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An Action Research Project

Problem:  Math Scores on Timed Tests have Dropped
Does the amount of time you spend practicing something affect your final performance?  Does the number of times you complete a puzzle affect how quickly you can finish it?  Behavioral scientists and psychologists analyze how people learn.  As you work through this project, you will collect and record data on learning.  You will summarize your findings and make predictions.  Using this information you will make a recommendation to your math teacher about practice problems for homework how it will effect the outcome of the games.

1.  Find a classmate to work with.  Time each other as you solve a puzzle or maze.  Take turns until you have each completed the puzzle or maze five times.  (Don't watch each other's solutions!)  Time other people solving your puzzle or maze five times.  Organize all the trials and times in a table.  Summarize your results.  What effect does repetition have on solving time?  How would more repetitions affect the time?

2.  Find a group of at least 3 students to work with.  Make a list of a dozen words.  Give each member  ten seconds to study the list.  
Then have them write down items they can recall.  Record the number of correct items.  Give each member an additional ten seconds to study the list again.  Have them write down items and record the results.  Repeat this two more times and describe any correlation you see in the data from the first experiment.

3.  Create scatter plots of the data you collected for the two
activities.  Describe any correlations suggested by the scatter plots.  Does a line seem to fit your data?  What would happen to a line of best fit after several more trials?

Present your project in a visual display.  For each experiment you have conducted, you should show a table of data, a scatter plot of the data including a line of best fit, and a paragraph analyzing what happened.  Your presentation should discuss any correlations and lines of best fit you have found and any conclusions you have drawn.

5.  Evaluate the current homework load in your math class.  Do you think you get enough practice problems?  Should there be an increase or decrease in the number of practice problems you do?  Why?  How will these changes effect test scores?

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