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The Great Debate continued: Does daily writing in kindergarten lead to invented spelling and reading?

Description: Many children in the United States cannot read on level by fourth grade. Traditionally, teachers have delayed reading instruction until first grade. However, involving children sooner in literary activities may provide skills needed to enable them to read on grade level. The purpose for this study was to determine the extent to which daily writing in kindergarten influences the development of invented spelling and learning to read. Five teachers modeled writing with 78 kindergarten children who wrote every day or almost every day for 20 weeks. There were 51 children in an experimental group, and 27 in a control group who were given a pretest and a posttest using the Observation Study (Clay, 1993). Results from a mixed model ANOVA indicated a significant difference between the control group and the experimental group on the Dictation Task F (1, 76) = 11.76, P≤ .001 and the Writing Test F (1, 76) = 4.33, P≤ .01. Results from a z-Test of dependent proportions indicated there were significant differences in the reading levels of the control group from the pretest to the posttest (z = 7.51, P ≥ .05) because (z = 7.51, Zcv = 1.96). The experimental group results from pretest to posttest were also statistically significant (z = 6.48, P ≥ .05) because (z = 6.48, Zcv = 1.96). At the end of kindergarten 82.35% of the experimental group was reading, while only 48.15% of the control group was reading. This research indicates that if kindergarten children are encouraged to write daily and use invented spelling there is a greater possibility they will enter first grade reading.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: Pierce, Laura Boehl
Partner: UNT Libraries

Self-Assessment of Literacy Growth in Young Children

Description: In this study, 78 kindergarten and first-grade children were interviewed about their writing to identify indicators of self-assessment. Writing samples for each participant were saved over a three month period, then compared and discussed by the child. Results indicated that these young children did engage in self:-assessment behaviors. The classroom teachers were asked to place the participants in their classes along a writing continuum known as a Writing Band. Graphs were presented to show the writing levels of the children by classroom. In addition, each classroom was surveyed to document events which promote literacy development within the framework of an integrated curriculum. Writing samples for each child were collected and kept in a portfolio. Participants were interviewed regarding the contents of the portfolio. Children in two of the kindergarten classes were interviewed using 5 samples collected over a 2 1/2 month time period, and all other participants were interviewed using 6 writing samples collected over a 3 month period. Findings indicated that not only did these young children recognize growth in their writing, but they also assessed that growth based on outward, physical features of their writing. The writing ability of each child at the beginning of the study did not appear to affect the child's ability to self-assess writing growth. Children on the first 4 Writing Bands, A, B, C, and D self-assessed using similar criteria. Additional findings suggested that many of these young children knew there was a thought process involved with choosing topics to be written about. The results of this study suggested implications for continued investigations into using self-assessment with young children. For example, it was proposed that varying the learning environment may change the criteria that children use for self-assessment. Further research was recommended that would identify student and teacher behaviors that enhance self-assessment.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Miels, Jill C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Study of the Relationship Between Selected Learning Styles and Achievement of Kindergarten Language Arts Objectives in a Local School District

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a relationship between the learning style of a kindergarten child and the level of achievement in language arts. The study was done at the request of the school district of a small community in north Texas, and it incorporated the total public school kindergarten population, 110 subjects. Instruments were the Learning Style Inventory: Primary by Perrin, the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and an achievement test developed by the regional education service center. The LSI:P was administered to all students by one person while the two achievement tests were administered by individual teachers to their own classes. The children were divided into groups according to their rating on the LSI:P, using the Prescription Circle by Dunn and Dunn as modifier. ANOVA and chi square analysis were utilized to compute frequencies and percentages at the .05 level to determine relationships between learning styles' group membership and attainment in language. A definite relationship was found between a child's learning style and achievement on the language arts objectives. Indications were that the elements of motivation, persistence and responsibility, and perceptual mode preferred by the learner had strong relationship to success in achievement. It was concluded that a relationship exists between the ability to conduct successful word analysis and a child's learning style. It was also determined that children of kindergarten age can self-report learning style as measured by the Learning Style Inventory: Primary. It is recommended that longitudinal studies be conducted to discover if learning styles change with maturity. Other studies could be done on subgroups of the kindergarten population to find what impact preschool experiences, English as a second language, or sex of the child may have on the relationship between a child's learning style and achievement in language arts.
Date: August 1990
Creator: Harp, Billie F.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparison of the Reading and Writing Performance of Children in a Whole Language Pre-First-Grade Class and a Modified Traditional First-Grade Class

Description: This study examined differences in literacy development between five students attending whole language pre-first-grade classes and five students eligible for pre-first-grade classes but attending modified traditional first-grade classes. Differences between whole language pre-first-grade classes and modified traditional first-grade classes in use of literacy materials, teaching procedures, and amount of time spent on literacy were also examined. The procedures involved testing the subjects on reading and writing skills, observations of the pre-first-grade and first-grade classes, and analysis of subjects' writing samples.
Date: December 1990
Creator: Davis, Ruth A. (Ruth Ann), 1946-
Partner: UNT Libraries