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1 “ALGEBRA ALERT” Dr. Rosann P. Sidener, Principal Ms. Richelle Thomas, Vice-Principal Ms. Rennina Turner, Teacher Leader Booker T. Washington Senior High School Superintendent’s Urban Principal Initiative (SUPI) 2005-2006

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2 Abstract of the Study As a result of the high failure rate of students in Algebra I, it was determined that a new instructional approach was needed. Carnegie Learning’s Cognitive Tutor (CT), which included a weekly computer component along with the Cognitive Tutor text was utilized by all Algebra I teachers.

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3Introduction/Background Booker T. Washington Sr. High serves approximately 1450 students of which 78.2% are economically disadvantaged; 10.1% are Limited English Proficient (LEP) students; and 18.2% makes up our Exceptional Students Education program. We were concerned about the high failure rate in Algebra I where over 60% of ninth grade students repeat Algebra I as well as student apathy teachers report in the classroom. We set out to change the approach to instruction. For the last nine weeks of school our Algebra I teachers used Carnegie Learning’s Algebra I Cognitive Tutor. Algebra I classes used Cognitive Tutor textbooks and were scheduled into a computer lab once a week to work on the Cognitive Tutor’s Algebra I software.

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4 Research Question Will the use of Cognitive Tutor decrease the failure rate of high school students enrolled in Algebra I? What will positively impact students’ attitudes related to Algebra I? related to Algebra I?

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5 Literature Review Carnegie Learning's Cognitive Tutors were developed at Carnegie Mellon University as part of a research project by world-renowned cognitive scientists who were testing a theory of how people learn. Research has shown that students using the Cognitive Tutor Algebra I program: –Demonstrate an 85% better performance on assessments of complex mathematical problem solving and thinking –Have a 70% greater likelihood of completing subsequent Geometry and Algebra II courses –Achieve 15-25% better scores on the SAT –Experience equivalent results for both minority and non- minority students

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6 Literature Review Cont. During the 2002-03 school year, the Miami-Dade County Public Schools district commissioned an independent research study by the Reliability Group to examine the effectiveness of Cognitive Tutor versus conventional curricula. The study compared FCAT performance for 6,395 students in 10 high schools, including 770 Exceptional Student Education (ESE) students and 976 limited English proficiency (LEP) students. According to the study, the students involved with Cognitive Tutor scored significantly better than the conventional curriculum students on the FCAT. The difference was particularly pronounced for ESE students, including those with learning and behavioral difficulties, and for LEP students. Based on these results, The Reliability Group recommended that the Cognitive Tutor Algebra I curriculum be made available to students at all Miami-Dade high schools.

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7 Methodology/Intervention We targeted our current Algebra I students which involved four teachers and 220 students.We targeted our current Algebra I students which involved four teachers and 220 students. Algebra I classes were scheduled into the computer labs once a week for approximately 50 minutes.Algebra I classes were scheduled into the computer labs once a week for approximately 50 minutes. The current textbook used in the four classes was replaced with Carnegie Learning’s Algebra I textbook.The current textbook used in the four classes was replaced with Carnegie Learning’s Algebra I textbook.

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8 Data Collection We used a variety of tools to collect and assess dataWe used a variety of tools to collect and assess data Edusoft Edusoft Cognitive Tutor Student Placement Reports Cognitive Tutor Student Placement Reports Excelsior Gradebook Excelsior Gradebook Attitude Surveys (Pre/Post) Attitude Surveys (Pre/Post) 3 rd Nine Weeks Grades and 4 th Nine Weeks Grades 3 rd Nine Weeks Grades and 4 th Nine Weeks Grades Homework/Classwork Completion Rate Homework/Classwork Completion Rate Attendance Attendance Quizzes/Test (Failure Rate) Quizzes/Test (Failure Rate)

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9 Data Analysis (See charts/graphs in Excel) 3 rd nine weeks grade analysis sorted by teacher 3 rd nine weeks absences sorted by teacher 3 rd nine weeks completion rate for classwork/homework by teacher and 3 rd nine weeks passing rate Edusoft quiz Chapter 9 Student population – male vs female student profile student profile Math Attitudinal Survey

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10 Findings/Results Pre/Post Attitudinal Surveys: Most students who answered the Attitudinal Survey want to take more math after Algebra II (71%)and feel doing well in math class is very important; however, 41% of them feel their math ability is just average.Most students who answered the Attitudinal Survey want to take more math after Algebra II (71%)and feel doing well in math class is very important; however, 41% of them feel their math ability is just average. 59% of the students find math enjoyably challenging; they know it is not simply memorizing formula. After the intervention period however, this percent increased.59% of the students find math enjoyably challenging; they know it is not simply memorizing formula. After the intervention period however, this percent increased. 64% are willing to acquire further knowledge in math. After the Cognitive Tutor intervention this number jumps to 74%.64% are willing to acquire further knowledge in math. After the Cognitive Tutor intervention this number jumps to 74%. 61% feel talking with other students help. They have a better attitude towards math and they tend to agree it is not a solitary activity.61% feel talking with other students help. They have a better attitude towards math and they tend to agree it is not a solitary activity. 40% of students feel math makes them confused and uneasy, 47% did not think this way.40% of students feel math makes them confused and uneasy, 47% did not think this way. Only 45% of students feel they learned well from lecturers.Only 45% of students feel they learned well from lecturers. 40% of students feel the computer is a good way to learn math. In fact, some of the words that were used to describe the lab experience were “challenging”, “fun”, “exciting”, “comfortable”, “relaxing”, “it’s like having your own teacher”. (See comment sheet)40% of students feel the computer is a good way to learn math. In fact, some of the words that were used to describe the lab experience were “challenging”, “fun”, “exciting”, “comfortable”, “relaxing”, “it’s like having your own teacher”. (See comment sheet)

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11 Findings/Results Cont. Gradebook Analysis (Pre Intervention/Post Intervention Period) During the 3 rd nine weeks 37% of students earned an “F”. If the D’s and F’s were included, 59% of the students would be in this categoryDuring the 3 rd nine weeks 37% of students earned an “F”. If the D’s and F’s were included, 59% of the students would be in this category The average completion rate for hw/cw during the 3 rd nine weeks was only 48%. During the 4 th nine weeks this rate goes up to 78%.The average completion rate for hw/cw during the 3 rd nine weeks was only 48%. During the 4 th nine weeks this rate goes up to 78%. The average passing rate for quizzes/tests was 45%. After the intervention, the passing rate for the quizzes stayed the same; however, note the cw/hw effort did go up and the average grade received for quizzes was a “D” which indicated some effort on the part of the student.The average passing rate for quizzes/tests was 45%. After the intervention, the passing rate for the quizzes stayed the same; however, note the cw/hw effort did go up and the average grade received for quizzes was a “D” which indicated some effort on the part of the student. 88.7% of the students enjoyed going to the computer lab and 77.3% liked the Cognitive Tutor software.88.7% of the students enjoyed going to the computer lab and 77.3% liked the Cognitive Tutor software. Teachers found that work was completed more readily with the worksheets other than the textbooks. (Teacher oral interview)Teachers found that work was completed more readily with the worksheets other than the textbooks. (Teacher oral interview) Worksheets were found to work better for homework not necessarily for classwork. (Teacher oral interview)Worksheets were found to work better for homework not necessarily for classwork. (Teacher oral interview) The Edusoft report for the quiz based on Cognitive Tutor worksheets showed an average score of 71%. In fact, students earned a better grade point average when working on the computer than when working in any other category. Could it be the practical application that the software contains?The Edusoft report for the quiz based on Cognitive Tutor worksheets showed an average score of 71%. In fact, students earned a better grade point average when working on the computer than when working in any other category. Could it be the practical application that the software contains?

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12 Conclusions Some students did respond positively. By way of teacher interview, students who did not perform at all during the entire year suddenly took a liking to the computer software; they said, “it was different.” “It was easier.” “It was not paper and pencil.” Students do not realize that they are analyzing and going through a thinking process to reach an answer while they are sitting in front of the computer.Some students did respond positively. By way of teacher interview, students who did not perform at all during the entire year suddenly took a liking to the computer software; they said, “it was different.” “It was easier.” “It was not paper and pencil.” Students do not realize that they are analyzing and going through a thinking process to reach an answer while they are sitting in front of the computer. If possible we will attempt to schedule Algebra I classes into the computer lab at least once a week and use Cognitive Tutor textbook units when it coincides with the current textbook.If possible we will attempt to schedule Algebra I classes into the computer lab at least once a week and use Cognitive Tutor textbook units when it coincides with the current textbook. As one can observe from the pre/post attitudinal surveys, the intervention that took place made some impact by changing students’ attitudes. (See pre/post attitudinal survey graphs). Additionally, teacher attitudes changed because they saw students who had never seemed interested and/or motivated in class are staying on task during the lab time. Teachers found that the Cognitive Tutor captured students’ attention and students were less distracted during lab time. Although the passing rate on quizzes/tests stayed the same, we found students increased their effort in class, perhaps the material captured the student’s attention or they understood.

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13 Results / Findings

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14 Findings/Results Pre/Post Attitudinal Surveys: Most students who answered the Attitudinal Survey want to take more math after Algebra II (71%)and feel doing well in math class is very important; however, 41% of them feel their math ability is just average.Most students who answered the Attitudinal Survey want to take more math after Algebra II (71%)and feel doing well in math class is very important; however, 41% of them feel their math ability is just average. 59% of the students find math enjoyably challenging; they know it is not simply memorizing formula. After the intervention period however, this percent increased.59% of the students find math enjoyably challenging; they know it is not simply memorizing formula. After the intervention period however, this percent increased. 64% are willing to acquire further knowledge in math. After the Cognitive Tutor intervention this number jumps to 74%.64% are willing to acquire further knowledge in math. After the Cognitive Tutor intervention this number jumps to 74%. 61% feel talking with other students help. They have a better attitude towards math and they tend to agree it is not a solitary activity.61% feel talking with other students help. They have a better attitude towards math and they tend to agree it is not a solitary activity. 40% of students feel math makes them confused and uneasy, 47% did not think this way.40% of students feel math makes them confused and uneasy, 47% did not think this way. Only 45% of students feel they learned well from lecturers.Only 45% of students feel they learned well from lecturers. 40% of students feel the computer is a good way to learn math. In fact, some of the words that were used to describe the lab experience were “challenging”, “fun”, “exciting”, “comfortable”, “relaxing”, “it’s like having your own teacher”. (See comment sheet)40% of students feel the computer is a good way to learn math. In fact, some of the words that were used to describe the lab experience were “challenging”, “fun”, “exciting”, “comfortable”, “relaxing”, “it’s like having your own teacher”. (See comment sheet)

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15 Findings/Results Cont. Gradebook Analysis (Pre Intervention/Post Intervention Period) During the 3 rd nine weeks 37% of students earned an “F”. If the D’s and F’s were included, 59% of the students would be in this categoryDuring the 3 rd nine weeks 37% of students earned an “F”. If the D’s and F’s were included, 59% of the students would be in this category The average completion rate for hw/cw during the 3 rd nine weeks was only 48%. During the 4 th nine weeks this rate goes up to 78%.The average completion rate for hw/cw during the 3 rd nine weeks was only 48%. During the 4 th nine weeks this rate goes up to 78%. The average passing rate for quizzes/tests was 45%. After the intervention, the passing rate for the quizzes stayed the same; however, note the cw/hw effort did go up and the average grade received for quizzes was a “D” which indicated some effort on the part of the student.The average passing rate for quizzes/tests was 45%. After the intervention, the passing rate for the quizzes stayed the same; however, note the cw/hw effort did go up and the average grade received for quizzes was a “D” which indicated some effort on the part of the student. 88.7% of the students enjoyed going to the computer lab and 77.3% liked the Cognitive Tutor software.88.7% of the students enjoyed going to the computer lab and 77.3% liked the Cognitive Tutor software. Teachers found that work was completed more readily with the worksheets other than the textbooks. (Teacher oral interview)Teachers found that work was completed more readily with the worksheets other than the textbooks. (Teacher oral interview) Worksheets were found to work better for homework not necessarily for classwork. (Teacher oral interview)Worksheets were found to work better for homework not necessarily for classwork. (Teacher oral interview) The Edusoft report for the quiz based on Cognitive Tutor worksheets showed an average score of 71%. In fact, students earned a better grade point average when working on the computer than when working in any other category. Could it be the practical application that the software contains?The Edusoft report for the quiz based on Cognitive Tutor worksheets showed an average score of 71%. In fact, students earned a better grade point average when working on the computer than when working in any other category. Could it be the practical application that the software contains?

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