Action Research Plan

Below is my action research plan for exploring the use of video production in fostering reading and writing skills for at-risk students.  I am so excited about getting started and I am looking forward to examining my findings at the end of the nine weeks.  I am currently in the 3rd week of the project and the students are engaged and excited about using video production to express how they feel about an important person in their life.  This week in my grad course, I have learned more about the importance of documenting my action research project and have planned how it will be shared with administration and fellow teachers.

Action Planning Template
Goal: To use video production to improve the reading and writing skills of at-risk students.
Action Steps(s):
Person(s) Responsible:
Timeline: Start/End
Needed Resources

Get approval by administration.

Sonya C.

By Jan. 26, 2012
Written documentation and approval of tutoring permission forms for students.

Identify target population- Student who meet two or more of the following criteria:
  • has been retained
  • failed Reading TAKS in 3rd grade
  • failed 4th grade Reading and Writing benchmarks
  • has failing grades
  • is receiving Special Ed. Services
  • is receiving reading intervention during school hours

Sonya C.

By Jan. 26, 2012

Data from district data system

Pass out and collect signed permission forms for after-school tutoring.
Sonya C.

January 26-30, 2012

Permission Forms

Brainstorm why people watch movies. Watch and discuss short clips. Compare and contrast movies and books.
Sonya C.

January 31, 2012

Elmo projector, paper, and pen
Students should be able to make a connection between movies and written stories, the emotions and messages conveyed, and the impact on
the audience.
Introduce first video assignment: Create a short video about a person who is important to you. Relate to a writing prompt or
identifying a story topic.
 Students are to bring a variety of photos of the important person.
January 31-Feb. 7, 2012

Students bring pictures.
Introduce the concept of storyboarding. Identify storyboarding as a tool for organizing. Relate to planning phase in Writing and
using imagery when reading.

Sonya C. and students

Feb. 7-8, 2012

Paper for storyboarding and student pictures.
Students should be able to identify why organization is important to storytelling.
Introduce scripting and provide examples. Students develop a script for their video. Relate to Writing and emphasize organization and

Sonya C. and students

Feb. 14-15.

storyboard, pictures, and pencil
Students can write complete sentences.
Students share their scripts in small groups and receive feedback on the emotions conveyed in their scripts. Emphasize word choice and
relate to writing.

Sonya C. and students

Feb. 21-22

storyboard, pictures, and pencil
Students should be able to explain that reading a script aloud is a great way to check for sentence accuracy.
Introduce technology equipment such as a scanner and video editing software.
Sonya C.

Feb. 28-29
storyboard, script, pictures, scanner, microphones, laptops Students should be able to explain how to scan a picture and use a video editing software program.
Scan pictures and upload into video editing software. Intro to adding audio.
Sonya C.

March 6-7
storyboard, script, pictures, scanner, laptops, microphones Students should be able to explain how to add audio
Students learn to add music to their movie.
Sonya C.

March 21-22
storyboard, script, pictures, scanner, laptops Students should be able to explain how to add music.
Complete movie and showcase.
Sonya C.

April 3-4
storyboard, script, pictures, scanner, laptops Students should be able to complete movie and premiere final movie.
Students will write a composition about the person portrayed in their video.
Sonya C.

April 10-11

video, storyboard, paper
Students will be assessed on improved writing skills using composition. Reading skills will be monitored during the reading block.
Attention will be brought to using imagery to sequence and retell a story.


Video Production and Learning

My proposed action research project is inquiring, "How can video production promote writing and reading skills for at-risk fourth grade students?"  My inquiry was inspired by my experience and new learning in my last grad course Multimedia Video Technology.  Not only does the video production process share similarities among the writing process, it is quite engaging and a rewarding experience.  I plan to use two after school tutoring sessions per week for 5 consecutive weeks.  Students who will be invited to attend "tutoring" are students who struggle with skills such as making visualizations, sequencing, retelling, planning, and organization.  Often, these students struggle to get their thoughts on paper and I truly believe that integrating technology will help motivate them as these skills are practiced and reinforced.  Another significance of this action research project is addressing the motivation factor of at-risk students.  Many of these students struggle with focusing and lack of engagement during traditional instruction.  This action research could offer more insight into utilizing additional methods for engaging at-risk learners.

This week in my grad course, Research for Teachers, I learned about how action research can be applied to various educational areas such as staff development, curriculum development, teachers, students, school culture/community, leadership, management, school performance, and social justice/equity.  Schools face many challenges in each of the areas mentioned and action research is a great way to take the problem into your own hands and do something about it.  As a current teacher, I already find myself using my new understandings to reflect on challenges I am facing in the classroom.


Action Research

Action research is the focus of my current grad school course Research for Teachers.  Unlike the traditional education research, action research involves local school leaders and teachers exploring ways to address a campus need in an organized and systematic manner.  The steps to action research include identifying a current need of a campus, collecting and analyzing the data that highlights the need, researching relevant literature and best practices associated with the need, making changes based on new findings, and then sharing findings with stakeholders (Dana, 2009, ch. 1, para. 4).  

As I read more about action research, I realized that action research is quite a logical and organized method of problem-solving.  As a teacher I often find myself questioning how I can best address a need in my classroom. The next step is often researching best practices and then taking action. I now realize how using action research can greatly enhance and improve my own problem solving process and professional growth through increased organization, documentation, and sharing.

Sharing ideas throughout and at the completion of action research is a critical component and this can be accomplished using weblogs. Blogging is a powerful tool that educational leaders can use to track their thoughts, concerns, and progress. Photos, videos, and podcasts that apply to the research can be easily uploaded and provide easy access to visitors. Another benefit is that commenting features can present educational leaders with instant feedback from their staff or colleagues.  Much like an online journal, blogging allows organized archives to be revisited when needed.  With blogging, the sharing of ideas and information becomes limitless.

Dana, N.F. (2009). Leading with passion and knowledge, the principal as action researcher. (Kindle ed.).  Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. DOI: www.amazon.com