Type of Culminating Activity
Graduate Student Project
Master of Arts in Education, Reading
This research originated from my experience teaching in a school designed as an alternative to expulsion for a large public school district. The premise was that students could return to their traditional school setting after the appropriate “time-out” had been completed. My research and experience speaks to the fact that the threat of expulsion and required compliance of strict behavior codes rarely changed student behavior and did not make at-risk adolescents better students. I found that students who met the criteria for an expulsion referral came from all walks of life, had a variety of learning styles, and covered the full spectrum of academic ability. Almost without exception however, these students did share some specific commonalities. These students all had behavior problems and nearly every student reported they struggled with handling their anger and reading their school work. My research and classroom experience lead me to focus on teaching emotional intelligence skills while simultaneously building in differentiated lessons to address academic skills, in order to help at-risk students be more success in their personal and academic lives.
In this project I used the book, Power Source: Taking Charge of Your Life (Casarjian & Casarjian, 2003), as a framework to build a Literacy-Rich Emotional Intelligence Curriculum Guide. My students loved this book, so I used it as the main text of the curriculum. I have enriched the Power Source modules with lessons that teach and reinforce the vocabulary of the Power Source book. I have recommended reading strategies for each topic and have provided a reading list of various reading levels and interests that coordinate with four Power Source modules of self-discovery and meditation, risk-taking, choosing friends, and family relationships. I have also included the internet link to the School-Wide Enrichment Model (Reis, et. al, 2005) down-loadable Bookmarks, which enable rich discussions during mini-conferences between teachers and students.
Fitzgerald, Carol Louise, "Literacy-Rich Emotional Intelligence Curriculum Guide" (2009). Literacy Graduate Projects and Theses. Paper 1.