Inquiry & Design


Inquiry and Design
* Develop curricula, policies, and learning environments based on the HTH design principles.
* Draw upon students' diverse backgrounds and learning styles to enhance teaching and learning.
* Conduct scholarly inquiry that enriches practice and contributes to the larger educational community.

Action Research Project

This link leads to the web version of my action research project. My essential question for this project was, "How can I incorporate student feedback into my math classroom to increase student motivation?" My findings are summarized in the abstract below, and the rest of my study can be found by If you prefer to view the entire thesis in pdf format, that is available here. Due to some formatting issues that I am still resolving, I recommend reading the pdf version, rather than the web version.

ABSTRACT: Math is often a subject in which students struggle to maintain motivation.  In this study, I use student feedback as a way to increase student motivation in my 11th grade math class at High Tech high, an innovative project-based charter in San Diego, California.  By using surveys and group discussions, I found out from my students what their current needs were, and then adjusted both my classroom practices and my projects accordingly.  I found that this strategy – gathering feedback and acting upon it – helped me to identify ways to create a more motivating environment.  I also discovered four major themes that affected student motivation: student groupings, exhibition audience, freedom within projects, and relevant content within projects.  These findings have influenced my practice, and it is my hope that anyone reading this will find ways to connect it to their own classroom practices.

Who Am I?

"Who Am I?" is a small unit used to start a Global-I-zation Project in the Fall of 2007. The Global-I-zation Project had students study how globalization affects the modern world, and how they might personally be affected by changes in the world economies. Part of the goal of the project was for students to examine their own morals, ethics, priorities, hobbies and interests, and evaluate how these might affect future decisions that they make for themselves. Meant to be a unit that captured diverse student backgrounds, but also embraced student creativity, "Who Am I?" asked students to reflect, write, and create an artistic piece all based on their evaluation of self.


Staff Calendar

I led the Calendar study group this year. The biggest challenge that I wanted to address was the lack of time that I had available to plan with other teachers. While we meet regularly as a staff, these meetings are usually filled by discussing larger issues, such as advisory, struggling students, and so on. I desired more time to meet with my partners and meet with fellow math teachers. I also desired more time for me to prep for my own classroom, so that I could create richer activities. I was able to have the staff approve a calendar that allowed more flexible work time in some of our meetings, and was also able to add more prep days without meetings throughout the year. I hope that this helps creat a better balance among our staff, where we all feel we are still meeting regularly, but that we also are having time to develop our contact. I will not link the calendar here, as it has not yet been officially released.