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SOCIAL STUDIES ACTION RESEARCH

2007-2008

6TH GRADE
INDIVIDUAL GOAL: DOES USING CHILDRENS LITERATURE IMPROVE STUDENT UNDERSTANDING IN ECONOMIC?

RESEARCH
I have found sources by Jim Charkins Social Studies Review (2003), Janaan Haskell of Idaho State University (2002), and Hawthorne, Wheeler, and Rogers in The Reading Teacher (2007), which support my procedure. These authors report that using literature to teach economics is a natural extension of the text and creates long-term retention because of high student interest.

DATA COLLECTION
Interest Surveys completed quarterly Pre-tests done quarterly Post-tests done quarterly

PRELIMINARY FINDINGS
Many students are able to make connections between literature and economics vocabulary. Many find this enjoyable, which increases learning. Interest surveys show that students now see economics as more difficult, yet their scores are improving. I see this as a reality check.

Variables Affecting Research


Student teacher Absences of teacher and students Scheduling conflicts New students added to class

DATA

DATA

TEST SCORES

Final Findings
The interest survey showed that interest has not increased. however, student learning has! I believe that since MY interest has increased, so has my students learning.

Whats Next?
I will continue to collect data through the end of the year. I will reevaluate the sequence of vocabulary taught. I will utilize different graphic organizers in order to help students make connections.

7TH GRADE
INDIVIDUAL GOAL: WILL BI-WEEKLY USE OF SIMULATIONS AND HANDS ON LEARNING STRATEGIES IN ECONOMICS INCREASE STUDENT INTEREST?

RESEARCH
My sources include Katherine Chapmans work on Simulations and Games for Social Studies and James Sottile and Dallas Broziks work the use of simulations in teaching and learning The research supports the use of simulations in teaching Economics and providing students exposure to real life economic situations

Examples of Exposure and connection


The student now is the King taxing the colonies- he has the real life situation of having to tax his fellow colonist

THE TAX COLLECTOR- TAXING THE COLONIST


BOTH THE STUDENT TAX COLLECTOR AND THE COLONIST FEEL WHAT HISTORICALLY WAS TAKING PLACE IN THE COLONIES

DATA COLLECTION
Pre and Post test Quarterly Interest Survey Learning styles test

PRELIMINARY FINDINGS
SIMULATIONS HAVE MADE STUDENTS MORE AWARE OF ECONOMIC CONNECTIONS TO HISTORY FINDING GOOD SIMULATIONS CAN BE DIFFICULT SIMULATIONS USE MULTIPLE LEARNING STYLES SIMULATIONS FOSTER DEEPER DISCUSSIONS

LEARNING STYLES
LEARNING STYLES

AUDITORY VISUAL

KINESTHETIC

PRE AND POST TEST DATA


PRE/POST TEST
82

80
78 76 74 72 70 68 PRE/POST TEST

PRE-TEST

POST-TEST

Quarter 3

Strongly disagree disagree Quarter 2 Neutral Agree Strongly Agree

Quarter 1

0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%

PERCEPTION SURVEY QUESTION 1


I CAN MAKE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN ECONOMICS AND MY LIFE.

Quarter 3

Strongly disagree disagree Quarter 2 Neutral Agree Strongly Agree

Quarter 1

0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%

PERCEPTION SURVEY QUESTION #2


I LIKE TO THINK ABOUT HOW MONEY WORKS IN OUR SOCIETY.

Quarter 3

Strongly disagree disagree Quarter 2 Neutral Agree Strongly Agree

Quarter 1

0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%

PERCEPTION SURVEY QUESTION #3


I LIKE TO THINK ABOUT HOW ECONOMICS AFFECTS MY FUTURE.

Quarter 3

Strongly disagree disagree Quarter 2 Neutral Agree Strongly Agree

Quarter 1

0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%

PERCEPTION SURVEY QUESTION #4


I ENJOY LEARNING ABOUT ECONOMICS IN THE NEWS.

Quarter 3

Strongly disagree disagree Quarter 2 Neutral Agree Strongly Agree

Quarter 1

0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%

PERCEPTION SURVEY QUESTION #5


I WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT HOW TO EARN AND SAVE MONEY

VARIABLES AFFECTING RESEARCH


MORE STUDENTS AT THE START OF THE RESEARCH PROJECT THE USE OF SIMULATIONS THAT DONT FIT THE PERIOD OF STUDY BI-WEEKLY SIMULATIONS DID NOT ALWAYS HAPPEN

FINDING
STUDENTS ENJOYED SIMULATIONS WHEN THERE WAS A CONNECTION BETWEEN THE SIMULATION AND WHAT WAS BEING LEARNED IN CLASS STUDENTS BECAME TIRED OF SIMULATIONS AFTER A PERIOD OF TIME- LACK OF CONNECTIONS INCREASE IMPACT OF SIMULATIONS BY LIMITING THE SIMULATION AND LINKING IT TO CLASSROOM LEARNING

WHAT IS NEXT?
LIMIT THE NUMBER OF SIMULATIONS NEXT YEAR WORK WITH STUDENTS TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE MAKING CONNECTIONS CONTINUE TO RESEARCH AND LOCATE ECONOMIC SIMULATIONS/GAMES THAT WILL PROMOTE STUDENT UNDERSTANDING OF KEY MEAP TERMS

8TH GRADE
INDIVIDUAL GOAL: - WILL THE CREATION OF A FOCUSED CAPITALISTIC
SYSTEM WITHIN THE CLASSROOM INCREASE STUDENT ABILITY TO ADDRESS REAL LIFE ECONOMIC SITUATIONS USING ECONOMIC VOCABULARY?

RESEARCH
According to Day and Ballard, economic simulations or classroom economies have improved student understanding of credit, debt, investments and savings. There seems to be mixed research on the overall effectiveness of classroom economies because of the vast differences in implementation from simulation to simulation.

DATA COLLECTION
Pre-test of economic vocabulary (40 words) given to all students prior to the start of the simulation Every six weeks, students re-take the economic vocabulary test. 3 questions pertaining to student interest were added to the test after the simulation had started.

PRELIMINARY FINDINGS
The simulation is more work than I thought! In the classes that viewed the simulation as interesting or fun, gains in understanding were evident. In 1st hour, gains were minimal. This may be due to the fact they viewed the simulation in a negative way.

FINDINGS Comprehension
40

35
30 25 20 15 10 5 0

Sixth Hour
Second Hour

Pre Test

November

Janruary

March

May

Findings Interest (2=Same)


5 4 3 2 1 0 Interest Interest 6th 2nd "Facts" 6th May March Janruary March May

Janruary
"Facts" 2th

Final Findings
In Sixth Hour (Simulation), student comprehension increased throughout the year, although gains became minimal near the end of the simulation (and in may did slightly dip). In Second Hour (Simulation stopped in January), student comprehension still increased after the simulation stopped, but at a very small pace.

Final Findings
In Sixth Hour, students felt they knew more about economics at the end of the simulation, but their interested in economics was slightly down. In Second Hour, students feelings on comprehension was basically the same, but their interest in economics fell when the simulation ended.

Findings Questions I now have


Why did second hour continue to improve (although slightly) after the simulation stopped? Why did some of the students bore of the simulation near the end of the year (this comes not from the data but from talking to some of the individuals that put their interest as lower in May.

Thoughts for next time


The simulation (student jobs, bank accounts) did not run smoothly at first- this may have handicapped the results from the beginning. Next time, having clear procedures laid out in the beginning may help student achievement. The emphasis put on key words such as investment, savings, budget, and economic choice seemed to ooze into my teaching, even when the simulation had stopped. Question to look at next time What types of vocabulary instruction (word wall?) could help improve student comprehension of the key economic principles we studied this year.

SOCIAL STUDIES DEPARTMENT GOAL FOR 2008-2009


70% of students will demonstrate proficiency in their ability to connect economic terms Each grade level will decide how to accomplish this goal