I really enjoyed having a Twitter chat this week! I missed my classmates. I also enjoyed reading both Genevieve’s and Sarah’s papers. They both did a great job. I received feedback from both Peter and Tristan. Tristan couldn’t get her comments to post so she emailed me and she proofread my paper. They both gave me excellent advice and I will be making some changes this week. I loved that I got a chance to see how beneficial critical friends are to my writing. I was nervous about being one to others, but I really enjoyed it. It something I think I would enjoy in the future as well. I believe it works because we all have really gotten to know each other over the course of this semester. I feel like they all want me to succeed and I definitely want to see them succeed as well. I’m sad that this course is coming to a close. I hope to see many of the same people in my future classes.
I have added it as a .pdf and I hope that makes it easier to view. If you would like to see it in document form, let me know.
I miss having our Twitter chats. I like hearing what everyone is doing. I know we get it in the blogs, but it’s not the same. This week, we all got ideas of how to make our action research reports more engaging. My favorite read was by O’Halloran. I love the headings he used in his report. I connected with Tristan on the importance of the making my introduction relevant and engaging to others. Sarah’s blog also pointed out the importance of really thinking through the title of my report. It’s the first thing people will read. Genevieve’s blog also discussed the section headings and using humor in our papers. I pointed out that many of us may not be the type of person who feels comfortable with getting super creative with the headings, but we can still use humor and humorous stories in our writing, especially in the introduction. My students are hilarious and they don’t even try, it just happens.
Data Analysis has been a slow process for me. I’ve gone through my data three times and coded and recoded things. I feel like I have piles (mountains?) of information to sift through. I’m starting to try to figure out themes and where things connect. I haven’t really assembled anything really, it’s mostly just trying to figure out how and where to start trying to sort through it. I thought about using index cards, but the amount of time it would take to rewrite all that coded data could be a time waster and I don’t have a lot of time to waste. I can type faster than I can write and I have a dictation program which may make things go a lot faster if I just put it all into a word document and then assemble it by codes. It’s my project starting Monday night. I need to start the organizing process.
I will be completely honest, when I thought about writing my action research report; it did not occur to me that I would want it to be engaging. I thought informative and insightful, but not really engaging. So, the essential question this week really made me think. I feel that my research is meaningful to me, but I am not sure that it relates to a lot of other teachers. I chose to read the research by O’Halloran (2000) and found it to be very interesting. I enjoyed the section titles he chose and I was interested to read about his findings. However, I was left wishing I were more creative and could turn my research into something as interesting and enjoyable to read.
I decided to embark on a search for ways to make my action research more engaging to readers. One suggestion from Koshy (2005) was to “Be creative in your presentation. This is possible within any given format. Some of my students use bubbles, cartoons and photographs containing evidence when they present their findings.” I also found that making my research personal can be engaging. This can best be done when describing why I chose to research resiliency in first grade students. Parsons, Hewson, Adrian, & Day (2013) wrote, “this first section works best when it is personal and when it gives reasons as to why you are interested in the problem you have chosen to investigate. If possible, tell a story.” I actually found this to be very helpful. I can see using a story to hook the potential readers of my action research report. I also believe that adding humor in the first section (if possible) would be helpful.
Finally, I came across an article that resonated with me because it gave me a different idea of how my action research paper could be helpful to others. It could be an example that could help others generate ideas for their own action research. “In addition to providing guidelines and examples for students to follow, action research paper examples also function as idea generators. Many students are uncomfortable with action research, whether because of a limited understanding of the process or nervousness regarding execution of the research plan. These students often struggle with developing an action research thesis, and need research paper examples to guide them in the right direction. By reviewing research paper examples crafted by other students, the can get their own creative juices flowing. Perhaps there is a problem they wish to address that is similar to one read in a research paper; perhaps they even want to address the same problem, but in a different way” (Vivaessays.net, n.d.). In order for other to want to use my research as an example, I now see that I need to make it engaging to read.
Koshy, V. (2005). Writing Up and Reporting Your Action Research. Retrieved November 21, 2015, from Google Books: https://books.google.com/books?id=ZZ-AM5Cg21IC&pg=PT132&lpg=PT132&dq=how+to+write+an+engaging+action+research+report&source=bl&ots=T3S1PaIDxv&sig=p2tFN-tMsTIAz342oJWH46Mc31U&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiA0vXjvqPJAhUQ5GMKHTTdAeM4ChDoAQg1MAI#v=onepage&q=how%20to%20write%20an%20engaging%20action%20research%20report&f=false
O’Halloran, D. (2000, June). 1 The Joy of Writing: Creating a Class Culture for Writing. Retrieved November 20, 2015, from George Mason University: https://gse.gmu.edu/assets/docs/lmtip/vol1/D.OHalloran.pdf
Parsons, J., Hewson, K., Adrian, L., & Day, N. (2013). Organizing Your Research Report. Retrieved November 21, 2015, from Google Books: https://books.google.com/books?id=S3UiGKfzSUUC&pg=PA131&lpg=PA131&dq=how+to+write+an+engaging+action+research+report&source=bl&ots=s243rS99UI&sig=pCAz_1r6O1dIOkG3RDTTEKZ_H0A&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiTrfvHvqPJAhUQ32MKHafUCuQQ6AEISzAF#v=snippet&q=how%20to%20write%20an%20engaging%20action%20research%20report&f=false
Vivaessays.net. (n.d.). How to Use an Action Research Paper Example? Retrieved November 21, 2015, from VivaEssay: http://vivaessays.net/putting-an-action-research-paper-example-to-good-use.aspx
I did not get my blog done in time for others to really have time to comment on my blog. I was dealing with health issues all weekend. Hopefully, I’ll have some insight to what is going on in the next couple weeks. Sarah was kind enough to respond to my blog and she voiced that she was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to tell when she reached the correct balance between too much information and not enough information presented in her report. I suggested that she contact me if she needs someone to help her decide. I also let her know that I would contact her if I needed assistance. I love that everyone in our class is so supportive. We truly are all in this together.
I finished the second week of research and I have to say that it was really fun research. I am still working on coding my data. I have so much data to wade through, I am glad I already started. It is going to take some time to get it all done, especially since it needs to make sense to more than just me. I can’t wait to show some of the light up cards that my students created. They did a really great job. I think the highlight of the week is when I watched my students coaching each other on how to run the copper adhesive tape while reminding each other to be resilient.