The preliminary survey contained a mix of both closed and open-ended questions, and I analyzed this data in different ways depending on the type of question. For questions 1, 4, 5, and 7 (closed questions), I recorded student responses on a spreadsheet and used the data to identify student clusters for use in flexible groupings and for targeted differentiation strategies. I color-coded the students’ responses for questions 2 and 3 (open questions) to find patterns for further investigation and analysis. Finally, I recorded the responses to Question 8 (open question) on a separate spreadsheet to get a general sense of the students’ grasp of basic multiplication facts.
When analyzing the students’ earlier journal entries, I gathered up all of their math journals and transcribed their responses into a spreadsheet, which I then color-coded to identify patterns or themes. For some of the later journal entries that had longer responses, I photocopied the entries instead of transcribing them and color-coded the photocopies.
I collected the exit cards and sorted them into different piles by station to gather quantitative data about the how many times the students visited each station. Then I sorted each station’s cards according to the student responses on a particular question. I recorded the names of the students and their responses on a spreadsheet. I continued this sorting and recording process for each of the questions I was interested in analyzing. Specifically, I used the data to look for thematic trends for individual students, for the whole class, and for each station.
I uploaded the video footage of the student interviews into my computer, then watched the footage all the way through one time while recording a list of the questions the students were asked. Then I watched the footage a second time and recorded student responses to each question. Finally, I read through my recording sheet and color-coded the student comments to identify themes in their responses.
Like the beginning-of-the-year survey, my mid-year survey contained a mix of closed and open questions. For the closed questions, I used a spreadsheet to keep track of each student’s responses. For the open questions, I organized a list of student responses by question number and color-coded the comments by theme. To analyze question number one (“When you hear the words ‘math class’ what do you picture? How do the words ‘math class’ make you feel?”), I recorded all of the students’ responses, then categorized each response as positive (+), neutral (N), or negative (-) according to my judgment of the overall tone of the comment. Then I applied the same categorization strategy to student responses for the same question from a journal entry earlier in the year. Finally, I compared each student’s comments from that beginning-of-the-year journal entry and the mid-year survey to see if the tone of their comments changed or remained the same over time.