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									The Early Bird Catches the Worm:
     Preparing Children for
          Kindergarten
    Joneen Lowman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
        Bloomsburg University
        jlowman@bloomu.edu
                         Background
• Current legislative mandates are prompting schools to seek out methods
  for
• preparing children for school success (IDEA, 2004; NCLB, 2004).
• Early school experiences can influence social and cognitive development
  and
• school dropout (Alexander et al., 1997; Ensminger & Slusarcick, 1992).
• Children who attend preschool the year before kindergarten
   score higher on reading and math assessments at the start of
  kindergarten with
  – effects lasting though first grade.
   are less likely to be retained in kindergarten (Magnuson et al., 2004).
• However, limited evidence is available regarding summer programs that
  can
• remediate pre-literacy deficits of incoming kindergarteners.
• Setting the Stage
• Southern Columbia Area School District in collaboration
  with the investigator provided a summer readiness
  program in 2006 that produced significant improvement
  on pre-post-testing.
• Limitations were noted in the assessment tool used to
  qualify students.
• The investigator desired to utilize evidence-based
  strategies for teaching pre-literacy skills to participants
  attending the 2007 program.
• A new principal was hired who was interested in
  implementing DIBELS.
                     Revising the Screener
•   Administration and kindergarten teachers sought to update the school-developed kindergarten screener
    to include phonological awareness skills.
•   The investigator felt scoring procedures needed to be based on published data and that a formal protocol
    for administration was warranted.
•   The finalized screener took 25 minutes to administer and consisted of :
      1.     Letter Naming Fluency (LNF) measure from DIBELS (DIBELS, 2000)
      2.     Initial Sound Fluency (ISF) measure from DIBELS (DIBELS, 200)
      3.     Rhyming measure from Get It, Got It, Go [Early Childhood Research Institute on Measuring
             Growth and
      –                Development, (Grant No.: H024S60010)]
      –      4. Six concept words drawn from developmental norms published on the
      –              Boehm Tests of Basic Concepts.
      –      5. Ten print awareness items developed similar to those described by Justice,
      –              Invernizzi, Geller, Sullivan and Welsch (2005).
      –      6. Color Identification
      –      7. Personal Data
      –      8. Number Counting/Measurement/Computation
      –      9. Writes Name
•   The screener was administered in the Spring of 2007 as part of kindergarten registration along with
    hearing, vision and speech-language screeners.
                                   Setting
Participants
•   The investigator and SCASD administration felt letter naming, initial sound
    identification, rhyming, concepts and print awareness were critical skills needed
    for kindergarten.
•   Children demonstrating deficits in at least three of the five areas were invited to
    attend the program.
•   18 of the 30 qualifying children participated.
•   11 children, who did not meet the criteria, attended per parent request.
•   2 SCASD teachers, 2 teaching assistants, and the faculty member provided
    instruction.
•   Consent for research was obtained for all but two children.


Setting
•   2 classrooms designated for kindergarten during the school year at SCASD
            Program Logistics
           • Program Overview
• Monday – Thursday for 5 weeks
• 8:30 – 11:30
• 18 days of instruction
  Day 1 – Orientation
  Day 20 – Family Open House
• Transportation provided
• Fund by 21st Century Grant
               Program Logistics
                • Daily Schedule
•   8:30 – 8:45 – Letter Instruction
•   8:45 – 9:45 – Small Group/Large Group
•   9:45 – 10:00 – Outside Play
•   10:00 – 10:15 – Snack
•   10:15 – 10:30 – Book/Music
•   10:30 -11:20 – Literacy Group/Art
•   11:20 – 11:30 – Prepare for Dismissal
•   11:30 - Dismissal
                         Program Logistics
•   Direct and Indirect Instructional Methods were used to addressed the program goals:
•   Goal 1 – Letter Naming
•   Fundations : Wilson Language Basics, Levels K-1 (2006) was implemented. The program was
    used to provide direct instruction on the grapheme-phoneme relationship for 24 letters.
    Implementation consisted of large and small group instruction.
•   A letter a day was targeted.
•   Goal 2 – Initial Sound Fluency
•   Kindergarten Peer-Assisted Literacy Strategies (K-PALS, 2001) guided initial sound instruction.
•   Small/Large group instruction utilizing activities retrieved from the Florida Center for Reading
    Research
•   Goal 3 – Rhyming
•   KPALS
•   Small/Large group instruction utilizing activities retrieved from the Florida Center for Reading
    Research
•   Goal 4 – Print Awareness
•   Each week a different book was targeted. The book directed large group activities. Direct and
    indirect instruction during book reading was used to teach print awareness.
•   Goal 5 – Concepts
•   Concepts were embedded into daily activities.
                   Research Design
• Pretesting – Spring 2007
• Kindergarten screener administered during kindergarten registration
• Intervention – Summer 2007
• Weekly administration of ISF, LNF and rhyming measures
• Post-testing – Summer 2007
• Kindergarten screener administered last week of program
• Kindergarten screener was administered to 5 out of 12 children who
  qualified for the program but elected not to attend. Consent to
  participate could not be secured from 7 families.
• Follow-Up – Fall 2007
• ISF and LNF were administered as part of school-wide DIBELS assessment.
       Results: Initial Sound Fluency
                            • Goal: Score of 8 or higher


                                • Main Effects
• Significant effects for time and group but not for the interaction

                          • Post hoc Analysis
• At-risk group demonstrated significant improvement from pre- to post
  testing.

• Significant differences between groups at pretest only

• *Nonattendees were not included in the analyses as there were only 5.
   Results: Letter Naming Fluency
                 • Goal: Score of 8 or higher

                      • Main Effects
• Significant effects for time and group but not for the
  interaction

                  • Post hoc Analysis
• At-risk group demonstrated significant improvement
  from pre- to post testing.

• Significant differences between groups at pretest,
  post test and follow-up
                Results: Rhyme
                • Criterion: Score of 6 or higher

                      • Main Effects
• Significant effects for time and group but not for the
  interaction

                  • Post hoc Analysis
• At-risk group demonstrated significant improvement
  from pre- to post testing.

• Significant differences between groups at pretest,
  post test and follow-up
                         Conclusions
• Results indicate that a summer program is effective for addressing deficits
  in pre-literacy skills. This is supported by the lack of improvement
  demonstrated by nonattendees.
• Deficits in the areas of rhyme and initial sound fluency were remediated
  for 2/3 of the at-risk participants. However, only half of the at-risk
  participants met criterion for letter naming fluency. This may be
  attributed to the number of letters taught. A new letter was taught each
  day. It appears this frequency is too intensive.
• Although, at-risk participants demonstrated great improvements equality
  between groups was not achieved. Also, approximately 1/3 of the
  participants exited still at-risk and remained at-risk at the start of
   kindergarten. Further investigation is warranted.

								
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