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Ann C. Sharp, PhD Lori Brandt, PhD Utah Valley University

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1 Ann C. Sharp, PhD Lori Brandt, PhD Utah Valley University
An Effective Coexistence: Explicit and Systematic Kindergarten Literacy Instruction and Playfulness Ann C. Sharp, PhD Lori Brandt, PhD Utah Valley University

2 A year long investigation in a kindergarten classroom

3 Background Came out of research being done on an early childhood instructional approach called Systematic Engaging Early Literacy Instruction (SEEL) (Culatta & Hall, 2006; Culatta, et al. 2007)

4 Systematic Engaging Early Literacy Instruction (SEEL)
A cooperative effort between Speech Language Pathology and Early Childhood Literacy Departments at Brigham Young University Created by Dr. Barbara Culatta Under development by a team of literacy experts Directed by Dr. Culatta & Dr. Hall-Kenyon.

5 SEEL Instruction Multiple and explicit exposures to the targeted literacy skill (Rayner, et al., 2001) Literacy skill is explicitly stated Modeled Practiced A combination of seeing, hearing, saying, doing, or touching are combined to provide multiple pathways to memory (Adams, 1990; Fisher & Frey, 2008) Playful scenarios tap into autobiographical memories and ensure engagement (Tulving, 1993)

6 Teachers model instruction playfully often using creative drama-like principles (Deasy, 2002)
Meaningful connections related to what children already know and think about (Gallego & Hollingsworth, 2000) Responsive reciprocal interactions such as turn-taking, attentive listening and waiting for children’s responses (Neuman & Roskos, 1997) Phonologically grounded focusing on rhyme and onset and rime, incorporating letter knowledge, through rhyming and alliteration (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998)

7 playING with Rhyme Children may pack a black backpack with ack things like a rack and a tack and a snack. The snack might crack and the snack pack might not have a back. They may take their black backpack that they have packed to the shack by the track and enjoy their snack.

8 Sound Segmenting and Blending
Take words apart and put them back together again Talk like a robot Count words, syllables, sounds Clap, march, tap out words, syllables, sounds Play ‘push and say’ Make up words from word parts b ack s ack t ack

9 Sound to Print playING with rhyming words
Children segment and blend rhymed words into their onsets and rimes Change the onset to make new words Use letters/cards to connect to print by reading p ack, b ack, s ack

10 Preschool success! In preschool the SEEL curriculum showed tremendous potential as investigations demonstrated preschoolers gaining in their abilities to rhyme and to use letter/sound knowledge (Culatta, Kovarsky, Theadore, Franklin, & Timler, 2003; Culatta, Hall, Kovarsky, & Theadore, 2007)

11 Kindergarten The first year the SEEL curriculum was tested in Kindergarten, children showed gains in rhyming and letter/sound knowledge, but were not statistically showing significant gains in word identification skills. (unpublished manuscript Culatta, Hall & Bingham…)

12 Reading Research Suggests
Explicit systematic phonics/spelling instruction is necessary for successful word identification (Beck & Juel, 1995; Adams, 1990; Stanovich, 1986; NRP, 2000) Phonics and spelling are heavily influenced by phonological awareness (Blachman, 1994; Brady & Fowler, 1988; Ehri et al., 2001; Wagner, Torgesen, & Rashotte, 1994) Beginning phonics instruction should be integrated with phonological awareness instruction (Cunningham, 1990; Gillon, 2004; Goswami, 2001)

13 SEEL the perfect fit! Spelling and phonics instruction begin with initial phoneme identification, rhyming, and blending of onsets and rimes (Gillon, 2004; Goswami & Bryant, 1992; Torgesen et al., 2005) What if individual phonemes are then analyzed as regularly consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words?

14 Research Question If SEEL added an explicit spelling/phonics component to their instruction would it strengthen the gains kindergarten children make in learning how to read? Can that spelling/phonics instruction be done playfully?

15 Research Design Multiple baseline design across subjects
Baseline performance: spelling data collected and repeated 4x over a six week period and then graphed Intervention: Spelling instruction is introduced while spelling data continues to be collected over 4 month period and then results added to graph Experimental control is established through repeated measures of baseline during intervention and replicated over multiple students ANCOVA with Pre and Post PALS K show growth

16 Participants 10 kindergarteners ( 7 females & 3 males) in a class of 23 students Designated as Tier 2 & 3 by classroom and district screening assessments Verified by Pre PALS K Western US Mid-socio-economic school w/31% receiving free or reduced lunch

17 Baseline Measures Criteria
10 words set in a phrase (e.g., We got a ___.) 5 cvc, all five vowels used every time 3 most easily articulated blends (e.g., bl, gl, cl, etc.) 3 digraphs (ch, sh, ck) Minimum of 3 words from rimes already learned No ccvcc words No proper names

18 Procedures Pre PALS K administered individually in November
4 baseline measures administered individually Nov.-Dec. Spelling instruction intervention occurred January – April Measures similar to the baseline were administered individually every other week on Mondays and Wednesdays during center time. Post PALS K administered individually in May

19 Adding Spelling/Phonics Instruction
Spelling features highlighted came from the Emergent and Alphabetic Letter-Name phases (Bear, et al., 2012) Systematic, explicit, multi-sensory instruction (Adams, 1990; Torgesen, 2004; Birsh, 2005) Using effective spelling strategies (Sharp, et al. 2008) Spelling by analogy (Goswami & Bryant, 1992) Fully analyzing words (Gaskins, et al., 1996) Attention to orthographic rules (Carreker, 2005) Dictation (Carreker, 2005) Presented in game/activity formats

20 Instruction 15-minute center rotations
Small group instruction (grouped by classroom teacher according to performance level) Twice a week: Tuesdays and Thursdays Created & taught by the principle investigator SEEL activities were taught BEFORE spelling centers

21 SEEL Activity First Ducks and trucks get stuck in the muck
The muck gets stuck on the children’s hands. “Yuck, stuck, muck is stuck. The duck is stuck. The truck is stuck. Oh yuck!” We ran out of luck! Let’s make our muck into a duck, buck, truck.

22 Then Spelling Center Instructions:
Make –uck words by sucking on a straw to pull up letter cards Place letter on the correct blank space of one of the –uck words. Write the word on the whiteboard. Use the ‘I Can Spell Chart’ to analyze the word. Dictation: Tiers 2 & 3: The _(duck)_ is _(stuck)_ in the _(muck).

23 Instruction Included Modeling the target Identifying the skill

24 3. Interacting and responding verbally or nonverbally

25 4. Explicitly paying attention to the spelling structure through use of playful practice.

26 Findings

27 Growth In 4 of the 5 areas measured by the PALS K significant growth was made

28 PALS K PRE AND POST Tier II & III students showed significant gains in four skill areas
TEST ADMIN MEAN STANDARD DEVIATION t SCORE SIGNIFICANCE Word Recognition in Isolation- PrePrimer Fall 1.20 1.81 t(9) 8.67 p < 0.001 Spring 12.90 4.46 Letter-Sound Knowledge 9.90 5.32 7.78 21.90 2.77 Letter-sound spelling knowledge 5.60 4.62 6.18 16.40 5.95 Alphabet knowledge lower case 16.10 7.02 4.06 p < 0.003 24.40

29 Multiple baseline data corroborated and elaborate the results
Marked improvement for each Tier II/III student on initial consonant, medial vowel, final consonant to near 100% performance at the end of the study as illustrated in the composite data.

30 Average Trendlines for Each Element Baseline 1 to Final Assessment

31 In addition, seven of the students showed a marked improvement in performance in each element at the point of transition from the baseline measures to the operational measures

32 Samantha – tier 2

33 Courtney – tier 3

34 The other three students in the sample also had a definite pattern of improvement, but the immediate improvement at the initiation of the intervention was not as noticeable

35 Bella – tier 2

36 Observable Motivation
Children were highly motivated as they came to the spelling centers. They cheered when it was their turn. They declared that the spelling center was their favorite.

37 Conclusion Results from this study provide encouraging information about the impact of direct spelling instruction on students who are struggling with reading. Kindergarten children at risk for failure made unusually good progress on all of the study measures.

38 Substantiate past research
Significant gains in 4 of the 5 major skill areas on the PALS-K, including word recognition in isolation, a precursor to reading. Significant gains made on the spelling element of the PALS-K, which is corroborated by the performance on the baseline measures. Near grade-level performance by the end of the school year

39 Playfulness Playful presentation caught positive attention from kindergarteners Game formats were observed to hook and engage students in the learning Instruction was effective when presented playfully

40 Kindergarten literacy instruction
Effective when an explicit systematic approach is combined with play


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