My data collection is giving me a lot of insight. The first thing I looked at is the behaviors I noticed while observing specific learning centers each day. From my observations, I can see if most, many, or few students were on task and engaged in the learning center. I also can see which students struggled with learning center expectations for a particular day. This data tells me which students are struggling with either engagement or independent play during learning centers. I also tracked interruptions to my observations by other students in different learning centers. From this data I was able to ascertain which learning centers caused the most interruptions and if there were specific students who were interrupting more than others. I could also track why my students were interrupting me and found out that most of the interruptions were due to students needing redirection.
From my observations of the learning centers, I found that my technology and science learning centers were the most successful. Almost all my students were on task and very few students needed redirection on both of those days. They were also the days when there were fewer student interruptions. The learning centers occurred at the end of my data collection, so it might be important to note that my students had a lot of practice with learning centers up to that point and were well versed in my expectations during learning center time.
My students filled out self-assessment sheets each day after learning centers. I asked them everyday to color in a smiley, straight, or sad face based on how much they liked each learning center. I am using their self-assessment to gauge their engagement of the learning centers. It is interesting for me to see if my kindergarten students’ engagement self-assessement matches up to what I observed. I am pleased to see that much of the time, it does match up and I am learning that my students can evaluate their own behavior. From this, I can see which learning centers my students enjoy and which ones I should change to something new. I usually have my learning centers for two weeks, sometimes more. My data is showing me that I need to change out writing every week or have more choice involved in the writing learning center.
Finally, I had a focus group of four students that I interviewed each day after learning centers. The interview was pretty simple, because my students are kindergarteners. All of my focus group students were able to tell me what they liked and disliked about the learning center I observed each day. I found that many of my focus group students feel that the learning centers are too easy. However, it is important to note that some of my focus group students were not on task during some of the learning centers and were not following directions. I also learned that even though they felt the centers were too easy, they wanted to do the learning center again. The interview was probably my most frustrating part because I adjusted my questions by starting to ask “why” after their answers, but now I realize that I should have asked different questions that had more to do with engagement and independence.