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Action Plan

Categories: Elementary School, Middle School

This project should specially look at action research geared toward pedagogy with English Language Leaners in mathematics, science and literacy.

As a cohort, preferably, develop an action plan or “Activity Design”. This project should specially look at action research geared toward pedagogy with English Language Leaners in mathematics, science and literacy. These activities should be tailored to your specific context and grade level. The planning process will involve establishing an inventory table of content objectives and standard/benchmarks to connect to authentic community activities; using the activity template or activity triangle to develop your activity; using the field note and protocol templates to document what you are seeing as you implement your activity; and looking at artifacts of student work to better view student understandings. The analysis process should involve transcripts of episodes of what you are seeing [if you are able to video tape a part of the activity that would be best]; the use of coding sheets to make sense of what you are seeing; and possibly an individual and group report.

Part 1: Inventory Table

To develop a knowledge base of your students, every activity must align with content objectives, state standards (math, science, literacy), and community knowledge (this is synonymous with student knowledge). Use the inventory table and the following four steps to guide your planning:

Step 1: What are the state standards/benchmarks?
Step 2: What are the curricular content objectives for math, science, and literacy?
Step 3: What are the community contexts/student knowledge that align with steps 1 and 2? Think about the tool kits or funds of knowledge students bring (language, culture experiences).
Step 4: How does the activity account for values and principles (such as identity issues) of math, science, and literacy?


Download the Inventory Table (PDF)
Download the Inventory Table (DOC)

Part 2: Activity Triangle

Ideally the “Activity Design” should be 2-3 weeks long. The activity template of activity triangle will serve as a tool to design the Activity Design.

  • Activities should be authentic types of problems rooted in students’ community using math, science, and literacy. Activities need to align with content objectives, standards, and community knowledge.
  • Activities should be multimodal. That is, learning is judged through different modalities. However, all activities must have a reading and writing component.
  • Activities draw on students’ toolkits (expertise), such as students’ native languages.
  • Activities are a way for teachers to understand students’ background.
  • The nature of the problems is scientific. Math is a meditational tool (discourse of quantifying and shapes) or support for scientific investigation.

Download the Activity Triangle (PDF)
Download the Activity Triangle (DOC)

Part 3: Transcripts and Analyses

As you implement your activity, ensure that you take time to write out field notes using the field note template and protocol of what you are seeing. These will serve as pieces of data and help in participating in reflexive fieldwork as a teacher inquirer.

1. Transcription and Analyses of Episodes or Video Clips of Student Interaction:  If you have video clips available, as a cohort, watch any videos. Each person in the cohort should transcribe at least one episode. You will select your episodes based on your collective discussion of the coding sheet. Use the coding sheet to mark the presence of items in the protocol (see a-k) in 2-minute increments. Use the tally marks to decide where you see the most action happening. Then transcribe the selected clips. Make sure you distribute your episodes evenly across both videos. Use the clips as examples to represent the emergent themes from the protocol.

Use the coding sheet and protocol categories to guide your analysis, which should look at and illustrate the following:

  1. Mediational tools (material artifacts, ideas)
  2. Assistance
  3. Funds of knowledge
  4. Multiple languages/discourses
  5. Discourse features (IRE, conversational, modality (uncertainty, certainty)
  6. Questions (What kinds of questions are students asking? What questions are facilitators asking to get through an activity?)
  7. Points of tension (goals of participants somehow at odds)
  8. Third spaces
  9. Shifts in participation
  10. Role shifts (novice/expert, role-playing)
  11. Rule negotiation

Download the Template for Taking Field Notes (PDF)
Download the Template for Taking Field Notes (DOC)

Download the Protocol (PDF)
Download the Protocol (DOC)

Download the Coding Sheet (PDF)
Download the Coding Sheet (DOC)

Download the Transcription Conventions (PDF)
Download the Transcription Conventions (DOC)

Part 4: A Step Further

1. Individual Report:  Each person should analyze his or her field notes, protocol, inventory table, and activity triangle from the two week pilot. In your individual report do the following:

  • Identify evidence of learning from the sociocultural point of view.
  • How did the activity triangle become realized in practice?
  • Use the field notes to support findings from the protocol.
  • How were you able to achieve the intended outcomes?
  • What things would you change?
  • What things would you keep the same?

2. Cohort Report—Emergent Themes/Evidence of Learning:  This part focuses on using the videos, coding sheet, and transcriptions as tools for understanding teaching and learning from a sociocultural point of view using discourse analysis.

Some Questions to Consider:

  1. Do you see differences from the first to the second video with respect to the protocol (shifts in participation)?
  2. Look at modality (shift from uncertainty to certainty) in terms of knowledges students bring to the activity. The move from definite to indefinite linguistic features, such as a move from using may or might to is.
  3. Have the learning outcomes been achieved? If so, what is the evidence?
  4. What would you change/modify based on what you observed and learned?
  5. What missed opportunities for expansion did you identify?
  6. Are there examples of repair that you noticed?
  7. Did the activity system work with respect to math, science, and literacy?
  8. What new things emerged?
  9. Other aspects of the protocol you would like to discuss
  10. How have your views of action research, sociocultural theory, discourse analysis, identity (i.e. learner, English language learners, etc.) developed over the course of the semester?

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