during my student teaching practicum in the spring of 2008 I taught The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. After the unit I surveyed students on the opinions of the book, the activities we did during the unit, what we could have done differently, etc. These are their responses.
*** Note to this survey: I do not have classes of my own to do research on so I am using a survey conducted on my students during my student teaching practicum. I gave this survey at the end of our The Adventures of Tom Sawyer unit to find out how the unit went for students, and what we could have differently or have done more of.
1. My expectations for the unit were:
- to read and comprehend: 30%
- the unit would be easy: 14%
- to take a test: 8%
- to answer questions: 8%
- the unit would be difficult: 6%
- to play games: 6%
- to learn: 6%
H. misc (8 items received 1 or 2 responses) 22%
2. We moved through the book too quickly.
strongly agree 16% agree 16% disagree 64% strongly disagree 4%
3. We should have spent more time talking about the book.
strongly agree 16% agree 56% disagree 28% strongly disagree 0%
4. We should have read aloud during class.
strongly agree 8% agree 24% disagree 48% strongly disagree 8%
5. We should have listened to the audio book during class.
strongly agree 16% agree 40% disagree 24% strongly disagree 24%
6. We should have had circle discussions more often.
strongly agree 6% agree 48% disagree 24% strongly disagree 12%
7. We should have done more writing during the unit.
strongly agree 0% agree 8% disagree 44% strongly disagree 48%
8. The study guides helped me to understand the book.
strongly agree 40% agree 52% disagree 12% strongly disagree 0%
9. We spent an appropriate amount of time going over the study guides.
strongly agree 16% agree 68% disagree 12% strongly disagree 4%
10. The unit test was a fair way to assess my understanding of the novel.
strongly agree 8% agree 76% disagree 16% strongly disagree 4%
11. The unit test was a fair way to assess my understanding of the novel.
strongly agree 4% agree 72% disagree 24% strongly disagree 0%
12. The questions asked in class were too easy.
strongly agree 8% agree 32% disagree 60% strongly disagree 8%
13. I feel I was given an adequate chance to ask questions.
strongly agree 28% agree 60% disagree 0% strongly disagree 4%
14. My expectations were met during the Tom Sawyer unit.
strongly agree 16% agree 56% disagree 56% strongly disagree 0%
15. I feel I was challenged during the unit.
strongly agree 24% agree 52% disagree 16% strongly disagree 0%
16. I like the book.
strongly agree 0% agree 24% disagree 48% strongly disagree 28%
17. I will read the book for fun.
strongly agree 4% agree 0% disagree 4% strongly disagree 88%
18. List some of the things we did that you would have preferred not doing.
- writing 48%
- study guide 15%
- reading 12%
- group work 8%
- test 8%
- nothing/no answer 9%
19. List some of the things you would have preferred doing.
- more in-class discussions 21%
- playing review games 16%
- read more during class 15%
- listen to the audio book 14%
- more creative projects 16%
- more tests 10%
- more group work 7%
What seems to be happening in this data?
Based on the responses to Questions 7 & 19 I can tell students would have preferred doing less writing. However, based on their answers to Question 8 I think students realize the importance of doing the writing exercises, be it within the study guides, the quick-writes I had them do, or in the short response writing assignments I gave them.
It also appears like students want a variety of activities to do when studying literature (Questions 4,5,6, & 29).
What is not happening in this data?
I did not ask more questions specific to each individual activity we did. In retrospect I do not feel like I can comfortably move forward using this data to plan future lessons.
What is repeated in this data (words, behaviors, attitudes, occurrences)?
Students did not like the book and are not likely to read it again. Students expressed a desire for varied activities to do.
What is surprising, perplexing, disturbing in the data?
Going into my student teaching practicum I was firm in my belief, based on the teachings in the teacher prep program I was enrolled in, that students preferred talking and listening to their classmates and not listening to their teacher. So one thing that surprises me is student desire for more teacher talk. I fully understand my students want to understand the book but was still a little perplexed that they wanted me to tell them the answers instead of letting them work out the answers themselves.