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Inquiry of Student

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Bria Cross

on 1 December 2014

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Transcript of Inquiry of Student

For the purpose of this assignment, I will refer to the student as Natalie. Natalie is a 4th grade student attending Rivesville Elementary/Middle School. I chose to do my inquiry of student assignment on this particular student because she was very successful in all aspects of school. Natalie did not seem to struggle with any of the material, which was much different than a lot of her classmates. I wanted to know why she was progressing so well while other students were not.

I reflected upon my questions before inquiry and then chose which data sources would answer them. My data sources consisted of the following:

interest inventory
student interview
teacher interview
basic reading inventory results
writing samples
math interview
math worksheets
observations and notes
Data Sources

I gave out the interest inventory at the beginning of the semester in order to get to know my students better. It included personal questions about interests and hobbies as well as questions about school subjects.
I also interviewed Natalie about herself later on in the semester. I asked where she lived, about her family, and what she liked to do in her spare time. This helped me to get some more insight about her personal life
Another data source that helped me to learn more about the student was interviewing my mentor teacher. She was able to give me even more insight into the students home life, like the fact that her parents were divorced.
Personal Data
I was able to give the student BRI assessments to gauge what grade level she was reading at. I did this over a period of a couple days. I would ask the student to come out into the hall with me to do these assessments when she had finished her work early. I also collected a few writing samples from this student from different points in the semester.
I interviewed the student about her understanding of the base ten system of math.
I also taught many math lessons in which I could collect the students work and ask her questions about how she figured out problems.
Educational Data
The nature of her life and interests, in and outside of school.
This student has some opportunity to work beyond that ability level of her peers and this shows that her needs are being valued. Her interests as well as the interests of other students in the class are considered by the teacher.
Something that constrains her learning may be the fact that she could possibly progress further and faster if the rest of the class was on her same ability level. I feel that sometimes Natalie has mastered a standard and is ready to move on but cannot because the rest of the class is not there yet. I think that she could benefit from more advanced classes.
What about classroom life values who this student is? What constrains her learning?
Natalie is a very popular student in her class. She has many friends and frequently has plans to visit with her friends after school. She is very comfortable around my mentor teacher. Sometimes, she gets a little talkative and must be reminded to be quiet. When my mentor teacher says this, she seems to get slightly embarrassed and immediately does as she is told. I have noticed that sometimes when I interview Natalie she is little nervous and has a hard time explaining her answers. When we are around other students in the class, this is not the case at all. She is very friendly toward teachers as well as the students in her class.
What is the nature/quality of the relationships she has with other students, teachers, etc.?
I believe that Natalie is above the 4th grade level.

- The results from the BRI showed that Natalie was able to read at a 5th or 6th grade level.
-Her ability to think, reason, and solve math problems is beyond almost all of her classmates.
- He creativity also enables her to write very well and think critically.
Learning about this student has helped me to think about all of the different aspects that directly effect a student's performance in school. Family, friends, interests, and readiness are only a few of the things that influence a student every day. Before this inquiry I knew that life outside of school had some effect on students, but I did not realize exactly how much. I also realized that it is great to allow your students to be creative, but certain students will do better than others when it comes to creativity. Confidence and how the teacher views the student also changes the outcome of student work and their attitude towards work and school. Teachers need to take time out of the day to talk to their students and to work one on one with them. Teachers need to set expectations for their students and hold them to high standards. This will help students to gain a sense of responsibility for their education.
Synthesis & Deconstruction
Inquiry of Student
Bria Cross
Questions for Inquiry
The six questions that I chose to investigate were:

1) What is the nature of her life and interests both inside and outside of school?
2) What are her strengths as a member of the classroom?
3) What about classroom life values who this student is? What supports and constrains this student when it comes to classroom life.
4) What subjects and topics does this student find enjoyable or not enjoyable?
5)What is the nature/quality of the relationships she had with other students, teachers, staff, etc.?
6) What seems most important to this student during the day? And why are these things important to the student?
Some of the most interesting and important data I collected came strictly from observations of the student during class. I observed how she acted toward other students as well as how she reacted to her teacher, and myself. I took notes in my teacher researcher journal of interesting things that the student did.
Her strengths as a member of the classroom.
What subjects/topics does the student find enjoyable? frustrating?
What seems most important to this student during the day? Why are these things important?
Natalie is a very active member of the classroom. She loves to raise her hand and answer questions on every subject. Natalie also takes on the responsibility of assisting and checking over other students' work when she finishes early. I have seen this firsthand by observing Natalie. She is a good example to other students most of the time when it comes to behavior and organization. She takes on responsibility and accomplishes tasks in a timely manner.
According to her interest inventory and interview Natalie enjoys all of the subjects. I think this is partially because none of them are very challenging for her. One thing that she said she did not enjoy was reading out of the book in social studies. I interviewed Natalie about her opinions of reading and this came up. She said that it made class "boring." A typical social studies class for Natalie is reading out of the textbook and doing questions. She does not find this very enjoyable at all.
This students main focus during the school day is to finish her work. When Natalie is given an assignment, she immediately starts working and is usually done before most of the class. Her work; although done quickly, is very well thought through. Once she finishes her work she immediately begins working on something she has not completed or starts drawing something. Natalie knows that school work is important and she likes receiving good grades. She will only begin talking to her friends once her work is completed. I find this very interesting because a handful of other students in the class do not stay on task and will find other things to do instead of complete their work.
Natalie is actually from Fairmont and does not live in Rivesville. She has one very young sister and her parents are divorced. She sometimes goes home with one of the other students in the class because her parents cannot pick her up from school. She participates in gymnastics classes and hopes to be a professional gymnast. She especially likes to read and her favorite books are the Hunger Games. Overall, Natalie seems to be a very happy and active 4th grader.
Analysis & Interpretation
I believe that Natalie's choice of friends positively effects her school work.

- Natalie normally talks to the same handful of students in her class. These students are in the range of average and above level.
-I think that Natalie having friends that are around the same ability level as her helps her to stay motivated. She wants to stay at the same pace of her friends, which in this case is a very good thing.
-Her friends are also those students who do not get off task when they have time to work alone, which in turn, helps her to also stay on task.
Claim 3
Claim 2
I believe that education is valued in Natalie's home.

-It is very difficult for most 4th grade students to remember all of their assignments if they do not have outside help and encouragement from parents. Natalie had said that her parents make sure she finishes her homework and check her planner.
-My mentor teacher had told me that Natalie's father came in for a parent teacher conference, which shows that there is interest in her education. I believe that this contributes to her success in school.
Claim 1
This assignment has brought up many implications for my teaching in the future.
- Teachers need to get to know their students. Not only what they like and dislike, but about their personal and home lives. This will help teachers to understand why students do or act in certain ways.
- Teachers need to be observant of their students. It is easy to go through a lesson and focus on what you are doing and sometimes the teacher will miss out on things that would help a student to understand information.
- Direct instruction does NOT always work. I learned that the book that my students are using for social studies is not helpful. They will not remember information by reading it and answering questions. Students need to explore the information in order to learn it.
- Extracurricular activities or hobbies help students to learn responsibility and the rewards of hard work.
-Students need to be given opportunities to be challenged and pushed past their comfort zone. When a student is meeting standards with no problem, they need to begin learning something new. Students who are beyond the level of their class need to be challenged in order to meet their full potential.
-Teachers also need to keep the line of communication open between parents. Being able to speak to the parents about problems or about successes is extremely important.
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