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"This is Boring!

"
Engaging Student's Presumptions About
Class

Jake Fredericks

About me
Working with Laura
Brownell in her 9th
grade English and 9th
grade English honors
classes at Marshall
High School.
130 students total.
Around 30 per class.

Round 1: Data Collection


Before class even starts I often observe students,
particularly after lunch, declaring that the days
lesson will be boring or stupid. After, these
same students are either talking, sitting with
their heads down, or not paying attention.
What is at the core of students presumptions
about class students before I even start?

Round 1: Data Analysis


I recorded student conversations before class to
examine what I noted in my question, but also to
pinpoint the source of their problems.
https://drive.google.com/a/albion.
edu/file/d/0Bw2GDjc6xDWlNkd5UjNsV00zSDdRek5
DOHh0TXNTZEpac1Jn/view?usp=sharing

Round 2: Data Collection


What is at the core of students presumptions
about class before I even start? Where does this
originate? How is it spread?
Questionnaire: Asked a series of questions to
determine which activities students found most
exciting, what they found most boring, and if
they heard information on classroom activities in
between classes.

Round 2: Data Analysis


Hears about classroom
activities between classes.

87%

Does not hear about classroom


activities between classes.

13%

Teacher centered
instruction

41%

Testing

18%

Note taking

32%

Not applicable to real


life

9%

Round 3: Data Collection


What exactly do
students find boring
about this class in
particular?
Students were
provided with a
second, open-ended
questionnaire asking
just that.

Round 3: Data Analysis

Findings
At first I found myself asking far too many
questions. But when I limited the scope of my
research and asked students to be as specific as
possible I found some interesting results.
Students can be surprisingly honest and
perceptive.
Repetitive teaching, or expecting all students
to learn the same information the same way
time and time again, is what bores them the
most. And for good reason!

Findings
These results have made me more aware of my
own teaching. I will be watching to make sure that I
do not fall into patterns for my own convenience. I
will take what I have learned and attempt to
differentiate my lessons and teaching procedures
accordingly.

Literature
Tomlinson, C. A. (2004). Sharing Responsibility for
Differentiating Instruction. Roeper Review, 26(4), 188-189.
Melissa Jonson-Reid (2010) Engaging Students Children
Schools. 32 (1): 3-4 doi:10.1093/cs/32.1.3
Smith, Grace (2009). Using Technology to Differentiate
English/Language Arts. Differentiating Instruction With
Technology in Middle School Classrooms, p. 65. International
Society for Technology in Education.

Thank You!
Special thank you to Laura Brownell for her
support along with all of her 9th grade English
classes
Faculty and staff of the Albion teacher
education program that have supported me
this semester, and every past semester as
well.
Family for their love and support.

Questions?