Term

Summer 8-3-2015

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAEd

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Susan Manikowski

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Amanda Husfeldt

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Luke Odegaard

Abstract

The research question addressed is, how can cooperative learning, graphic organizers, and writing improve eighth grade advanced geometry students’ problem solving skills? The motivating factor for this capstone was students being unsuccessful when trying to solve an assignment which required synthesizing information and problem solving. This capstone documents the process of having students complete problem solving assignments using a graphic organizer, cooperative learning, and reflecting on the assignment through writing. The researcher found success and struggles with the use of these tools and concludes that 1) students were more successful in the problem solving process when they used the graphic organizer; 2) students learned problem solving skills from one another through cooperative learning; 3) students who were successful in the written reflection were more successful in problem solving; 4) these tools helped students improve their problem solving abilities and increased their confidence in problem solving.

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