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Math in the Middle Institute Partnership

Empowering Middle-Level Mathematics Teachers

The Math in the Middle Institute is a 2-year, 12-course graduate program designed for middle level mathematics teachers. Participants took 7 mathematics courses, 1 statistics course, 3 education courses, and one integrated (math/education) capstone course. When we designed the Math in the Middle Institute courses, we planned for teachers to plan and conduct an action research projects in their own classrooms during their second year participating in Math in the Middle. Somewhat to our surprise, the action research project has had a disproportionately large impact on teachers and their teaching practices, as well as some of the beliefs about mathematics teaching and learning. We see planning and conducting action research as a way to help teachers embrace inquiry as stance (Cochran –Smith & Lytle, 2009): constantly asking questions and seeking answers while reflecting on one's own teaching practices and beliefs. The action research projects on this page are drawn from Math in the Middle participants from 2004 through 2011 (six separate cohorts of teachers).

Action Research Projects

Partial fulfillment of TEAC 888, Teacher as Scholarly Practitioner
from the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education
University of Nebraska-Lincoln


The requirements for the written product of teachers' action research projects differ for participants seeking MA and MAT degrees.

For those seeking MA degrees, the product of a teacher's action research is called a Summative Project and this, along with a Portfolio, are the requirements of the MA master's degree. The Summative Project for a MA degree is expected to be more in depth than an Action Research Report for a MAT degree with regard to the data analysis, discussion of findings, and conclusions sections and is, therefore, typically longer in length than MAT Action Research Reports.

For those seeking MAT degrees, the Action Research Report is only one component of the MAT master's degree exam, the rest of which is comprised of mathematics questions, including an expository paper.


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MA Degrees

Author Title Documents (PDF)
Ali Arndt Problems With Problem Solving: Assessing Written Solutions of Mind Problems Abstract Full Document
Deb Borgelt Strategies and Precise Vocabulary Knowledge: Exploring the Relationships Among Mathematics Vocabulary, Problem Solving, and Conf Abstract Full Document
Myrna Bornemeier Greater Understanding Through Improved Homework Justificatino Abstract Full Document
Joan Brethouwer Vocabulary Instruction as a Tool for Helping Students of Diverse Backgrounds and Ability Levels to Understand Mathematical Conce Abstract Full Document
Carol Brown It Is Not Just the Solution Anymore Abstract Full Document
Michael Cobelens Student Problem Solving Abstract Full Document
Kathy DeLashmutt A Study of the Role of Mnemonics in Learning Mathematics Abstract Full Document
Scott Eckman Summarization in Math Class Abstract Full Document
Bryan Engelker The Effects of Student Journals And Group Work on Students' Attitudes in Math Abstract Full Document
Rachel Bunnett Fellows Writing in the Mathematics Classroom: Does It Have an Effect on Students' Mathematical Reasoning? Abstract Full Document
Mindy Fichtner Strengthening Student Understanding by Implementing Rubrics to Provide Effective Feedback Abstract Full Document
Michael Ford Oral Presentations: Exploring presentations of homework problems as alternative assessment tools Abstract Full Document
Garold Furse The Role of Habits-of-Mind Problems, Student Self-Assessments and Self Reflections in a 6th Grade Math Class Abstract Full Document
Kelly Georgius Improving Communication about Mathematics through Vocabulary and Writing Abstract Full Document
Marilyn Hein Homework: Reviewing, Rethinking and Revising the Expectations of a Seventh Grade Math Class and their Teacher Abstract Full Document
Lisa Henjes The Use of Think-Aloud Strategies to Solve Word Problems Abstract Full Document
Karen Hillen Discourse and Cooperative Learning in the Math Classroom Abstract Full Document
Shayne Hite Improving Problem Solving by Improving Reading Skills Abstract Full Document
Natalie Jenkins Factors that Influence Mathematics Attitudes Abstract Full Document
Megan Kelly A Study of Written Communication: Showing Your Steps Abstract Full Document
Jill Kranda Precise Mathematical Language: Exploring the Relationship Between Student Vocabulary Understanding and Student Achievement Abstract Full Document
Julie M. Kreizel Developing Habits of Mind Abstract Full Document
Michelle Lembke The Effect of Staff Development on Teacher Practice Abstract Full Document
Gretchen Long Creating Meaningful Homework and Implementing Homework Presentations to Aid in Mathematics Instruction Abstract Full Document
Corie Lubash Forgetting to Remember: Formative Assessment in Sixth Grade Mathematics Classroom Abstract Full Document
Rachelle Mayo Connections Between Communication Abstract Full Document
Amy Nebesniak Using Cooperative Learning to Promote a Problem-Solving Classroom Abstract Full Document
Laura Parn An In-Depth Study of Student Engagement Abstract Full Document
Lori Pierce Roller Coasters and Mathematics: A look into project based instruction Abstract Full Document
Bradley Piper Attitudes, Confidence, and Achievement of High-Ability Fifth Grade Math Students Abstract Full Document
Janet Schlatmann Improving Mathematics Problem Solving Through Written Explanations Abstract Full Document
Cathy Schultz Mathematical Communication and Achievement Through Journal Writing Abstract Full Document
Karen Schur Building Math Esteem in Fifth Grade Students Abstract Full Document
Tara Schwanebeck A Study of the Summarization of Word Problems Abstract Full Document
Toni Scusa Five Processes of Mathematical Thinking Abstract Full Document
Dot Snesrud Here is the Plan: So What is the Question? Abstract Full Document
Amanda Stark Writing Relevant Word Problems: Seeking to Increase Student Mathematical Achievement Abstract Full Document
Geri Steinbrink Reading Mathematics Abstract Full Document
Danielle Swanson Math Anxiety: What can teachers do to help their students overcome the feeling? Abstract Full Document
Cara Walz Journal Writing in Mathematics: Exploring the Connections between Math Journals and the Completion of Homework Assignments Abstract Full Document
Andrea Weins An Investigation into Careless Errors Made by 7th Grade Mathematics Students Abstract Full Document
Amy Wilson Mathematical Communication Within a Daily Small-Group Learning Environment Abstract Full Document
Lori Ziemba Increasing Student Confidence and Knowledge through Student Presentations Abstract Full Document


MAT Degrees

Author Title Documents (PDF)
Val Adams Building Confidence in Low Achievers through Building Mathematics Vocabulary Abstract Full Document
Stacey Aldag Pre-Reading Mathematics Empowers Students Abstract Full Document
Julane Amen Using Math Vocabulary Building to Increase Problem Solving Abilities in a 5th Grade Classroom Abstract Full Document
Teena Andersen Cooperative Learning in the Mathematics Classroom Abstract Full Document
Anna Anderson An Uphill Battle: Incorporating cooperative learning using a largely individualized curriculum Abstract Full Document
Delise Andrews Departmentalization in the 5th Grade Classroom. Rethinking the Elementary School Model Abstract Full Document
Tanya Archie Impacts of Cooperative Learning Groups Experiences and Journaling on Conceptual Understanding in an Eighth Grade Pre-Algebra Class Abstract Full Document
Pamela Arvie Differentiating Instruction Using Students' Learning Styles Abstract Full Document
Vicki Barry Using Descriptive Feedback In a Sixth Grade Mathematics Classroom Abstract Full Document
Jay Beyer Expository Writing in Mathematical Thinking: Reasoning and Proof to Communicate Story Problem Solutions Abstract Full Document
Kathy Bohac Increasing Algebraic Concepts in Fifth Grade Mathematics Abstract Full Document
Michael Bomar Real Life Problem Solving in Eighth Grade Mathematics Abstract Full Document
Tricia Buchanan The Importance of Teaching Students How to Read to Comprehend Mathematical Language Abstract Full Document
Amy Bystrom The Impact of Daily Multiplication Fact Review Abstract Full Document
Connie Colton Justifying Answers and Providing Explanations for Mathematical Thinking: The Impact on Student Learning in a Middle-School Classroom Abstract Full Document
Dean Davis Cooperative Learning Groups in the Eighth Grade Math Classroom Abstract Full Document
Sandy Dean Using Non-Traditional Activities to Enhance Mathematical Connections Abstract Full Document
Pat Derr Solving Problems Together Abstract Full Document
Jonelle Dickmeyer Cooperative Groups and Student Mastery During Problem Solving Abstract Full Document
Jill Edgren Producing More Problem Solving by Emphasizing Vocabulary Abstract Full Document
Gary Eisenhauer Cooperative Learning as an Effective Way to Interact Abstract Full Document
Monte Else Reading as a Learning Strategy for Mathematics Abstract Full Document
Jodie Emerson Connections Made through Higher Level Questioning Abstract Full Document
Alisa Favinger Investigating Mathematical Classroom Habits for Habit of the Mind Problems Abstract Full Document
Diana French Daily Problem Solving Warm-ups: Harboring Mathematical Thinking in the Middle School Classroom Abstract Full Document
Jessica Fricke Generating Interest in Mathematics through Discussion in the Middle School Classroom Abstract Full Document
Jeremy Fries Holding Students Accountable Daily Abstract Full Document
Stephanie Fuehrer Writing In Math Class? Written Communication in the Mathematics Classroom Abstract Full Document
Katie Glacey A Study of Mathematical Connections through Children's Literature in a Fifth- and Sixth-Grade Classroom Abstract Full Document
Doug Glasshoff Student Transition to College Abstract Full Document
Michaela Goracke Exploring the use of manipulatives in Eighth grade mathematics Abstract Full Document
Amy S. Gordon Cooperative Groups in Eighth Grade Math Abstract Full Document
Marlene Grayer Reasonable or Not? A Study of the Use of Teacher Questioning to Promote Reasonable Mathematical Answers From Sixth Grade Students Abstract Full Document
Kyla Hall Perceptions of Math Homework: Exploring the Connections between Written Explanations and Oral Presentations and the Influence on Abstract Full Document
Thomas Harrington "Let's Review." A Look at the Effects of Re-teaching Basic Mathematic Skills Abstract Full Document
Patty A. Hastings On the FASTT Road to Mathematical Success Abstract Full Document
Kacy Heiser Homework Presentations: Are They Worth the Time? Abstract Full Document
Cole Hilker Reduce Late Assignments through Classroom Presentations Abstract Full Document
Kim Hirschfeld-Cotton Mathematical Communication, Conceptual Understanding, and Students' Attitudes Toward Mathematics Abstract Full Document
Julie Hoaglund Enhancing Thinking Skills: Will Daily Problem Solving Activities Help? Abstract Full Document
Paula Jakopovic Teacher Attitudes on Integrating Technology in Elementary Curriculum Abstract Full Document
Scott Johnsen Improving Achievement and Attitude Through Cooperative Learning in Math Class Abstract Full Document
Brian Johnson Oral Communication and Presentations in Mathematics Abstract Full Document
Kristin Johnson &
Anne Schmidt
The Effects of Teaching Problem Solving Strategies to Low Achieving Students Abstract Full Document
Emy Jones Can homework become more meaningful with the inclusion of oral presentations? Abstract Full Document
Darla Kelberlau-Berks The Effects of Self-Assessment on Student Learning Abstract Full Document
Mary Elizabeth Kilnoski Supporting Bilingual Learners to Communicate Mathematically Abstract Full Document
Kesha King Talking Mathematics in a Sixth Grade Classroom Abstract Full Document
Brian Kohlhaas A Study of Problem-Based Learning in a Middle Level Classroom Abstract Full Document
Jessica Korth Proportional Reasoning Abstract Full Document
Kelly LaFleur Attitudes and Participation in Gender Specific Math Classrooms Abstract Full Document
Philip LaFleur Peer Tutoring: Student Achievement, Confidence and the Teacher's Role Abstract Full Document
Sarah Larson A Study of the Impact of Homework Influenced by Students Attitudes and Interests in a Sixth Grade Mathematics Classroom Abstract Full Document
Chad Larson The Importance of Vocabulary Instruction in Everyday Mathematics Abstract Full Document
Emily Lashley Confidence in Communication: Can My Whole Class Achieve This? Abstract Full Document
Susan Leavitt Interactive Problem Solving: Incorporating Interactive Whiteboard Technology with Problem Solving in the Math Classroom Abstract Full Document
Dianne Lee The Implications of Number Sense on the Mastery of Addition and Subtraction Concepts Abstract Full Document
Stacie Leffer Writing in a Mathematics Classroom: A Form of Communication and Reflection Abstract Full Document
Michelle Looky Meaningful Independent Practice in Mathematics Abstract Full Document
Tiffany Lothrop Math in the George Middle School Abstract Full Document
Jocelyn Masasi Motivating Students through Conceptual Teaching Abstract Full Document
Sheila McCartney Making Better Problem Solvers through Oral and Written Communication Abstract Full Document
Micki McConnell Exploring the Influence of Vocabulary Instruction on Students? Understanding of Mathematical Concepts Abstract Full Document
Carmen Melliger Understanding the Mathematical Language Abstract Full Document
Linda Moore Writing for Understanding in Math Class Abstract Full Document
Shawn Mousel Bad Medicine: Homework or Headache? Responsibility and Accountability for Middle Level Mathematics Students Abstract Full Document
Ryon Nilson Student Understanding and Achievement When Focusing on Peer-led Reviews Abstract Full Document
Joseph Nuss Using the Balance Model to Increase Students' Understanding of Algebraic Story Problems with One Variable Abstract Full Document
Loretta Ohnemus Mathematical Literacy: Journal Writing to Learn Problem Solving Abstract Full Document
Marcia Ostmeyer Students Writing Original Word Problems Abstract Full Document
Katie Pease Using Relearning Groups to Help All Students Understand Learning Objectives Before Tests Abstract Full Document
Jim Pfeiffer Self-Directed Learning in the Middle School Classroom Abstract Full Document
Maggie Pickering Cooperative Grouping Working on Mathematics Homework Abstract Full Document
Kyle Poore How to Better Prepare for Assessment and Create a More Technologically Advanced Classroom Abstract Full Document
Shelley Poore Cooperative Learning in Relation to Problem Solving in the Mathematics Classroom Abstract Full Document
Jennie Premer Talking the Talk: A Study of Communication Techniques Designed to Emphasize Self-Regulation in an Eighth Grade Mathematics Classroom Abstract Full Document
Jeremy Renfro How Student Self-Assessment Influences Mastery Of Objectives Abstract Full Document
Edie Ronhovde Making Sense of Word Problems Abstract Full Document
Lindsey Sample Oral and Written Communication in Classroom Mathematics Abstract Full Document
Daniel Schaben Improving Student Engagement and Verbal Behavior through Cooperative Learning Abstract Full Document
Mary Schneider Written Communication in a Sixth-Grade Mathematics Classroom Abstract Full Document
Valerie Schovanec Questioning Effective Professional Development on Questioning Abstract Full Document
Amy Schutz Oral Presentation: Exploring Oral Presentations of Homework Problems as a Means of Assessing Homework Abstract Full Document
Bryce Schwanke RAP (Reasoning and Proof) Journals: I Am Here Abstract Full Document
Shelly Sehnert Homework: Is There More To It Than Answers? Abstract Full Document
Josh Severin Improving Students' Story Problem Solving Abilities Abstract Full Document
Christina Sheets Calculators in the Classroom: Help or Hindrance? Abstract Full Document
Crystal Lynn Simpson Investigating Guided Math in Middle School Mathematics Courses Abstract Full Document
JaLena Slack Does Decoding Increase Word Problem Solving Skills? Abstract Full Document
Marcia Smith Written Solutions of Mathematical Word Problems Abstract Full Document
Sandi Snyder Cooperative Learning Groups in the Middle School Mathematics Classroom Abstract Full Document
Amy Solomon The Use of Vocabulary in an Eighth Grade Mathematics Classroom: Improving Usage of Mathematics Vocabulary in Oral and Written Communication Abstract Full Document
Vicki Sorensen Motivating Middle School Mathematics Students Abstract Full Document
Cindy Steinkruger Do Students Progress if They Self-Assess? A Study in Small-Group Work Abstract Full Document
Shana Streeks Why Are We Writing? This is Math Class! Abstract Full Document
Diane Swartzlander Effects of Self-Assessment on Math Homework Abstract Full Document
Jessica Thompson Enhancing Problem Solving Through Math Clubs Abstract Full Document
Lindsey Thompson Connections Between Communication Abstract Full Document
Tina Thompson Increasing Teacher Involvement with Other Teachers Through Reflective Interaction Abstract Full Document
Matthew Timm Using Student Questions and Justifications to Facilitate Meaningful Problem Solving in Second Grade Mathematics Abstract Full Document
Janet Timoney Increasing Conceptual Learning through Student Participation Abstract Full Document
Greg Vanderbeek Improving the Effectiveness of Independent Practice with Corrective Feedback Abstract Full Document
Lisa M. Vavra Homework, Attitude and Achievement in Pre-Algebra: Is There Really a Connection? Abstract Full Document
Aubrey Weitzenkamp Rubric Assessment of Mathematical Processes in Homework Abstract Full Document
Lynn West Using Physical and Virtual Manipulatives with Eighth Grade Geometry Students Abstract Full Document
Lexi Wichelt Communication: A Vital Skill of Mathematics Abstract Full Document
Leah Wilcox Calculators in a Middle School Mathematics Classroom: Helpful or Harmful? Abstract Full Document
Brandee Wilson Mathematical Communication through Written and Oral Expression Abstract Full Document
Keri Witherell Communication of Mathematics Within Cooperative Learning Groups Abstract Full Document