For my capstone, I wanted to give back to SLA community with what I believe it gave most to me which is my ability to do math. I am well aware that some of the freshman are not at the level of math they should be at because of an underfunded school district. With this in mind, me and three other seniors decided to come together and start a math lab after school. The math lab was open on Tuesdays from 3-4 and was for freshman in Algebra 1. In the math lab, we helped students prepare for retakes, paired them with other students in order to be peer tutored, and taught them concepts they may have missed when absent from school.
The individual part of my capstone had me surveying people for their opinions of math at SLA. Teachers always want feedback and what better way to keep it concise and short than by providing them with clear data and statistics. This gives students a way of voicing their opinion while remaining completely anonymous to teachers. I want the math teachers here to know how good of a job they are doing and letting them know the concerns I find with my data. This will also serve as another means of proving how successful SLA’s math department is to other schools in the district and potentially even make a model for other schools to follow. I seek to find trends within grades levels, math levels, and race.The link to the results and charts of my survey can be found at this link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1E7vqPdwdN-J5PdC0ad40UpzKgxyXwxbckuunCsaPKkI/edit#gid=599873600
Bidwell, Allie. "STEM Workforce No More Diverse Than 14 Years Ago." US News. U.S.News & World Report, 24 Feb. 2015. Web. 04 Feb. 2016. <http://www.usnews.com/news/stem-solutions/articles/2015/02/24/stem-workforce-no-more-diverse-than-14-years-ago>.
This article will serve me to talk about what the impact is on students who do not succeed in math. Typically minorities are the ones who are are underrepresented in the STEM workforce which is exactly what this article highlights. I want to drive home that this is a big issue that impacts how far students will get in life. The article explains how diversity in the workforce has remained unchanged since 14 years prior to when this was written in 2015. It helps me glue together all the points and shows purpose in my study which points out misconceptions about STEM.
Bryant, Cindy. "Growth Mindset and the Common Core Math Standards."Edutopia. N.p., 03 Dec. 2013. Web. 03 Feb. 2016. <http://www.edutopia.org/blog/growth-mindset-common-core-math-cindy-bryant>.
This website is crucial in helping me establish one of the core aspects of what my capstone is trying to help change about some students. Some students have a fixed mindset which limits their growth and while a growth mindset helps students embrace failure and use it as a learning tool. Me and others in charge of the after school math labs will try to enforce a growth mindset into the students and I will record the numerical results of training. A questionnaire involving questions about people’s mindsets before and after SLA and math lab will help me illustrate my point.
College Board. "SAT Reform and College-Bound African Americans." The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education 4 (2013): 1-3. College Board. 2013. Web. 4 Feb. 2016.
The College Board has some useful data on SAT percentiles that I would want to include in my research paper to show my capstone’s purpose and need. SLA is obviously a school whose largest race is African American and they are particularly known for not doing so well on these tests. I plan to take data from here to show correlation between races against each other and the progression of percentiles in certain races over time. This will help illustrate the point that there is need for a place like math lab and some sort of a change in curriculum.
El Deeb, Ahmed. "What to Do with “small” Data?" Medium. N.p., 06 Oct. 2015. Web. 04 Feb. 2016. <https://medium.com/rants-on-machine-learning/what-to-do-with-small-data-d253254d1a89#.wd4kz7k1f>.
One problem I know I might face and something I plan to address is that I might only collect a small set of data. This create numerous problems in terms of not only being hard to analyze and draw conclusions from, but it also affects the success of the capstone. The article is very insightful as to tell me what problems I might encounter with a small data set and what to do in case I receive one. Since this is one the largest, if not the largest hurdle for my capstone I need to make sure I use this source to make sure I am prepared when I encounter this problem.
Freeman, David. "Here's Proof That Beautiful Math Equations Affect The Brain Just Like Great Art." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 17 Feb. 2014. Web. 04 Feb. 2016. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/17/beautiful-math-equations-brain-great-art_n_4789667.html>.
This article illustrates the beauty of math and why it is so important. Something that I need to address in my paper is why anyone should care about math and more people if I conveyed the point that math can be viewed as something elegant like art or music I can get the reader to relate more to why it matters even if they do not like math. While one of math’s main purposes is finding its applicability in the real world to describe the relation between systems, it is also a place where some enjoy finding patterns in completely theoretical systems.
Johnson, Andrew P. "Methods of Analyzing Data." A Short Guide to Action Research. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2012. 71-82. Print.
This is a chapter from a book that talks about the methods of analyzing data. Since the core of my capstone is to represent the applicability of math in the real world to describe systems and interactions, this source will show that I did research on how to properly confront the data I collect and also how I can make conjectures from what I have. It also helps me talk about the different kinds of analysis that I will do in order to make conclusion on what I have collected.The key detailed steps is how I intend to organize my paper so that it seems more organize and sharp as to discern different steps from each other.
Rosenshine, Barak. "Recent Research on Teaching Behaviors and Student Achievement." Recent Research on Teaching Behaviors and Student Achievement. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2016. <http://www.formapex.com/les-principes-de-base/1067-recent-research-on-teaching-behaviors-and-student-achievement?616d13afc6835dd26137b409becc9f87=bb4ce84748d5a7ce8f9f97b65257e63b>.
This website contains key information to a study similar to my capstone. It talks about how different methods of teaching math affect students. The study goes on to show the results through actual data. It is structured more like a scientific experiment, but nevertheless it still holds as an example for the kind of analysis I should have. It is divided into specific sections which is something I plan to do in my paper as well in order to separate the different conclusions made from different results of data. The study also explains any irregularities in the data which would me tie loose ends in my conclusions.
Peng, Roger. "What Is the Best Way to Analyze Data? | Simply Statistics."Simply Statistics. N.p., 27 June 2015. Web. 03 Feb. 2016. <http://simplystatistics.org/2013/06/27/what-is-the-best-way-to-analyze-data/>.
This website gives me an idea of different ways I can model data. This is important for to show how even though I was part of the math lab I also want to tie this into my passion for math and talk about how I want to pursue applied math. Properly doing this is crucial for me to show that math has applicability in different areas and it can help make things which would otherwise be subjective become objective. It also helps show how much work and effort doing data analysis can be.
Peters, Chritopher, Danny Schreiber, Matthew Guay, and Stephanie Baedell. "How to Design and Analyze a Survey." - The Ultimate Guide to Forms and Surveys. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2016. <https://zapier.com/learn/ultimate-guide-to-forms-and-surveys/design-analyze-survey/>.
This website introduced me to different ways of asking questions in a survey and analyzing data to get desired and accurate result. There are certain steps I have to go through such as writing knowledge I would like to gain as well as my hypothesis about what I expect the data to show. As far as analyzing and presenting my data go there are certain ways I can discern trends through data and change the kind of graph I use to illustrate a point.
Welsh, Patrick. "Column: Why Our Kids Hate Math." Usatoday.com. N.p., 9 July 2012. Web. 04 Feb. 2016. <http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2012-07-09/math-education-remedial-algebra/56118128/1>.
This source provides a very important insight as to why children are failing and do not like math. This will be important for me to show how we address these problems and how removing them changed the students and their success in math. I want to talk about how the root of this problem occurs before students come to SLA. These statistics while also showing how much we helped improve math lab are also meant to show how much the curriculum failed them. I plan to collect data from students about how they felt about math in their middle school.