After two weeks of data collection, the results were clear. The students were engaged in learning centers and most were able to consistently participate in learning centers independently, with the majority of students exhibiting on task behavior. A small amount of students were off task many days. Table 1 shows behaviors observed at the learning centers each day.
Observed Behaviors in Learning Centers
|Center Observed||Total Students||On Task||Off Task||Needs Redirection|
Note. Off task behavior is not the same as behavior that needs redirection. Off task behavior occurs when students do an activity other than the learning center activity. Students who are off task may be redirected so they become on task again. However, students that are redirected are not always off task. Redirection may occur when a student is off task, is too loud, running in the room, throwing things, etc. Some students needed to be redirected more than once during their time in the observed learning center.
Interruptions by students who were not a part of the learning center being observed were also tracked each day. Data shows that specific centers had more interruptions than others. For example, on the day that the writing center was observed, there were fifty interruptions. The day the writing learning center was observed was also the day that had the most off task behavior in the learning center. In contrast, on the day that the art learning centers was observed, there were only twenty interruptions and one off task student. Redirection was the most common interruption, while needing to go to the nurse, whining, and asking to use the bathroom were the least common. Table 2 shows the reason for interruptions during learning centers each day.
Interruptions by Behavior During Learning Centers
|Center Observed||Redirection||Showing Work||Nurse||Whining||Tattling||Arguing||Crying||Questions||Bathroom||Other|
Note. Some students needed redirection, questions answered or other behavior more than once. Behaviors documented in the Other column included growling, loud voices, screaming, horseplay, knocking loudly on the desks, and attempting to share food.
Each specific student’s behavior was tracked and documented during the study. Certain students had more difficulty staying on task than others. One student (BS) had zero redirections and one interruption during the entire study. Many of the students averaged less than one redirection and interruption per day. The student who had the most difficulty was off task for five of the learning centers, needed eighteen redirections and interrupted eight times over the course of the study. Table 3 shows the observed and documented off task and interruptive behavior of students.
Observed Off Task and Interruptive Behaviors of Students
|Student||Off Task in
Note. The “Redirection Given” column contains redirection while participating in the learning center being observed or when interrupting the learning center being observed.
Students filled out self-assessment sheets each day after learning centers. They were asked to color a smiley, straight, or sad face based on how much they liked each learning center. This self-assessment was used to gauge their engagement of the learning centers. The self-assessment was then matched up to the behaviors observed to determine if they were able to evaluate their engagement in each learning center. Much of the time the self-assessments and the observations matched up with students showing that they enjoyed or did not enjoy a learning center. However, there were instances where students circled the smiley face, stating they were engaged in the activities, but the students (AG and MM) were off task during the learning center.
The focus groups were interviewed each day after learning centers. All of the focus group students were able to tell what they liked and disliked about the learning center that was observed. Many of my focus group students felt that the learning centers were too easy. However, some of the focus group students were not following directions during some of the observed learning centers. Even though they stated that the centers were too easy, all of them wanted to do the learning center again. Each learning center had an activity that aligned with the Alaska State Curriculum Standards for kindergarten.