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Teacher Action Research Project Proposal

By Christina Hambleton
Research Purpose
This January will mark my third year teaching in a self-contained middle school at Delta Charter
School in Tracy. Prior to teaching at Delta Charter, I substituted in TUSD. Before obtaining my
credential, I worked as a Para educator in TUSD. I chose to teach; in lieu of returning to my prior
career of finance management, because during my years as a Para, I noted the necessity for
compassionate, proactive, and intelligent teachers within TUSD.
Unfortunately, budget cuts (momentarily) crushed my goal of becoming a teacher at the school in
which my road to education first began. Delta Charter was my only option. DC (Delta Charter) is
as far from a traditional school as one can travel. My curriculum is online; there are no
textbooks. Nor are there any teacher edition books/text. My school calendar changes on a whim.
My first two years, students completed independent study work at home several weeks during
the year. I have taught a 6-8 combo class, 7th grade, and 8th grade class. I am the students solitary
teacher. I am responsible for core curriculum, PE, and electives.
The student population at DC is very diverse. The middle school program tends to attract
students who need special attention in academics, social behavior, self-esteem, and/or all of the
above. I moved up with my class of 8th graders, from 7th grade. They are an unbelievably special
and eclectic group of students, who are very dear to me. Out of twenty-eight, I have eight
students on IEPS, or 504s. Out of twenty-eight students, only three are at grade level. The rest
of the class range between the 4th 6th grade levels in math. Last year the ranges were
significantly lower. I am very proud of our accomplishments.
These past three years of teaching have shown me that math is where my passion ensues. I truly
enjoy teaching math and am unafraid to take on challenges for both myself and my students. At
the beginning of last year, the majority of my students could barely solve a simple fraction
equation. At the end of last year, we all clapped and cheered in joy when we solved extensive
surface area and volume problems. My white boards were full and students were able to follow
and comprehend. The feeling of success was unbelievably overwhelming! However, I still face
numerous challenges with the use and instruction of online curriculum. Hence, the reason I have
chosen to enroll in the MIAA program.
Research Question
In what ways will an efficient and engaging blended 8th grade math program, which incorporates
traditional and online curriculum, along with the California Common Core State Standards for
mathematics, assist me in raising my students assessment scores in mathematics?

Sub-questions
1. MIAA 320 With a student population of predominantly below grade level students,

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who struggle significantly in ELA, how can I effectively trigger and engage their abilities
to think critically when performing complex math problems? Students will benefit as they
will no longer be fearful to express their mathematical reasoning in written language.
MIAA 330 How can I successfully incorporate a variety of assessments into our
already time challenged math syllabus? By doing so, I will be able to utilize the
assessments to modify and/or enrich curriculum as indicated by score results.
MIAA 340 How can I further modify and adapt my instruction and curriculum to
accommodate my large group of IEP, 504, and at-risk math students? This will lead to
greater comprehension of mathematics for my at-risk students.
MIAA 350 With a student population who has great difficulty in completing multiple
step math problems, how can I teach them to understand the meaning of each
mathematical step and process as a whole? To do so would increase their confidence of
being able to succeed in both current and high school level mathematics.
MIAA 360 How can I blend my online curriculum with traditional curriculum so that
students fully benefit from daily instruction? This would remove doubts that California
Common Core State Standards for mathematics are fully covered and in turn result in
more confident and productive lesson deliveries.

Data
MIAA 310 I will be using three grades for my Teacher Action Research Project; 5th, 6th, and 7th.
Although I have taught math at grade levels 6 and 7, it was only for one year. Now that I am
familiar with the content, I intend to better streamline lessons and place higher instructional
focus on areas in which I know students have demonstrated previous struggles in.
MIAA 320 I intend to use strategies in Mathematical Discourse to challenge previously
engrained beliefs that math is hard, and encourage students to be open and positive to new
math tasks. I also will use this course to break the bubble mindset in which students are
programed to click a bubble for their answer and not actually THINK about what processes are
used to achieve their answers.
MIAA 330 DC currently uses NWEA as our assessment tool for ELA and mathematics. I will
use this course to further identify and implement additional assessments which are geared
towards all academic levels of student population.
MIAA 340 I intend to use this course as a valuable tool to further enrich my already
implemented modification and adaptations for my special population students. In addition, I have
two mathematically advanced students which I need to learn how to better challenge and
accommodate.

MIAA 350 This course will be one of my biggest challenges. Again, I intend to chip away at
negative math connotations and assist students in understanding the meaning of the steps they are
performing and how each action affects one another.
MIAA 360 I will use this course to ensure I have full understanding on how to adhere to
Smarter Balanced standards while incorporating traditional and online curriculum within my
classroom.
Reflection
I expect that this program will help me finesse my current teaching strategies and lesson
deliveries. As I do not have teacher edition textbooks, it has been a great struggle for me to
effectively create math lesson plans. I look forward to discovering multiple teaching strategies,
as well as various methods of accommodations, project-based learning assignments, and
assessments which will ensure that I am a verifiable expert at CCCSS math lesson design and
implementation.