Primary Teachers’ Collaborative Analysis of Student Work and the Impact on Unit and Lesson Planning for Early Numeracy Development

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2023-05

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Abstract

This action research study had as its purpose to explore the collaborative analysis practices of primary teachers as they analyze student work and to determine if this practice influenced if teachers included specific best practices in their unit and lesson planning for early numeracy concepts. The study setting was an elementary school in central Texas. The instructional leadership developed a model for professional learning communities (PLC) that focuses on unit design and the collaborative analysis of student work to inform instructional practices in the classroom. This action research study focused on how these processes influence the planning practices of primary teachers for a unit in early numeracy concepts. Data was collected including unit and lesson plans, field notes from the PLC meetings, and teacher interviews about the process and the justification for choices within their planning. The data was analyzed to determine if teachers included best practices within their planning. The findings of this action research were used by the instructional leadership within the research setting to refine their PLC and unit design process. The themes that emerged included the need for more professional learning in differentiation between misconceptions and underdeveloped concepts, planning small group instruction for student that demonstrated a need to extend or enrich their learning, and the development of mathematical language. Teachers demonstrated strengths in understanding scope and sequence of concepts, using small groups for remediation, and the use of manipulatives and visual representations of numbers. Furthermore, the teachers expressed that they valued the collaborative culture of the PLCs and the sense of accountability provided by their group.

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Keywords

Professional Learning Communities, Collaborative Student Work Analysis, Best Practices

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