Week A: Teacher As Researcher - Individual

Classroom Action Research Assignment & Rubric
Weeks 4, 7, 10 and 13

Goal: To conduct action research as a way to identify how classroom activities can help students develop science concepts.

Background: You are one of the best sources of information about what is happening in your classroom. Far from being “tainted” by your involvement, the new action research paradigm recognizes the unique and valuable perspective of the practitioner who can thoughtfully reflect on classroom events. Therefore, in Week A: Teacher As Researcher, you will observe what you and your students do during an activity. To watch or hear yourself and your students during an activity, you should videotape the class or record the class on cassette. Jot down notes about what is happening. Or, ask a colleague to observe the class. Use the key questions below to help you reflect on how, what, and why students are learning.

  • How does the activity draw out what students already know and are able to do?
  • How does the activity help students rethink and re-examine what they know?
  • How is evidence of student learning generated during and after the activity?

Learning by doing is enhanced by reflecting on the experience. When you think about thinking, sometimes called metacognition, you consolidate what you have learned. You have seen this process often enough with your students. When they have to teach other students or present to an audience, they take on the role of “the other,” considering the needs, interests, and background of who they are trying to teach. That role helps them to objectify their knowledge—to get it outside of themselves.

As long as knowledge is unexamined, people think it is accurate because it is part of them. However, when they scrutinize knowledge, they begin to think about its validity, reliability, and value. This reflection leads to knowing what they do not know and wanting to know more.

Contribute to the Teacher as Researcher Discussion

Submit your individual observations, reflections and criteria for a grade

You and your facilitator will use the rubric below to gauge your success in doing action research.

Rubric Criteria: Observations: Report on your students’ actions during the sphere activity you conducted.
4 Rating:
Describes students’ actions and conversations in relationship to the parts of the activity.
3 Rating:
Describes students’ actions and conversations.
2 Rating:
Describes the activity and what students did.
1 Rating:
Conducts an activity with students.
Rubric Criteria:Reflections: Post your reflections to the three key questions.
4 Rating:
Makes inferences and asks additional questions based on observations.
3 Rating:
Relates to other experience and activities as well as observations.
2 Rating:
Makes inferences based on observations.
1 Rating:
Answers the reflection questions.
Rubric Criteria: Responses: Reply to your teammates’ reflections.
4 Rating:
Responses show a clear understanding of the teammates’ ideas. Makes a connection to own ideas. Poses questions.
3 Rating:
Responds to everyone else with comments, questions, or ideas.
2 Rating:
Replies to teammates’ questions. Comments on teammates’ ideas.
1 Rating:
Replies briefly in terms of own ideas.
Rubric Criteria: Analysis: Suggest criteria for effective concept-building activities.
4 Rating:
Suggests criteria based on personal experience or logic about the evidence from the observations.
3 Rating:
Suggests criteria based on personal experience or logic.
2 Rating:
Suggests criteria with a brief explanation.
1 Rating:
Suggests criteria.


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