A new study of prekindergartners found that gathering information on children’s skills and providing targeted interventions to those who need supports to learn, is a successful strategy that teachers could accurately implement.
The study is the first to look at a new approach to teaching pre-K students, called “Recognition & Response,” which is based on Response to Intervention methods, said researchers at the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The researchers found that a target group of students who received language and literacy interventions made greater gains than their classmates at skills including: letter naming, vocabulary, sound awareness, and print knowledge. The target group made gains at the same rate as their classmates on other language and literacy skills, the study said.
The study also showed that pre-K teachers could successfully implement the approach with a 97 percent rate of accuracy. Also, 92 percent of the teachers reported that they would recommend the R & R approach to other teachers.
The study followed 353 4-year-olds in 24 child-care, Head Start, and public pre-K classrooms in Maryland and Florida. The pre-K teachers conducted universal screenings on every child throughout the year. The results were used to select a target group of four children in each classroom who then received a language and literacy intervention in a small group for 15 minutes a day for two months.
“We are encouraged by this significant finding about the efficacy of progress monitoring and tiered intervention in prekindergarten,” said Ellen Peisner-Feinberg, the project’s principal investigator. “We expect this to be the first of many findings in a growing body of research that will help the field of pre-K education more precisely meet the needs of young children.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.