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

Click here to download the complete pdf version of my action research project

My primary focus in the High Tech GSE was the design of an action research project. I investigated the question "How do students experience open-ended math problems" in hopes of enriching my own practice and benefitting math classrooms everywhere. Please click on the link above to see all of the components of my action research project.

Abstract of my study
The study of math is often viewed as the memorization and practice of a closed set of rules and procedures. This outlook stands in stark contrast with the mathematical needs of a person entering the job market in virtually any field. My study examines what happens in a math classroom when students work on open-ended problems, i.e. problems with multiple methods or multiple solutions. By analyzing work samples and surveys of 56 students and interviews of six focus students at High Tech Middle, a project-based school in Southern California, students’ experiences shed light on the effectiveness of these problems as tools in a math classroom. It was found that open-ended problems helped students to have a more positive view of themselves as mathematicians. Open-ended problems also helped to increase students’ problem-solving skills and were helpful in challenging students at all levels of mathematical understanding. These findings indicate that these problems may be valuable in helping increase student confidence and achievement in math classrooms everywhere.

Parks and Preservation Project

In my "Advanced Project Based Learning" course, I created this project with the intent that it cover each of the 6 A's of designing projects as written about by Adria Steinberg in Real Learning, Real Work. This project also is an example of collaboration with colleagues as I worked with my teaching partner to build the initial concept, and then with other GSE classmates to refine it to its final state. Included in the link above is a narrative about my collaborative design process, the project description and requirements and a discussion of the 6 A's as they pertain to the project

Differentiation in the math classroom

The link above includes three "math dilemmas" that I created and modified for my lesson modeling differentiation in our final class on differentiation and literacy. These three problems display how open-ended problems, when properly constructed, can help lead to a differentiated classroom. Through choice and various entry points, all students were engaged and worked at their own level of challenge. As the students worked, I provided them with a graphic organizer to gather their thoughts and show their work. Page two of the document provides next steps for the activity.

Promoting Equity and Diversity in Projects

In the beginning of the year, I worked with my teaching partner to design projects that helped introduce sixth graders to project-based learning while addressing rigorous content and promoting equity and diversity in the classroom. The above link is a powerpoint presentation outlining our two projects and the ways in which the aforementioned criteria were met. The Nimble with Numbers Project incorporated math with finding similarities and differences with one another and the Dirt Detectives Project helped students to get to know eachother while learning about archaeology.