Trials and tribulations are the current status of the project. We have been working with teachers from Spruce Street, that were originally on board, but then dropped out before we began, just when things got serious. Our first rode block was the principal because although she ended up being ok with it, had a very rough time responding and getting back to us. This long and arduous road of tons of emails and in-person visits, seemed to be a success when the principals said yes but when that tedious process was repeated with the teachers, they changed their answers and declined. At this point, we changed our perspective to do any grade K-3 teachers from Spruce Street when it was originally designed for 2ndgrade. Since the principal has not been answering, we reached out to her secretary and are in limbo with that.
In the meantime, we are coming up with an alternate plan to maybe just play this as a case study that turns into a qualitative more than a quantitative study because we will ask teachers a series of questions based on a pre-designed study about their feelings and results towards kinesthetic interventions. We considered doing a meta-analysis but it seems there is a lack of time for that. We are either heading in the direction of a Tribeca school my faculty leader may have contacts with or a qualitative study to start this project in a packed manner starting winter break. My faculty leader and I are a great team! We communicate exceptionally well in a timely manner and we are defiantly problem-solving collectively and fully discussing ideas from both sides.
The title of my research project is The Impact of Aesthetic and Kinesthetic Strategies on Academic and Attitudinal Improvement: Engaging Young Students for Pedagogical Success. If aesthetic and kinesthetic strategies are implemented as transitions in the first-grade classrooms before standard work, these activities will increase task-based behavior, focus, attitude and academic achievement.
The participants will be two classes of first-grade students from Spruce Street Elementary School in Downtown Manhattan. One class will be a control group in which they will receive additional kinesthetic and aesthetic interventions. The other class will be the independent group who not will receive the kinesthetic and aesthetic interventions multiple times a week. The interventions that will be used will be commercially available songs with videos ex., Brain Pop or Go Noodle. Using a pre-post research design based upon the Leuven Involvement Scale for Young Children developed by Prof. Ferre Laevers at Leuvan, Brussels, the students will be initially pre-assessed by the researchers who will observe the students’ participating in their “brain breaks” and then observe them as they are seated to complete assigned text-based tasks. Researchers will rate the participants and assess their engagement/involvement on a one-five scale using on the text-based assigned task and use video recordings to re-evaluate. At the completion of the multi-month intervention period, the students will be observed and reassessed based on their completion of a similarly assigned text-based task. All students will have signed permission slips from their parents or guardians.
Because I am going to school to become a teacher, this research is in hopes of direct application. I am hoping to find that these breaks really do help emotionally and academically and if they do it is something that I will implement student teaching and when I become a teacher. I am also hoping that this research can help teachers and administrators realize that taking away physical activity in order to have more learning time is not beneficial and is actually detrimental to student’s academic success.