Jodi Stiltner

Rationalize Your Thinking

My action research project focused on Rationalize Your Thinking, Utilizing Kagan Structures, specifically Numbered Heads Together with the “because” tool from Thoughtful Classroom. When analyzing the data from weekly short response questions on our weekly reading assessments, I discovered that my second graders were performing extremely low, significantly impacting their overall reading assessment scores. My second graders demonstrated limited growth in answering high-level questions and the ability to provide textual evidence or reasonable rationales for their responses to questions. In addition, my students need help communicating effectively with one another and have demonstrated limited growth in social, communication, and teamwork skills.¬† Therefore, I propose to investigate the effectiveness of using Kagan structures, specifically Numbered Heads Together (NHT), to help students enhance their ability to answer high-level questions by providing a rationale for their thinking using a “because” statement.¬† Throughout the 12-week research period, I engaged in a collaborative process, tracking and analyzing pre/post assessments, teacher observations, anecdotal records, student surveys, and MAP data. This comprehensive approach was instrumental in determining the growth and deeper learning that occurred, and I am grateful for the gains my students achieved during this time.¬†¬† By the conclusion of my research, a remarkable transformation was evident in my students. Their understanding deepened, and they showed significant growth in answering high-level questions on pre- and post-assessments. This was a direct result of their engagement with Kagan’s Numbered Heads Together and the ‘because’ tool from Thoughtful Classroom. Moreover, I observed a notable improvement in their communication, social, and teamwork skills, instilling a sense of optimism for their future learning journeys.¬†

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