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Individualizing Preschool Literacy Instruction: Research to Practice

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Title: Individualizing Preschool Literacy Instruction: Research to Practice


1
Individualizing Preschool Literacy Instruction
Research to Practice
  • Carol McDonald Connor
  • Florida State University and the Florida Center
    for Reading Research
  • SW IDA
  • February 2008

2
Acknowledgements
  • ISI team both FSU and UM
  • Fred Morrison, Barry Fishman, Lisa Slominski and
    Claire Cameron
  • Pathways to Literacy Project students and staff
  • Parents, children and teachers who participated
    in the study
  • This work was supported by the US Department of
    Education IES, National Institute of Child Health
    and Human Development and the National Science
    Foundation under grant numbers R305H04014, R01
    HD27176 and 0111754, respectively.

3
Emergent Literacy
  • It is generally agreed that emergent literacy
  • involves the skills, knowledge, and attitudes
    that are developmental precursors to conventional
    forms of reading and writing. These skills are
    the basic building blocks for how students learn
    to read and write (p. 1. IRA/ NICHD Conference
    on Early Childhood Literacy Research, February,
    2005).

4
  • An emergent literacy perspective departs from a
    reading readiness model.
  • In the readiness model, learning to read begins
    with formal school-based reading instruction.
  • From an emergent literacy perspective there is no
    boundary between what is considered to be the
    conventional reading that students learn in
    school and everything that comes before.
  • Rather, the emergent literacy perspective views
    literacy-related behaviors that occur in the
    preschool period as legitimate and important
    features on a developmental continuum of literacy
    (Bowman, Donovan, Burns, 2001 Shonkoff
    Phillips, 2000 Teale Sulzby, 1986).

5
Preventing Reading Disabilities
  • Building early emergent literacy and language
    skills may help to lessen or prevent severe
    reading disabilities

6
What should children learn in preschool?
  • Among other important skills
  • Vocabulary and oral language skills
  • Phonological awareness
  • Rhyming, phonological segmentation, blending
  • Letters and letter-sound correspondence
  • Dickenson et al (2003) Lonigan et al. (1999)
    Nelson et al., (2003) NICHD-ECCRN (numerous)

7
Teacher-Child Interactions
  • Using open-ended questions
  • Wh-questions rather than yes-no questions
  • Be warm, caring, and responsive
  • Explicitly build childrens self-regulation

8
Dialogic Reading
  • Highly interactive shared book reading appears to
    build childrens language skills
  • Transcript of a highly effective preschool
    teacher reading to her Head Start classroom

9
ADU lets do our story and then we-'ll do our
choice-s.
ChI many children talking at once, but quiet
down when the teacher starts asking
questions. ADU what-'is on the front of my
book?
CHI Sydney a chick.
CHI Sydney chicken.
CHI many a chick.
CHI
many a chicken. ADU what-'is on the back of
mybook?
CHI all egg. ADU an egg. ADU the name of
the book says Chicken's are'nt the only ones.
CHI Sydney
it-'is horse-s and cow-s and. ADU Ruth Heller
wrote this book. Lets see what it say-es.
CHI Sydney
upside down ones too. ADU reading text
chicken-s lay the egg-s you buy, the egg-s you
boil or fry or dye.
10
ADU reading text most snake-s lay egg-s and
lizard-s too and crocodile-sand turtle-s
too. ADU reading text and dinosaur-swho are
extinct.
CHI all oh .
CHI Maxwell I wanna do dinosaur-s.
CHI
Jessica I do dinosaur!
CHI Thomas look at that
sharp tooth. ADU what do-es it mean when we say
dinosaur-s are extinct? ADU do you know?
CHI Eugene
they-'re dead. ADU have you heard that?
That-'is right. There are no more dinosaurs.
They-'re all gone. They-'re extinct.

11
CHI Eugene all the dinosaur-s ltthey gotta gogt
// they-'re in the museum. ADU except in the
museum they have dead one-s. ADU but not live
one-s.
CHI yeah but I went the museum saw the bone-s.
CHI
Ezekiel ltmy auntie saidgt / my auntie said she
saw a dinosaur that got kill-ed.
CHI Eugene I saw
one. ADU they-'re not alive any more.
12
  • Note use of rare words
  • Children actively participated
  • The teacher provided definitions in the context
    of the story
  • And asked questions

13
Invented Spelling
  • Letting children pretend to write with
    appropriate feedback
  • Builds phonological awareness
  • Knowledge of letter-sound association
  • Generalizes better than simply teaching letters

14
Invented Spelling
  • Developmental sequence
  • Scribbles
  • Random letters
  • One consonant per word
  • One letter per sound
  • Use of vowels
  • Conventional spelling

15
Preschool emergent literacy instruction
specificity
  • Reading with children tends to build language
    skills
  • Meaning-focused skills
  • Whereas teaching phonological awareness, letters
    and the alphabetic principal tends to build
    emergent literacy skills
  • Code focused skills

16
Child X Instruction interactions
  • How explicit should emergent literacy be?
  • It depends!
  • The effect of particular types of literacy
    instruction appears to depend on childrens
    language and emergent literacy skills

17
Focus of the Study
  • Research Questions
  • What is the effect of amount and type of
    preschool language/literacy activities on
    preschoolers vocabulary and early or emergent
    reading skill growth
  • Whole class
  • Small group
  • Does the effect of specific types of instruction
    depend on students entering skills?
  • What does this mean for classroom practice?

18
Conceptualizing Emergent Literacy Instruction
  • Dimensions of Instruction
  • Teacher versus child managed
  • Code focused versus meaning focused
  • Context of Instruction
  • Whole class or classroom level instruction
  • Student level
  • Small group
  • Individual
  • Children in the same classroom are participating
    in substantially different amounts and types of
    activities

19
Classroom Level Instruction
20
Child Level Instruction
21

Classroom Observations
  • Morning or afternoon observations at teachers
    convenience video-taped
  • Video-coded teacher and child actions recorded by
    type of activity
  • 85-95 inter-rater reliability for activities
    lasting at least 15 seconds
  • Content areas and non-instructional time coded
  • 26 specific language arts types of activities
    identified
  • The study utilizes only Language/Literacy-related
    activities

22
Coding directly from video
23
Participants
  • 157 student participants
  • 3-4 years of age in fall 2002
  • 34 classrooms taught by 24 teachers
  • Lead teachers hold Early Childhood Credential
  • Head-Start, Title 1 and Fee-for-service licensed
    preschools/daycare
  • Full and half day programs
  • Housed in 6 elementary schools two lower
    performing
  • School District Urban Fringe transitioning

24
Child Measures
  • Vocabulary WJ-3 Picture Vocabulary
  • Letter-Word recognition WJ-3 letter/word
    identification
  • Alphabet name lower-case letters on shuffled
    alphabet cards
  • Parent/School report
  • Age
  • Gender
  • SES Mothers education
  • Hours per week attended preschool

25
Results
On average, children made age appropriate
progress on all measures
26
Results - Classroom
  • On average, teachers spent 13 minutes per day on
    literacy-related activities
  • 2 minutes in small groups
  • 11 minutes in whole class activities
  • Amounts ranged from 0 to 65 minutes per day
  • Amounts and types of specific literacy activities
    affected students spring outcomes

27
Mean minutes PS activities
28
Mean minutes PS Literacy Instruction
29
Letter-word Recognition
30
TM-code-focused-st
75th percentile fall LW
Spring Letter-Word
25th percentile fall LW
0 3 6 minutes
31
Letter-word X Instruction
75th percentile fall Letter-word score
Spring Letter-Word
25th percentile fall Letter-word score
Amount of TM Code Focused Classroom
Amount of TM Meaning Focused Classroom
32
Vocabulary
  • A2I

33
CM-Meaning-focused-cl
75th percentile Vocabulary
Spring Vocabulary
25th percentile Vocabulary
0 2 4 minutes
34
Fall Vocabulary X Instruction
75th percentile fall vocabulary score
25th percentile fall vocabulary
Spring Vocabulary
Amount of TM Code Focused Classroom
35
Fall Vocabulary by Play
75th percentile Vocabulary
Spring Vocabulary
25th percentile Vocabulary
0 1.5 3 4.5 6 minutes
CM-MF-Play
36
Implications
  • Both code- and meaning-focused preschool literacy
    activities, including play, contribute to
    emergent literacy and language outcomes
  • But their effect appears to depend on childrens
    literacy and vocabulary skills at the beginning
    of the year
  • How do we design effective preschool instruction
    that take into account these child X instruction
    interactions?
  • Use assessment to guide instruction
  • Encourage teacher planning for individualized
    instruction
  • Individualizing Student Instruction Project
  • http//isi.fcrr.org

37
Attending to the instructional needs of all
children
38
To teach this way is very complex!
  • A2i was designed to make this much easier
  • A2i uses mathematical equations (algorithms) from
    our research to compute recommended amounts and
    types of instruction for each child in the
    classroom based on his or her assessed reading
    and vocabulary skills

39
Assessment to Instruction A2i
  • http//isi.fcrr.org
  • Log in
  • A2idemo
  • Password
  • Isi06!

40
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41
But does A2i and ISI work?
  • We conducted a randomized control field trial to
    find out
  • We, as teachers, should demand RFTs
  • This is one of the very best ways to see if an
    intervention actually works
  • Less bias with a randomly assigned control group
  • Control for previous achievement
  • Efficient
  • Rigorous
  • Helps us move away from fads and towards what
    actually makes a difference in student outcomes

42
Research design
43
Participants 2005-2006
  • 10 Schools FARL 24-96
  • 47 Teachers no differences between groups for
    years of experience and years of education
  • 616 Children
  • 59 eligible for free or reduced priced lunch
  • 54 African American, 37 White
  • A subset of 411 (12 per classroom) were randomly
    selected for the classroom observation protocol

44
Schools
24 treatment classrooms, 25 control classrooms,
and 3 pilot classrooms
45
Procedures
  • Student Assessments
  • 3 times during the school year fall, winter,
    and spring
  • Woodcock Johnson-III
  • Classroom observation
  • Video-taped
  • 3 times per year fall, winter, and spring
  • Compare results of treatment and control groups
  • Instruction
  • Student outcomes

46
The Intervention
  • Instruction
  • Dedicated and uninterrupted reading and language
    block of at least 60 minutes
  • Conceptualize instruction multi-dimensionally
  • TM Instruction in small groups or individually
    using homogenous skill based groups
  • Attending to the assessed skill levels of the
    group
  • Provide A2i algorithm recommended amounts
  • Professional Development
  • 2 workshops and bi-weekly meetings
  • Classroom-based support bi-weekly

47
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HLM - Treatment versus Control Student Reading
Comprehension Outcomes
Mean scores controlling for fall vocabulary,
passage comprehension, letter-word reading,
curriculum, FARL, and Reading First status. 464
GE 1.8, 468 GE 2.0, n 616 students
50
A2i Use and Reading Comprehension
AE 8.2 years
AE 6.0 years
HLM fitted growth curves controlling for fall
vocabulary, letter-word reading, curriculum,
FARL, and Reading First status. 464 GE 1.8, 468
GE 2.0,
51
ISI Coding Scheme
Child-managed Pair 4.1. Literacy Codes 4.1.2.
Phoneme Awareness 4.1.3. Syllable
Awareness 4.1.4. Morpheme Awareness 4.1.5.
Onset/Rime Awareness 4.1.6. Word
ID/Decoding 4.1.7. Word ID/Encoding 4.1.8.
Fluency 4.1.9. Print Concepts 4.1.10. Oral
Language 4.1.11. Print Vocabulary 4.1.12.
Reading Comprehension 4.1.13. Text
Reading 4.1.14. Writing 4.1.15.
Library 4.1.16. Assessment
4.1.2. Phoneme Awareness
4.1.2. Phoneme Awareness 4.1.2.2.
Blending 4.1.2.3. Elision/Initial 4.1.2.4.
Elision/Final 4.1.2.5. Elision/Vowel 4.1.2.6.
Elision/Medial 4.1.2.7. Substitution/Initial 4.1
.2.8. Substitution/Final 4.1.2.9.
Substitution/Vowel 4.1.2.10 Substitution/Medial
4.1.2.11 Segmenting/Counting
52
TCM Small-group Code-focused
53
Teacher-Managed Instruction
Small Group
Whole Class
54
Child Managed Instruction
55
Actual A2i recommended amounts
Distance From Recommendation Absolute Values

Simple Differences
56
Distance From Recommendations (DFR) and Reading
Comprehension
Holding school SES, child initial skills, and
TMCF DFR slope constant at their means. Model
explains 59 of total spring PC variance.
57
Implications
  • Child X instruction may be causally implicated in
    the wide variability in achievement observed
    within and between classrooms and schools
  • Teacher learning
  • Implications of childXinstruction interactions
  • Conceptualize instruction at the child rather
    than classroom or curriculum level
  • Moving beyond balance
  • Interaction with vocabulary (and hence language)
  • Links between language and literacy
  • Medium of instruction

58
Teachers Knowledge about Literacy Research and
Instruction
  • Are teachers who are more knowledgeable about
    literacy research, language and literacy
    concepts, and pedagogy more effective in
    promoting their students literacy learning?
  • Did the teachers in the ISI intervention gain
    important knowledge?

59
Teacher Knowledge and ISI
  • Scores on the TKA ranged from 9 to 36 out of a
    possible 45 (M 23.45, SD 7.27).
  • A2i use and TKS correlations
  • Fall TKS and A2i total use did not correlate
  • Spring TKS and A2i correlation .58

60
Teacher Knowledge Practice
75th
50th
25th
Scores on the TKA ranged from 9 to 36 out of a
possible 45 (M 23.45, SD 7.27).
Piasta Connor (2007).
61
Implications
  • What teachers know about literacy, including
    emergent literacy, and how to teach literacy
    matters to students learning
  • Instruction implemented by unknowledgeable
    teachers may lead to less student literacy
    learning
  • But knowledge alone is not enough
  • Using knowledge AND providing evidence-based
    instruction led to stronger student outcomes
  • How do we prepare our teachers and keep their
    knowledge up to date?

62
Questions so far?
  • We will next discuss how to actually individual
    instruction in the classroom and will take a more
    detailed look at A2i

63
Moving into the classroom and How to
Individualize Instruction
  • Using the great ideas of our teachers and
    research partners
  • Individualizing Instruction is like a limerick,
    which is a type of poem in English that has a
    very defined structure, or Haiku, which is a form
    of Japanese poetry
  • Within the strict structure, the writers are
    allowed the freedom to say what they want

64
Elements of ISI
  • Conceptualizing instruction multidimensionally
  • Planning
  • Classroom Organization
  • Attending to amounts and types of instruction
  • Differentiating content and delivery
  • School level strategies

65
Understanding the Dimensions of Instruction
  • Teacher versus child managed
  • Code versus meaning focused
  • Any core curriculum or instructional strategy can
    be indexed to the dimensions of instruction
  • Method not a curriculum
  • Flexibility
  • Empower teachers

66
Planning
67
A Closer Look at A2i
  • Isi.fcrr.net
  • Log in A2idemo
  • Password isi06!

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Return
76
Assessment to Instruction (A2i) Software
  • http//isi.fcrr.org

77
Classroom Organization
  • Small homogeneous skill-based groups
  • Flexible groupings
  • Merging groups
  • Moving children as their skills change
  • Organizational Charts
  • Managing Transitions
  • Managing disruptions

78
Attending to recommended amounts and types of
instruction
  • Precision matters!
  • Too much is no better than too little
  • Teachers who used A2i more were more precise in
    meeting the recommended amounts for each child in
    their classroom

79
Attending to Content and Delivery
  • Different content
  • Leveled books and materials
  • Different parts of the core curriculum or even
    different grade levels
  • Different presentation
  • Level of scaffolding provided

80
Other Strategies
  • Change classes for the Literacy block
  • May not be appropriate for pre-K
  • Rotate and bring other professionals into the
    classroom to help with teacher-managed small
    group instruction

81
Future Plans
  • Develop algorithms for preschoolers
  • Teacher Assessment Module
  • Computer-based assessments for vocabulary and
    reading
  • Word match game
  • DIBELS
  • Any valid and reliable assessment that assesses
    vocabulary and reading
  • Kindergarten, Second and Third Grade
  • Professional development and training
  • Response to Instruction Models
  • Make A2i and ISI generally available to teachers
    and schools for a reasonable cost

82
Contact Information
  • cconnor_at_fcrr.org or cconnor_at_fsu.edu
  • http//isi.fcrr.org

On your worst day on the job, you are still some
child's best hope. Larry I. Bell
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