Needs Analysis Essay
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Majority of students lack understanding of mathematical language and show weakness in basic numerical computation. The students make frequent errors because they misread operation signs when adding or subtracting integers or carry numbers incorrectly when multiplying whole number and decimals. Furthermore, these students have difficulty understanding written or verbal directions or explanations, and find word problems especially difficult to translate. Current Conditions
The current data shows that only 15 percent of the students were able to understand and perform the necessary computation with minimal errors on application problems to pass the semester exam with a 70 or above.
Thus 85 percent were unsuccessful on the semester exam that focus on computation skills and understanding application word problems. Desired Conditions
The optimal goal is to increase the student’s performance from its current state by 200 percent. By increasing the student’s performance, the students should be able to understand, define, and use mathematical terminology to solve difficult application problems without minimal computation errors. Data Collection Processes
Discussion of Data Collection Instruments Used
In order to determine what problems students had in school and what tools math teachers thought students should emphasize, interviews and focus groups were used due to the speed of receiving the results. Test score data was gathered from the district as it was already mandated by the district and results were already given. Test scores and the data retrieved from the district is meant to be similar to the state assessment that will be given towards the end of the 5th six weeks. Discussion of Sources of Data
Surveys and other short interviews were given to the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade math teachers at the middle school campus. It is believed that it is partially due the lack of reviewing their own work is a potential source of the low test scores. Survey question was introduced by creating a baseline of how often teachers believed students should be checking their work. By first understanding this, it would allow a determination if there was in fact a difference between students’ actual reviewing patterns and the actual reviewing patterns. Additionally, an issue with reviewing would be if students are unfamiliar with how to check their work. By determining which skills the teachers deem to be the most productive when practicing their computation, the teachers will then be able to create a vertical alignment where instruction is built on those review skills.
This would provide students with a foundation where their knowledge can be increased without the troubles of having to learn a new way to review. Typically the reverse operation would be done in order to check for the correct answer. However, if there is an issue in the basic computation it would hinder students being able to check their work. This was the reason why students were also given survey questions and were interviewed. Students would be asked how often they check their work and they would also identify their self-efficacy in computation of problems with decimals. If there is a need in that students do not check their work and if they do not feel competent in completing the problems with decimals, then it would dictate a need to reteach the material. Surveys and interviews were given to students due to their speed and their ability to quickly assess where a need was. Data Analysis Techniques Used
The first survey question asked the students about the percentage of the time they reviewed their work after completing a math problem. The answer choices included: between 0-20 percent, between 20-40 percent, between 40-60 percent, between 60-80 percent, and between 80-100 percent.