The Ontario Action Researcher

Volume 5- Number 1, 2002


V5.1E - Editorial- "Cada maestrillo tiene su librillo” - Kurt Clausen and Cheryl Black

This old Spanish proverb can be translated as “each teacher must follow his own book of instructions.” It could also be the theme of the four articles in this edition: Each researcher comes from a different background, and each asks a different question. However, while the authors represent the diversity of levels found in our education system (a teacher, a vice-principal, a program coordinator and a university professor), they are held together by the type of research they perform and their reasons for engaging in their studies.


V5.11 - Improving children's knowledge of math facts and problem solving skills - Margaret Juneja, Vice-Principal, Grand Erie District School Board

My concern on improving children's knowledge of math facts and problem solving skills arose because my class seemed to be entering Grade three with little knowledge of even the basic facts of addition and subtraction. In other years, I felt that I had given the children lots of practice in solving word problems. I had given them daily problems to solve but was not as methodical as I should have been in my approach to helping the children improve. I asked the question " How can I help make my class more efficient problem solvers while increasing their knowledge of the basic math facts?"

V5.12 - ACTION RESEARCH: The Parameters of Mentorship - James Ellsworth, Grand Erie District School Board

I became Program Coordinator responsible for Assessment and Accountability in the Grand Erie District School Board. This put me in a position to investigate further the role of “critical friend” or mentor in the process of Action Research. Before this, I had been head of History and teacher consultant anda s such, I participated in Action Research whereby I worked on topic with a team and had the help of “critical friends” each time. Now, I became the co-facilitator of a large project by elementary teachers and support staff to improve student learning through corrective feedback after analysing the results of EQAO testing. If I was going to be a facilitator/mentor and “critical friend” myself in this system project, then there were a few issues I wanted to investigate.

V5.13 - Electronic Journal Partnerships - An Action Research pro0ject invovling pre-service teachers and elementary Math students - Sharon Murray , Assistant Professor, Department of Education

Thirty university education students enrolled in an elementary mathematics course were paired with an elementary student at the grade three and grade six level in two local elementary schools. The students communicated with each other through electronic mail. The schools are part of the New Brunswick provincial government's U.N.I.T.E. (Using Networks to Integrate Technology with Education) project which by 1996 placed local area computer networks (LANs) in all elementary and middle schools. The U.N.I.T.E. project goals are to support writing across the curriculum and to support research and telecommunications. This particular project was able to promote two of the three goals of the U.N.I.T.E. project (writing and telecommunications). The focus of this project, however, is the engagement of pre-service teachers and elementary students in a shared dialogue about mathematics.

V5.14 - How do I increase student motivation to speak French in an L2 classroom/french immersion setting? - Jennifer Straub, Sudbury Catholic School Board

As a “new” teacher with only two years of experience, I view action research as a venue for helping me to continue in the role of a lifelong learner. Thus, I hope to improve my classroom practice in order to become a more “effective” teacher. Since conducting an action research project during the 1997/1998 academic year, I have come to feel that it is a necessary component for all educators who are committed to improving not only their general teaching performance but the overall climate of the school community as well. As part of the Northern Ontario Centre for Instructional Leadership Project 1999-2000 my action research question is "How do I increase student motivation to speak French in an L2 classroom/french immersion setting?"