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  • Exploring the Impact of Related Arts for Diverse Learners  Andrew Cochran  
  • The learning patterns of students are diverse and as unique as the individual students themselves. Career choices as well as learning abilities often group students into different curricula.
  • As a result, students are segregated into core classes and related art classes.
  • The focus of my project is to explore the potential of related art classes to increase the differentiated style of instruction that promotes and correlates with core curriculum classes.
  • Related art classes provide a different avenue of instruction and understanding for students to apply towards core curriculum topics.
  • This relates to personal interest because of recalling being a elementary/middle/high school student and often wondering why I had to learn certain procedures in classes such as Math, English, Reading, and Science and how they applied to my life.
  • Nevertheless, while taking related art classes such as Music, Tech ed., Physical Education, Home economics, and Art, I was demonstrating and performing core curriculum procedures without making the real life connections.
  • This is a critical focus to the profession of teaching because students are given the opportunity to learn and apply real life experiences to the subjects that may pose an academic struggle by applying core curriculum to their favorite hobby, pastime, or personal interest and skill. This process also benefits the teacher through the aspect of planning.
  • By incorporating math with physical activity, children with special needs could learn simple math skills while counting off steps and then reversing or counting down numbers. Student would benefit greatly by not only demonstrating what he or she has learned but also performing what he or she is to learn.
  • The question considered is: How can I integrate related art experiences as I teach core subjects in order to provide differentiated learning opportunities for students.
  • Literature Review
    Education in the United States, without doubt, strives to improve the academic achievement in all students. Are the goals of physical fitness and wellness, and the goals for academic achievement correlated with one another? Do children benefit educationally from Physical Education?
  • Carlson (2008) of the article “Physical Activity and Academic Achievement” took a closer look into correlation of time spent in Physical Education with academic achievement. The authors of this study used data from early Childhood Longitudinal Study of 5316 kindergarten children. The results showed a small but significant benefit for academic achievement in girls in reading and math with a higher amount of time in physical education.
  • Not all Agree…
    Martin (2009) performed an educational investigative study on the relationship between academic performance, as measured by scores on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and physical fitness, as measured by performance on the President's Challenge.
  • The low level indicated that the relationship between academic performance and physical fitness is of little practical importance.
  • Rink (2008) discusses the relative contribution of the development of motor skills, fitness, content related to encouraging participation, and the affective goals of the program to the development of a physically active lifestyle.
  • The perspective of her article is that the purpose of the elementary physical education program is the development of a physically active lifestyle which supports the idea that overall healthy children are better learners and P.E. assist in fine and grow motor skills needed for writing and development.
  • Evidence of educational benefits from a differentiated instructional implementation of related art classes can be shown from Suh’s (2007) article that presents ideas through which algebra can be introduced to elementary school students so that they can develop their problem-solving skills.
  • "Two of Everything," by Lily Toy Hong and another classroom activity presents children with the idea of doubling
  • Novakowski‘s (2007) article focuses on teaching number sense to elementary school children and the importance of the number five as a benchmark that will prepare students for more complicated numbers.
  • Methods
    The sample for this project will be one of the second grade classes at Woodburn Elementary School. It will contain approximately 23 students that are in regular math class.
  • Lesson plans containing multiplication tables will be obtained from the math teacher including the test given for competency of that particular multiple, prior to the teacher introducing the subject. The following week, or week 2, the test for competency would be given prior to the research action, graded and recorded.
  • For example, if multiples of 2s are being introduced, these students would not have that lesson from the teacher. This would be week 1.
  • The following week, or week 2, the test for competency would be given prior to the research action, graded and recorded.
  • Action
    Week 3 involved the action research action. The students participated in physical education and play basketball. Teams would count off in 2s and form two team. Each team would have a score keeper. Each time a basket was made, the score would be announced. Team member and score keeper would rotate. When additional scores are made, the team will count off the score in 2s. This activity would be one half-hour daily for two weeks or week 2 and 3.
  • Week 4 involved comparing the scores of the pre and post test individually and as a group. Information including the age and sex of the student was included.
  • Findings
    The actual students participating was 18, including 11 girls and 7 boys. Two students were absent one the original test date and three students did not take the post test. The remaining students completing both test was 12. The normal class size was reduced due to illnesses.
  • The average score for the first test was 37.7%. The range was from 5% to 50%.
  • Intervention
    The intervention was performed for 1 week and the students were retested
  • Post Test
    The average of the second test was also 37.5 with a range of 100% to 30%. Of the students 9 scored slightly higher on the second test while 3 scored the same or lower. There was not a significant difference between the groups post intervention.
  • Discussion
    The groups showed no differences in the overall average of the test.
    Of the students 9 scored slightly higher on the second test while 3 scored the same or lower. There was not a significant difference between the groups post intervention.
    The range in the scores was large for each group.
  • Reflection
    Low pre-scores indicated that the students had not had the material, which fit the project. However, the lack of significant difference in the groups may have not totally reflected that the project was ineffective. The level of mathematical skills may have not been progressed enough in basic addition and subtraction to allow the students the ability to really benefit from the intervention.
  • Also, 9 students did score higher on the second test, but the overall groups scores did not show that the intervention was helpful.
  • Discussion and Reflection
    Swine Flu absences
    Also, the high numbers of children absent from illness during the project may have impacted the results.
  • Reflection
    Further studies would involve a control group and doing the project at the proper time in the curricula which might be a month before multiples of that number were introduced, rather than the time that I had allotted for the project. More studies are need to really address the impact of Related arts for diverse learners.