In order to truly assess the effectiveness of my academic lesson, I chose to target my fifth grade students because their teachers had expressed a concern for work habit behaviors in their needs assessment results. Initially a majority of the students could identify time wasters in the classroom setting (i.e. excessive bathroom breaks, off-topic conversations with friends); however most students could not explain how to overcome those obstacles or demonstrate successful work habits. Each student was paired with another student to read two different articles that shared specific examples of how to avoid time wasters and how to demonstrate those successful work habit traits in the classroom, college, and work setting. I utilized the academic tool survey to assess how many students could truly identify at least three time wasters, three habits of successful people, and at least one strategy of how to implement time management in the classroom. Once I had taught the lesson in every fifth grade classroom, I noticed an overall twenty percent increase in knowledge and application across the grade level. After analyzing the data, I assessed a fifty-six percent decrease in behavior referrals due to off-task behaviors that contributed to time-wasting behaviors. These results indicated to me that I should teach this lesson earlier in the year as more of a proactive rather than reactive approach, as well as to help foster those work habit behaviors in the students earlier in the year and reinforce them in later lessons.
When I debated how to ensure the effectiveness of my personal/social classroom lesson, I identified second grade as the most appropriate grade level because those students had the highest number of bullying referrals from the previous and current school year. As I read the story with each class, the students began to identify a few more bullying prevention and conflict resolution strategies to implement, which I later assessed using the personal/social survey tool that they independently completed. When the students were utilizing the think-pair-share model, I informally assessed if the students could identify all three criteria for bullying and a supportive adult to involve in bullying scenarios. However, as I conducted these lessons, I discovered that the number of bullying reports from the previous year was due to the students misreporting incidents that more aligned with mean behaviors rather than bullying behaviors. After analyzing the data, I discovered a forty-one percent decrease in the number of bullying referrals from the students in this grade level afterwards. The lesson was effective overall because the majority of the students could identify all three bullying criteria, which was the piece that was leading to the misreporting of mean behaviors versus bullying behaviors. I utilized these results to inform future counseling activities because I want to be more intentional about teaching the three bullying criteria across all grade levels to help decrease the number of false reports and provide empowerment strategies for students.
As I planned how to make my career lesson effective for my students, I chose to implement this lesson in fourth grade due to several students with excessive absences from the previous school year. None of the students had previously heard of the Holland Career Interest Inventory, so they were immediately engaged from the beginning of the lesson. Once the students completed the inventory, they independently researched careers they were interested in based on their inventory results. During the lesson, every student identified two or more “good fit” jobs for them which I analyzed using the career survey tool. At the conclusion of the lesson, the students communicated with a partner how their personal skills would benefit their future career (which I assessed informally during their conversations). As a group, we discussed how school attendance is directly correlated with academic achievement which could impact which future careers are available to them. Once the lessons were completed, I analyzed the data to find that fifty-two percent of the students with ten or more absences from the previous year had decreased their absences this school year following the classroom lesson. Overall the lesson was effective because of the high level of student engagement and the conversations to discuss how attendance is directly linked to student achievement, which impacted the attendance outcome data results. I plan to utilize these results to inform my future career lessons by creating similar engaging activities for other grade levels to promote the correlation between attendance and achievement to help students realize how it affects their career path, even in elementary school.