1998-1999 SCASD-PSU Teacher Inquiry Conference
 Abstracts and Papers

May 1999

IST in action: How particular IST interventions helped one first grade student.
Alekna, M. (1999)
This project follows a student as he begins the initial stages of Instructional Support (IST). By working one-on-one with the student the author is able to see how the interventions that emerged from IST affected this student's confidence as a learner, social involvement in the class, and the transfer of skills from isolation to whole group.

Improving the inclusion of a special needs child. Paper
Allinder, A. (1999)
The purpose of this project was to provide insights into the behavior and learning style of a special needs child in an effort to improve her experience of school and chance for success in the regular education classroom. The paper includes a brief description of the year that led to the author's wonderings, an in depth look at the process of data collection and analysis, a summary of findings and an exploration of the ideas and strategies implemented based on findings.

How expectations influence the behavior of a particular student and his relationships with teachers and classmates.
Amond, M.B. (1999)
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships a high-achieving student has with his peers and with the teachers he interacts with in the school setting. This study focused on helping this child participate appropriately in the classroom as well as finding ways to support his unique needs.

An examination of peer influence at the writing table in a kindergarten classroom.
Fanelli, S. (1999)
Many teachers have developed writing workshop programs in their elementary classrooms. This presentation will focus on findings regarding how peers influence each other's writing development in the author's kindergarten classroom. The author also discusses some unique cooperative learning relationships that developed naturally during writing instruction in her classroom.

Strengthening home/school communication: It is a two way street.
Feldman, S. (1999)
Is your current system for communicating with parents effective? Are there any connections between better home-school communication and stronger academic confidence in school? This teacher inquires about the effects of strengthening the parent/teacher relationship through dialogue journals and classroom volunteering, to ultimately help the at-risk child succeed in school.

Motherless child: What can a classroom teacher do to meet the needs of a child who has learning and attention difficulties and who lost his mother at the age of four?
Laubach, J. (1999)
This paper shares some of the author's findings on how the death of a parent during early childhood affected a child's learning and behavior in the classroom. She presents the strategies and environments that worked best to help this particular student succeed academically and stay on task.

A snapshot of a special needs student as a learner.

McCarty, C. (1999)

Careful observation and data collection provides insight into one unique student's learning. This research project encompasses the day to day involvement of an autistic-like student as he interacts in whole group, small group and independent settings. Some strategies for keeping this student on-task are discussed. Further wonderings and questions also are addressed.

Inquiry into the ppossibilities of student-led literature circles.
Mangiafico, T. (1999)

Student-led literature circles allow children to be in control of their own discussions regarding aspects of literature they find intriguing. What happens when the teacher is not there? Do they stay as on-task as when the teacher is around? These questions and a more fundamental use of literature circles will be revealed.

Enhancing classroom community and childern's learning through puppetry.
Mesaris, M. (1999)

This inquiry explored using puppetry in a variety of ways to enhance classroom community and children's learning. The author's focus was to gain insight into how puppets influence the children in terms of their social and academic learning and also to investigate the integration of puppetry as a behavioral management tool.

Understanding the development of emergent literacy: What impact shoud it have on your literacy instruction?
Proctor, J. (1999)

What are the characteristics of emergent readers at different developmental stages and how should teachers use this information to shape literacy instruction? Through looking at students at different stages in their literacy development, this study found that a key factor in facilitating literacy is providing students with multiple reading strategies.

The kindergarten writing center: Providing opportunities for an ESL student's language growth and development.
Ruth, A. (1999)

What opportunities for an ESL student's language growth and development take place through peer interaction at the kindergarten writing center? As the author began to wonder about this question, she found that there was much more developing and growing than just writing at this center. Through the author's observations and data collection, the writing center proved to be quite beneficial to one particular ESL student.

Questioning.
Sunner, Nancy. (1999)

In this study the author examines her questioning behavior as a beginning teacher. For years, teacher questioning has been a topic of study. The results show that effective questioning can promote success in the classroom. The author conducted this study based on her own questioning abilities. The results provide her with new strategies for teaching and a new outlook on the uses of effective questioning in the classroom.

Meaningful melodies: Reading to the beat of a different drummer.
Thulin, J. (1999)

This study of a struggling first grade reader suggests promise in the use of music as a powerful reading tool. In this case, song provided a meaningful context for this talented singer to make amazing connections. At the same time, music increased her motivation and boosted her confidence.

Children's classroom ownership: Nurturing democratic practices through the sharing of power and responsibility.
Wagner, K. (1999)

The purpose of this inquiry was to understand the process of integrating classroom meetings into a second grade learning environment and how these meetings help facilitate student ownership and responsibility in the classroom.