2016-2017 SCASD-PSU Teacher Inquiry Conference Abstracts and Papers

Kindergarten Kindness Counts: Fostering an Understanding of Empathy Within the Classroom

Melissa Newton, Corl Street Elementary School, Kindergarten

After seeing evidence of egocentric behavior in my classroom and observing its impact on the well-being of the classroom community, I wondered how I could aid my kindergarten students in being kinder towards one another. Over time, I extended this wondering in considering potential ways I could help my students learn how to put themselves in another individual’s shoes. This presentation is devoted to sharing the various instructional strategies I implemented while using data collection methods to reflect on my students’ responses to such interventions.

Seesaw in the Kindergarten Classroom: Exploring the Digital Portfolio World

Jennifer Apple, Lemont Elementary School, Kindergarten

Since the very first day of school, the students in my classroom showed a unique aspiration to communicate their learning with others. While there were many opportunities for this in place, I wanted to combine the students’ love for technology with a new outlet for students to share their work with each other, their teachers, and even their families at home. This presentation will outline how I taught students the skills needed to use seesaw successfully and ultimately how students were able to post and interact with seesaw independently and seamlessly throughout lessons across content areas.

Genius Hour: Student Inquiry into Science and Social Studies

Hayley Hassinger, Gray’s Woods Elementary School, 3rd Grade

Have you ever felt like there is not enough time in the day? My inquiry stemmed from not having enough time for science and social studies during the school day. I also noticed that my students had an interest and were more engaged during our science and social studies times. I implemented a Genius Hour into my classroom where students had the opportunity to participate in their own inquiry process based around our science and social studies units. Throughout this inquiry, I wanted to see if I could accomplish multiple standards across academic subjects, cover content, and engage all students. page1image2962629376

Painful to Peaceful! Establishing a Productive and Positive Morning Routine

Madison Hilliard, Park Forest Elementary School, 4th Grade

After taking over the morning routine early in the school year in my fourth grade classroom, I wanted to find a way to give my students freedom to socialize with their peers in the morning but also responsibility. After having my students complete a survey and draw a picture of what they thought our morning looked like, I took action to create a calm and welcoming start to the school day. My interventions included changed seating arrangements, assigned morning work, community jobs, altered lunch sign up procedure, and deep breathing exercises to help improve the beginning of my students’ day.

“Hocus Pocus!” How Can I Magically Get the Kids to Focus?

Mackenzie Fries, Park Forest Elementary School, 2nd Grade

While teaching my second graders, I found myself constantly reminding the students to “focus” or “please get back to work” to help them stay on task. I started to wonder, how can implementing new management strategies increase time on task throughout the school day, particularly during Reader’s Workshop. Throughout the Spring semester, I implemented mindfulness techniques through relaxation, movement and music to help students develop a toolbox of mindfulness strategies for staying on task. Each day we journeyed into the world of mindfulness and discovered what it could do for our focus.

Movement or Mindfulness: How Can I Improve Focus in Second Grade?

Brooke Seidel, Radio Park Elementary School, 2nd Grade

Through observations during large group instructional time, I noticed that gatherings on the carpet were a challenge for my second grade students. Calling out, moving around, touching others were all common behaviors that impacted learning. I wondered how could I increase attending time? Specifically, how would implementing movement and mindfulness strategies improve student focus and engagement during large group instruction? With the goal of increasing student focus, I engaged my students in various movement or mindfulness strategies various times throughout the day. In my presentation, I will share my strategies and findings.page2image2962743792

Exploring Character Traits in 1st Grade: How Are Relationships and Learning Impacted?

Olivia Guthoff, Gray’s Woods Elementary School, 1st Grade

Over the course of four weeks, my first graders explored multiple character traits. Each week, there was an activity/discussion that was used as a pre-assessment, a focus lesson activity to develop an understanding of the character trait, and at least two supporting read-alouds. Students had a character trait binder that housed their work, which included a class definition, activities completed in school, and a parent response paper. This binder went home on Tuesdays. Children and their parents worked together to represent how they practiced each character trait and on Friday, they had an opportunity to share.

“Looking Back into Your Mind”: Reflective Practice to Enhance Student Self Awareness Academically and Socially

Molly Maloney, Ferguson Township Elementary School, 2nd Grade

As I noticed my second grade students struggling to communicate about books and find intrinsic motivation to engage in small group conversations, I formed a wondering. I began to wonder in what ways student reflective practices could influence my second graders self-awareness academically and socially when communicating with one another about books. I implemented reflective writing lessons and introduced reflection strategies, which encouraged my students to write, draw, or video record their reflective thoughts. Additionally, my students set individual reading goals to support their metacognition, academic progress, and/or book talk conversations.

Kindness Starts with Me: Spreading Kindness Within Ourselves and Throughout the School.

Jessica Riben, Gray’s Woods Elementary School, 1st Grade

What would you do with a classroom full of kind, caring, and curious first graders? I wanted to devise a way to pass their “awesome” to others who might need support. Would you set up interviews to learn about school staff or maybe use a wall to track the various acts? You could even create a “Take What You Need” board so the entire school could participate. This inquiry focused on the many ways my first graders spread their kindness beyond our classroom walls, and throughout the entire school community.page3image2807285216

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“Oh, Why Can’t We Be [Collaborative] Friends?” An Inquiry into Meaningful Student Conversations

Hannah Harris, Ferguson Township Elementary School, 4th Grade

With a class of twenty outgoing and eager fourth grade students, conversations seem to be ever- present; however, I realized that although my kids were talking, their conversations weren’t as productive as they could’ve been. The students were active, engaging, and contributing members of each conversation, but they rarely valued the feedback of their peers. Through talking stems, structured conversations, and weekly progress check-ins, I encouraged my students to take to heart the ideas, suggestions, and critiques of their peers. After much modeling and practice, my classroom became a group of twenty teachers, working and collaborating together to advance their thinking.

“No I Don’t Want to Work With Him!” An Inquiry into Helping Second Grade Students Develop Empathy When Working Collaboratively

Megan Brown, Corl Street Elementary School, 2nd Grade

When the students in my second grade classroom were given a task that required problem solving in small groups one might see frustration, anger, and sadness expressed by some students. Collaborative working is a skill needed well beyond the four walls of a classroom and sitting, watching sadness develop in some of my students’ eyes during group work was not an option. I began to wonder: how can I help my students see and think from someone else’s shoes when working together? Through mindfulness, perspective taking, and community building we began our journey into learning to work collaboratively.

Give Me a Break: A Look at Student Engagement Through Brain Breaks, Focused Attention Practices, and Individual Student Interventions.

Alixandra Collins, Lemont Elementary School, 2nd Grade

At the age of seven and eight years old, children need opportunities for mental breaks throughout the day. With today’s demanding curriculum there is limited time to give this opportunity to students. I wondered how engagement might improve if students were provided brain break throughout the day. Some students also have individual struggles staying focused and engaged throughout lessons. I chose to focus my inquiry on increasing student engagement through the implementation of brain breaks, focused attention practices, and individual interventions. Through different methods of data collection, I have documented changes in student engagement during instructional time throughout the day.

Growth Mindset & Goals: Learning How to Stretch Our Brain to Reach Our Goals

Amanda Chobany, Gray’s Woods Elementary, 4th Grade

Having the skill to set goals and implement a growth mindset to reach those goals is an important life skill. I was noticing that my students needed little bits of motivation along the way to get to an end result. I wondered how a growth mindset would increase their engagement and motivation in the classroom. What if they were motivated to reach weekly goals by using a growth mindset? Together, we learned how to have a growth mindset, why it is important, and how we can use it in our daily lives to reach our goals.

“It’s Not What Happened to You, But How You React That Matters”: Teaching Positive Interaction

Brooke Talalai, Mount Nittany Elementary School, 4th Grade

Observing the interactions my students were having with one another, I noticed multiple times that they struggled to interact positively. This led me to wonder what activities could help my students to react differently. How might they control their reactions to one another when they are upset? I find it important for students to learn the life skills they need to be empathetic toward others, especially their own classmates. Through a series of lessons and activities, I have helped my students positively interact with one another.

Do You Have a Dog? Me Too! Building a Community, One Question at a Time.

Kristine Logan, Radio Park Elementary School, Kindergarten

Entering my internship year, I was very excited to meet my 24 Kindergartners and get to know them. The students quickly became friends, but due to our morning special schedule, the students didn’t have time to really get know each other and I wasn’t really getting time to know them either. I wondered: Would implementing a morning question and a daily Show and Tell time help us get to know each other better? Come to see how our class responded, what we learned about each other and how we grew as a classroom community!

Improving Students’ Critical Thinking Through the Use of the Claims Evidence Reasoning (CER) Framework

Kati Caldana, Park Forest Elementary School, 2nd Grade

As information becomes more readily available in our society, students must become critical thinkers and evaluators of information. Before students are able to evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning of others, students must first be taught how to create their own responses using the CER framework. My inquiry focused on integrating the CER framework across subject areas in order to promote consistency and a clear expectation for my students. As students became more familiar with making claims using evidence and providing reasoning, their critical thinking skills improved as they began justifying their thinking and evaluating the reasoning of others.

Opportunities that Promote Leadership for all Second Graders

Christopher Lutz, Gray’s Woods Elementary School, 2nd Grade

What does leadership look like in 2nd grade? How do you develop leaders in 2nd grade? I believe each student is capable of being a leader in his or her own particular way to match their personality. By highlighting 5 traits common to all leaders - grit, teamwork, discipline, curiosity, and reflection - our class learned how to self-identify as leaders in their own lives. By providing a range of opportunities for each student to lead a group, they were able to identify how these traits can be found in the everyday tasks they do inside and outside of school.

Reflection and Collaboration Among Second Grade Students: Advocating Discussion and Shared Learning Through Technology

Hannah Parylak, Ferguson Township Elementary School, 2nd Grade

Reflection and collaboration are two essential building blocks for students’ learning. With current technological advancements and my second grade students’ interest in technology, I decided to create a strategy using Seesaw as a tool to further my students’ discussions during reading instruction. My goal was to catalyze a change in classroom reading workshop routines by providing moments of active reflection and a space where student learning can be made visible. This session will focus on how virtual collaboration has affected my students’ discussion participation and has built academic partnerships among my students.

Hands Up!

Amelia Sisko, Radio Park Elementary School, 3rd Grade

Third graders are very excited to share and participate within the classroom and whole group discussion. However, due to this excitement, sometimes I have noticed that my students have had a difficult time remembering to raise their hands to answer a question or ask a question. What strategies could I use to encourage my students to raise their hand to share their ideas? Throughout my inquiry, I investigated ways in which the students are all able to participate in the discussion, while being respectful to their fellow classmates.

Promoting a Growth Mindset in the Classroom!

Lucy Ruzzini, Gray’s Woods Elementary School, 1st Grade

A growth mindset can be utilized throughout children's entire lives! Would first grade students be up for a growth mindset? It was my hope that my children could use this mindset in our classroom and in their futures. Some lessons discussed the importance of perseverance through difficult tasks, knowing that these struggles are a normal part of daily life. I wanted my students to be armed with the capacity to take on challenges, have determination, and believe in themselves and others. Different interventions throughout my inquiry process facilitated the journey of adopting a growth mindset in my first grade classroom.

‘Ice Cold Lemonade... Only 75 Cents!’: Math Coming Alive Through Project Based Learning

Kelly Hurry, Ferguson Township Elementary School, 3rd Gradepage7image2809425648

Each day my third grade students followed a familiar math workshop routine. I was noticing my eager and passionate math thinkers becoming unmotivated and disengaged during this time. As their classroom teacher, I asked myself, “How can I spice up our math workshop and captivate my students’ interests?” Through the implementation of project based learning, my students regained their math spark while planning and developing their own lemonade stand. Students stepped out of our usual math routine while making pivotal business decisions and utilizing critical thinking and reasoning math skills.

Accepting the Challenge: Helping Students Reach Their Full Potential in Math

Amy Doheny, Lemont Elementary School, 2nd Grade

All students entering second grade are supposed to know how to count to 120. So, this is what teachers can expect of incoming second graders - right? My wondering stemmed from observations that there was a broad range in students’ mathematical skills. Realizing that students’ needs were widespread, I decided to research the best ways to challenge students and implemented strategies for differentiation through small groups using various resources. I found that students’ achievement depends on diverse factors, including prior experiences, motivation, perseverance, and intellect; however, there are ways to accommodate for these differences to give every student the challenge he or she needs.

Assessments: Finding the Balance Between Practical and Pleasurable

Dani Lewis, Mount Nittany Elementary School, 1st Grade

Assessment is becoming increasingly prevalent and essential in schools across the world. It is critical for furthering instruction and perceiving student understanding along the way. As soon as the year started I began to question how I might implement engaging assessments in the classroom that serve as evidence for each child’s individual conceptual understanding. Across subjects, I have explored various forms and mediums of assessments in order to maintain on- going awareness of student understanding.

Write On! How to get 4th Graders Engaged During Writing Time

Katelyn Bognatz, Mount Nittany Elementary School, 4th Grade

During writing time, many of my students were distracted, off task, and not writing. After observing these behaviors, it led me to my wondering; how can I get my 4th grade students engaged during writing time? Through goal setting conferences, grouping students with similar goals, and conferring with individual students, I wanted to see how my students would improve on their skills along with their love of writing.

“I do too!” Building Community by Making Connections with Each Other

Brittany Miller, Radio Park Elementary School, Kindergarten

With 24 eager-to-learn, egocentric five-year-olds and a 9:00 a.m. special, my students were missing the valuable beginning-of-the-day community building time typical of a Kindergarten classroom. I very quickly observed how this negatively impacted my students: they played alone or only with their "besties". I began to wonder how implementing purposeful community building and partnering activities would affect student interactions and learning in the classroom. Would students begin to reach out to other students, form new friendships and work cooperatively with new peers in the classroom? After implementing these activities for several weeks, the impact was evident.

Differentiating Reader’s Workshop to Meet the Needs of 1st Grade Readers

Katelyn Chambers, Park Forest Elementary School, 1st Grade

How do I address the wide range of student needs in my classroom? This is something I found myself wondering each day. More specifically, I wondered how I could meet my students’ needs during Reading Workshop time. Using the goals of three diverse readers to drive my inquiry, I explored ways to schedule my hour-long Reading Workshop time, as well as specific reading strategies to implement in the whole group and small group setting.

Learning to “Rock” at Being Buddies

MaryJean Murray, Easterly Parkway Elementary School, 1st Grade

In my classroom, we hope to build a community of learners. Throughout the day there are many opportunities for the students to work collaboratively in partners and in groups. I noticed that some students were being exclusive when picking partners and did not see the value in working with a variety of students. This inquiry explores how Rock Buddies, alongside other activities, affect students’ attitudes towards working with classmates.

Empathy from Room 15 to Malawi, Africa

Ericka Sinicrope, Ferguson Township Elementary School, Kindergarten

In the beginning of the school year, I noticed great kindness and a willingness to give within my classroom. From my noticings, I developed the wondering, “How can Kindergarten students develop empathy towards other individuals inside and outside of the classroom? In what ways can a service learning project, specifically the African Library Project, help them develop that empathy?” By combining their love for helping others together with my own passion for service learning, I encouraged my students to show more empathy towards each other and toward others from a different country.

How Do You Spell It?: Incorporating Skills and Replacing Autocorrect

Chloe Harding, Radio Park Elementary, 3rd Grade

Growing up in a world that relies on autocorrect, spelling instruction seems to be an unnecessary skill learned in early years. I began noticing that some of my students come to a standstill during writing because they lacked the skills necessary to spell correctly. On the other hand, some students appeared to have zero motivation to spell correctly. Observing these struggles, I began to wonder how delivering spelling instruction could promote my student’s confidence while writing. By incorporating word study instruction into our daily routine, my third graders are learning the value of accurate spelling.

Can’t Stop the Feeling: Exploring Emotions in a Kindergarten Classroom

Mary Kearney, Gray’s Woods Elementary School, Kindergarten

Do kindergarten students understand their emotions? I wondered the same thing each day when I worked with my kindergarteners. Together, we took a journey to understand our emotions and how to regulate them. Through various activities my students spent time focusing on five emotions: happy, worried, angry, sad and silly. Part of their learning centered around what to do when they are feeling too much of an emotion. Throughout our journey, my students kept an emotions book where their learning was recorded.

Increasing Empathy: One Action at a Time

Shannon Wright, Easterly Parkway Elementary School, 2nd Grade

Can students learn to be more empathetic? Will students choose kindness? This inquiry stemmed from my interest in helping students to put themselves in someone else’s shoes before making a decision. Through reading stories with a theme of kindness and empathy, I was interested in seeing how acting out those stories could help students better understand the feelings and experiences of the characters they read about. Throughout my inquiry, I wanted to see if using reader’s theatre as a springboard for learning about empathy could have an impact on students’ understanding and transfer of showing kindness in the classroom.

All by Myself: How Technology Can Be Used to Help Kindergarteners Become More Independent

Jenna Donnelly, Easterly Parkway Elementary School, Kindergarten

Technology is one of the few mediums in my classroom that engages every student. One of the goals that I have for my kindergarteners is to help them become more independent citizens. I wondered if I could use the iPad, projector, document camera, and online educational resources that could spark their interest and help them improve or develop their level of independence. Therefore, the purpose of my inquiry was to collect and analyze data in order to determine the relationship between technology and independence.

Friendship is Golden, but Can be Tarnished by Unfavorable Words and Actions: The Impact of Friendship Strategies in a Second Grade Classroom

Ingrid Boarts, Easterly Parkway Elementary School, 2nd Grade

A classroom community full of diversity is bound to have its challenges. When observing my second grade classroom during student interactions such as recess, transition times, and group work, I noticed some common patterns of behavior. By exposing students to tools including a tattle telephone, warm fuzzy collection, and other friendship strategies, I wondered how will they impact friendships in my classroom community?

You’ve Got a Friend in Me: Helping Kindergarteners Learn about Friendship

Ashley Ray, Mount Nittany Elementary School, Kindergarten

My inquiry began because of behaviors I was seeing in my kindergarten classroom. I wondered if using stickers and purposeful read-alouds would help my students to be kinder friends to one another. Would talking with students as a group and having them share when friends were kind, improve the way they acted towards each other?

"Can I go to the bathroom?" Extending Student Motivation and Focus

Katie Faillace, Park Forest Elementary School, 1st Grade

Finding motivation as a first grader can sometimes be challenging. During this semester, I looked at strategies to help a struggling student be more engaged and focused on her work. After collecting some baseline data about my student’s interests, I was able to analyze this data and intervene with different strategies, including a reward system, to help motivate her to complete her work and stay on task. After working with this student, I learned new strategies that I will be able to use with future students.

Sole Power: Second Graders Learn to Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes

Victoria Naumann, Park Forest Elementary School, 2nd Grade

Bullying, fights, and tears - oh my! Second grade can be tough. After observing several incidents of unkindness and apathy in my second grade classroom, I felt called to action to help my students make thoughtful changes to the ways they interacted with their peers. I wondered, in what ways could I teach my students about empathy that encouraged them to take a walk in someone else’s shoes and empowered them make more compassionate choices? This inquiry explores the behavioral and emotional effects of empathy lessons on a classroom of twenty-two second graders.

Own Your Learning! Enhancing Student Motivation Through Creativity

Jocelyn Parry, Park Forest Elementary School, 3rd Grade

How can we use student creativity to motivate our students? I have always been intrigued by the creative mind and how to best support my students’ creativity and originality. After noticing a lack of motivation in some of my students as they completed their school work, I could not help but wonder if more opportunities for originality when completing assignments might motivate my students. This inquiry takes the multiple intelligences and integrates them into the classroom curriculum to motivate learners to put their personal best into their school work.

Unconventional Kindness: Tolerance in 4th Grade

Victoria Sobota, Easterly Parkway Elementary School, 4th Grade

As our classroom started to build a strong community, I began to notice a few students who were being unkind to one another. I wanted all of my students to show positive consideration and tolerance for one another, but some were not treating each other with the kindness or respect I wanted to see. Through my inquiry, I hoped to find ways to help all my students become intrinsically motivated to treat others with kindness and show tolerance for individual differences. This presentation focuses on the unconventional methods I researched and implemented to promote kindness and tolerance in my classroom.

Why Do Octopuses Have Suckers? Creating an Enthusiastic and Productive Writing Environment Through Student Inquiry

Jacqueline DePue, Radio Park Elementary School 4th & 1st Grades

Have you ever asked a “Why” or “How” question? Congratulations! You’ve completed the first step to becoming an expert on a topic. As the year progressed, I wondered if I could give my students the opportunity to research and write about their own interests or topics they were most curious about. I also wanted to learn how to better differentiate for my very diverse group of students in both fourth and first grade. Could I accomplish both of these goals through student inquiry? Join me in seeing how both my fourth graders and first graders challenged themselves with inquiry!

“Now What?”: Helping Students Understand the Power of Productive Discussions

Kelsey Crum, Ferguson Township Elementary School, 4th Grade

Don’t we all find it a bit challenging to stay fully engaged in every single conversation? It is important for students to have an extensive repertoire of conversational skills. My fourth grade students are constantly given opportunities to interact and converse with one another. While listening in on these students’ conversations, I began to notice the lack of elaboration and stamina. I wondered how I could hold my students accountable for meaningful discussions, as conversation skills play such a large role in education and allowing students to begin thinking on their own.

Let’s Get Reading: An Inquiry into Student Engagement and Behavior During Shared Reading Experiences

Emily Schmid, Easterly Parkway Elementary School, 1st Grade

In first grade, students burgeon into young readers through many reading experiences. As a student teacher, I began to notice that during our essential shared reading experiences, like group reading and partner reading, my first grade students were more inclined to chat and laugh about their recess plans instead of reading. I started to wonder: what interventions could I implement that may impact student engagement and behavior during shared reading? Throughout my inquiry process, I investigated several reading interventions, such as Reader’s Theater and twin stories, and their impact on my students’ engagement and behavior during shared reading.

“I Like to Move it, Move it”: Incorporating More Physical Activity into Content to Increase Student Engagement

Madison Mulhern, Corl Street Elementary School, 3rd Grade

Almost all elementary students love gym, recess, and getting the chance to move, but during instruction, students may not be given this opportunity. A common form of instruction in classrooms is gathering the class on the carpet and teaching a lesson to the whole group. Many of the students in my third-grade classrooms would lose focus and interest in a lesson like this in just minutes. Throughout my inquiry, I worked to change this by exploring a variety of ways to increase physical activity during a content-based lesson and get students more involved and engaged with the content being learned.

Mindfulness Practices of Meditation and Self Reflection

Harli Weitz, Easterly Parkway Elementary School, 4th Grade

Although school endeavors to be a place where all students feel welcomed, in control, and competent, that may not always be the case. As teachers, we try to equip students with the tools to be learners, friends, and citizens, but more is needed. Students must learn to be mindful, through self-reflective practices and meditation to gain confidence and coping mechanisms. My fourth grade students have gone on a journey of mindfulness, reaffirming my beliefs in the practice. The trials and tribulations of not only learning about mindfulness, but infusing the practice into everyday life has been transformative.

The Creative Inspiration Station: Increasing Positive Views Towards Writing

Shelby Wright, Gray’s Woods Elementary School, 3rd Grade

Have you ever sat down to write and ended up with only a few words on the page? What would it take to help you write more? This inquiry stemmed from observing the stress and anxiety my students experienced from writing. By providing them with frequent periods of time to explore different creative writing activities, I hoped to increase more positive feelings about writing and improve writing confidence in the classroom. The idea was that providing students with choice, purpose, and a mode of creative expression, would help even the struggling writers to develop an appreciation for writing.

“Can You Hear Me Now?”: Coaching First Grade Students to Become Effective Public Speakers

Monika Santini, Radio Park Elementary School, 1st Grade

Have you ever felt a little nervous or scared to speak in front of a crowd? It is common for adults to feel timid when speaking, and so do students. During the multitude of opportunities to speak to the whole class in the school day, I observed many of my students eager to share their thoughts but timid when doing so. Similarly, I noticed a need for skills and support that would help the students become effective public speakers. After acquiring basic skills, could their audience hear their message? Could 1st graders become great speakers? Join me and find out!

Igniting Engagement: Exploring Strategies During Writing

Amanda Wajert, Radio Park Elementary School, 2nd Grade

In my second grade classroom this year, many of my students were becoming quite proficient at writing. I began to notice, however, that a few students were having trouble getting started right away, working the entire allotted time, and improving their independence while writing. In my inquiry, I explored several strategies focused on improving student engagement for the entire class. Some were quite successful and others - not so much. My presentation will highlight various interventions I tried in my classroom and I will share my intriguing and somewhat surprising results.

Teeter-Tottering with Seesaw

Stephanie Martin, Radio Park Elementary School, 4th Grade

In this technologically advanced world, I wanted to begin integrating technology into my teaching practice in a creative and student-friendly way. Therefore, I chose to implement Seesaw, the online learning journal, into my classroom. Throughout my inquiry, I explored the various functions Seesaw offers through science lessons and weekly reflection posts as a way to enhance and transform student activities.

The Technological World of Today: Does the Use of Technology Impact Student Learning?

Alexandra Duca, Easterly Parkway Elementary School, 2nd Grade

The world we live in today is characterized by a prominent usage of technology that is more visible in our education system now than ever before. Due to the fact that my classroom is fortunate enough to have 1:1 tablet accessibility, I wondered how the use of that resource, specifically through the Seesaw app, would impact my group of second graders. Throughout my study, I introduced the app across different content areas, specifically through Word Study, Social Studies and Mathematics to collect information about my wondering.

Books Lead to Talking: Peer-Led Literature Discussions in the Classroom

Rebecca Febbo, Ferguson Township Elementary School, 3rd Grade

Reading can open doors to an entirely new world, allowing students to experience and understand various concepts. In my third grade classroom, reading is a major focus as students choose "good fit" books and think about what they're reading. As I conferred with students and had group read aloud discussions, I saw they had great thoughts and questions about their books but were hesitant to share these thoughts and questions with others. With this in mind, I decided to implement peer-led literature discussions for students to develop more meaningful, deep and thoughtful conversations about the literature they are reading.

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