Sunday, September 16, 2012

Draft Action Research Project Report

Draft Action Research Project Report

CHAMPS: A school-wide management approach and the benefits it offers

Needs Assessment

            Marion Elementary has experienced an increased number of discipline referrals in recent years. Data was presented to our staff by our campus leaders showing the influx of referrals to be almost double that of the previous year in just the first semester of school. In addition to this issue, there is also a lack of continuity among teachers and grade levels. These issues contribute to a weakened campus climate and at times, can interfere with student learning.

Objectives and Vision
            The objective for this project is to create a cohesive staff unit with a positive campus climate, reduce the number of discipline matters being seen by the administration, and provide a consistent method for managing behavior throughout the campus.

Review of the Literature and Action Research Strategy
            Research shows us that using positive behavior strategies creates a climate where “teachers can teach and all students can learn” (Sprick, 2009.) The decision to enact a campus-wide management plan was handed down by campus leaders; however, the selection of CHAMPS as that plan was a collaborative decision by the entire staff. Information on three varying management approaches was presented to teachers and a vote was cast to determine the plan best suited for our needs as a campus whole. Safe and Civil Schools states that using the CHAMPS strategies will reduce classroom disruptions and office referrals, improve climate, and increase on-task behavior ( Once the decision to use CHAMPS was made, the staff worked together to create guidelines and procedures to help us achieve our goals.

Safeandcivilschools. (1999). Retrieved September 16, 2012, from

Sprick, R. (2009). Schoolwide discipline: Can you make it work?. SEEN Magazine, 11(2), 102.

Articulate the Vision
            Teachers will be involved in every aspect of the implementation of CHAMPS. They will receive training on the foundations of what CHAMPS is and will be an integral part of developing the plan for our specific campus needs.  The students and parents will be informed of the procedures developed by our staff and the importance of their creation. Throughout the school year, the guidelines and procedures will be revisited in all classrooms and common areas of the school so that their significance is not forgotten and so that consistency remains.

           Manage the organization
            To begin the implementation of CHAMPS on our campus teachers will attend professional development training. Each teacher will receive a text about CHAMPS and teacher leadership teams will develop campus guidelines and procedures for staff and students. Campus administration has allocated funds for the staff training, required texts, and the creation of posters, signs, supplies needed for full implementation. Staff will provide periodic feedback and we will chart the changes in discipline referrals. We will continue to monitor student learning through the use of benchmark assessments.

Manage Operations
            Data was presented to our staff showing the increase of discipline problems being referred to the office over a two year period.  The increase was astounding and it was agreed that an intervention was needed. This process began with a presentation of three management systems to see which one would address the needs of our campus most efficiently. The staff weighed the options and voted based on the necessities and the outcomes we hoped to achieve. Upon selecting CHAMPS as our management method, all staff members attended professional development training to learn about the approach. Leadership teams met to outline the ways that we could implement this program on our campus.  Teachers collaborated to create campus guidelines and procedures and then shared those with all staff. During the beginning days of school, students were informed of the set guidelines and procedures and they will be revisited periodically throughout the school year so to maintain their importance. As discipline problems arise, teachers and campus administration have developed a process for handling instances according to the guidelines put in place.

Respond to Community Interest and Needs
            The implementation of this program will provide consistency among every classroom, whether it is the regular classroom, special education classroom, or specific need classrooms, such as ESL or the Student Support Lab. A reduction in behavior instances will result in improved student learning with less distraction and interruptions. This improvement is especially beneficial for students at-risk of failing state assessments.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Action Research Reflection

This course in Action Research has been very informative and has given me a great amount of information to use in my future as an educator and administrator. The term action research was foreign to be before I began this course, but throughout the completion of these five weeks I have learned so many different ways to apply action research to my area of teaching.
 In chapters 1 and 2 of our Dana text we learned about the listing of the various levels to action research (i.e. classroom, campus, district, etc…) and we were introduced to the 9 areas in which to use action research. I found this information to be particularly informative and learned that there are so many ways that action research can apply to education such as curriculum development, student learning, school performance, and so on. Another component that I appreciated within this course was the video interview assignment.  This gave us an opportunity to hear directly from leaders about how they use action research practices in their schools/districts. The interview segments provided a great deal of insight and suggestions for conducting and using action research in education. The most important suggestion that I took from the three interviews was Dr. Lewis’ advice about making your research address areas that are close to your school’s needs and use it to target specific issues for campus.  This advice seems very logical and important for conducting action research.  The use of discussion boards and our blogs have been a great source of information from my peers in this program.  These methods provide feedback from others that are practicing research as well and it they allow the student an opportunity to share ideas and seek advice from other researchers.  Many of the ideas and thoughts discussed have been ones that I have found very interesting and I find myself eager to learn the results of other research being conducted by my peers. The planning template used in the Week 3 assignment was very helpful in creating the outline for my action research project. This template gave me an opportunity to list the components of my research and prioritize the tasks. It also prompted me to look at how I will evaluate each step of my research and how I will use the information that is found. The planning template was a great way to see the path that I am planning to take with my action research.
Five weeks does not seem like a very long amount of time to learn about such a broad topic as action research; however, completing this course has given me a lot of information to consider and use during my research project and beyond. I feel comfortable in knowing that action research does not have to be a “scary term” but rather a more in-depth look at a particular area of interest.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Revisions to Action Research Plan

This week I made some revisions to a couple of pieces to my Action Research Project. The main change at this point in the project is rather than having our staff vote on one management system we will have them rank the systems based on which one they feel best fits the needs of our campus. These were recommendations that I received from my building supervisor during our discussion about the plan. I really feel that the ranking system will be beneficial and help our staff make an informed decision. With a decision that has so much weighing on it, I feel this is the best way to get our teachers to consider every angle of the three systems presented.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Action Research Plan

This week we were supposed to draft a plan for conduction our action research project.  Below you will find my outlined plan for conducting and evaluating my research project. Enjoy!

Action Planning Template
Goal: Reduce number of discipline problems and office referrals and provide a consistent method for managing behavior throughout the campus.
Action Steps(s):
Person(s) Responsible:
Timeline: Start/End
Needed Resources
Research 3 systems:

‘R’ Time

Monica Lemons

Melissa Wendland

Alisa Allen
Jan. – Feb. 15
1. Texts for each system

2. Feedback from other schools in our district that use each system

Share information with principal to determine if she is happy with the information we have found on each system.
Present information to Marion Elementary staff on 3 systems

Monica Lemons

Melissa Wendland

Alisa Allen
Feb. 15
PowerPoint presentation
Identify most important concerns and decide which system addresses those concerns.
Staff vote on systems

Teaching staff
Feb. 24
Staff input
Staff feedback
Attend training on chosen system

Select members of staff including principal

Whole staff training
April – May 2012

August 2012
Available training and text on chosen system

Staff feedback and collaborative planning for implementation in classrooms and other areas
Evaluate new system
Whole staff
2012 – 2013 school year: each 9 weeks
Staff feedback on procedures
Review data regarding referral numbers from past years for current point in the year.
Look at goal and decide if our goal was met. Look at ways to improve for next year.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Who knew therew as so much research to be done!

This week's assignment has brought many ideas to the forfront of my mind.  I had never given much thought to the number of research topics that are at hand in education.  Upon completing the assignment for the week I have come to realize that not only are there an abundance of topics to choose from, but I also came up with several idea topics that would benefit my campus specifically.  It's amazing what things come out of the woodwork with a little bit of thought! By listing the areas of action research and describing a topic for each I was able to put some ideas down that might of great interest for my building principals and teachers.  I am looking forward to exploring some of these topics and see where they lead in the future.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Blogs and Leaders

The use of blogs in education is becoming a very popular tool. Teachers can use blogs to communicate with students and parents about current information, assignments, or events.  As an educational leader, a blog can be used to get information out to parents and the school community and also encourage feedback. The uses of blogs are limitless and I feel that they will play an even bigger role in schools in the years to come.

Action Research

What is action research?? Good question! Until I began this course in action research, I had no idea.  I have since learned that action research is a tool used to identify areas for change and establishing a plan of action to set the change into motion. There are many educational benefits of action research and it can be applied to various areas of education. With this system of research, a leader or principal is directly involved in creating the questions for the research as well as the gathering of information and implementation of a plan.

There are many ways that I feel that action research could benefit my throughout my internship and teaching in general.  One of the ways I plan to use action research is the gathering of testing data for my students and using that data to improve my instruction and provide a more targeted approach to my lessons.  In my classroom, I provide small group tutoring for students who need support in math and reading.  Through analyzing test data from upcoming scheduled testing, I can provide a more prescriptive approach with my struggling students.  I will use the information that I gather to target specific weaknesses and hopefully improve upon those areas. In addition to being able to help the students that I see, I can also use this as an opportunity to collaborate with grade level teachers and share my findings so that they may address the concerns with their students as a whole.

Another area where I plan to use action research is in a task that I have been given my my building principal. I have been asked to research 3 management systems and present my findings to our staff.  Once I am able to present the structure, benefits, and drawbacks of the three systems, our staff will vote on one system to put into place for the 2012-2013 school year.  Using an action research plan will provide me with a plan to proceed with gathering the information and sharing it with my campus. After selecting a system for our school, we will conduct staff trainings and work towards implementing the new adoption. This new system will be a work in progress and will require teacher feedback, adjustments, and reflection over many years.

As I continue with this course and subsequent courses throughout my program, I know that action research is going to be a benefit to me. I can see many areas where this type of research will be of use in my career as an educator and I will utilize the information whenever possible.