Term

Fall 11-21-2015

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAEd

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Shelley Orr

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Joanna Borrell

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Jessica Stoll

Abstract

The research question asked in this study is, how does consistent sensory motor activity impact student attention and independent work skills? It bases its action on the theory that all higher level learning requires a strong foundation of sensory motor experiences. Two trends are noted. First, our society’s decreasing opportunities for rich sensory motor experiences and second, our legislated push for increased academic demands of students at younger ages. . The resulting increase in inattentive, or sensory seeking, behaviors has become a daily issue for many elementary school teachers. A thorough description of sensory motor development, how the brain processes information, and the brain body connection is provided. Literature listing current interest in, and connections to, this theory as well as the need for further specific research on specific types of interventions is also reviewed. This study takes a quantitative research approach with a class of 22 second graders. Two weeks of baseline data were taken with no sensory motor strategies offered prior to instruction and independent work time. Two weeks of intervention data were taken with consistent sensory motor activities implemented immediately prior to instruction and independent work time. Behaviors tracked included; students getting out of their seats, teacher giving individual redirection to students, teacher repeating directions and incidents of student sensory seeking behaviors at their desks. A dramatic decrease was found in student sensory seeking behaviors and the number of times the students got out of their seats. A decrease was also noted in number of times the teacher gave redirection or repeated directions. Implications for daily classroom use as well as further research are proposed.

Research Methodology

Action Research

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