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Effectiveness of GOLD and Early Intervention to Identify Students at Risk in Pre-kindergarten

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ABSTRACT

In this work, Teaching Strategies assessments were administered and reviewed to determine milestones and school readiness among pre-kindergarten students. The purpose of this study was to use Teaching Strategies GOLD and Creative Curriculum to identify students at risk in pre-kindergarten. In recent years, the government has pushed districts to increase academic content and gather more information from students. Educators must find the best assessments tools that assess young children in their everyday routines and natural learning environments. Informed decisions must be made based on assessments of the whole child in order to formulate effective lessons and interventions. This study suggested that Teaching Strategies GOLD provide educators with the data to develop instructional plans that target grade level curriculum in all areas of early childhood development. The study also suggested that assessing students three checkpoint periods per year gave valuable ongoing information allowing for individualized plans to be adjusted throughout the year.  In this study, data obtained from administering Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment were used to identify students at risk in pre-kindergarten.

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Abstract…………………………………………………………………………………..3

Chapter 1: Introduction ……………………………………………………………………….6

            Theoretical Framework…………………………………………………………..6

            Statement of Problem………………………………………………………………………7

            Research Question………………………………………………………….…….7

            Rationale for the study…………………………………………………….……..7

Significance of the Study…………………………………………………………….……8

Definition of Terms…………………………………………………………………….…8

Teaching Strategies GOLD……………..…………………………………..……8

Developmentally Appropriate Practice…………………………………..…..….8

Differentiated Instruction………………………………..……………………….9

Limitations…………………………………………………………………………………9

Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature……………………………………………………………..10

Using Assessments to Track the Growth and Development of Young Children…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….10

School Readiness and Intervention Strategies…………………………………………11

Curriculum Based Early Literacy Assessment.………………………………………..12

Response to Intervention in Early Childhood…………………………………………13

Chapter 3: Methodology……………………………………………………….……….15

Design………………………………………………………………….………………….15

Setting and Participants……………………………………………….…………………15

            Sampling Strategy…………………………………………….…………………16

            Ethical Standards……….……………………………………….…………..….16

Data Collection………………………………………………………….……………….16

Treatment of Data……………………………………………………….…………..….17

Implication of Future Research…………………………………….………………….18

Chapter 4 RESULTS………………………………………………………..…………..19

Assessment Results………………………………………………………………19

Summary…………………………………………………………………………23

Chapter 5 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS…….………………………….……..24

Proposed Changes………………………………………………………………………..25

Educational Implications…………………………………………………….………….25

Recommendations for future research………………………………………………….26

Summary………………………………………………………………………………….26

References……………………………………………………………………….………..27

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Early childhood education and school readiness are essential in preparing our children to succeed in education.  Children who attend public pre-kindergarten programs enter kindergarten better prepared than those who do not attend.  Some children begin pre-kindergarten with a lot of experiences and strengths while others enter with weaknesses and need more support.  Early childhood is a distinct period of development. Children grow and change more rapidly during the first eight years of life than any other time in their lifespan (as cited in Mattern, 2015). Children come to preschool with wide range of knowledge and abilities. Several are at risk of school readiness and learning to read in K-3. (as cited in Greenwood, Carta, Atwater, Goldstein, Kaminiski, and McConnell).  A comprehensive review of the literature clearly demonstrates that preschool education can produce persistent gains in achievement, school success (less grade repetition and special education) and social behavior (Barnett 2015).

A casual comparative study was completed on the effectiveness of Teaching Strategies GOLD and early intervention strategies within the comprehensive curriculum to identify students at risk in pre-kindergarten.  Teaching Strategies GOLD is a system based on observation for children from birth through kindergarten that combines progressions of authentic assessment in all areas of development and learning focused on predictors of school readiness (Teaching Strategies, 2010).

Theoretical Framework

Using the Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment system can be useful in documenting children’s growth and development over time, identifying pre-kindergarten students with possible disabilities, and facilitate communication with families.  Informal assessments such as teacher observation, a checklist, and anecdotal notes are used as supplemental data used to drive instruction.

Statement of the problem. Kindergarten is the beginning of a child’s formal education.  As standards and testing become more rigorous, there are increasing academic demands and expectations of young children.  School readiness is defined as their achievement of specific skills such as literacy and numeracy, which help ensure success in the new learning environment of schooling. A child’s readiness, or lack, often sets the child on a progression of success or failure in both academic and social areas (as cited in Denham, Way, Kalb, Warren-Khot, and Bassett 2013).  Research indicates that approximately one-third of children that enter kindergarten struggling with letter names are predicted to be the same one-third of 4th graders reading below the basic level (Scanlon et al., 2010).   It is with this information that the aim of the study was developed to focus on identifying pre-kindergarten students with possible disabilities in the classroom.  Early and accurate identification of learning disabilities or deficits could help teachers, parents, and administrators when making decisions and set struggling students on a path to success.

Research question. How effective is a curriculum and assessment program, such as Teaching Strategies GOLD and Creative Curriculum, in identifying students at-risk in the pre-kindergarten classroom?

Rationale. The purpose of this study is to use Teaching Strategies GOLD and Creative Curriculum to identify students at risk in pre-kindergarten.  It is believed that through developmentally appropriate intervention strategies and assessment program that children should succeed on their age level in all areas of growth and development.  Students were tested three checkpoint periods during the year.   Ongoing documented assessments were collected weekly throughout the school year.  The hope is to identify pre-kindergarten students with possible disabilities and develop intervention and support for that child beginning the first day of the kindergarten school year.

Significance

This study is undertaken to document children’s learning over time, identify students at-risk, and facilitate communication with families before the beginning of kindergarten.  The results could help teachers, parents, and administrators when developing instructional decisions before the beginning of kindergarten.

Definition of Terms

The definition of terms has three important terms important to this study. The three terms are Assessment, Curriculum-Based Measures, and Assessment. The definitions for each are summarized below.

Teaching Strategies GOLD: Teaching Strategies GOLD is an authentic, ongoing observational system for assessing children from birth through kindergarten, proven to be valid and reliable by extensive field testing. It helps teachers observe children in the context of everyday experiences, which is an effective way to get to know them well and find out what they know and can do (Teaching Strategies 2011).

Developmentally Appropriate Practice:  An approach to teaching grounded in the research on how young children develop and learn and in what is known about effective early education. Its framework is designed to promote young children’s optimal learning and development.  DAP involves teachers meeting young children where they are (by stage of development), both as individuals and as part of a group; and helping each child meet challenging and achievable learning goals (NAEYC, 2012)

Differentiated Instruction:  An approach to teaching in which educators actively plan for students’ differences so that all students can best learn (ASCD, 2017).

Limitations

The casual comparative study was conducted on one pre-kindergarten class.  The number of participants in the study is small, only twenty students, and does not represent all students enrolled in pre-kindergarten.  The population of students is all free and reduced.  The represented population of students come from poverty and is considered at-risk.  A final limitation was that only two assessment strategies were used to collect data for decision making.

Summary

In conclusion, this casual comparative study used Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment to gather information about the students. The goal was to identify students at risk in pre-kindergarten.  The study focused on areas of weakness and directed students learning outcomes to meet individual student needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

The purpose of this study was to identify pre-kindergarten students with possible disabilities.  The review of literature focused on various assessments, curriculums and intervention strategies used in early childhood.  The following sections will be addressed; using assessments to track growth and development, of young children, school readiness, and intervention strategies used in preschool programs, curriculum-based early literacy evaluation, and finally a response to intervention in early childhood.

Using Assessments to Track the Growth and Development of Young Children.

Tracking early childhood development is essential for the emotional, social and physical development of young children.  A plethora of research exists on early childhood assessments. Weismer and Kover (2015) believe that it is possible to predict language growth trajectories of children with ASD during the preschool years.  Bagnato, Goins, Pretti-Frontczak, and Neisworth (2014) believe that assessments in early childhood should be developmentally appropriate and authentic.  Bagnato et al. (2012) describe authentic assessment as regular recordings of developmental observations overtime about behaviors and abilities of young children in daily routines by familiar and knowledgeable caregivers in the child’s life.

Lambert, Kim, and Burts, (2014) focused on two factors affecting the validity of the Teaching Strategies GOLD: (1) home language and (2) disability status. The study was based on assessment data for 3-5-year-old children of the fall, winter, and spring checkpoint periods.  The research indicates that a teacher’s ability to use the rating scale to place children accurately along a color band of growth and development produces reliable data.  Thus, Teaching Strategies GOLD proved to be a valid and reliable assessment measure. (Lambert et al. 2014).

School Readiness and Intervention Strategies

           Goldstein, Warde, and Peluso (2013) suggested that school readiness was connected to a child’s skill level at the beginning of kindergarten and important for later success.  Goldstein et al. (2013) discussed school readiness gains of four- year old children participating in publicly funded, community-based programs.  Early childhood professionals recognize that there are developmental indicators that must be met to be considered kindergarten ready.

Many factors determine intervention strategies utilized in a classroom (Voegler-Lee, Kupersmidt, Field, Willoughby, 2012).  Voegler-Lee et al. (2012) noted that there had been a rise in classroom-based interventions focused on preschoolers at-risk for school readiness. The study examined how student characteristics impacted teachers’ implementation of the program Building Bridges.

Voegler-Lee et al. (2012) uncovered that children’s language skills were highest when the program was used. The research indicated overall that teachers in a center had higher rates of teacher implementation of a kindergarten readiness program with a BB consultant. (Voegler-Lee et al. (2012).

Missal (2012) conducted a study to identify varying levels of preschool readiness.  The sample size consisted of normally developing children without any previously diagnosed developmental disorders.  Missal et al. (2012) found in this study that using the Early Development Instrument, which was based on five domains of development, was a reliable tool to use on the Indian population for determining school readiness among preschoolers. This study emphasizes the importance of using different areas of development when assessing young children.

Curriculum Based Early Literacy Assessment.

Early literacy experiences are a vital component in a preschool classroom.  Early literacy skill assessments can help to predict future reading achievement (Gischlar, Vesay, 2014).  Research by Gischlar and Vesay focused on curriculum and types of assessments used by preschool teachers to monitor student progress in early literacy acquisition.  The study found that the majority of teachers use a general commercial curriculum with the highest percentage using The Creative Curriculum. Many of the teachers indicated that they were trained on the implementation of the curriculum they were using.  They also concluded that the majority of teachers received professional development, including conferences, workshops, and in-services.  The findings indicated that it is essential for preschool teachers to be adequately instructed in the instruction of early literacy skills and assessment, to ensure that the data drives the instructions.

Gettinger and Stoiber (2012) examined the curriculum-based assessment to monitor the progress of children achieving early literacy curricular goals and to identify those who require more explicit or intentional intervention.  The results indicated that there are substantial advantages to an RTI approach and curriculum-based assessment for encouraging early literacy development and reading achievement among low-income preschool children at risk.

Most children from low-income families show signs of academic delays in language development (Xu, Chin, Reed, Hutchinson).  Xu et al. (2013) researched the effectiveness of the literacy project of low- income preschool children at risk for delay in school readiness.  Xu et al. (2013) uncovered a very positive outcome.  The results suggested there were significant improvement among the participants, as Xu et al. (2013) reported increases in parental involvement and literacy activities.

In a similar study, Hilbert, and Eis (2013) noted that literacy development of children identified as at risk or identified as low income could benefit from early intervention in the Pre-Kindergarten classroom.  The results indicated that children using the RIA program outperformed children in comparison classrooms.  The information is reliable to teachers and parents about the positive impact new literacy programs have on low-income students at-risk in literacy skill development.

Response to Intervention in Early Childhood.

Response to Intervention (RTI) focuses on identifying and differentiating instruction for children who lack the language and literacy-rich experiences in pre-kindergarten programs.  Catts, Nielsen, Bridges, Liu, and Bontempo (2013) provide support for the use of the RTI model in the early identification of reading disabilities.

In 2012, Greenwood, Carta, Atwater, Goldstein, Kaminski, and McConnell examined the use of RTI in various Pre-K programs.  Children go into preschool with differing abilities and experiences. Greenwood et al. (2012) examined an RTI approach using curriculum focused on language and literacy goals over the course of a year.  The strategy used in Greenwood et al.’s study was to investigate children who were in different program types and who fit the GRTR (Get Ready to Read), early literacy screener.  Fall data showed that children from low socioeconomic status performed lower than those from higher SES tuition-based programs. Greenwood et al. (2012) reported that Pre-K programs placed the most emphasis on literacy focus and CLASS scores suggesting their high quality of instruction.  The findings suggest that the quality of instruction in a preschool class does have an impact on student learning.

Content standards are commanding earlier instruction of preschool children. The delivery and design of preschool instruction have prompted conversation and examination.  The role of RTI as a tool for decision making was examined by (VanDerHeyden, Snyder, Broussard, and Ramsdell, 2012).  Vanderheyden et al. (2012) focused on curriculum-based screening tools and questioned if brief early interventions produced growth in early literacy skills.  The participants were immersed in intervention rich in phonemic awareness delivered whole group and individually.  Curriculum-based assessments were given each week over a five-week period.  Results showed that the assessments given showed children who were at risk for learning difficulties. The study found that children who were assessed at the beginning and were low performers responded to weekly progress monitoring and early literacy interventions.  Vanderheyden et al. (2012) reported that the results correlate with the developing body of research that the future of RTI is logical for decision making in early childhood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER THREE

METHODOLOGY

The purpose of this study was to use Teaching Strategies GOLD and early intervention strategies to identify students at risk in pre-kindergarten during the 2017-2018 school year at Marksville Elementary School.  The purpose was to provide accurate identification of learning disabilities and support for students at risk and set them up for success at the beginning of the kindergarten school year.

Design

The research design for this study was a casual comparative study. This study evaluated the effects of intervention strategies and the Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment system to identify students at risk in pre-kindergarten.

Data were collected and analyzed for growth through three checkpoint periods: Fall, winter, and spring.  A strength of the case study was that the assessment system and core curriculum was aligned with early learning standards.  The intervention strategies provided insight into the effectiveness of planned experiences and learning activities designed to help children acquire these developmental skills as students progressed through checkpoint periods.  This approach can be used by the school to determine if the assessment program and intervention strategies are effective predictors of school success, and to identify students at risk for kindergarten readiness.   One weakness of the study was that it only documented the growth and development of one pre-kindergarten class.  Another flaw was the evaluators’ judgments are somewhat subjective.

Setting and Participants

This study focused on a group of Pre-Kindergarten students at Marksville Elementary School.  All the students who participated in this study receive free lunch and are from families with limited income.  A total of 20 Pre-Kindergarten students were used in this study.  Race and ethnicity was collected and entered into the online system.  The gender makeup was seven girls and thirteen boys, all ages between four and five.

           Sampling strategy.  The sampling strategy used in this study was a nonrandom sample called convenience sampling.   The sample size was predetermined, and it was not random since it required the researcher’s whole pre-kindergarten class to participate.  The population of the study was of the same racial background, socioeconomic status, and age group, leaving a slight chance for sampling error.

           Ethical standards. Informed consent from the participants was not needed for this case study. The data that were collected for this study were data that would routinely be received at the school. Because of the National Research Act of 1974, the research obtained permission from the Northwestern State University’s Institutional Review Board (see Appendix B).  Confidentiality of each student was assured throughout the study. Since the participants in the study were in the researcher’s class, anonymity was not assured in this study.  There were no risks or deception in this study.

Data Collection

Ongoing observational assessments for checkpoint one was given and finalized in October. This data was used to identify students’ domains of development and inform individualized instruction based on student needs.

The study was ongoing for a year, so the procedure of conducting and collecting the data was rated during three checkpoint periods (fall, winter, and spring).  Strategies for intervention included weekly one on one teacher time, modified assignments, and parental involvement.  The researcher examined and charted the progression by each student.

In February, checkpoint two was finalized.  The researcher compared the mid-year data to the beginning of the year data to monitor growth.  It also allowed the researcher to determine if intervention strategies and planned experiences and learning activities were effective or ineffective for the students in her classroom. At the end of the school year, checkpoint three was finalized.  This data was analyzed by the researcher to determine the growth of students’ developmental progressions representing their knowledge, skills, and behaviors of a typically developing four- year old child.  The goal was to determine if there were students at risk for learning in her classroom.

The data for Teaching Strategies GOLD is secure through an online program.  The program assessment and implementation strategy are valid and reliable because it is created and implemented by the program and through the program. The results allow for instructional planning, parent communication, and progress monitoring of each child.

Treatment of the Data

The data was collected through three checkpoint periods and weekly teacher assessments.  The information taken from the checkpoint periods generated various reports from the Teaching Strategies website.  The first report run was based on typically developing four- year old children. The data compares information for each child centered on three categories: below, meeting, or exceeding. The report tells teachers where children are compared to most children of the same age or class/grade.  A second report run is a performance and growth report.  This report shows evidence of change over time and is accurate for the demonstration of progress to see if children are meeting the end of the year expectations.  The researcher can use that information to determine the needs of the class or individual child. A final report used is the development and learning report.  This report can be sent directly to a child’s parent explaining to them their child’s knowledge, skills, and behaviors about objectives and dimensions.  The report also offers customized activities based on the child’s developmental level.  Through these reports, the researcher was able to identify students at risk for developmental learning.

Implications for Future Research

This study was designed to measure the impact of using Teaching Strategies GOLD on children’s learning and development over a continuum.  The study used three checkpoint period assessments to evaluate student progress.

Furthermore, this research had a limited sample.  Having a more extensive selection of participants may produce different results. Having parent communication about students would provide additional information when assessing the whole child.

CHAPTER 4

RESULTS

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of curriculum-based program Creative Curriculum and the assessment program, Teaching Strategies GOLD in measuring and determining students eligible for an At-Risk rating in the pre-kindergarten program.  The purpose was to discover weaknesses in pre-kindergarten students and share this information with kindergarten teachers, parents, and other stakeholders in order to develop an intervention plan and support for the first day of kindergarten. This chapter summarizes the results of Teaching Strategies data contrasted to the widely held expectations of students the same age and raw data to demonstrate growth or lack of in the program.

Assessment Results

Teaching Strategies Assessment. Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment is aligned with the Louisiana birth to five state standards.  The purpose of the assessment is to help teachers identify predictors of school success in children from birth to grade three.  Assessments are administered at three checkpoint periods per year.  The fall assessment was used as a baseline for teachers to determine the level of the child entering pre-kindergarten based on below, meeting or exceeding widely held expectations for all TSG dimensions and predominately those that align to the Creative Curriculum program school readiness goals.  Winter and spring reports are used to determine student growth and development.   The following report reflects the Fall Snapshot report.  This report was intended to inform the teacher where her class was at any given time.  The goal was to develop teaching and learning strategies based on the data.  The results indicated that in all areas of development all 20 children were below expectations. This researcher was able to identify weaknesses based on the data and set goals for student learning.  The winter data revealed that through targeted learning, student’s scores went up significantly from the fall data.  This researcher identified student weakness and focused on growth and school readiness for the end of the year outcomes.  Administering of spring assessment, determined there were two students that did not meet expectations for school readiness based on the Teaching Strategies objectives and dimensions of language, literacy, and mathematics.

Table 1. Teaching Strategies GOLD Fall 2017 Data

Social Emotional Below Meeting Exceeding
1b Follows limits and expectations 90% 10% 0%
1c Takes care of own needs appropriately 95% 5% 0%
2c Interacts with peers 60% 40% 0%
3a Balances needs and rights of self and others 20% 80% 0%
3b Solves social problems 100% 0% 0%
Physical Below Meeting Exceeding
4 Demonstrates traveling skills 100% 0% 0%
5 Demonstrates balancing skills 100% 0% 0%
6 Demonstrates gross motor manipulative 100% 0% 0%
7a Uses fingers and hands 100% 0% 0%
7b. Uses writing and drawing tools 85% 15% 0%
Language Below Meeting Exceeding
8a Comprehends language 100% 0% 0%
9a Uses an expanding expressive vocabulary 100% 0% 0%
9b Speaks clearly 90% 10% 0%
9c Uses conventional grammar 95% 5% 0%
9d Tells about another time or place 100% 0% 0%
10a Engages in conversations 95% 5% 0%
Cognitive Below Meeting Exceeding
11b Persists 100% 0% 0%
11c Solves problems 95% 5% 0%
11d Shows curiosity and motivation 100% 0% 0%
12b. Makes connections 100% 0% 0%
Literacy Below Meeting Exceeding
15a Notices and discriminates rhyme 100% 0% 0%
15b Notices and discriminates alliteration 80% 20% 0%
16a Identifies and names letters 100% 0%
16b Identifies letter-sound correspondences 50% 50%
17b Uses print concepts 100% 0% 0%
18a Interacts during reading 

experiences, book

conversations, and text

reflections.

100% 0% 0%
18b Uses emergent reading skills 100% 0% 0%
18c Retells stories and recounts details from informational texts 15% 85% 0%
19bWrites to convey ideas and information 95% 5% 0%

Mathematics

Below Meeting Exceeding

20a Counts

100% 0% 0%

20b Quantifies

100% 0% 0%

20c Connects numerals with their quantities

85% 15% 0%

21a Understands spatial relationships

100% 0% 0%

21b Understands shapes

100% 0% 0%

22a Measures objects

100% 0% 0%

 

Table 2. Teaching Strategies GOLD Spring 2017/2018 Data

Social Emotional Below Meeting Exceeding
1b Follows limits and expectations 0% 100% 0%
1c Takes care of own needs appropriately 5% 95% 0%
2c Interacts with peers 5% 95% 0%
3a Balances needs and rights of self and others 0% 100% 0%
3b Solves social problems 15% 85% 0%
Physical Below Meeting Exceeding
4 Demonstrates traveling skills 20% 80% 0%
5 Demonstrates balancing skills 30% 70% 0%
6 Demonstrates gross motor manipulative 60% 40% 0%
7a Uses fingers and hands 5% 95% 0%
7b. Uses writing and drawing tools 30% 70% 0%
Language Below Meeting Exceeding
8a Comprehends language 55% 45% 0%
9a Uses an expanding expressive vocabulary 10% 90% 0%
9b Speaks clearly 25% 75% 0%
9c Uses conventional grammar 15% 85% 0%
9d Tells about another time or place 30% 70% 0%
10a Engages in conversations 30% 70% 0%
Cognitive Below Meeting Exceeding
11b Persists 65% 35% 0%
11c Solves problems 35% 65% 0%
11d Shows curiosity and motivation 0% 100% 0%
12b. Makes connections 0% 100% 0%
Literacy Below Meeting Exceeding
15a Notices and discriminates rhyme 35% 65% 0%
15b Notices and discriminates alliteration 10% 90% 0%
16a Identifies and names letters 5% 90% 5%
16b Identifies letter-sound correspondences 5% 95%
17b Uses print concepts 0% 100% 0%
18a Interacts during reading 

experiences, book

conversations, and text

reflections.

10% 90% 0%
18b Uses emergent reading skills 20% 80% 0%
18c Retells stories and recounts details from informational texts 0% 100% 0%
19bWrites to convey ideas and information 70% 30% 0%

Mathematics

Below Meeting Exceeding

20a Counts

65% 35% 0%

20b Quantifies

50% 50% 0%

20c Connects numerals with their quantities

45% 55% 0%

21a Understands spatial relationships

10% 90% 0%

21b Understands shapes

20% 80% 0%

22a Measures objects

100% 0% 0%

 

Summary

According to information obtained through Teaching Strategies Gold data, this assessment was successful in identifying two students at risk for kindergarten readiness. Winter data showed two students were not able to meet expectations in the areas of language, literacy, and mathematics.  Though the use of the Teaching Strategies GOLD winter assessment data, the needs of the students were identified and explicit instruction was given based on the student’s individual needs.  When understanding complex language, expressing thoughts and needs and using conversational and other communication skills, the spring data reflected a typically developing three-year-old child.  This indicates that the two students struggled with comprehension, speaking, and social rules of communication.  Spring data determined that they were also developing at a three-year-old level in the area of literacy development.  Focus areas in literacy development included phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge, print awareness, comprehension, and early writing skills. The final results were in the area of mathematics.  Both of the two student’s spring data reflected a typically developing three-year-old.  Objectives included number concepts such as counting, understanding quantity, and connecting numerals to quantities. Another focus area was spatial awareness and two and three-dimensional shapes. Finally, measurement related to size, quantity, and seriation related to materials in the classroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

The purpose of this study was to use Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment and Creative Curriculum to identify students at risk in pre-kindergarten.

Relationship to Previous Literature

In an early childhood learning environment, assessing students in their natural learning environment is crucial in gathering information to determine effective instruction based on student’s individual needs.  For assessment of young children to be effective we must determine how children are progressing and if they need more or different instruction based on the data.  Bagnato, Goins, Pretti-Frontczak, and Neisworth (2014) believe that assessments in early childhood should be developmentally appropriate and authentic.  Bagnato et al. (2012) described authentic assessment as regular recordings of developmental observations overtime about behaviors and abilities of young children in daily routines by familiar and knowledgeable caregivers in the child’s life.  Another major purpose for assessment of young children is evaluation or eligibility for qualifying in a given state as a child with a disability or a child with some type of delay or disorder.  Weismer and Kover (2015) believe that it is possible to predict language growth trajectories of children with ASD during the preschool years.  Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment allows teachers to observe children naturally and guide learning based on the student need.

Goldstein, Warde, and Peluso (2013) suggested that school readiness was connected to a child’s skill level at the beginning of kindergarten and important for later success.  Goldstein et al. (2013) discussed school readiness gains of four- year old children participating in publicly funded, community-based programs.  Early childhood professionals recognize that there are developmental indicators that must be met to be considered kindergarten ready. Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment allows teachers to gather information about students.  From the data, this researcher was able to plan and revise instruction and support learning based on individual student needs.    The Comprehensive Curriculum was the guiding aspect of instruction. The Teaching Strategies objectives are linked to the curriculum defining the way instruction is delivered.

Early literacy experiences are a vital component in a preschool classroom.  Early literacy skill assessments can help to predict future reading achievement (Gischlar, Vesay, 2014).    The findings from the literacy assessment administered to the participants demonstrated a weakness for two students.  Focused efforts in the area of literacy development proved unsuccessful with two students.  It was determined that these two students also had deficits in language, mathematics, and two objectives in the area of fine motor under physical development.

Proposed Changes and Possible Modifications of Study

Ifreconstructing of this study should occur, a few modifications or adjustments would be made to identify students at risk in pre-kindergarten. One modification of this study would include administering multiple assessments to gather sufficient information about students.   No single assessment piece should be the defining basis for decisions to be made about early learners. Another modification would be an observation and interview with families about social and cultural backgrounds.

Finally, assessments would be given to numerous participants in order to determine the effectiveness of the Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment.

Educational Implications

Educational concerns have refocused attention on early childhood settings as a place where school readiness occurs.   The findings from this study provided evidence to support the use of Teaching Strategies GOLD assessments was successful in identifying students at risk in pre-kindergarten. With the information obtained through this study, administrators, parents, and teachers can develop individualized plans for these two students for the beginning of kindergarten.  The data allows opportunities for educators to modify instruction for those students entering kindergarten. By adapting instruction, teachers can build a learning environment that strives for student success.

Recommendations for Future Research

This study was limited to the different types of assessments given; due to this, generalizations are limited. Future research should be rooted in multiple assessments.  Future research should examine a larger population size with a variety of information such as observation, family interviews, and examination of social and cultural backgrounds. Researchers may also consider researching the accuracy of the assessments given. Teachers and administrators must understand the information derived from the data and the intended purpose. Monitoring the data when strategies are provided will support the researcher in identifying assessments that are educationally beneficial to each student served.

Summary

Teachers use assessments as a tool to gather accurate information about their students.  It provides an opportunity to track growth and development and make informed decisions about student success.  Teaching Strategies GOLD provided a comprehensive assessment reaching across 38 research-based objective aligned with the Louisiana birth to five state standards.  Assessments took place in the child’s natural environment reflecting everyday classroom experiences.  Informed decisions were made based on the assessment data.

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Catts, H. W., Nielsen, D. C., Bridges, M. S., Liu, Y. S., & Bontempo, D. E. (2015). Early

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