Amanda Turner

Memory Box

My action research project was titled, “Memory Box.”  Upon careful analysis of my two fourth-grade classes, I had noticed that my students struggled to provide evidence and elaboration for their academic thinking.  Despite being provided with clear learning targets, success criteria, extensive modeling, and the use of certain graphic organizers like “Evidence Organizers” and “Boxes and Bullets”,  I determined this was a weakness because students were struggling to recall main points(main ideas) and key details.  

Therefore, I  incorporated “Memory Box” into each of my classes.  I expected that this tool would increase student achievement in formative assessments, summative assessments, and classroom discussions, and it did exactly that.  Students showed remarkable growth.  During the first unit, students were able to increase their mastery from 53%-73%. When this tool was implemented, I saw a huge shift in students’ ability to retain key concepts and use those to give effective responses both in class and on their assessments.  Throughout the year, I continued to see an increase in student achievement.  During our Earth’s Features unit, the percentage of student mastery went to 81%. At the conclusion of our Vision and Light, student mastery had increased to 96%.  Memory Box really helped them solidify their knowledge of scientific concepts.  Their ability to write high quality scientific explanations strengthened.  When I revisited energy sources, earth’s features, and vision and light weeks and even months later,  students could still explain key concepts in depth.  The utilization of Memory Box has decreased the amount of spiral review I normally need to do to ensure students can recall key concepts.  

Due to these wonderful results, I will continue to use the Memory Box tool in my classroom.  I will also share this tool with other educators.

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