Alison Attura Loud
Affiliation: Rangeley Lakes Regional School, RSU 78
Title: Supporting the Intrinsically Motivated Learner
Abstract: This study investigated the use of student-led goal setting, and the use of student-choice with assessments, in a 4th grade mathematics classroom. Specifically, this study analyzed how the goal setting and assessment choice of students impacted their intrinsic motivation with regard to learning mathematics skills. The research was conducted using a mixed methods approach. Results found that these implemented strategies increased student intrinsic motivation in regards to meeting their goals and their ability to prove mastery of math standards. Recommendations for classroom teachers included providing guidance for students in goal setting and increase student autonomy in the classroom.
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Katherine Duchesne
Affiliation: RSU #9
Title: Implementing Literacy Strategies to Improve Mathematics Achievement
Abstract: This research investigated the adoption of a new mathematics program at a local school district and explored several challenges that emerged during its implementation. This math program was touted for its alignment with the new common core standards and its strong emphasis on literacy. Students needed both well developed math skills and well developed literacy skills to benefit from this program. Thus, students with lesser developed literacy skills faced more substantial challenges due to the program’s emphasis on literacy. This research project sought to better understand these complications and provided a particular focus on the use of literacy strategies to enhance the implementation of the math program.

Philip Estabrook
Affiliations: Philip Estabrook teaches sixth grade at Skowhegan Area Middle School in Skowhegan, Maine.
Title:Factors in School Choice And Parent Satisfaction At Cornville Regional Charter School
Abstract: Charter schools are in their earliest days in the state of Maine. The first charter school in Maine offering elementary services opened in Cornville in 2012. Parents sending students to the school have a variety of reasons for choosing an alternate model for educating their students. First, parents felt the agricultural focus of the CRCS was a strong foundation for their students. Second, parents were very happy with the smaller classroom populations. Finally, the impression that the administrators at CRCS more quickly responded to the needs of the parents and student were noted as being especially important.
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Sandra Jamison
Affiliation: RSU 9
Title: Educator’s Perceptions of Effective Professional Learning Communities
Abstract: This research explored the experiences of educators with a professional learning community (PLC) and focused on their perceptions of what constituted essential elements for an effective PLC. This mixed methods study sought to understand more completely the group dynamics of various PLC teams in a Maine rural school with an emphasis on defining key components of those communities. This study revealed that if key elements such as trust, respect and collaboration were in place, then PLCs were often able to fulfill its designated purpose. Findings determined that PLCs at the school had the prerequisite key elements and thus could be highly effective.
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Judy Macomber
Affiliation: KIDS RSU#2
Title: The Effectiveness of Immediate Feedback on Young Children’s Writing Learning Progression
Abstract: The focus of this research project was to explore the effects of immediate feedback during writer’s workshop and its overall impact on the literacy development of 1st grade students. Research has shown a positive impact from teacher feedback on a student’s progress in writing. A student’s progress towards writing proficiency is a critical piece of literacy development in children. The overall impact of immediate feedback was positive in that students made progress towards proficiency during the unit of study and reported positive experiences during writing activities.

Matthew McGreevy
Affiliation: Maine School Administrative District 17
Title: Making Lexia® Work: A Backward Design Approach to Helping Teachers Utilize Technology
Abstract: This action research investigation applied data driven teaching practices to the task of improving the delivery of Lexia® reading software, a computer aided instruction (CAI) program, in middle and secondary special education classes. Special educators need the opportunity to utilize technology with the potential to make their practices more efficient and effective. This investigation used qualitative and quantitative data to give teachers the technological ability to allow their students efficient use of Lexia® software and improved teacher understanding of how computer aided instruction (CAI) fits with their academic and classroom management goals.
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Elisha Morris
Affiliation: RSU 52
Title: Perceptions of Recess
Abstract: Recess is an integral part of optimal child development and offers many distinct benefits. Recess gives students a chance to re-energize, providing time to play, move, and socialize with peers. It serves as a break from academics, enabling students to be more attentive in class and better able to perform cognitive tasks. This research served to both explore teacher perceptions of recess and to determine the relationship between time spent on unstructured play at recess in relation to student behavior. This research was conducted using a qualitative method.

Sheryl F. Morton
Affiliation: RSU 78
Title: Engagement Through Brain Breaks in the Secondary Classroom
Abstract: This study was implemented to investigate the theory of using brain breaks with secondary students to maximize their engagement during an 80 minute course. Educators are faced with the substantial task of promoting classroom environments conducive to student engagement. Relevant to such engagement is the retention of information and improved educational performance. Findings indicated that if given a five minute break, a majority of students reported an improvement in their ability to remain engaged. Students also responded that continued brain breaks would be beneficial to their learning. This study recommends that teachers implement these breaks to ultimately increase student engagement.
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Lawrence Ronco
Affiliation: University of Maine at Farmington, Johnson Scholars Program
Title: Fair Warning: Faculty Perceptions of an Early Alert System
Abstract: This study investigated the faculty’s perception of the early alert system employed at a public liberal arts college. Universities use early alert systems to address issues of attrition, persistence, and retention. This study was a sequential, mixed-methods design that evaluated early alerts sent to students in the Fall 2015 semester and interviewed faculty about their perceptions of the alert system. Findings indicated that faculty see the system as a valuable tool for communicating with students experiencing academic difficulty. Faculty also expressed concerns about the alert system’s overall effectiveness, particularly in altering academic outcomes for at-risk students.

Katelyn Ross
Affiliation: Regional School Unit #3
Title: Using Twitter to Promote Civic Education
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate how Twitter could be used to support civic education in a rural, low-income school district in Maine. Twitter was used in the classroom to supplement and enrich a unit on the Civil Rights Movement and also to inform students about the political process. Findings indicate that Twitter can effectively be used to engage students, inform about the political process, and enrich content when used with purposeful instruction. Recommendations for educators include long-term implementation of the tool, on-going feedback from students, and purposeful implementation into curriculum.
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