Analyzing My Data

As I analyze my data, I will focus on my goal to create independent and engaging learning centers that align to the Alaska State Curriculum Standards. I know that I was able to align my centers to the Alaska State Standards, so I will concentrate on whether my data shows that the learning centers were independent and engaging. During my research I tracked the engagement of students at a learning center by observing whether they were on task or off task, following directions or needed to be redirected, and if they were working with their partner. I also tracked interruptions from students at other centers to gauge why those students were not engaged and which learning centers were experiencing the most disruptions.

As I compile this information, I will look at each day as well as the overall numbers. I need to find out if there are specific students that need assistance and direction before they begin centers and which centers might not be working they way I expected and need changes. I know that my students love learning centers and that there are centers that are “favorites”, like the dramatic play and building with Legos. However, I need to know if those centers are also the cause of the most disruptions. If they are, I need to adjust and make changes, which is why my data collection is important. It is impossible to fix a problem without knowing where or when the problem occurs.

I also have post interviews and self-assessments to look over and analyze. I cannot wait to see how the self-assessments line up with what I observed each day. I tracked which students were having problems, so I know whether each student was really on task and participating during each learning center. But, are my kindergarten students able to recognize when they are not on task? I can’t wait to see how they did and where I can help them make improvements. They know that they are responsible for their own behavior, but they need guidance, support and reminders. Even though they are five and six years old, they know my behavior expectations and I know they will stumble and need my assistance. The input of my students that were in my focus group is going to be interesting to analyze. Kindergarten students can give amazingly honest and blunt answers, but they also can give off the wall and imaginative answers. It is difficult to get consistency, so I am interested to look for common themes and ideas from them.

I have made the choice to analyze my data in this manner because I think it is the best way for me to judge engagement in my learning centers. I believe that it will show whole-class engagement and individual student engagement along with which learning centers are engaging and which ones I need to adjust.

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3 thoughts on “Analyzing My Data

  1. Great rationale for what you are doing and why you are doing it. I think it will be really interesting too to see if your kindergarteners are able to reflect and self analyze appropriately. I to am waiting to see if my surveys match the observational data I am collecting. From a researcher’s standpoint, it is easier to draw conclusions when different data sources match, but it can be very interesting when they don’t!

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  2. Will you worry about the students that are often off task? I imagine all students need to be part of the data collection and analysis, but if those students who are often off task and might have special needs do not show more engagement and time being on task, will you worry about that as well? Just something I am thinking about. What do we do with the outliers in our data?

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    • I have tracked students that are off task, but I am not worried about them unless I see a trend. My students are young and I don’t expect them to be on task all of the time. That would be unrealistic to expect them to be on task the entire time. However, I am going to look for learning centers that had a lot of students who were off task. I have one special need student who has a dedicated aide and he was not present during many of my learning center activities. However, when he was present, he was very engaged. He does very well in small group activities and I was really pleased to note that when I observed him. I think my outliers will help me make my learning centers even more engaging, at least that is my hope.

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