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INTE 6720 - Fired Up! Ready to Go!

posted Sep 9, 2015, 3:50 AM by Wesley Akers

August 20, 2015

    Hello INTE6720!  I'm excited to begin our adventure in Action Research.  Here is a little about me.

    I earned my undergraduate degree from the University of West Florida in Pensacola, FL in Middle School Education specializing in English Language Arts and Social Sciences. After completing my student teaching, I was offered a job teaching on the same team as my mentor teacher and spent the next 4 years teaching an integrated curriculum. After some soul searching, I decided to make a life change and move to Colorado. I took a job at Adams City Middle School in Commerce City teaching sixth grade English and I just started my fourth year in the same role. Last summer, I began pursuing a graduate degree at UCD in ILT. In my free time, I enjoy spending time hiking with my dog Reba, creating new recipes, sampling craft beer, and photographing graffiti. 

    In the spring semester, I took the Trends course with Remi and I recommend approaching text and projects from a critical perspective. In our conversations, Remi has encouraged me to challenge and question my ideas and those of others. I would also encourage you to reach out to Remi anytime you have a question or concern. He makes himself readily available to his students. Even better, I have always left our conferences feeling like I had a better understanding of my problem and that I was on a path to resolving it. 
    I included this picture because it shows Reba and I hiking this summer. I stayed in Denver for the summer and did not travel because I was buying a house. Instead of vacationing, I took Reba to the mountains and we hiked trails in Boulder, Golden, Evergreen, and Idaho Springs. It was refreshing being outdoors for both Reba. Before I adopted her, Reba was found running wild in a state park in Missouri so she feels at home in nature.
   Regarding my research interests, I am most curious about blended learning in Title I middle schools, especially those serving English language learners. I am drawn to these topics because I want to learn information I can apply in my classroom and school. This school year I have decided I’m ready to take on a stronger leadership role in my school. With four years at ACMS under my belt, I feel comfortable enough with my curriculum to focus some of my energy on collaborating with colleagues to make important site-based decisions.  I want to make sure I'm contributing ideas based on research so we can make the best possible decisions for our kids.

Research Questions
I'm most curious about questions 6, 7, 9, 14.
  1. How does leveraging family influence middle schoolers’ learning?
  2. Why are many Title 1 schools a setting for students with language deficiencies?
  3. When does design have the greatest impact on students’ engagement?
  4. Where is research being done to study the impact standardized assessment has on ELLs’ language acquisition?
  5. How does student leadership impact adolescents’ literacy?
  6. How can I meet CCSS using blended learning and BYOD practices?
  7. How can social media be used to differentiated instruction?
  8. What role should media play in language acquisition?
  9. How does social media impact adolescent ELLs language acquisition?
  10. How are project-based learning, differentiated instruction, and language acquisition blended successfully?
  11. What are best practices for behavior management of students who are not motivated?
  12. How can I use media to maximize student engagement in our graffiti unit?
  13. What research is being done about using CCSS-based grading practices to increase students’ motivation?
  14. How can social media be used to promote teacher leadership and collaboration?
  15. What research-based behavior management practices are most successful in Title I schools?
Research Word List
  • engagement
  • graffiti
  • social media
  • project-based
  • differentiation
  • language acquisition
  • leadership
  • ELLs
  • literacy
  • collaboration
  • behavior management
  • adolescents
  • BYOD
  • Title I
  • blended learning
  • family
  • Common Core
  • standardized assessment
  • middle school
  • motivation
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