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Phase #1 implementation and results are organized by the order in which they were

implemented in the classroom. Each Math Lab implemented and activities associated with

them lasted about a week, for a total of 4 weeks of implementation. Student growth in

autonomy, motivation, academically, was analyzed over the course of 2-week intervals so

one interval was Math Lab #1 and #2 and the second was Math Lab #3 and #4.

First 2-week interval

PRE Phase #1

Section/PRE Math

Lab:

Week #1

Math Lab #1:

Week #2

Math Lab #2

were carried out prior to implementation of

Math Lab #1 and some results from these

implementations.

This section described implementations that

were carried out during Math Lab #1 and

some results from these implementations.

This section described implementations that

were carried out after Math Lab #1 (ML#1)

and some results from these implementations.

were carried out before Math Lab #2 (ML#2)

and some results from these implementations.

This section described implementations that

were carried out during Math Lab #2 (ML#2)

and some results from these implementations.

This section described implementations that

were carried out after Math Lab #2 (ML#2)

and some results from these implementations.

This section described implementations that

PRE Math Lab #3:

and some results from these implementations.

Week #3

Math Lab #3

were carried out during Math Lab #3 (ML#3)

and some results from these implementations.

Week #4

were carried out after Math Lab #3 (ML#3)

and some results from these implementations.

were carried out before Math Lab #4 (ML#4)

and some results from these implementations.

Math Lab #4

were carried out during Math Lab #4 (ML#4)

and some results from these implementations.

This section described implementations that

were carried out after Math Lab #4 (ML#4)

and some results from these implementations.

Summarized Results

and Analysis:

analysis in relation to the main three topics of

the Action Research guiding questions: effect

of choice in relation to Academic

Achievement, Autonomy, and

Motivation/Perceptions.

This section described implementations that were carried out prior to implementation of

Math Lab #1 and some results from these implementations. Implementations are described and

labeled as steps in the order they were carried out in the classroom:

Step 1: Pre-Test

Step 2: Content Instruction

Step 3: PRE ML#1 Perception Wheel

Step 4: ML#1 Center Selection

Results and analysis of these steps follow their description.

Step 1: Pre-Test

My implementation of my research began with giving my students a Pre-Test. The PreTest consisted of the topics the students and I would be focusing on for half of Phase #1

implementations, (approximately 2 weeks which would be including Math Lab #1 and Math Lab

#2), which were comparison/understanding of place value and adding and subtracting decimals.

The purpose of the Pre-Test was to be able to assess students general knowledge of the content.

The questions that the test consisted of were at grade level, created based off Math Expressions

Curriculum Assessments. Students took the test online, on the following Google From link:

http://goo.gl/forms/I4jcLmUErj. Prior to students initiation of the test and throughout it, I made

sure to reiterate to the students that they were to try their personal best, even though I understood

some of the questions and problems may be unfamiliar to them. The Pre-Test had a total of 8

questions (1 question had 2 parts, so scores are out of 9), since the students are accustomed to

responding to a total of 8 questions on their English Language Arts Instruction (Achieve3000).

The Pre-Test also contained a last additional question that the students were told was not part of

their final score calculation, on how they would describe how they thought and felt as learners in

regards to the concepts of comparisons/place value understanding, and adding and subtracting

decimals. The purpose of this question was to accustom students to describing in words their

perceptions of content so that I could pinpoint how confident and motivated students were to

learn. It also served as a way to prepare students for the Perception Wheel which was introduced

after the Pre-Test.

Results and Analysis of Pre-Test

Pre-Test results served as quantitative data. A total of 14 students out of 22 students who

took the Pre-Test received scores below 63%, as evidenced on Graph #1: Phase #1: Pre-Test

Scores. Thus, the majority of students showed below grade level proficiency in the math content

the Pre-Test focused on. Although these results were low, I anticipated this as my needs

assessment in my introduction indicated that many of my students have performed below 75% on

state and district wide tests as well. These Pre-Test Scores confirmed the need in my classroom

for support in academic achievement however, and it was thus my goal, that students would

improve after my Phase #1 implementations. In order to assess and/or see my students growth, I

decided I would administer this same Pre-Test to my students again at the end of two weeks

approximately (after they had conducted Math Lab 1 and Math Lab 2) as a Post-Test, with the

hopes to see more students scoring 75% or greater.

Graph #1: Phase #1: Pre-Test Scores (Math Labs #1 and #2)

Following the Pre-Test, content instruction occurred. Math content for half of Phase #1

was taught to students in a direct instruction format. The content included: comparison and

understanding of place value, and adding and subtracting decimals. Since this was a direct

instruction component of the implementation, no specific data was collected for Phase #1

purposes, thus, there are no result analysis for this section. Nevertheless, this direct instruction

was needed in order to expose my students to the content they would be learning and reviewing

about in the coming Math Labs, as well as for them to being better able to deciding on their own

initial perceptions on this math content on the Perception Wheel.

Step 3: Pre ML#1 Perception Wheel

Students after direct instruction were then able to pinpoint which category or categories

best described their thoughts of themselves as learners, in respect to the content areas being

assessed on the Pre-Test, an image of this data tool follows:

This was done after the Pre-Test and content instruction with hopes that students had had

the opportunity of being exposed to the content and be able to formulate some perception on how

they feel at this point in regards to their presumed ability to learn and understand the content.

Students could select up to two categories maximum from a total of five categories:

Anxious

Motivated

Happy

Confident

Challenged

These perceptions students would select would be initial perceptions that I anticipated

being more negative than positive, however, the goal was that after Math Lab #2, students would

be asked to indicate their perceptions once more and their perceptions would be hopefully more

positive in nature. Negative perceptions would be indicated with anxious while more positive

perceptions would be indicated by, motivated, happy, and/or confident.

Results and Analysis of the Pre-ML#1 Perception Wheel:

Data collected for perceptions was qualitative, but was analyzed through quantifying of

results. Although there were four categories students could select from, I decided to categorize

my data into two, negative perceptions and positive perceptions. Negative perceptions can be

seen under anxious and positive perceptions under other on Graph #2: Math Lab #1: Pre

Perceptions Since my main goal was to support my students in attaining positive perceptions of

themselves as learners and content, in order to motivate them to learn further, I was not as

concerned whether students felt happy or confident, as much as I was if they indicated they felt

anxious. As evidenced by Graph #2: Math Lab #1: Pre Perceptions, 6 out of 19 students

demonstrated some negative perceptions towards the content being learned (decimal comparison

and place value understanding) and themselves as learners. From these results, my hope was that

post ML#2 this ratio would be even lower.

Graph #2: Math Lab #1: Pre-Perceptions

After students selected their perceptions, I proceeded by explaining to the students that

they would be participating in something we would call Math Lab. I then explained that Math

Lab would be a time once a week in which three math rotational centers would be set up in the

classroom (each center will be a specific area of the room denoted by posters with the center

name). I went on to explain that the centers would all have specific tasks related to the same

math topic(s), and they would be engaged working on the tasks for about 20-30 minutes.

However, I explained that they would be able to select which center they would like to work in,

as they would only be at one center for the entirety of Math Lab. I continued to introduce the

centers. One center was the Math and Technology Center which would include some sort of

technology based activity. The second center was the Manipulative and Exploration Center

which I explained would have some sort of physical objects, math manipulatives, and/or a

challenge or quest to be resolved through problem solving of some sort. I then explained that the

third center was the Learning and Designing Center, where they would be engaging in some

short activity but then creating their own based on specific content and specifications. I

mentioned that once at their center there would be some general guidelines, more specific than

my introduction of the centers, but vague enough for them to be able to interpret in ways they

found most meaningful or fun for them. Students would then work on the activities (students

were allowed to be creative in their interpretation and/or meeting of the expectations), and then

finalize their centers work with completion of a Math Whizz, a short quiz to assess their math

content learning at their center. The Math Whizz was the one constant for all centers. The

students signed up for their centers on the white board under the center name they wished to

work on. No specific data was collected from the students selection of centers for Phase #1

purposes, thus, there are no result analysis for this section, however, this was necessary as it

allowed for students to select and have a choice as to how and what kind of activity they would

engage in to learn content.

This section described implementations that were carried out during Math Lab #1 and some

results from these implementations.

Math Lab #1

This was a days implementation in which students would visit the center they had

selected the day before for about 20-30 minutes. Students would work on the given tasks for

each center. All the tasks for each center were discussed before students moved to their centers

and children were also reminded about two things. One was the fact that they could work

individually, or with whomever they decided to work with (pairs, small and/or large groups were

allowed). The second was that they would be having their Math Journal with them at all times to

annotate all progress at their center (all work from the centers would be written in their journal,

an image of the journal is attached following).

The center instructions students were told and found at their center are included below,

and are all dealing with decimal comparisons and/or understanding of place value. An image of

students journal is also provided for convenience.

At the M&E Center students were given playing card sets numbering 2 through 9 to play the

Great Decimal Game.

At the math and technology center students were allowed to use their iPads for completing the

following tasks. (Students would log onto this Thinkcentral link:

https://www-k6.thinkcentral.com/ePC/start.do to complete the PMT)

Students at this center would be given one worksheet with one to three riddles (images of 2 are

attached) to solve (two were required). Students would also find another worksheet with a blank

sticky note to organize and write their own riddle. The sticky note was for them to hide their

answer once they shared their riddle with others, so that others could try to solve it.

Math Lab from my teacher observations went more smoothly than I originally expected. I

thought that students having increased freedom would in fact elicit increased misbehavior and

need for redirection. I did have some students needing clarification coming up to me a few times

in regards to confirming if they were doing the task correctly, but only about 3 students required

additional guidance. This suggested that students were able to self-monitor for the most part and

thus autonomy was being practiced in the classroom. In addition to autonomy, students also

exhibited good behavior and were very engaged with their learning. Some unexpected results for

Math Lab however included that students were actually petitioning for more time to continue

working on some of their centers activities. These results indicated that students were motivated

enough to desire to continue working on their center, in addition, which was ideal for me to

witness. As a teacher-researcher these results pleased me and supported my AR focus on

autonomy and motivation in mathematics, thus, I was excited to continue implementing future

Math Labs and viewing the continual effects.

Math Whizz #1

Once students completed the Math Lab activity, students were then given the Math

Whizz prompt following to complete individually. The Math Whizz prompt was printed onto a

sticker tab and this sticker was given to the students to paste within their Math Journal, an image

of this format follows.

Students would then respond below the prompt in their journal. The Math Whizz was the

same for all three centers and served as a way to assess student understanding of the content.

Each student received the following Math Whizz:

The Math Whizz served as qualitative data in the area of academic progress as students

were explaining and relating the concepts reviewed to their life experiences, etc. Overall

students showed great understanding of place value and ability to relate it to their daily lives

which was rewarding to see. For example, one student included, If your (sic) buying something

at the store you should make sure the change is right so you dont get ripped off. Also at school

pretty much everyday I have to do decimal math proboblems, speeking (sic) of school if you buy

lunch you have to make sure the change is right too, and another I use fractions in my daily

life, every night I take of a pill to help me sleep. I cut the pill because Im (sic) not supposed to

take it whole (see image of this following).

These connections to their daily lives, allowed me to realize that students were finding

math to being meaningful to their day to day experiences. This relevance students were realizing

also allowed me to gain insight that students comprehended the concepts we were learning about,

enough so that they were able to discuss the concepts in relation to concepts not discussed in

class.

Academic progress and achievement was also evidenced by students ability to connect

this new learning to their already attained knowledge of adding fractions, although it also

allowed me to realize some gaps in their learning. For example, students included things such as

That decimals and fractions and (sic) the same in many ways, such as they are both broken

pieces. Although I was impressed by students ability to relate fractions and decimals this

evidence also allowed me to realize the need to support students in their definition of concepts,

so that broken piece could be described instead as parts of a whole for example. In addition,

students responses of tell them the places like tenths, hundredthsalso give thema

reference too (sic) money to help them, explainplace valueswhat they are

calledcompare and contrast them. The different place values are tenths, hundredths,

thousandths, etc allowed me to realize students ability to take ownership of their learning

and support the learning of others in the classroom, all signs of my students capacity to be more

autonomous and collaborative.

There were some students however, that although grasped portions of the content, still

lacked the vocabulary and detail necessary in their explanations, I will explain to [others] that to

make a decimal you have to have a point and I would tell then (sic) how to do the problem

that they are stuck on and explain my awnser (sic). Another student did not seem to grasp the

concept with their mention that You cant multiply any thing (sic) with decimals. These

responses served to reiterate the need of supporting my students in their academic achievement,

which was part of my AR focus.

This section described implementations that were carried out after Math Lab #1 (ML#1)

and some results from these implementations. Implementations are described in a series of steps,

in the order they were introduced in the classroom and their results follow their description.

Step 1: POST ML Perception Wheel

Step 2: Journal Entry #1

Step 3: Journal Entry #2

Step 4: ML Reflection Form/Feedback Form

Step 5: Student-Teacher Conferences

Step 1: POST ML Perception Wheel

I gave my students a second opportunity to share their perceptions because I wanted to

gain insight on any changes in student perceptions that may have resulted from the Math Lab #1

experience. I also implemented this now because students at this point had had interactions with

the concepts various times which would hopefully allow them to make a more informed selection

of their thoughts. My hope was that students perception were more positive in nature and less

students would indicate they felt anxious, as one of the purposes of including Math Lab and

choice in the classroom was to support students in developing increased positive perceptions and

motivation to learn. Students were allowed one by one to sign up on the Perception Wheel

category or categories that best reflected their thoughts of themselves in respect to the content of

decimal comparisons and place value understanding (students could write their names under a

maximum of two categories, which included Happy, Motivated, Confident, Challenged, and

Anxious).

Results and Analysis of the ML #1 POST Perception Wheel:

Overall, in regards to perceptions there was an evident increase in the positive

perceptions of students as evidenced by the post perceptions, where the 6 students that had

indicated Anxious, before ML#1, now was at only 2 as evidenced by Graphs #2 and #3 (Graph

#2: Math Lab #1: Pre-Perceptions and Graph #3: Math Lab #1: Post-Perceptions). These results

were significant because one of the goals of Math Lab #1 was to support students motivation

level and to see if choice would allow perception changes regarding content. Results seem to

indicate that the ML#1 was able to support students in feeling less anxious regarding content,

and perhaps more capable, excited, and competent. This is also significant because the increase

in students belief on their capacity to succeed can also serve to encourage then to be more

autonomous and take on more challenges and risks within the classroom, another of my Action

Research focuses.

After students indicated their general perceptions, students were provided with the

following journal prompt to answer to in their math journals.

Much like the Math Whizz, this prompt was given to them as a sticker to paste in their

journals and for them to respond to below it, an image of this format follows:

Students had about 10 to 15 minutes to respond to one of the two provided journal

prompts. The goal of the journal prompt was to have students reflect on their experiences in

Math Lab and specifically, to gain insight on how students were facing challenges they were

facing and/or what role they played during math lab if they worked in a group. As a teacher

researcher knowing more about students thoughts on the experience would allow me to better

understand how motivated they are to continue learning. In regards to how they faced challenges

and/or their role in their groups if they worked in a group, this could help me be better able to

know if my students were feeling comfortable overcoming obstacles and/or taking initiative. My

goal was to see evidence of autonomy and possibly also motivation in these journal entries. Since

both prompts could speak to autonomy, students answering to either was allowed.

Results and Analysis of Journal Entry #1:

The journal entries served as primarily qualitative data with some quantitative when

students included specific numerical examples. Overall, students writing about their challenges

and how they overcame them and their successes revealed much about students autonomy in the

classroom. In particular, throughout the entirety of Math Lab, I received few direct questions and

students coming up to me for help, (many students coming directly to me or my master teacher

for questions during every activity in which students face any type of challenge, is extremely

common in any other activity during the day). During Math Lab #1 it is evident students are

beginning to attempt and approach problem solving and facing challenges individually, thus, my

students are taking on more responsibility over their own learning. Students are even helping

monitor appropriate behavior in the classroom in response to maintaining a workable

environment to best meet their learning needs, as evidenced by students comments such as, The

challenges I had were hearing my partner and being foucosed (sic) because of how loud it was,

[so] I overcame these callenges (sic) by asking the people around me to quite (sic) down and

foucos (sic) more. Students also demonstrated a sense of perseverance by not only problem

solving individually but also when needed being active enough to seek help from others. For

example, students included, I overcome (sic) the challenge is (sic) by getting the help I need

(sic) and I overcame the first challenge by editing my riddle until it made sense. I got over the

second [challenge]by asking my team Students even took on leadership roles of teaching

others as one student who was taught by another testified, Some challenges I had was

subtraction faction but I was working with my friend and she help (sic) meNow it is really

easy for me because now I had someone to teach me it. Students also demonstrated that they

could collaborate with other as they mentioned things such as, But we listend (sic) to each other

and threw in ideas of how to fix it and it came to us and we laughed at the simplisity (sic) of it

and fixed our problem together, and My team was coropeating (sic) and we got our work done.

It was also fun and hardWe listend (sic) to each other. The students realizing how and with

whom they work well, also supports students ability to act upon what would best meets their

needs for optimal learning (students making important decisions individually as learners).

Thus, the results of the journal entries exceeded my expectations for they not only

supported that students were taking on greater control and ownership of their learning but it also

suggested that within it they were willing to support one another as classmates. Moreover, their

descriptions of fun and hard and the like reveal that students although are being challenged

they are enjoying the work they are conducting, which is optimal in encouraging and motivating

students to desire to continue learning.

Step 3: Journal Entry #2

After students responded to the prompt focusing on their autonomy overall, students were

given one more prompt to respond to, provided following:

Students would provide the name of the center they had chosen to visit for Math Lab and

then they would decide on answering one of the following questions (Since both questions speak

to concepts on perceptions and motivation, students could answer either of the two). Students

would have a total of 10-15 minutes to respond to the prompt of their choice. This journal entry

was intended to gain greater insight on students perception on the content being learned,

whether these were negative or positive, and also to gauge how motivated student were to

continue learning overall. This was significant for me as a teacher-researcher as my hope was to

see that Math Lab and the idea of choice in what center to learn in would have allowed student to

gain increased positive perceptions of what they are learning since their voice has been

acknowledged.

Results and Analysis of Journal Entry #2:

Overall, the majority of responses in this area reflected that students enjoyed not only

Math Lab, but also math content. These results were in according to what I anticipated and

hoped. Specifically, many students spoke about having fun. This supports the idea that my

students are being motivated and are interested in learning math in this form (through choice and

Math Lab). Students also in these responses included various suggestion for improving and

continuing Math Lab implementation, My idea is make it more gamey, but still keep it a

learning activity, suggesting they are feeling more confident in sharing their thought and

ideas (taking on more decision making, in support of students gaining greater autonomy).

In regards to motivation and engagement in Math Lab, students show evidence of

enjoying math lab, as students included things such as fun and you get to learn new things,

I thought that L &D C [Learning and Designing Center] was fun and I would go back to that

math Lab [center]. Also I going to every math Lab because I think the might all be fun, and

My thouts (sic) are pretty confedent (sic) about the centers. It helps a lot and its (sic) helping me

learn beter (sic), We should do it every day These positive perceptions were consistent

throughout my students. In addition, many students, not all also transferred these positive

perceptions to math content being reviewed in general. For example, some students included,

My thought (sic) and ideas of decimal comparisons are, that they are fun and they make me feel

motivated

Some additional results from the journal entries that were unexpected, were students

high expectations of themselves. These high expectations they exhibited through their comments

allowed me to realize the impact that data tools such as these can have in allowing student to

metacognition on themselves and thus gain greater control and ownership of themselves. This

was significant as I was also focusing on students autonomy as a result of Math Lab and choice

in the classroom. Students for example included, It was fun learning about decimal

comparisons. I think I know the content ok but I can work on it a little more then (sic) I am, I

like learning about decimal comparisons because it is easy and fun for me. I think I know the

content really really well. and I would give myself a 5/10 because I still need a lot to learn.

Thus, students although they showed evidence of being at different places in their progress, were

in general showing evidence of self-monitoring their effort and work efficacy and competence,

another sign that students may be becoming autonomous learners in many aspects.

Step 4: ML #1 Reflection Form/Feedback Form

Following students responses to journal entries students were provided with the following

Google From link containing a reflection/feedback from for them to complete:

http://goo.gl/forms/pj1dWSwEIW. The purpose of the feedback form was to be able to allow

students to realize the implementation were created to support them and their decision, choices,

as well as voice is being taken in account. In regards to my action research I was hoping to find

further support of students support of choice and/or Math Lab in regards to positive change in

their learning.

Results and Analysis of ML #1 Reflection/Feedback Form:

The feedback form responses served as both qualitative and quantitative data. One of the

questions that were included in the feedback form included asking students how helpful they

perceived math lab to be in supporting them in their learning. One of my focus areas of my

research was analyzing the effects of choice in students academic progress, so my hope was that

Math Lab and the choice of center selection and activities it provided was not only fun for

student but would truly be beneficial for them to gain understanding of the content of decimals,

etc. As evidenced by Graph #4: How helpful do you think Math Lab is and can be for you in

order to understand math concepts were are currently studying?, 26 students out of 27 considered

Math Lab at least a little helpful, which meet my hoped results.

Graph #4: How helpful do you think Math Lab is and can be for you in order to

understand math concepts were are currently studying?

general, so one way for me to hear more about this regard from my students, was to ask them

their thoughts on Math Lab itself. I did this because even if Math Lab provided choice, it didnt

directly imply it would even be something my students would want, although I created the center

with their interests and ideas in mind. So I decided to check what they thought about Math Lab,

as Graph #5: What do you think about Math Lab?, indicates. Results supported the idea that

students were accepting of Math Lab implementation, since 25 of them out of 27 indicated they

liked it a lot or at least though it was alright.

Overall, the feedback form information highlighted students like of Math Lab and their

desire to continue, as 100% of my students indicated that they hoped to continue it. Thus, at this

stage in my implementation I was witnessing positive perception and motivation to learn through

Math Lab, yet it was still not so clear what aspect of Math Lab specifically students liked. This

doubt would be something that I then decided to include in my next reflection form after Math

Lab #2.

Step 5: Student-Teacher Conferences

Following the feedback form responses a total of 11 students participated in Student

Conferences. Every student before the end of Phase #1 would have one Student-Conference

Meeting; students were selected in the following way. Students were categorized by academic

achievement (grade level, almost/near grade level, and far below grade level). Randomly a

couple of students from each category were selected (2-3 from grade level, 3-4 almost/near grade

level, and 3-4 far below grade level). The selection for student conferences to be continued in the

future would also follow this general format, so that students from each category would be

represented. Since the majority of my class was below grade level the number of students for

each category was not always the same. The conferences themselves consisting of having each of

the 11 students solving one decimal comparison problem, a discussion on place value

understanding, overall thoughts and experience of Math Lab and their centers, and some goals

for the future. I would annotate during student conferences on a form following the following

format:

Date:

Student Name:

Conceptual Understanding:

Questions, Comments,

Suggestions, etc.

Next Steps, Goals, Future

Centers to Visit, etc.

Results and Analysis of Student-Teacher Conferences:

The conferences and observations served as qualitative data primarily. The hope was to

be able to gain insight one a one to one basis with students on their overall academic

understanding of concepts Math Lab centered on, in this case place value and decimal

comparisons. Overall, my student conferencing included students describing place value and

comparing two decimals (they would explain their thought process and reasoning behind their

chosen comparison symbol (<, >, =). The majority of students were successful in this task,

specifically, 7 out of the 11 without much guidance. Students also included comments on their

positive thoughts on Math Lab and the possibility of continuing it. Results were significant

because although students did require occasional support, students were describing math content

in more detail than they usually would and thus possibly indicating Math Lab was being

somewhat supportive of their academic progress.

This section described implementations that were carried out before Math Lab #2 (ML#2)

and some results from these implementations. Implementations are described and labeled as

steps in the order they were carried out in the classroom:

Step 1: Content Instruction

Step 2: PRE ML#2 Perception Wheel

Step 3: ML#2 Center Selections

Results and analysis of these steps follow their description, unless otherwise noted.

Step 1: Content Instruction

Before continuing on with other implementations, students were given some direct

instruction regarding the concepts that this week math lab would center on. Since comparisons of

decimals had begun last week, students continued learning about this topic but now more

specifically adding and subtracting decimal amounts. Although no particular data was collected

for purposes of Phase #1, (hence this section has no results and analysis section), this was a vital

portion of implementation as it allowed student to be exposed to the content and enable then to

establish preliminary perceptions regarding themselves as learners and their capacity to learn

these concepts, and the concepts themselves. This would allow the following perception wheel to

have more validity.

Step 2: PRE ML#2 Perception Wheel

After students had been exposed to adding and subtracting decimals, students were asked

once again to categorize their perceptions of these concepts and themselves as learners. The

procedure for implementation of the perception wheel was parallel to how it was implemented

for Math Lab one in order to allow student to become accustom to the general guidelines and

routine. Students were passed the perception wheel with the 5 distinct categories of: Anxious,

Motivated, Happy, Confident, Challenged, and they could select one or two categories that best

described their thoughts as learners in which to write their names in. As a teacher, I wanted to

reassess students perceptions again in order to have a reference of students progress in regards

to perceptions and thoughts of themselves in the classroom. Knowing their perception before

Math Lab #2 could also be useful as a form of comparison post Math Lab #2 to see if Math Lab

#2 and the choice of a center to learn in would have any effect in this regard. The results I

anticipated were something similar to the perceptions of post ML#1 ratio of 2/19. The reason for

this was in between post ML#1 and pre ML#2 there werent many implementations other than

direct instruction. I didnt anticipate direct instruction changing many of the perception

positively because this format was the usual format students have been exposed to content along

with online, and overall students havent shown an overly positive perception of themselves or

math in general as evidenced in students initial perceptions per ML#1 and evidence found in my

Introduction, needs assessment commentary.

Results and Analysis of PRE ML#2 Perception Wheel:

The results were very much according to what I expected, with still 2 students indicated

perceptions of anxiety towards the content and/or themselves as learners learning the content as

evidenced by Graph #6: Math Lab #2: Pre-Perceptions. Despite the fact that students did indicate

anxiety in regards to the content, it was interesting for me to realize that regardless, students

were indicating anxiety less commonly than they had initially at the beginning of my Phase 1

implementations. At the beginning of my Phase 1 implementations I had 6 student indicating

anxiety towards the content. Thus, in regards to action research focus this seemed to suggest a

possible supporting of increased positive perception in the classroom. I did however, recognize,

that the results were not necessarily conclusive of this connection between increased positive

perceptions and lower anxiety reporting students, because the math content of the two math labs,

although similar were distinct. Thus, student may just have found comparing decimals more

anxiety causing than say as adding and subtracting decimals and if this is the case than the results

may not have been directly related t Math Lab and choice. Nevertheless, because I could not

confirm either way, I was curious to see of in the next implementations of Math Labs, inclusive

of also pre and post perception wheels if an increase of positive perceptions and decreased in

anxious perceptions would result.

Graph #6: Math Lab #2: Pre-Perceptions.

After students selected their perceptions, I proceeded by allowing students to once again

select their centers that they would like to work on this week. Students were told about the

general activities that would occur in the centers so that they could make a more informed

selection. Students were told that in the Manipulative and Exploration Center they would have

cards to pick from and they would be creating decimal amounts with the umber selection them

and their partner would then add and/or subtract the cards, etc. At the Math and Technology

center student were told they would be working on reviewing the same concept of adding and

subtracting decimals but on the online program Thinkcentral. Students would then be able to

select a problem and use some technology based medium to explain I, etc. Students were told

that the Learning and Designing Center would involve an activity involving creating their own

adding and subtracting problems. Students were reminded these were the general guidelines but

that more detail and specific would be shared the net day at their center. The students signed up

for their centers on the white board under the center name they wished to work on (Center

Choices: Manipulative and Exploration Center, Math and technology Center, and Learning and

Designing Center). No specific data was collected from the students selection of centers for

Phase #1 purposes, thus, there are no result analysis for this section, however, this continued to

be a vital implementation as it allowed for students to select and have a choice as to how and

what kind of activity they would engage in to learn content.

Math Lab #2

This section described implementations that were carried out during Math Lab #2

(ML#2) and some results from these implementations. Implementations are described and

labeled as steps in the order they were carried out in the classroom:

Step 1: Math Lab #2 (ML #2)

Step 2: Math Whizz #2

Step 1: Math Lab #2 (ML #2)

Implementation for ML#2 followed the same guidelines as ML#1 (Students would visit

the center they had selected the day before for about 20-30 minutes. Students would work on the

given tasks for each center. All the tasks for each center were discussed before students moved to

their centers and children were also reminded about two things. One was the fact that they could

work individually, or with whomever they decided to work with (pairs, small and/or large groups

were allowed). The second was that they would be having their Math Journal with them at all

times to annotate all progress at their center (all work from the centers would be written in their

journal.) As a teacher-researcher the purpose of implementing Math Lab was to embed choice in

students learning and be better able to analyze choices effect in their learning among other areas

of focus. However, it was also because the concepts being reviewed by the Math Labs were

concepts which the Post Test would center on. The Post Test, which would be identical to the

Pre-test students took before the first Math Lab, consisted of both decimal comparison, place

value understanding, and subtracting and adding decimals (thus the content ML#1 and ML#2

focused on).

The center instructions students were told and found at their center are included below,

and are all dealing with decimal comparisons and/or understanding of place value.

At the M&E Center students were given playing card sets numbering 2 through 9 to play the

Decimal Game.

Students were allowed to use their iPads and log onto the Thinkcentral online program

(they have accessed before) and complete the following tasks:

Students at this center were responding to the center guidelines following, in their math journals.

Overall, ML#2 went very similar and smoothly as ML#1 did. Only a few students came

over for clarifying questions, but other than that, students were working diligently at their center

completing their activities. Taking in consideration the fact students did want additional time at

their center the week before; I gave students the option of working an addition 5-10 minutes at

their center, an offer the entire class accepted. I allowed additional optional time because the

entire basis of Math Lab is to implement student choice to foster increased learning, autonomy,

and motivation, thus, I wanted to empower student to have a voice as much as possible so they

were given the additional optional of extra time. Also, giving them extra time to work I hoped

would allow them to engage in the activities they had already started at deeper level which could

further support the, in their developing of understanding of the concepts. The fact students were

eager to be interactive with math was motivating for me and seemed to support the fact student

were finding Math Lab enjoyable. I hoped this joy would transfer to joy and motivation in

general to keep learning mathematics.

Overall, I was impressed by students creativity, one example of students work in the

technology center was the following student written example, to review subtracting of decimal

amounts. This was done on Pixie, a program in which student could record sounds, etc. and/or

create a slideshow/video. This is screenshot of one of students slides:

Once students completed the Math Lab activity, students were then given the Math

Whizz prompt following to complete individually. The Math Whizz prompt was printed onto a

sticker tab and this sticker was given to the students to paste within their Math Journal just as the

previous Math Whizz. Students would then respond below the prompt in their journal. The Math

Whizz was the same for all three centers and served as a way to assess student understanding of

the content (adding and subtracting decimals). My goal for my student in their Math Whizz was

to see if beyond the enjoyment of math lab if my student could apply the things they were

practicing in their center to a more formalized question answer format. I hoped this could serve

to have student become familiar and practice this format since the Post-Test would occur after

this Math Lab. Also, it was a way for me to informally assess students true understanding of

concepts and also misunderstanding so that we could address them in class. Each student

received the following Math Whizz:

The Math Whizz served as qualitative data in the area of academic progress. A total of 23

students completed the Math Whizz and 16 of them completed it completely correct (100%).

These results were evidenced of students comprehension of concepts as event he 7 students who

did not attain 100% had minor errors. Most of these 7 students had evidence of understanding the

concept through their written explanations but had computational errors. Thus, their lining up of

decimals according to place value was evident, which was one of the main things I was focusing

on. Some explanations students included to support their answers include math vocabulary, such

as you also have to regroup when subtracting but not always and when answering how they

would approach explaining or teaching the concept to someone else, students include I would

explain it by saying it is like regular adding and subtracting just you have to line up the

hundredths with the hundredths and the tenths with the tenths. Start by lining up the numbers

with the least value first... Thus, Math Whizz results suggested academic progress was being

evident.

This section described implementations that were carried out after Math Lab #2 (ML#2)

and some results from these implementations. Implementations are described in a series of steps,

in the order they were introduced in the classroom and their results follow their description.

Step 1: POST ML #2 Perception Wheel

Step 2: Journal Entry #1

Step 3: Journal Entry #2

Step 4: ML #2 Reflection Form/Feedback Form

Step 5: Student-Teacher Conferences

Step 6: Post-Test

Step 1: POST ML #2 Perception Wheel

Students were then able to also annotate and select one or two categories from the

Perception Wheel to describe how they now felt and thought about themselves in respect to the

content of adding and subtracting decimals (Categories included Happy, Motivated, Confident,

Challenged, and Anxious). My hope was that students perceptions were more positive in nature

so essentially, since 2 students had indicated that they felt anxious regarding these topics, I

hoped to see results that would indicate l to 0 students reporting they felt anxious.

Results and Analysis of POST ML#2 Perception Wheel:

Overall, in regards to perceptions there was an evident increase in the positive

perceptions of students as evidenced by the post perceptions, where the 2 students that had

indicated Anxious, before ML#1, now was at 0 as evidenced by Graphs #6 and #7 (Graph #6:

Math Lab #2: Pre-Perceptions(provided again here for reference) and Graph #7: Math Lab #2:

Post-Perceptions). The results were significant in regards to my focus non student motivation as

they seem to support student were finding and feeling more confident in the content. This would

hopefully continue supporting student not only in regard to motivation but also academically, as

they would be more confident in their capacity to learn the concepts and be successful. From this

data as a teacher-researcher I was a little worried despite the positive results. I was thrilled that

students were feeling less anxious but I didnt know exactly why, was really the idea of choice

that math lab was providing that allowed thus, or was it the novelty of math lab and the

activities? I feared that if it was the novelty of math lab, if further implementation continued

there would not be the same positive results. I decide that it would be pertinent to include in

students next feedback from a question regarding what best described why they like math lab to

gain insight on this concern of mine. I also set in place implementation of 2 more weeks, 2 more

Math Labs after Math Lab #2 so that I could see of results would differ or continue supporting

this increase in positive perceptions. For now, however, Math Lab did seem to have benefitted

my students in feeling more capable, excited, and competent on content.

The following journal prompt was provided for the students:

Students had about 10 to 15 minutes to respond to one of the two provided journal

prompts. The goal of the journal prompt as in ML#1 was to have students reflect on their

experiences in Math Lab and specifically, to gain insight on students experience and through this

their autonomy and/or control over their learning they may have been or not exhibiting, Based on

my observations during ML#2 and results from ML#1, I anticipated that students would be

writing responses that exhibited their unique ways and approaches to problem solving through

difficulties, and/or possibly also positive reflections on their work with others.

Results and Analysis of Journal Entry #1:

The results of this journal entry continued to suggest that students were being able to

balance the freedom and independence of working alone but also with others at times. For

example, one student included, my teammates help me and I help them with ...lining up

decimals. The idea of reciprocal helping many of my students included, much like this student

did, allowed me to value further choice in the classroom, as students were taking responsibility

over their learning but also responsibly supporting those of others. I also appreciated this because

as student taught and helped others, they themselves were allowing themselves the opportunity to

review and learn the concept further. In addition teaching others and helping them suggested

student were becoming more confident that they could help others through challenges, which

were more signs of autonomy.

Although what I looked for in these journal entry responses, were signs of autonomy, I

noticed that some responses that spoke to student perceptions and motivation.

For example, one student included, also, one of my successes were (sic) getting the problem

correct. It felt so good. It made me feel confident. Students perceiving themselves as capable

and successful I hoped would continue to further support more motivation to learn which would

allow student to take risks and face challenges and learn more (progress academically) and in

turn hopefully this confidence would also support greater autonomy. These results parallel well

with research by K. and C. Williams in regards to motivation, where they indicated that having

students experiencing success can nurture motivation (Williams K. & C., n.d., p. 9).

Nevertheless, I wanted students to feel motivated even if they did not get an answer right.

Although I was pleased of the childs sense of accomplishment, it also made me wonder if with

time, the implementations would allow students to see success differently, if they would make

use more often, a growth mindset approach.

Students on another day were then given the Journal Section 2 portion. Again, students

two journal prompts, from which they would only have to respond to one:

Students would provide the name of the center they had chosen to visit for Math Lab and

then they would select of the questions speaking to perceptions and motivation to answer.

Students would have a total of 10-15 minutes to respond to the prompt of their choice. This

journal entry was intended for me to gain greater insight on students perception on the content

being learned, whether these were negative or positive, and also to gauge how motivated student

were to continue learning overall. This was significant for me as a teacher-researcher because

this data from these journal entries could also be analyzed in unison of the Perception Wheel

results. My hope as a teacher was to have both of these be indicators of positive perceptions and

thus, the idea of math Labs support would be more strongly supported.

Results and Analysis of Journal Entry #2:

The results from the journal entries continued to be very positive overall, with students

making larger connections between the concepts and their own prior knowledge. Results were

also interesting as in these responses, I did see some evidence of some students beginning to

view success and doing well based on how hard they were trying (growth mindset), as

evidenced by the following student, I think I am doing very well...because I keep practicing,

but this was not all students. My hope was to in the next Math Labs see if students using this

growth approach would be more evident. Moreover, the majority of students included some

connection between what they knew and what they had now begun to understand with their

mention of how they saw decimals were similar to fractions. One student mentioned I

understand [decimals] and I can visualize [them] and they included examples of 7.83 being

equivalent to 7 and 83/100 and 6.7 being 6 and 70/100.

Step 4: ML #2 Reflection Form/Feedback Form

Students the following day were given the following feedback from to respond to

http://goo.gl/forms/yg4gWqecER. This feedback from was very similar to the feedback form

they had done for ML#1, however, I included more specific questions in order to better

understand and interpret student results in my data collection of ML#2. For example, as

previously mentioned my main concern was verifying or attaining some supportive data that

students increase in positive perceptions and motivation were as a response from Math Lab and

choice, in order to continue my implementation plans or to find out what seemed to be the

guiding aspect motivating my student so that I could address it in my next steps.

Results and Analysis of ML#2 Reflection Form/Feedback Form:

The feedback form responses served as qualitative data. Overall, the feedback form

information highlighted students continual support and like of Math Lab, as there was still a

100% of my students indicating they wish to continue Math Lab. In addition, as evidenced by my

Graph #8: How helpful do you think Math Lab is and can be for you in order to understand the

math concepts we are learning (adding and subtracting decimals)?, the majority of my students

(19 out of 27) have also indicated that it is very helpful in their learning development and this

same number of student have indicated they like Math Lab a lot, as evidenced by Graph #9:

What do you think about Math Lab?. This data is especially significant in relation to Math Lab

#1 results, where although there was also a majority of support of Math Lab, there was a student

that had indicated not very helpful and another I do not like Math Lab. The change in

support of Math Lab is evident and engagement as well based on the observations, etc., also

included. Nevertheless, a substantial amount of students, 8/27 indicated Math Lab was only a

little helpful, which allows me as a researcher to wonder in what ways Math Lab can further

support this particular group of students in the future. This served to substantiate Student-teacher

Conference with a conversation on how to make Math Lab better, which will be discussed

following. The feedback forms further supported the fact choice was positively impacting my

student through the fact that in total 20 of the 27 student who completed the reflection/feedback

form mentioned that what they most kicked about Math Lab was choice or choice in unison with

the fact the activities were interesting, etc. Thus, students were perceiving choice as something

they desired and this further supported my decision to implement Math Lab for two more weeks

for Phase #1.

Graph #8: How helpful do you think Math Lab is and can be for you in order to

understand the math concepts we are learning (adding and subtracting decimals)?

Following the feedback from responses a total of 10 students participated in Student

Conferences, consisting of solving one addition and subtraction of decimals problem. In

addition, overall thoughts and experience of Math Lab and their centers were discussed as well

as ideas for future Math Labs, etc. Again, the 10 student just like in ML#1 were randomly

selected, although students at varying achievement levels were attempted to be selected to gauge

what areas of need or what kind of extra support if any students at different levels would need.

Student who had had their conference the previous week were not chosen again to allow all

student a chance to have a student conference by the end of Phase #1. The conferences in general

were implemented to maintain a clearer idea of where student were in their ability to rationalize

and put into words their learning. I had seen student interact with learning but at the conferences

I could hear them explain, etc.

Results and Analysis of Student-Teacher Conferences:

The conferences and observations served as qualitative data as I was able to observe and

hear from the student their thoughts and learnings from these weeks implementations, but some

results were quantified for analysis sake. Most conferences varied in time between 5-12 minutes

long, depending on students willingness to share, etc. Most conferences took the entire 12

minutes, as students were very eager to share about their accomplishments, what they had done

in Math Lab, etc.

The general protocol that my conferences began with was having students solving an

addition and a subtraction problem involving decimals. After doing this, students were asked a

series of place value related questions and asked to round their solutions. Overall, students also

discussed how their past Math Lab experience went, what plans or expectations they have for the

following one, etc. The majority of students were successful in this solving the problems and

justifying their solutions; again 7 out of 11 students completed all tasks without much guidance.

From the 4 students that required some guidance, 3 out of 4 completed all tasks successfully and

their only errors were on the final rounding of their responses. All four students upon working

together through one example were able to explain and self-correct their responses. Students

ability to self-correct was something that was most surprising and rewarding to witness as it

showed evidence that even my student that were not initially as successful academically were

still now willing to revise and try again, signs of autonomous, motivated learners that trust in

their capability of improvement.

In addition, students showed further evidence of autonomy when speaking about their

work from Math Lab. Some students discussed how they had worked and decided to "try

different things." For example, some on Pixie slides/videos created their explanation of concepts,

and went beyond and created multi-step problems and scenarios. Students also included

comments on how well they collaborated, distributed/allocated work to one another, and listened

to each other as teammates but also on how they worked and problem solved individually.

Students also took initiative to let me know of suggestions and ideas for future Math Labs,

including their desire for more opportunities for them to "create [their] own problems." In

regards to perceptions and motivation, 10 out of the 11 students included positive perceptions of

them as learners and as finding the Math Lab enjoyable. Students mentioned "Math Lab should

be every day," others that they wished they had more time to explore centers, others that it was

fun. Interestingly all comments discussed students enjoyment of the Math Lab, none of the

students revealed negative reflections on Math Lab nor the content being learned.

Step 6: Post-Test

After meeting with students were given a Post-Test consisting of the exact same

questions they had seen before on the Pre-test. The goal was to see if students had gained greater

understanding of the concepts through Math Labs. Students used their iPads to access the

following Google Form which was the Post Test: http://goo.gl/forms/XtB8qdD2ifl2ll5h1.

Results and Analysis of Post-Test:

Resulted indicated an increased performance overall. As evidenced by Graph 10: Posttest Scores (Math Labs #1 and #2), 12 students out of 22 were now at or above grade level of

75%, while only 3 student were at or above grade level in the initiation of Phase #1, as evidenced

by the previously included Graph 1: Pre-Test Scores (Math Labs #1 and #2) (included again for

clarity/reference).

In addition to this I wanted to see if my students that were still not at grade level, showed

improvement. To show the growth more clearly, following is a graph of percentage growth, from

pretest to posttest, Graph #11: Scores from Pre-Test to Post-Test. This graph supports that not

only were 12 students meeting or exceeding grade level criteria but 17 student demonstrated

growth between 11 percent and 33 percent. These results indicated that student although were

not all meeting grade level criteria were showing signs of improvement, progress. These results

also allowed me to wonder why 5 students showed no increase or decreased in their

performance, was it something about Math Lab or another factor? I decided to await the next

weeks implementations to see if these results would be comparable with the Pre- and Post-Test

scores results after Math Labs 3 and Math Labs 4 that would be following. Overall growth data

points supported the idea that possibly although all students were enjoying Math Lab, may be

academically it was being more helpful for some students than others.

(Note: The implementations and process that occurred from Math Lab #3 and #4 are the same as

what was implemented for Math Lab #1 and #2 although they were regarding distinct math

concepts. The goal of this was to attain further data and be better able to analyze if similar trends

and/or results would regarding students academic progress, autonomy, and motivation in the

classroom would be apparent. )

PRE Math Lab #3:

This section described implementations that were carried out before Math Lab #3 (ML#3)

and some results from these implementations. Implementations are described and labeled as

steps in the order they were carried out in the classroom:

Step 1: Pre-Test

Step 2: Content Instruction

Step 3: PRE ML#1 Perception Wheel

Step 4: ML#1 Center Selection

Step 1: Pre-Test

This second pretest was given to the students. It included questions that were at grade

level, created based off Math Expressions Curriculum Assessments in the topics of

multiplication of fractions and decimals. The Pre-Test concepts would be the ones that the next

two Math Labs would focus on. I made sure to reiterate to the students that they were to try their

personal best, even though I understood some of the questions and problems may be unfamiliar

to what they have learned or seen before. The Pre-Test had a total of 8 questions, since the

students are accustomed to responding to a total of 8 questions on their English Language Arts

Instruction (Achieve3000). The actual Pre-Test was created on Google Forms,

http://goo.gl/forms/7GdhThODncdhokQ53, and was inclusive of not only content questions but

also a last additional question that the students were told was not calculated as part of their final

score on how they would describe how they thought and felt as learners in regards to the

concepts of comparisons/place value understanding, and adding and subtracting decimals.

Students were able to choose from the following options, happy, motivated, anxious, challenged

or confident, much like they would be indicating in the Perception Wheel following content

instruction. In regards to results, even though students had seen this material before and this was

almost a review of it, I expected many student to fall in the below grade level criteria, based on

my previous Pre-Test scores from ML#1 and needs assessment.

Results and Analysis of Pre-Test

The Pre-Test results were quantitative data that allowed me to gain insight of my

students current achievement in content we would be focusing on the next two weeks. As

evidenced by Graph #12: Phase #1: Pre-Test Scores (Math Lab #3 and #4), 24 students out of 25

were below grade level. Although I expected low scores, these results were astonishing as I had

student getting 1 or only 2 questions correct on the Pre-Test, even though they had seen these

concepts earlier in the year. These results were much lower than even the past Pre-test in the

beginning of Phase#1 implementation, thus I wondered if perhaps these content of multiplying

fractions and decimals was more difficult to understand for my students. Nevertheless, these PreTest Scores continued to confirm the need in my classroom for support in academic achievement

however, and it was thus my goal, that students would improve after 2 more weeks of

implementations. In order to assess and/or see my students growth, I decided I would administer

this same Pre-Test to my students again at the end of two weeks approximately (after they had

conducted Math Lab 3 and Math Lab 4) as a Post-Test, with the hopes to see more students

scoring 75% or greater.

Graph #12: Phase #1: Pre-Test Scores (Math Lab #3 and #4)

Continuing much like ML#1 did, following the Pre-Test, content instruction was given on

multiplying fractions (half of the content from the Pre-Test, the other half would be taught in

content instruction the following week). Multiplying fractions was taught to students in a direct

instruction format as this was what ML#3 would focus on. Since this was a direct instruction

component of the implementation, no specific data was collected for Phase #1 purposes, thus,

there are no result analysis for this section, but this instruction was needed in order for the

student to effectively engage in and participate in the activities during ML#3, as well as for them

to being better able to deciding on their own initial perceptions on this same math content on the

Perception Wheel.

Step 3: PRE ML#1 Perception Wheel

Students after direct instruction were then able to write their name in the one or two

categories of the Perception Wheel that best described their thoughts of themselves as learners,

in respect to multiplying fractions. This was done after the Pre-Test and content instruction with

hopes that students had had the opportunity of being exposed to the content and be able to

formulate some perception on how they feel at this point in regards to their presumed ability to

learn and understand the content. Students could select up to two categories maximum from a

total of five categories:

Anxious

Motivated

Happy

Confident

Challenged

These perceptions students would select would be initial perceptions that I anticipated to

be more negative than positive, however, the goal was that after Math Lab #3, once students

were asked to indicate their perceptions once more their perceptions would be hopefully more

positive in nature. The perceptions I deemed most negative or were more of a concern for me

continued to be those indicating anxious, since this could imply that the student already felt

incapable or insecure about their ability to learn and be successfully, which I feared could hinder

their motivational state, autonomy, and in response their academic progress.

Results and Analysis of the Pre-ML#3 Perception Wheel:

As evidenced by Graph #13: Math Lab #3: Pre Perceptions, 2 students indicated that they

felt anxious regarding themselves as learners and/or the concept of multiplying fractions. These

results in comparison to Ml#1 were still more positive as 6 students initially of Phase #1 had

indicated anxiety. My goal however, was to have this anxiety level after ML#3 be even lower if

possible. Math Lab #3 and the choice of which center to learn fractions in through the various

activities prepared I thought could support students in feeling more capable of success and less

anxious towards this math content.

After students selected their perceptions, I proceeded by explaining and introducing the

centers activities for ML#3. I told them that the Math and Technology Center would have some

work on Thinkcentral but then they would be explaining a problem of choice through their

chosen media source (Pixie, etc.). The Manipulative and Exploration Center would have playing

cards again but this time you would use the numbers you select for numerators and denominators

of fraction which you would multiply. I told student you and partner could do this together if

they wanted to play some friendly competition with multiplying fraction, etc. I then explained

that the Learning and Designing Center would have a game board with multiplying fraction

problems for them to complete before they had the chance to design their own. I reminded the

student that these were general things and activities that would be available at their center but

that as usual they would be given specific guidelines at the center they selected and they could

always be creative at their center and how they complete the activities. (For example, if they

wanted to create a game dealing with the playing cards stull reviewing multiplying fraction I told

then this was okay as long as they had my approval first, etc.) Thus, during this time was where I

could expose students to the types of activities each center they could choose in would have.

The students then signed up for their centers on the white board under the center name

they wished to work on. No specific data was collected from the students selection of centers for

Phase #1 purposes, thus, there are no result analysis for this section, however, this was necessary

as it allowed for students to select and have a choice as to how and what kind of activity they

would engage in to learn content.

Math Lab #3

This section described implementations that were carried out during Math Lab #3 (ML#3) and

some results from these implementations.

Step1 : Math Lab #3

Step 2: Math Whizz

Step1 : Math Lab #3

Math Lab #3 began with reminding students that they could work individually, or with

whomever they decided to (pairs, small and/or large groups were allowed), for the next 20-30

minutes at the center they have selected. At each center they would find the instructions and

materials they would need, however they could be creative in their interpretations and/or

expression of learning. Students were to have their Math Journal with them at all times to

annotate all progress at their center.

The centers activities were as follows (a copy of these instructions was set up at the

center area designated in the classroom, as well as given to each student):

Students found cards and the following set of instructions at this center (cards numbered 2

through 9).

Students would take their iPads with them to this center, log into Thinkcentral and receive the

following set of instructions.

Students would find the following set of instructions at this center, dice, and a gameboard

worksheet.

Gameboard Worksheet:

Overall Math Lab went very well in regards to student engagement throughout the

entirety of the Math Lab time. I even had students working on some of their centers activities

during their free time throughout the day. Overall I was pleased to see students actively working

with others and learning during Math Lab. My observations seemed to support motivation to

learn about multiplying fractions and autonomy as students were self-monitoring and again only

a few students required additional guidance/clarification.

Step 2: Math Whizz

Once students completed the Math Lab activity, students were then given the Math

Whizz prompt following to complete individually. The Math Whizz prompt was printed onto a

sticker tab and this sticker was given to the students to paste within their Math Journal. Students

would then respond below the prompt in their journal. The Math Whizz was the same for all

three centers and served as a way to assess student understanding of the content. Each student

received the following Math Whizz:

The results of the Math Whizz suggested that the majority of my students understood the

basic concepts of multiplying fractions. Out of the total of 23 students who were present to take

the Math Whizz, 14 were able to respond to the Math Whizz completely correct, independently

and have the appropriate work. 8 of the students also showed evidence of understanding the

concepts but did not finish the Math whizz in totality (they seem to have selected which

problems to do; they seem to have thought they could choose which to answer to like the

journal). This was significant to note for of all 23 responses only one student seem to lack the

necessary understanding of the concept. All other students even included work identifying the

numerator and denominator, etc. Some students however seem to apply previous learning of

adding fraction as well as they found a common denominator of the fractions before multiplying.

Although this was not necessary for these problems it was interesting to see that student di have

different approaches to solving these same problems. As a teacher I wondered if choice and the

ability to being creative with instruction interpretation in Math Labs were giving students greater

confidence in trying new things and approaches during math problem solving.

This section described implementations that were carried out after Math Lab #3 (ML#3)

and some results from these implementations. Implementations are described in a series of steps,

in the order they were introduced in the classroom and their results follow their description.

Step 1: POST ML#3 Perception Wheel

Step 2: Journal Entry #1

Step 3: Journal Entry #2

Step 4: ML#3 Reflection Form/Feedback Form

Step 5: Student-Teacher Conferences

Step 1: POST ML#3 Perception Wheel

I gave my students another opportunity to share their perceptions because I wanted to

gain insight on any changes in student perceptions that may have resulted from the Math Lab #3

experience. I also implemented this now because students at this point had had interactions with

the concepts of multiplying fractions various times and through their choice formats during Math

Lab #3 (technology based, manipulative based, and/or designing based, etc.) which would

hopefully allow them to make a more informed selection of their thoughts. My hope was that

students perception were more positive in nature (Math Lab initiated with 2 people indicating

anxiety so hopefully now this number would be even less). Students were allowed one by one to

sign up on the Perception Wheel that was passed around the classroom on a category or

categories (2 maximum) that best reflected their thoughts of themselves in respect to the content

students could write their names under a maximum of two categories, which included Happy,

Motivated, Confident, Challenged, and Anxious).

Results and Analysis of the ML#3 POST Perception Wheel:

Overall, in regards to perceptions there was an evident increase in the positive

perceptions of students as evidenced by the post perceptions, where initially 2 students that had

indicated Anxious, before ML#3, now no student indicated this category as evidenced by Graph

#14: Math Lab #3: Post Perceptions, and Graph #13: Math Lab #3: Pre Perceptions (previously

provided but provided again for reference). The results were parallel to the results from Math

Lab #1 and identical to results from Math Lab #2, suggesting that perhaps indeed Math Lab

implementation was allowing student to change their negative perception of content or

themselves. This was significant for me as a teacher-researcher as Math Lab #3 and what would

be Math Lab #4 were implemented in the same way Math Labs #1 and #2 were in hope of seeing

data being comparable, and perceptions thus far were.

After students indicated their general perceptions, students were provided with the

following journal prompt to answer to in their math journals.

Students had about 10 to 15 minutes to respond to one of the two provided journal

prompts. Both prompts centered and would hopefully lead student response to speak on their

autonomy in the classroom.

Results and Analysis of Journal Entry #1:

Students responses did show continued evidence of autonomy both collaborative, but

this time also more personal. For example, one student included, I overcame the first challenge

by viewing examples then doing it myself." These responses were significant because now

student were also not only helping or teaching others but reaching the point where they trusted

themselves to teach and help themselves, also a critical piece of autonomy. Students were using

the resource available to them in order to problem solve through without support of guidance

from myself. Thus, more and more student were gaining awareness and making use of their

abilities to persevere through obstacles.

Step 3: Journal Entry #2

After students responded to the prompt focusing on their autonomy overall, students were

given one more prompt to respond to in their math journals, provided following:

Students had about 10 to 15 minutes to respond to one of the two provided journal

prompts. Both prompts centered and would hopefully lead student response to speak on students

perceptions regarding math content.

Results and Analysis of Journal Entry #2:

Responses to this journal continued to support students realization of successes and in

turn this motivating them to feel capable, however, there were some responses that also reflected

students reflecting actively about the Math Lab effects at an even deeper level. For example,

students included responses that embedded students realization of some of their strengths and

preferred method of learning overall. One specific student included, "I have thoughts about the

centers, I (sic) think I know the content well, but in the 3 centers, I learn the content differently. I

(sic) learn well in T center [Math and Technology Center], but in M&E [Manipulative and

Exploration Center] center, I learn better." This reflected my students gained awareness of their

preferred learning styles and in what ways they felt their learning could be most supported. This

was invaluable to see because not only was choice giving student fun opportunities but it had

also allowed my students such as this to explore different approaches and gain understanding of

themselves as learners. At first I didnt realize this, but if I had not planned implementing Math

Lab for two more weeks (ML#3 and #4 to come), perhaps this student would not have had the

chance to select new centers to explore learning in. This also suggested the fact student were

being willing to try new centers since they had a choice.

Step 4: ML#3 Reflection Form/Feedback Form

Following students responses to journal entries students were provided with the following

Google From link containing a reflection/feedback from for them to complete:

http://goo.gl/forms/39IYzH7j7kauiAhw1, with the purpose of seeing if what I had observed and

realized with students journals and work during ML#3 were similar things they themselves were

also perceiving in themselves (such as increased autonomy, etc.)

Results and Analysis of ML #3 Reflection/Feedback Form:

Overall, the feedback form information highlighted students continual support and like

of Math Lab as evidenced by Graph 15: ML#3 What do you think about Math Lab?. There was

still an 100% of my students indicating they wish to continue Math Lab. In addition, as

evidenced by Graph 16: ML#3 How helpful do you think Math Lab is and can be for you in

order to understand math concepts, in this case multiplying fractions?, the majority of my

students (21 out of 27) have also indicated that it is very helpful in their learning development.

This data is especially significant in relation to Math Lab #1 and Math Lab #2 results, as this

shows a larger amount of students indicating Math Lab is helpful to them (compared to 19 in

Math Lab #2) and a decrease in students that only found Math Lab a little helpful (from 8

students in Math Lab #2 to 6 in Math Lab #3).

Graph 16: ML#3 How helpful do you think Math Lab is and can be for you in order to

understand math concepts, in this case multiplying fractions?

Since results from both Math Lab #1 and #2 had already indicated a favorable response to

Math Lab I decided to also include additional feedback questions to pinpoint what aspects of

Math Labs my students supported and liked the most as well as their perceptions over their

control or autonomy during Math Lab and in times when Math Lab is not being implemented.

Results indicate that in fact students like Math Lab for a variety of reasons. Results

indicate that students are being supportive of choice in the classroom as 18 students included that

choice was the main reason or one of the reasons they liked Math Lab as evidenced in Graph 17:

ML#3 If you like Math Lab, what is it about Math Lab that makes you like it? Pick the choice

that you feel MOST STRONGLY about. Now 10 of those 18 also included the aspects of novelty

and fun also being a factor in their like of Math Lab, this suggests that not only choice is what is

allowing greater engagement and like but also student interest being incorporated and their

suggestions of novelty instruction as it has been presented through the centers has as well.

Graph 17: ML#3 If you like Math Lab, what is it about Math Lab that makes you like it?

Pick the choice that you feel MOST STRONGLY about.

In regards to ranking their control during math instruction, students indicated overall

greater autonomy during Math Lab as 17 students indicated a level of 5 (the maximum), and only

11 indicated this same level during instruction when Math Lab is not being implemented as

evidenced by Graph 18: ML#3 Rank yourself in terms of control over your learning during Math

Lab and Graph 19: ML#3 Rank yourself in terms of control over your learning during math

instruction when we DO NOT have Math Lab. Overall, 23 students during Math Lab included

feeling a 4 or above in control level while only 18 when not in Math Lab. In regards to 3 or

below, when Math Lab is not being implemented 10 students indicated feeling 3 level or below

in control in contrast to half of this (5) during Math Lab (with no students in 2 or below). Thus

all 28 students feel that during Math Lab they have control of a 3 or above level.

Graph 18: ML#3 Rank yourself in terms of control over your learning during Math Lab:

Graph 19: ML#3 Rank yourself in terms of control over your learning during math

instruction when we DO NOT have Math Lab:

Following the feedback from responses a total of 10 students participated in Student

Conferences, consisting of solving one multiplying fractions problem, discussion on

multiplication of fractions understanding, understanding of multiplying by fractions less than one

and the effect this has on the product, and overall thoughts and experience of Math Lab #3 at

their center. This was the general log format, in which I would take notes during each students

conference.

Date:

Student Name:

Conceptual Understanding:

Questions, Comments,

Suggestions, etc.

Next Steps, Goals, Future

Centers to Visit, etc.

Results and Analysis of ML #3 Student-Conferences:

Overall, my student conferencing included having students solve a multiplication

problem involving fractions and also discussing what kind of product would result when we are

multiplying a whole number by a fraction less than one. Students would also try to convert a

fraction greater than one into a mixed number. Overall, I had less students completely on their

own solve and fully explain all portions asked during the session, only 3/10. 6/7 students

however, with only a little guidance, were able to fully explain and solve the problems. 1 student

was evidently struggling to fully develop and express content knowledge. These results parallel

the post test scores as well, which I would later attain after Math Lab #4. In regards to students

response to the math lab however, students still showed evidence of great autonomy in regards to

collaboration and problem solving as well as positive perceptions on math lab itself as usual.

Students included comments such as it was "fun" and their peers truly "listened" to one another,

etc. In this regard, the difference in academic accuracy I am inclined to analyze, was possibly

due to possible gaps in students past or prior knowledge on the concept or the fact students found

the concept perhaps more challenging to understand conceptually. Multiplying fractions although

procedurally can be grasped quickly conceptually is more challenging to describe or visually

express.

This section described implementations that were carried out before Math Lab #4 (ML#4)

and some results from these implementations. Implementations are described and labeled as

steps in the order they were carried out in the classroom:

Step 1: Content Instruction

Step 2: PRE ML#4 Perception Wheel

Step 3: ML#4 Center Selections

Results and analysis of these steps follow their description.

Step 1: Content Instruction

Before continuing on with other implementations, students were given some direct

instruction regarding the concepts that this weeks last math lab (for Phase #1) would center on.

Since multiplication of fractions was begun last week, students were now learning about

multiplying decimals topic. Although, no particular data was collected for purposes of Phase #1,

(hence this section has no results and analysis section), this was a necessary implementation as it

allowed student to be exposed to the content and enable then to establish preliminary perceptions

regarding themselves as learners and their capacity to learn these concepts, and the concepts

themselves. This would allow the following perception wheel to have more validity.

Step 2: PRE ML#4 Perception Wheel

After students had been exposed to content underlying multiplying decimals, students

were asked to categorize their perceptions of these concepts and themselves as learners to then

be used as comparison post ML#4. Students were passed the perception wheel with the 5 distinct

categories of: Anxious, Motivated, Happy, Confident, Challenged, and they could select one or

two categories that best described their thoughts as learners in which to write their names in.

Results and Analysis of PRE ML#4 Perception Wheel:

Results were the most positive they had been in all Pre Math Lab data collection, with

only 1 student indicated they were Anxious about the concept of multiplying decimals, as

indicated by Graph #20: ML#4 Pre-Perceptions. This suggests the fact students autonomy and

motivation perhaps is becoming more consistent and thus even when students are confronting

new concepts they are not as easily made anxious or fearful of them as they were more

susceptible perhaps at the beginning of Phase #1.

After students selected their perceptions, I proceeded by allowing students to once again

select their centers that they would like to work on this week. Students were told about the

general activities that would occur in the centers so that they could make a more informed

selection. Students were told that in the Manipulative and Exploration Center they would be

using the playing cards to create decimals which they could then multiply and work on in their

journal or in a game form with peer(s), etc. In the Math and Technology center, students were

told they would be working on reviewing the same concept of multiplying decimals but on the

online program Thinkcentral. Students would then be able to select a problem and use some

technology based medium to explain it, etc., and then have the opportunity to work on creating

Math memes, (selecting an image that speaks to them on the topic of math and they could add

text or a quote over it regarding math overall or a math concept). Students were told that the

Learning and Designing Center would involve an activity involving creating their own

multiplying decimal problems, game boards, activity, etc.

Students were reminded these were the general guidelines but that more detail and

specific would be shared the net day at their center. The students signed up for their centers on

the white board under the center name they wished to work on (Center Choices: Manipulative

and Exploration Center, Math and technology Center, and Learning and Designing Center). No

specific data was collected from the students selection of centers for Phase #1 purposes, thus,

there are no result analysis for this section, however, this continued to be a vital implementation

as it allowed for students to select and have a choice as to how and what kind of activity they

would engage in to learn content.

Math Lab #4

This section described implementations that were carried out during Math Lab #4

(ML#4) and some results from these implementations. Implementations are described and

labeled as steps in the order they were carried out in the classroom:

Step 1: Math Lab #4 (ML #4)

Step 2: Math Whizz #4

Step 1: Math Lab #4 (ML #4)

Implementation for ML#4 followed the same guidelines as ML#1-3 (Students would visit

the center they had selected the day before for about 20-30 minutes. Students would work on the

given tasks for each center. All the tasks for each center were discussed before students moved to

their centers and children were also reminded about two things. One was the fact that they could

work individually, or with whomever they decided to work with (pairs, small and/or large groups

were allowed). The second was that they would be having their Math Journal with them at all

times to annotate all progress at their center (all work from the centers would be written in their

journal.) As a teacher-researcher the purpose of implementing Math Lab was to embed choice in

students learning and be better able to analyze choices effect in their learning among other areas

of focus. However, it was also because the concepts being reviewed by the Math Labs were

concepts which the Post Test would center on. The Post Test, which would be identical to the

Pre-test student took before the first Math Lab, consisted of both multiplying fractions and

multiplying decimals, (thus the content ML#3 and ML#4 focused on).

The center instructions students were told and found at their center are included below,

and are all dealing with multiplying decimals.

At the M&E Center students were given playing card sets to complete the center tasks.

Students were allowed to use their iPads and log onto the Thinkcentral online program

(they have accessed before) and complete the following tasks:

Students at this center were responding to the center guidelines following, in their math journals.

The results that Math Lab #4 had were very positive as usual, but they were different in

some respects to other Math Labs. Students took on more risks and larger projects. For example

in the Learning and Designing Center I had students plan and create entire game boards and

supplemental pieces of it dealing with multiplying decimals. Students would stay in for recess,

lunch, and even after school if allowed to work on finishing their begun projects during Math

Lab. One example of these is included following:

I realized students were becoming more and more passionate of not only choice but of

creating, this thus would be something that would guide me in establishing Math Lab Creations

in what would be my Phase #2. The results allowed me to feel reassured that having Math Lab

for a fourth time was in support of my students interests and learning as well.

There were also other unique things I learned from ML#4. From the technology center

specifically, students created short films and slideshow on Pixie and other programs. Something

unique that I found powerful was students created memes in the Math and Technology Center.

One student include that Math is like a galaxy of stars because its so complicated you can get

sucked into a black hole, theres (sic) so many stars, like subjects. I was in a way glad the

student was honest about the complexity they were realizing as they were willing to put it in

words which I thought was an initial step at facing the challenges ahead. However, the quote

itself also suggested to me that student although was enjoying Math Labs and choice had not all

transferred their joy of Math Lab to also be joy of learning math in general. This would be

something I would be looking forward to seeing my student hopefully grow in in my Phase #2

implementation. An image of this students meme follows:

Once students completed the Math Lab activity, students were then given the Math

Whizz prompt following to complete individually. The Math Whizz prompt was printed onto a

sticker tab and this sticker was given to the students to paste within their Math Journal just as the

previous Math Whizz. Students would then respond below the prompt in their journal. The Math

Whizz was the same for all three centers and served as a way to assess student understanding of

the content (multiplying decimals). I hoped to see students showing conceptual understanding

and hopefully higher results than was evident on the last student-teacher conferences.

7 students out of 16 were able to do this math whizz with 100% accuracy and with

appropriate work. The other 9 showed evidence of content understanding but had calculation

errors, or did not complete all three questions. Although I anticipated higher results, the majority

of my students were still showing evidence of academic progress. In comparison to where

student started at in regards to pre ML#3 on these concepts, as evidenced by their Pre-test scores,

growth was evident. I did decide to look closely at what are was of most difficulty for my

students, Students seemed to have the most trouble with question 2 on 0.01 multiplied by 20.

This was interesting because perhaps students who marked False lacked the full understanding

that 0.2 is equivalent to 0.20, because they were accurate and able to answer all other portions

correctly.

This section described implementations that were carried out after Math Lab #4 (ML#4)

and some results from these implementations. Implementations are described in a series of steps,

in the order they were introduced in the classroom and their results follow their description.

Step 1: POST ML #4 Perception Wheel

Step 2: Journal Entry #1

Step 3: Journal Entry #2

Step 4: ML #4 Reflection Form/Feedback Form

Step 5: Student-Teacher Conferences

Step 6: Post-Test

Step 1: POST ML #4 Perception Wheel

Students were then able to also annotate and select one or two categories from the

Perception Wheel to describe how they now felt and thought about themselves in respect to the

content of adding and subtracting decimals (Categories included Happy, Motivated, Confident,

Challenged, and Anxious). My hope was that students perceptions were more positive in nature

so essentially, since 1 student had indicated that they felt anxious regarding these topics, I hoped

to see results that would indicate 0 students reporting they felt anxious.

Results and Analysis of POST ML#4 Perception Wheel:

Results as indicated by Graph 21: ML#4 Post Perceptions showed no students saying

they were Anxious. However, results were interesting because I did have one student say they

were both anxious and challenged. Even though my goal of not having any student indicating

anxiety or fear towards math was not exactly met, I realized that I had attributed anxious as

negative when in fact some students may ne relating anxious as looking forward to something

not just the definition of doubt or fear. In addition, challenged I had denoted as something more

positive than anxious when it could be that student were challenged as in overwhelmed, which

would be a negative perception contrary to supporting them to feeling confident. Thus, I decided

it would be best to reevaluate my perception wheel categories and define the terms with the

students for Phase #2 as will be described later. Nevertheless, overall students perceptions

continued to be largely positive.

The following journal prompt was provided for the students to respond and as usual

student would have 10-15 minutes to answer their prompt of choice (only had to answer one).

This was critical as it allowed students a continual voice in what they are doing in class.

Students overall seem to continue to show signs of problem solving and collaboration

much as they had in ML#2. One student for example included, Some of the challenges were

adding the big frachains (sic). and (sic) I overcame them because (sic) I cept (sic) practicing.

Evryone (sic) was helping echother (sic), we listened to echother (sic) and we found out stuff

that we did not knowe (sic) before." Seeing repeatedly student describing their work with others

as helpful in their learning encouraged me to continue choice implementation in what would

become Phase #2.

As usual after the journal focusing on autonomy, students were presented with one

hopefully speaking to their perceptions. As usual student would have 10-15 minutes to answer

their prompt of choice (only had to answer one). The following journal prompt was provided for

the students:

Students continued to demonstrate confidence up to the point that some students were

feeling capable of facing any challenge, such as the following student mentioning, "I think I'm

learning how to multiply decimals very well through math lab. I know decimals well enough to

do just adout (sic) any problem." Not all students were overly confident but many were honest

with their progress and how they were approaching concepts, one student included, "I think I

don't know multiplying decimals that well. But I have a got a lot of help. And I found a new

strategy called Partial Products. It helps me a lot so I am learning fast." This type of comment

was common in this weeks responses and allowed me to realize that students throughout the

implementation in their journal entries especially were confident being honest with where they

were and was actively striving to improve. This was not only rewarding to see but allowed me to

realize that students were establishing high exception for themselves perhaps because they knew

they could reach them. In regards to my action research focus, this was powerful as it supported

the idea that choice was not only motivating but allowing student perceptions of themselves and

where they want to be as learners to also be developing.

Step 4: ML #2 Reflection Form/Feedback Form

Students the following day were given the following feedback from to respond to

http://goo.gl/forms/sO5abQBsc0KTRIan1.

Results and Analysis of ML#2 Reflection Form/Feedback Form:

Overall, the feedback form information highlighted students continual support and like

of Math Lab as evidenced by Graph 22: What do you think about Math Lab?, with all students

indicated they liked it a lot or thought it was alright and since 100% of my students indicating

they wished to continue Math Lab. In addition, as evidenced by my Graph 23: How helpful do

you think Math Lab is and can be for you in order to understand the math concepts, in this case

multiplying decimals?, the majority of my students (21 out of 31) have also indicated that it is

very helpful in their learning development.

Graph 23: How helpful do you think Math Lab is and can be for you in order to

understand the math concepts, in this case multiplying decimals?

Moreover, results also indicated that in fact students liked Math Lab for a variety of

reasons. The majority, much like in Math Lab #3 indicated that all three reasons, (choice, centers

being something different, and activities being fun) were the main reasons; the ratio now 12/31

was very comparable to the previous one, 10/27. Overall, as indicated by Graph 24: If you like

Math Lab, what is about Math Lab that makes you like it? Pick the choice that you feel MOST

STRONGLY about, 18 students out of 31 included that choice was the one reason or one of the

reasons. Now 12 of those 18 also included the aspects of novelty and fun also being a factor in

their like of Math Lab, this suggests again that not only choice is what is allowing greater

engagement and like but also student interest being incorporated and their suggestions of novelty

instruction as it has been presented through the centers has as well. Thus, although choice is still

a part of students like of Math Lab, the other reasons also have an impact, thus this has led me to

wonder if these result would be the same if the activities were all mandatory, and students were

not given a choice to select from, would students still think the activities were as fun?

Graph 24: If you like Math Lab, what is about Math Lab that makes you like it? Pick the

choice that you feel MOST STRONGLY about.

In regards to ranking their control during math instruction, students indicated overall

greater autonomy during Math Lab, even more so than that seen during Math Lab #3, as 18

students indicated a level of 5 and only 6 during instruction when Math Lab is not being

implemented as evidenced by Graph 25: Rank yourself in terms of control over your learning

during Math Lab. Overall 25 students during Math Lab included feeling a 4 or above in control

level while only 14 when not in Math Lab, as evidenced by Graph 26: Rank yourself in terms of

control over your learning during math instruction when we DO NOT have Math Lab. In regards

to 3 or below, when Math Lab is not being implemented 18 students indicated feeling 3 level or

below in control in contrast to only 6 students during Math Lab (with no students in 2 or below).

Thus all 31 students feel that during Math Lab they have control of a 3 or above level.

Graph 25: Rank yourself in terms of control over your learning during Math Lab

Graph 26: Rank yourself in terms of control over your learning during math instruction

when we DO NOT have Math Lab.

Following the feedback from responses a total of 10 students participated in Student

Conferences, consisting of solving one multiplication of decimals problem, discussion of

decimal positioning and understanding of this, as well as partial product strategies, place value

understanding, and overall thoughts and experience of Math Lab and their centers. (All students

who had not had a student-conference were selected and then a few others were selected

randomly to complete the 10 total).

Results and Analysis of Student-Teacher Conferences:

Overall, my student conferencing included having students solve a multiplication

problem involving decimals and also discussing how to properly read the product, as well as

being able to explain the product in terms of place value. Overall, I had 6/10 students solve the

given problems completely on their own. The other 4 with minimal guidance were able to

completely express and polish their solutions and verbal expression of the product. These results

parallel closely to the results found in Math Labs #1 and #2 in regards to the majority of the

students being successful at responding to grade level problems presented during the

conferences. In regards to students response to the math lab however, students still showed

evidence of great autonomy in regards now more on suggesting new ways to approach math lab,

such as having math whizz being done in partners, or having set math lab partners, and having

opportunities to express learning through Explain Everything or Pixies. Students included

comments regarding their progress on their own designed game boards, etc.

Step 6: Post-Test

After meeting with students were given a Post-Test consisting of the exact same

questions they had seen before on the Pre-test. The goal was to see if students had gained greater

understanding of the concepts through Math Labs. Students used their iPads to access the

following Google Form which was the Post Test:

http://goo.gl/forms/NIRNRDKs2OVCsj5C3

Results and Analysis of Post-Test:

The graphs in regards to the given percentage categories indicate that in fact students

stayed within the same percentage categories during the pre-test and post-test, as evidenced by

Graph 27: Post Test Scores (Math Lab #3 and #4) and the previously attached Graph 12: PreTest Scores (Math Lab #3 and #4) (attached again for reference only). Initially, as a researcher

this had me wondering why this was the case that Math Lab had not impacted students

academically in this area? At a closer glance at the data however, evidence showed what the

results really implicated.

The results of the post-test taken after Math Lab #4 shows growth but not significant to

lead students to grade level criteria, this is consistent with my observations in student

conferences on Math Labs #3 and #4, where all problems and discussion were also at grade level

and success relied largely on my intervention, though slightly, but still clarification was needed

for the majority of the students. The academic results in conferences #3 and #4 were lower than

the 7/11 ratio seen in Math Lab #1 and #2, however it was most noticeable in Math Lab #3 with

a 3/10 ratio before any clarification or teacher intervention. Possible reasons to these results may

be the content being more challenging for the students, them having less prior knowledge in this

area. These possibilities would be consistent with the fact pre-tests showed extremely low scores

for students. (Nevertheless, in all math labs with minimal guidance a large majority of the

students were able to successfully complete and express the task at hand.)

As indicated by the growth, there was a change between pre and post-test, just one that

was not evidenced by the grade categories on the previous graphs. This suggests, that students

pre test scores were drastically low in this content area of multiplication of decimals and

fractions (students had a more difficult time with this concept), so much so, that the growth of

13% to approximately 38% which was seen for 15 of the 25 students, as evidenced by Graph 28:

Math Lab #3 and #4 Scores from Pre-Test to Post-Test was not substantial enough to support

students in passing or reaching scores higher than a 63%. In addition to this, these results have

been some of the leading factors in my considerations for next steps. Students are improving, but

not enough to attain grade level expectations, thus, how can I bring forth more academic

progress? In addition, I had 5 students without any growth from pretest to posttest and 5 students

who actually decreased. How and what can I do to Math Lab implementation to better support

these particular groups of students?

Graph 28: Math Lab #3 and #4 Scores from Pre-Test to Post-Test

Data showed great evidence of academic growth and increased positive perceptions and

autonomy in the classroom for a large majority of my students. Thus, in regards to the effect of

Math Lab overall, beyond these individual aspects, it seems as if it is influencing the general

class ambience during math instruction. The increased positivity it has instilled and enjoyment

has allowed for a more stress-free, fun, accessible form of curriculum for my students that

centers on their interests and their choices. Although evidence showed that not all students

showed equal growth or positive effects, overall all students have indicated the desire to continue

Math Lab. The unanimous reply and yearn to continue Math Lab, throughout the entirety of the

Phase 1 implementation largely signifies that beyond influencing students academically, in their

autonomy, or perception and motivation, it is bringing forth a new perspective on what

constitutes math instruction, one of possibility, and one they are interested in continuing, in

essence they have begun desirous for further learning in this form. Students are developing and

allowing themselves to take on greater risks in their centers and seeing Math in distinct ways

then they had had previously. Overall, Phase #1 has allowed for an increase primarily in

autonomy and positive perceptions/motivation (academically too but not as large of a progress as

expected) which may serve to support academic achievement in the future as students have

become more willing to be confident learners and overcome challenges, etc.

These next sections describe more specific results and analysis in relation to the main

three topics of the Action Research guiding questions: effect of choice in relation to Academic

Achievement, Autonomy, and Motivation/Perceptions.

Academic Achievement

Autonomy

Motivation/Perceptions

Analysis of Choice and its effect on: Academic Progress

Overall the majority of my students in regards to academic progress showed evidence of

growth through their Post Test scores and math whizzes. However, students growth in some

cases was not enough to support them in reaching grade level requirements for the concepts the

math labs focused on. In addition, some students showed no increase or actually decreased in

their performance between their pre and post-tests. These findings were significant because

although math lab and choice seemed to allow students to conceptually understand and

comprehend as evidenced by student's work from the math labs and their explanations during 3

out of the 4 student conferences, for some students, perhaps with larger content gaps, it may not

have been sufficient support. Thus, these results merit continuation of choice but with additional

support academically for student to support further academic progress.

Analysis of Choice and its effect on: Autonomy

Overall, in regards to autonomy, Phase #1 implementations results support that choice

and math labs encouraged and gave students greater opportunities to take more ownership and

control over their learning. This was evidenced by students willingness to explore new concepts

and approaches to learning and centers, which led some to realizing their own personal preferred

learning styles as evidenced by students journal entries. Moreover, it became evident students

began to feel more and more capable and balance working and problem solving independently

while also collaborating with others as well. Students increased motivation from math lab and

choice seem to also support students in being more autonomous and willing to work on math

content even in their free time, such as recess, after school, etc., and petitioning for more time at

their centers. Student journal entries and conferences also allowed me to realize students

increased ability to set high expectation for themselves and their ability to self-correct as was

evident in the first Math Labs. Thus, in respect to my action research choice seems to have

supported much empowering of students.

Analysis of Choice and its effect on: Motivation/Perceptions

In regards to motivation and perception, Phase #1 showed much evidence of much

support in this area through math lab and choice. Students anxiety levels went from 6 students

being anxious to 0-2 in each math labs conclusion. In addition, students themselves indicated in

their journal entries and reflection/feedback forms their desire to continue math lab. Beyond this

however, it was interesting to also see that student indicated choices as one of the main reasons

that they enjoyed or liked math lab, however student also include the novelty of it and interesting

activities were some reasons as well. Thus, choice was encouraging of students motivation, but

it was also the entirety of the math lab set up, that supported my students. Overall the success

evident has allowed me as a researcher to continue the current implementation further.

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