I have been thinking quite a bit about what my data collection will look like and how I want to set it up. I have a rough idea, but I keep tweaking and changing it because I need to be available to my students to model and scaffold using the copper tape. I am considering teaching and talking about it before I start my data collection, but I am concerned that it will cause me to get less accurate resiliency data because they will already have experience with the materials. My current (probably will change again) plan is to scaffold using the copper tape with my students on the day I start my data collection. After they have successfully used it once, I will let them try to make another circuit that they can use on a card for their parents. I am going to need to observe while I am there to help support them with problem solving. I think it would be ineffective and cruel to give them the tape and stickers and expect them to run a circuit successfully without additional modeling and scaffolding.
My issue is about when to step in and help them. I am considering giving a five to fifteen minute (I am struggling with how long to have each period) “try” period and observing the students before stepping in and scaffolding again. I could then give them another “try” period where I observe again. For my data collection, it might be helpful if I were to videotape my students during each “try” period.
I am thinking that I would like to have a checklist or a tally spot to record how many times I hear a student say something negative, such as “this is too hard” or “I can’t do this”. I think that whatever I use should also have a spot for me to record who is giving encouragement and help. My students are really helpful to one another and they genuinely try to encourage and lift each other up. I am still thinking through the survey and questions I want to give my students. My survey sheet will be a smiley, straight, and frowning face for each question. I think my follow up survey will have questions asking if the student felt successful. If they felt the task was too hard. Whether they were frustrated during the “try” times and if they thought about being resilient.
I have done a lot of thinking about which students should be a part of my focus group. I have two students who are really struggling with being resilient. I also have two students that seem to complete every task I give them easily. I am contemplating picking names out of a hat to make my focus group truly random. I have twenty-four students in my classroom and I think that if I chose six students for my focus group then I will have a better sampling. I will record each interview with my students. I need to remember to ask them open-ended questions instead of simple yes or no questions. Some of the questions I want to include are “what was the hardest part about the ‘try’ time today?” and “What do you think you will try tomorrow to help you make your circuit work?” I did interviews with the research course I took last spring and I found that my students do not like to answer a lot of questions, so my goal is to keep it to about three questions that require explanations.