Monthly Archives: November 2014

Observations as of 11-7-14

Aleta May


Observations as of 11-7-14

Below I have pasted in my observation records I collected in my Psych Tools app as of last Friday.  By organizing this information, I have found students who need to be observed several times, and students who need to be observed about two to three times.  Since some students have been away for a week, I may try to catch observations with them as well.  I will prioritize according to the students I have already observed in order to collect data across time.  Other factors to consider are special observation anomalies regarding engagement, therefore, I want to observe students I may have not recorded data on (or lost data on as a new data collector with this application).

I also have this same information in the form of bar graphs which average the days of observation in multiple observations into a percentage across each of 4 categories:  on-task, off-task, actively engaged, passively engaged.

White group:  Kristen observed 3 times.  Chelsea not observed. Jason observed 1 time.

Blue group: Sophie observed 1 time.  Jared observed 5 times. Trisha observed 3 times. Halley observed 1 time. 

Yellow group:  N. K. observed 1 time. Isaiah observed 2 times. Anna not observed. Alexia not observed.


Observations included in report:

  • Interval Observation, 10/28/14, 10:27 AM
Behavior Average 10/28/14
On-task Student 100% 100%
On-task Peer(s) 67% 67%
Actively engaged Student 82% 82%
Actively engaged Peer(s) 67% 67%
Off-task Student 0% 0%
Off-task Peer(s) 33% 33%



% of Intervals


Observations included in report:

  • Interval Observation, 10/28/14, 10:42 AM to 11/3/14, 10:48 AM
  • Interval Observation, 11/3/14, 10:50 AM
Behavior Average 10/28/14 11/3/14
On-task Student 84% 78% 88%
On-task Peer(s) 75% 67% 80%
Actively engaged Student 82% 61% 96%
Actively engaged Peer(s) 75% 67% 80%
Passively engaged Student 18% 22% 15%
Passively engaged Peer(s) 25% 0% 40%
Off-task Student 7% 17% 0%
Off-task Peer(s) 12% 33% 0%


% of Intervals


Observations included in report:

  • Interval Observation, 10/28/14, 10:35 AM
  • Interval Observation, 10/30/14, 10:58 AM
  • Interval Observation, 11/3/14, 10:22 AM
  • Interval Observation, 11/4/14, 10:27 AM
  • Interval Observation, 11/5/14, 10:23 AM
  • Interval Observation, 11/5/14, 10:24 AM
Behavior Average 10/28/14 10/30/14 11/3/14 11/4/14 11/5/14
On-task Student 71% 80% 17% 84% 67% 83%
On-task Peer(s) 89% 0% 0% 100% 100% 100%
Passively engaged Student 42% 60% 17% 36% 63% 36%
Passively engaged Peer(s) 17% 0% 0% 50% 0% 14%
Actively engaged Student 29% 20% 0% 44% 7% 44%
Actively engaged Peer(s) 67% 0% 0% 50% 80% 86%
Off-task Student 17% 0% 67% 4% 15% 14%
Off-task Peer(s) 11% 0% 100% 0% 0% 0%





% of Intervals


Observations included in report:

  • Interval Observation, 11/3/14, 10:10 AM
Behavior Average 11/3/14
On-task Student 67% 67%
On-task Peer(s) 100% 100%
Passively engaged Student 33% 33%
Passively engaged Peer(s) 0% 0%
Off-task Student 22% 22%
Off-task Peer(s) 0% 0%
Actively engaged Student 6% 6%
Actively engaged Peer(s) 33% 33%


% of Intervals


Observations included in report:

  • Interval Observation, 10/28/14, 10:05 AM
  • Interval Observation, 11/3/14, 10:02 AM
  • Interval Observation, 11/5/14, 10:03 AM
Behavior Average 10/28/14 11/3/14 11/5/14
Actively engaged Student 71% 0% 56% 76%
Actively engaged Peer(s) 83% 0% 100% 80%
On-task Student 68% 64% 56% 76%
On-task Peer(s) 46% 14% 100% 80%
Off-task Student 19% 18% 33% 16%
Off-task Peer(s) 38% 71% 0% 0%
Passively engaged Student 3% 0% 0% 4%
Passively engaged Peer(s) 0% 0% 0% 0%

% of Intervals

  1. K.
Behavior Avg. %
On-task 58%
Off-task 54%
Actively engaged 35%
Passively engaged 12%

Observations included in report:

Interval Observation, 10/28/14, 10:49 AM


% of Intervals


Observations included in report:

  • Interval Observation, 10/28/14, 10:19 AM
Behavior Average 10/28/14
On-task Student 65% 65%
On-task Peer(s) 67% 67%
Off-task Student 29% 29%
Off-task Peer(s) 33% 33%

% of Intervals


Observations included in report:

  • Interval Observation, 11/3/14, 10:37 AM
  • Interval Observation, 11/4/14, 10:14 AM
  • Interval Observation, 11/6/14, 10:25 AM
Behavior Average 11/3/14 11/4/14 11/6/14
On-task Student 86% 100% 89% 77%
On-task Peer(s) 93% 100% 100% 86%
Actively engaged Student 74% 100% 86% 51%
Actively engaged Peer(s) 80% 100% 100% 57%
Passively engaged Student 15% 0% 4% 31%
Passively engaged Peer(s) 13% 0% 0% 29%
Off-task Student 11% 0% 4% 23%
Off-task Peer(s) 7% 0% 0% 14%

Aleta’s Reflection for Week 9

Aleta May

Reflection for Week 9

Nov. 2, 2014

Collecting data is ever moving. I noticed some people struggling to start collecting because we work in a system where so much is going on. We also just had parent teacher conferences, grading, teachers using the limited class time to set up another very needed google docs program, reading program assessment for lexile improvement. I was not able to get my full observation time in either. Meanwhile, next week, I will have an open door for observing—but it may be influenced by the absence of the regular teacher. I will have to make note of this in reports.

Scott mentioned a program called Socrative designed to visualize student understanding. I found the user guide and signed up for this free resource so I could learn about this tool.

Ali brought up how a change in her job affects data collection. I have also had this happen to me. I have to redefine how I do what, when and where, based on potential changes in my job demands. Finding out that others are in the same situation is reassuring to me.

Lindsey commented: “Over 75% of students ages 12-17 have cell phones (Ferriter, 2010; Roberson, 2008). This means that three quarters of high school age students are walking around with computers in their pockets. As education funding is being cut, it would be wise to maximize the sophisticated devices that students bring into school on their own.” She really got me thinking about some benefits and issues. I think communicating with parents ahead of time through a newletter/email would help them to feel like they are in the loop when I advise students to add free apps to their phones, or just to give parents opportunity to provide their input or concerns. Also, although new challenges arise for me as a teacher as I face management of students’ handheld devices in the classroom, I am aware that I am obliged to meet this challenge rather than try to make it go away.

I found an article about cell phone use in schools. One teacher interviewed stated that hard and fast rules will not work when setting parameters, but that it is still important to set parameters. Another teacher expressed the need to be flexible when policies are established (Charles, 2012). There are other issues for school wide rules. One teacher in this same article noted what I find to be true in many schools: rules are established, but not enforced. Also, some teachers have different parameters set within their own classrooms. It seems to me that school-wide rules need to be established and enforced, but they need to be reasonable. School-wide rules need to serve as an umbrella for classroom control and open discussion with students about cell phone use/etiquette in a variety of situations. In reflecting on Lindsey’s research, I thought much more about this issue than I otherwise would have.


Charles, Ph.D., A. S. (2012). Cell phones: Rule-setting, rule-breaking, and relationships in classrooms. American Secondary Education, 40(3).

Essential Question(s): What is my initial data telling me? What revisions in my data collection plan do I need to make?

Aleta May

Response Blog (due 10-31-14)

Posted: 11-2-14

What is my initial data telling me? What revisions in my data collection plan do I need to make?

Post your Raw Data and Results for peer feedback—(This will come next week.)

I used an app called Psych Tools to collect data for a one-hour session last week, then I briefly captured data on another student. On another day I had intended to collect data, the teacher(s) had started signing kids up for their own google accounts so they could use google docs to write about what they are reading in various classes; so when they ran into overtime, I made plans to observe more this coming week.

Psych Tools is new to me, so I learned as I went. This is a mobile app that can be downloaded to a phone or the iPad. I am using my iPad, complete with my wireless keyboard. I selected interval recording. After having put students’ first names and grade level into the student list, I could click on a student, select on/off task behavior, the type of recording and start tracking behavior. Every 15 seconds, I clicked whether the student was on task or off task. As I selected new students, I noticed I could simultaneously select actively engaged or passively engaged. There is a notebook feature within the program. So I tried pausing the timed intervals, clicking on the notebook, where I took notes.  For me, using a wireless keyboard allows me to type like normal, and I can quickly take objective notes to describe what the behavior actually looks like—out of seat, but talking to another student about what they read; out of seat, using beanbag chair to swat another student! What!! Pause!

I can generate reports from this app. I have not tried that yet. Next week, I will have collected more data, so analyzing it in reports will be more useful. Another feature is that I can choose to track a peer’s behavior every so many intervals; such as, every other interval, every third interval, up to every fifth interval. Since I was observing two students for 10 minutes each, I chose every fifth interval to track whether the peer was on-task while my target student was off task, and vise-versa.

There are other observation tracking features, like Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence (ABC), but for my purposes I just want to watch and note what engagement looks like, and study behavior to determine what may help them be more motivated (such as sharing notes from a mutual book they read).

As for any classroom researcher, I ask myself, “So what?” “What will this large amount of data be used for?” So I looked up on-task/off-task behavior research for reading. In one article, the focus is on keeping students with emotional behavioral disorders (EBC) focused (leading to engagement and motivation). Besides turning to common core standards that speak to leading students to revisit reading, predict, make text-to-self, -text, -world connections, and more; teachers can use data to measure task engagement, “reinforcing consequences for time on task” (Vostal and Lee, 2011, 2). Further, the teacher uses these reinforcers to build behavioral persistence; in my research, this would translate to reading on task for increased time, and from passively engaged to actively engaged. A specific strategy for increasing reading persistence would be to intersperse easier reading passages within more difficult passages. The question asked in this article is “What is the effect of reading an easy paragraph on participants’ reading rate on the initial portion of a subsequent difficult paragraph?” (Vostal and Lee, 4). For me, I could use the results of data to justify using multiple resources to build reading engagement. For example, finding supplemental internet readings supported with pictures to draw the student into the more difficult classroom text.

Sometimes motivational interference affects students’ desire to engage in on-task behavior. Students usually have academic goals that are in conflict with social goals; this is referred to as goal conflict (Kilian, Hofer, and Kuhnle, 2013). Our initial response as educators is to divide these goals, calling off-task behavior inappropriate, when we could use the desire for students to pass notes to each other during a lesson to be part of the lesson. Peer influence is strong at school. School-related goals need to incorporate social goals (friendships).


Kilian, Hofer, and Kuhnle (2013). Conflicts between on-task and off-task behaviors in the classroom: The influences of parental monitoring, peer value orientations, strudents’ goals, and their value orientations. Social Psychology Education 16, 77-94.

Vostal, B. R. (2011). Behavioral momentum during a continuous reading task: An exploratory story. Journal of Behavioral Education, 20, 163-181.