth accurately and fluently. !his program designed y !om %nyder *roduction helps students to automatically recall and de#elop understanding of asic facts. Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math pro#ides students with #arious le#els of understanding asic facts ased on the indi#idual students needs. Literature Review In the research put out y the +esearch Foundation and ,#idence of ,ffecti#eness for Fastt Math, found that asic facts, need to e de#eloped to the point that they are done automatically. %tudents that dont de#elop the a ility to automatically recall facts will struggle later with higher order math skills. "oodward and -a&ter ./0012 found that the lack of math fact retrie#al can impede participation in math class dissusions along with lacking skills to successfully pro lem sol#e or they lack the de#elopment of e#eryday life skills .3o#eless, $4432.

Fre5uent practice of asic facts is also noted in the research, along with asic strategy instruction. 67ogniti#e psychologist ha#e disco#ered that humans ha#e fi&ed limits on the attention and memory that can e used to sol#e pro lems. )ne way around these limits is to ha#e certain components of a task ecome so routine and o#er-learned that they ecome automatic.8 ."hitehurst, $4432

-asic facts can and need to e de#eloped in a way that they are automatic and errorless. !his would then allow for more focus to e put on pro lem sol#ing or higher le#el math 5uestions and pro lems. !he research also states that rapid fact recall is a strong predictor of student performance on math achie#ement tests .+oyer, !ronsky, 7han, 9ackson, and Merchant, /0002. :long with students who ha#e difficulty with math and lacking consistent fact instruction show se#er pro lems with fact retrie#al. ;assel urg, <oin and %herwood ./0=>2 disco#ered that drill and practice of asic facts were not enough to increase students recall of asic facts, if they did not already ha#e them. !here needs to e a focus on the non-automatic recall facts, with constant re#iew of already mastered facts. "hich is where di#iding the fluent and non-fluent facts is e&tremely important. Most of the research shows the importance of math fact fluency ut se#eral children are failing when it comes to computation capa ilities. In $443, 3o#eless

concluded that performance on asic facts declined in the /004s. !he research clearly shows students need to de#elop their errorless, rapid recall of their asic facts. Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math was designed ased on some of the pre#iously mentioned research, to help students de#elop fact knowledge. !he Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math approach helps students de#elop a link etween facts and answers and then storing it in their long term memory. !he features present in the software to de#elop these skills are? /. Identification of fluent and non-fluent facts@ $. +estricted presentation of non-fluent information@ 3. %tudent generation of pro lemAanswer pairs@ '. Bse of 6challenge times@8 5. %paced-presentation of non-fluent information@ >. !he appropriate use of drill-and-practice@ and 1. 7omputer monitoring of student performance. .;assel ring, 3ott, Cydney, $44>2 !hese feature contri ute to the success of the Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math program. Methodology

"ith eing a classroom teacher and now an Instructional 7oach I ha#e o ser#ed a num er of students passing from grade le#el to grade le#el without eing fluent with their asic facts and not ha#ing the foundational skills needed to e automatic with their asic facts. !his led me to the 5uestion? How will using Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math, three or more times a week increase student computation fluency scores? I will use the Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math, a computer ased program y !om %nyder *roductions to test its effecti#eness in increasing asic fact fluency in students in grades 3rd through 5th. !his inter#ention allows the teacher to see what the students understand and do not understand. !he students also enjoy the game style of the inter#ention. Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math is designed to e indi#idualiDed for students and can easily e incorporated into classrom instruction and math rotations. !he program also pro#ides reports to measure student growth and pro#ide feed ack for students, teachers and parents. Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math was to e implemented 3 or more times a week for /5 to $4 minutes through-out the study. !he computer ased program is designed to differentiate computation inter#entions for students ased on their indi#idualiDed de#elopment and their a ilty to retrie#e answers to asic addition or multiplication facts with accuracy and fluency. :dditionally, the program helps uild a stronger foundation in asic facts which helps to de#elop fact fluency.

!hrough out the school year, se#eral grade le#el team discussions re#ol#ed around if the students understand the process or if they just can not do the math to answer the 5uestion. :fter deeper e&ploration into the students work, we disco#ered the students could do the process, ut they lacked the asic computation skills needed to do the math. :s a uilding we ha#e een looking for ways to help impro#e student computation skills y re-e#aluating the resources we ha#e a#aila le to us. Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math has een used in our uilding for the last 3 to ' years. ;owe#er, it has not een used in a consistant manner throughout our ' th and 5th grades. I approached the 'th through 5th grade teachers a out using the program more consistantly with their students to see if the program would help increase the students accuracy and fluency of asic facts. In addition, we in#ited our 3rd grade students to participate in the study ased on there need to impro#e their a ility to recall facts automatically and fluently. !he students were e&cited and engaged while using the Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math program. !he program is designed with the a ility to track student daily progress. !he Fastt Math computer program is also #ery engaging and allows student to practice their facts in a num er of different ways through multiple games, repeated practice and charting growth. %tudents were o ser#ed during independent time and when their work was finished asking to log on to the Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math program to do additional lessons. !he aseline data was collected after students had completed a *lacement :ssessment that generated a grid representing fluent and non-fluent facts. : #ariety of

different reports from the Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math program were used to measures students growth and preformance. *rogress reports measured the num er of facts mastered from eginning to end, as well as the a#erage num er of lessons completed throughout the week ased on indi#idual students. Implementation reports measured the amount of lessons per week as a uilding. <rowth and usage reports measured the amount of growth each classroom made from the eginning of the study until the end of the study. Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math administered periodic assessments called Fast Fact 7hallenge which measures mastery of facts and determines which facts the students need to focus on known as Focus Facts. :s this assessment is gi#en it also records the amount of time a student takes to answer each fact presented. -y measuring the amount of time needed to answer a 5uestion, the program can get a more accurate measure of if facts are eing recalled from memory or if the facts are eing sol#ed using a counting strategy. *rior to taking this assessment students are gi#en a typing test to measure how fast they type num ers. !his is measured to determining the difference in the amount of time it takes a student to type the num er /= and typing the answer to $&0. It was assumed that the students would use the Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math program at least three times a week for the entire research project, ut due to uncontrola le circumestances .snow days and stateAdistrict testing2 not all students were a le to get on the program three times a week. "e were still a le to measure students growth e#en if they were not a le to e on the computer for the initially esta lished three times.

Results rowth vs! "o Addition Multiplication rowth #during the $ week study% "o rowth $1 ' &otal 'tudents 1/ /5

rowth '' //

)f the 1/ 3rd through 5th grade students working on addition fact fluency, '' of them made growth during the > week study. )nly $1 did not make growth during this time. Fifteen 'th graders worked on impro#ing their multiplication fluency and // of them made growth where only ' did not show growth. Average Lessons a (eek vs! Less than * time a week 5 /1 rowth #)efore the study )egan% ,!- to ,!+ times a week / 3 ./ more times a week /

rowth "o rowth

* to *!+ times a week /1 =

*rior to the research project the a#erage lessons ranged from less than / lesson a week to 3 lessons a week. )f the $3 students that showed growth 5 a#eraged less the / time a week, /1 a#eraged /.4-/.0 times a week and / in the $.4-$.0 a#erage times a week. !he $0 students that did not make growth /1 a#eraged less than / time a week, = a#eraged /.4-/.0, 3 a#eraged $.4-$.0 sessions a week and / a#eraged 3 or more lessons a week. Average Lessons a (eek vs! Less than * time a week = 0 rowth #during the $ week study% ,!- to ,!+ times a week /> > ./ more times a week > /

rowth "o rowth

* to *!+ times a week $5 /5

Euring the study, the a#erage lessons a week ranged from less than one to more than 3 lessons within one week. )f the students who showed growth, = of them a#eraged less than / lesson a week, $5 a#eraged /.4-/.0 lessons, /> a#eraged $.4 to $.0 lessons and > a#eraged 3.4 or more lessons a week. !he students that did not show growth, 0 of them a#eraged less than / lesson a week, /5 a#eraged /.4 to /.0 lessons, > a#eraged $.4 to $.0 lessons and / a#eraged 3 or more lessons a week. *rior to the start of the action research $3 students had shown growth using the Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math and $0 had not shown growth. !he data was a out ''F of the students showing growth. :fter the implementation of the research project 55 students showed growth and 3/ students did not. !he percent of students showing growth was >'F, which is $4F higher than efore the study. 0reakdown of the Amount of "um)er of 'essions ./ ,!1 2 ,!+ ,!- 2 ,!3 *!1 2 *!+ *!- 2 *!3 Less than * Amount of Fact rowth or Lack of rowth Media n = 1 3 0.5 4 4 Range 4-/= 4-/4 4-/3 4-'4 4-$' 4-5

rowth

Mean 0.$ 5 3.1 // = 3.'

4 ' > = = /$ /= /= 4 4 3 1 1 = /4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 5 5 1 1 // /3 4 4 4 4 ' 5 5 1 /$ /$ /3 /= /= $' $' '4 4444444444444/33''5>>=0 $3 $' 4444444444444$33'5

!he students who a#eraged less than one lesson a week a#eraged a growth of 3.' facts with a range of 4-5 and a median score 4. )f the /= students that were on Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math less than / time a week, only 5 showed growth. !he students within the /.4 to /.' a#erage

lessons a week a#eraged an increase of = facts with a range of 4-$' and a median of 4. !he range of the students who made growth was /-$' for the /$ students, with two students eing outliers with $3 and $' facts growth. !he other /4 students( range of growth was /-0. %i&teen students fell into the /.5 to /.0 a#erage lessons a week with an a#erage fact gain of //, and a range of 4-'4 with a median score of 0.5. !wel#e out of /> students in this section made growth with a range of '-'4. !he students who a#eraged $.4 to $.' lessons a week had an a#erage score of 3.1 facts growth, with a range of 4-/3 and a median score of 3. !en of the /1 students in this section made growth that ranged from 3-/3. %e#en students fell in the $.5-$.0 sessions a week with an a#erage increase of 5, with a range of 4-/4 and a median score of 1. )nly $ students in this section did not show growth. !he students who a#eraged 3 or more sessions a week a#eraged a growth of 0.$ facts, with a range of 4-/= and a median of =. )ne of the = students who used the Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math program more than 3 times a week did not make growth. -ased on the results of this action research project, I elie#e that the Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math program does help increase students fact fluency when used at least $ or more times a week. :dditionally, some students were a le to make additional growth when using the program fewer than $ times a week. "hen looking closer at those students they were placed in the wrong operation and needed to e mo#ed to their instructional operation le#el .out of addition and into multiplication2.

-y the end of the action research we had started to notice an increase in the carry o#er from the computer program to the classroom, especially with the ' th graders working on their multiplication facts.

4onclusion and Recommendations )#erall the action research project showed that the students using the Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math program 3 or more times a week increased the num er of fast facts and also increased their fact fluency. !he students who did not a#erage 3 sessions a week, ut increased the num er of sessions a week compared to earlier in the year, there was also an increase in the num er of fast facts and their fact fluency. !his also shows the more you use the program consistently, the more likely you are to increase the num er of fast facts you ha#e and also increase your fact fluency. I elie#e the data would ha#e shown more growth, if more of the students would ha#e een a le to e on the Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math program closer to 3 times a week. Euring the time of the action research we had se#eral snow days, late starts, intercession, state testing and early outs, which lead to se#eral days where the students did not ha#e the opportunity to e on the computer. !he teachers did e#erything they could to get the students on the Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math program, ut we were not a le to get e#ery student on 3 times a week.

:s the uilding mo#es forward with using the Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math program with the students a few action steps will need to take place for the program to e successful, ased on the results of the research project. )ne thing that will need to e done is a schedule will need to e de#eloped to allow students to get on the computer at least 3 times a week. 7lassrooms will need to look at their daily schedule and de#elop a way for all students to use the Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math program, which may entail teaching math in small group rotations. For e&ample, this might look like $4 minutes with the teacher, $4 minutes of independent practice and $4 minutes of Fastt Math. :nother action step would e to make sure the classrooms ha#e all of the resources they need to use the Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math in their classroom. ,ach classroom would need to ha#e access to ' to 5 computers, so students would e a le to rotate through them within the room. Euring this research project teachers and students had to rely on the computer la eing a#aila le, which did not always allow the students to get on the computer

se#eral times a week. -ased on the results and the classroom teachers o ser#ations, the uilding is planning on uying more licenses so we can make sure e#ery student in $ nd through 5th grade can take part in the Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math program. "ith allowing $nd and 3rd grade to use the Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology Fastt Math program to

increase their fluency of addition and su traction facts, then ' th and 5th grade will e a le to spend more time focusing on multiplication and di#ision fluency.

References

;assel ring, !.%., <oin, 3., G %herwood, +.E. ./0=>2. !he effects of computer- ased drill and practice on automaticity. !echnical report. Hash#ille, !H? Iander ilt Bni#ersity, 3earning !echnology 7enter. ;assel ring, !.%., 3ott, :.7., G Cydney, 9.M. .$44>2 6!echnology-supported math instruction for students with disa ilities? two decades of research and de#elopment.8 CITEd, +etrie#ed from www.citeducation.org 3o#eless, !. 6!rends in Math :chie#ement? !he Importance of -asic %kills.8 *resentation at the Mathematics %ummit, "ashington, E7? Fe ruary >, $443 +oyer, 9.M., !ronsky, 3.H., 7han, J., 9ackson, %.9., G Merchant, ;. ./0002. Math fact retrie#al as the cogniti#e mechanism underlying gender differences in math test performance. Contemporary Educational Psychology $', /=/-$>>. !om %nyder *roductions .$4452. %cholastic +esearch G +esults, +esearch Foundation *aper. www.tomsnyder.com "hitehurst, <. I,% Eirectors presentation at the Mathematics %ummit, "ashington, E7? Fe ruary >, $443 "oodward, 9. G -a&ter, 9. ./0012. !he effects of an inno#ati#e approach to mathematics on academically low-achie#ing students in inclusi#e settings. Focus on Exceptional Children >3, 313-3==.