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Phase #1 Write Up

Maria Llamas, Spring 2016


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:

POST Math Lab #1:

PRE Math Lab #2:

Week #2

Math Lab #2

POST Math Lab #2:

This section described implementations that


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.

This section described implementations that


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.

Second 2-week interval


This section described implementations that
PRE Math Lab #3:

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


and some results from these implementations.

Week #3

Math Lab #3

This section described implementations that


were carried out during Math Lab #3 (ML#3)
and some results from these implementations.

Week #4

POST Math Lab #3:

This section described implementations that


were carried out after Math Lab #3 (ML#3)
and some results from these implementations.

PRE Math Lab #4:

This section described implementations that


were carried out before Math Lab #4 (ML#4)
and some results from these implementations.

Math Lab #4

This section described implementations that


were carried out during Math Lab #4 (ML#4)
and some results from these implementations.

POST Math Lab #4:


This section described implementations that
were carried out after Math Lab #4 (ML#4)
and some results from these implementations.

Summarized Results
and Analysis:

This section describes the overall 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.

PRE Phase #1 Section/PRE Math Lab:


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)

Step 2: Content Instruction


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

Step 4: Math Lab #1 Center Selection


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.

Math Lab #1:


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.

Manipulative and Exploration Center (M&E Center):


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

Math and Technology Center:


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)

Learning and Designing Center:


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.

Results and Analysis of Math Lab #1:


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:

Results and Analysis of Math Whizz #1:


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.

POST Math Lab #1:


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.

Graph #3: Math Lab #1: Post-Perceptions

Step 2: Journal Entry #1


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?

Another of my areas of focus in my research was perceptions and motivation to learn in


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.

Graph #5: What do you think about Math Lab?

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.

PRE Math Lab #2:


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.

Step 3: ML#2 Center Selections


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.

Manipulative and Exploration Center (M&E Center):


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

Math and Technology Center:


Students were allowed to use their iPads and log onto the Thinkcentral online program
(they have accessed before) and complete the following tasks:

Learning and Designing Center:


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

Results and Analysis of Math Lab #2:


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:

Step 2: Math Whizz #2


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:

Results and Analysis of Math Whizz #2:


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.

POST Math Lab #2:


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.

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

Graph #7: Math Lab #2: Post-Perceptions

Step 2: Journal Entry #1


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.

Step 3: Journal Entry #2


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)?

Graph #9: What do you think about Math Lab?.

Step 5: Student-Teacher Conferences


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).

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

Graph 10: Post-test Scores (Math Labs #1 and #2)

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.

Graph #11: Scores from Pre-Test to Post-Test.

(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)

Step 2: Content Instruction


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.

Graph #13: Math Lab #3: Pre Perceptions

Step 4: ML#3 Center Selection


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):

Manipulative and Exploration Center:


Students found cards and the following set of instructions at this center (cards numbered 2
through 9).

Math and Technology Center:


Students would take their iPads with them to this center, log into Thinkcentral and receive the
following set of instructions.

Learning and Designing Center:


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

Gameboard Worksheet:

Results and Analysis of Math Lab #3:


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:

Results and Analysis of Math Whizz #3


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.

POST Math Lab #3:


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.

Reference: Graph #13: Math Lab #3: Pre Perceptions

Graph #14: Math Lab #3: Post Perceptions

Step 2: Journal Entry #1


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 15: ML#3 What do you think about Math Lab?

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:

Step 5: Student-Teacher Conferences


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.

PRE Math Lab #4:


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.

Graph #20: ML#4 Pre-Perceptions

Step 3: ML#4 Center Selections


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.

Manipulative and Exploration Center (M&E Center):


At the M&E Center students were given playing card sets to complete the center tasks.

Math and Technology Center:


Students were allowed to use their iPads and log onto the Thinkcentral online program
(they have accessed before) and complete the following tasks:

Learning and Designing Center:


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

Results and Analysis of Math Lab #4:


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:

Step 2: Math Whizz #4


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.

Results and Analysis of Math Whizz #4:


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.

POST Math Lab #4:


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.

Graph 21: ML#4 Post Perceptions

Step 2: Journal Entry #1


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.

Results and Analysis of Journal Entry #1


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.

Step 3: Journal Entry #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:

Results and Analysis of Journal Entry #2:


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 22: What do you think about Math Lab?

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.

Step 5: Student-Teacher Conferences


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.

Graph 27: Post Test Scores (Math Lab #3 and #4)

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

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

Summarized Results and Analysis:


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.