• Elim's cultural values: reaffirming and implementing indigenous values in education

      Marchant, Samantha C. (2017-12)
      The curriculum project Elim's Cultural Values: Reaffirming and Implementing Indigenous Values in Education was brought to light through community-based participatory action research. Through informal interviews, survey analysis and discussions with local residents of Elim, Alaska; Elim's Cultural Values were identified and implemented into local curriculum. The Indigenous values of the community of Elim are a combination of both Yup'ik and Inupiaq heritage. These values have been carefully laid out into a set of forty separate lessons, (ten cultural value units) in which educators in the local school can implement culturally relevant lessons that connect with the Bering Strait School District curriculum. This project is a living curriculum, currently being piloted in Elim's Kindergarten classroom. It seeks to utilize the many resources we have in our school and community in hopes of reaffirming Elim's cultural values within both school and community.
    • More than words: co-constructive dialogue as a strategy for technical, academic language acquisition (TALA) in an indigenous, middle school science classroom

      Ladwig, Joachim H.; Patterson, Leslie; Siekmann, Sabine; Martelle, Wendy (2019-05)
      This teacher action research study investigated how secondary science students respond to small group co-construction activities designed to help them produce collaborative summaries of scientific information. The principle research question guiding this study asks, "How do middle school students engage in content learning and in the use of technical academic language (TAL) during a science writer's workshop?" Building upon the work of previous investigators I studied how emerging bilingual Grade 8 students participated in a science writer's workshop as they co-constructed written summaries in small groups. After initial instruction about the science content, participants worked in table groups to begin their summaries and become comfortable with the process. Participants were regrouped for the final phases of the workshop as they revised their earlier work. Twelve classroom sessions were digitally recorded and from them 25 language-related episodes (LREs) from two small groups were identified for further investigation. LREs were transcribed and analyzed for patterns of student interaction and then correlated with students' written summaries. These deeper interaction patterns became the targeted categories of this investigation: teaming; going beyond the content; and disagreeing. Each of these patterns provide different opportunities for students to learn more about the science content and to use scientific language. The extra time for this collaboration allowed for more TAL usage and seemed to make a meaningful difference in these students' final writings. Further, analysis reveals that TALA is a complex sociocultural process and that the dialogic process inherent in the science writer's workshop is more important than the words alone. In this context, dialogue about science in the context of the science writer's workshop supported both content learning and the acquisition of TAL for these emergent bilingual middle school students.
    • Slowing down: how collaborative pairs support meaning making and the writing process in an elementary classroom

      Short, Kelsey; Martelle, Wendy; Siekmann, Sabine; Patterson, Leslie (2019-05)
      The teacher action research study was conducted within a third-grade classroom. The participants of the study were eight English Language learners who worked in pairs to write a retelling of a storybook. The need for this research developed from observations made by the classroom teacher focusing around the animated oral storytelling of her students and how that joy did not translate to writing. Data was collected in the forms of video and audio recordings, student samples and a research journal. The study attempted to discover what decisions students made as they focused on their written retelling in a collaborative pair. Increasing interaction between students became a main focus of the study and the ideas of sociocultural theory were the main themes that drove the analysis of this research. The study showed that students utilized a variety of mediational tools available to them as they made meaning and participated in collaborative dialogue. They also spent time supporting each other by utilizing those mediational tools to increase the success of their retelling, as well as by giving social support when their partner was flustered or overwhelmed.
    • The suitcase project: a journey in multimodal reading of graphic novels with emergent bilingual fourth grade students

      Ashe, Kayla; Siekmann, Sabine; Martelle, Wendy; Patterson, Leslie (2019-05)
      This teacher action research focuses on how three fourth grade students interact and make meaning as they read the graphic novel, Amulet. While reading from the graphic novel, students engaged in the reading as design process to make meaning. These three students are Yup'ik students enrolled in a dual language school. Students interacted with peers and different modalities of meaning as they engaged in the meaning-making process. Data sources include a teacher research journal, audio recordings of readings and discussions, and students' reader response journals. Data analysis followed constructivist grounded theory. As there were various types of data collected and a multimodal text was used, multimodal data analysis was used to interpret the relationship across the various modes used in the study. Three main findings emerged from the data: 1. Vocabulary can be learned through multiple modes. 2. Students used words to mediate meaning socially and in a private manner. 3. Combined visuals and text support meaning making. These findings led to the conclusion that meaning making and research are both multimodal. The findings also reveal how emergent bilingual students were active meaning-makers and could read and respond to a graphic novel successfully. At times, writing prompts were used. While students designed meaning with multimodal texts, the writing prompts constricted their responses to certain topics, such as setting and characters, and did not allow for students to continue designing meaning in their own ways. Students were able to continue designing their own meaning when responding to the text in a natural, multimodal way without prompts constricting thoughts relating to the text.
    • Surviving Alaska

      Cowley, Natalie; Alexie, Oscar; Thorne, Steve; Marlow, Patrick; Siekmann, Sabine (2015-12)