Math & Reading Difficulties in Young Children: Risk Factors and Intervention Approaches


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Dr. Marcia Barnes of the University of Texas shares the latest research on children with learning difficulties plus how (and when!) to intervene.

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Math & Reading Difficulties in Young Children: Risk Factors and Intervention Approaches

  1. 1. Math & Reading Difficulties in Young Children: Risk Factors and Intervention Approaches November 14, 2013 Marcia Barnes, Ph.D. The University of Texas at Austin | #HatchExperts
  2. 2. Moderators Dr. Dale McManis Tryna King Rachel Brent Research Director Product Training Coordinator Social Media Specialist #HatchExperts |
  3. 3. Using GoToWebinar 1 You may use either a telephone or your computer’s speakers to listen. 2 Use the question panel to interact with the speaker or moderators. 3 A recording of this presentation will be emailed to you following the webinar. | #HatchExperts
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  5. 5. Following the Webinar 1 A recording of this presentation & a certificate of attendance will be emailed to you. 2 Watch for the follow-up Q&A blog with your questions! 3 Stick around for your chance to win! #HatchExperts |
  6. 6. Today’s Speaker Math and Reading Difficulties in Young Children: Early Risk Factors and Intervention Approaches Marcia Barnes, Ph.D. The University of Texas at Austin #HatchExperts |
  7. 7. HATCH November 14, 2013 Marcia A. Barnes, Ph.D. MarM Math & Reading Difficulties in Young Children: Early Risk Factors and Intervention Approaches
  8. 8. Outline •  Importance  of  a  strong  early  start  in  math  and  literacy   •  Useful  things  to  know  about  learning  difficul:es   •  Sources  of  ability  and  difficulty  in  early  literacy  and   early  math   •  Longitudinal  studies  can  iden:fy  developmental   precursors  of  later  math  and  reading  difficul:es   •  Implica:ons  for  early  assessment  and  interven:on   •  Guiding  instruc:onal  principles  for  learning  difficul:es   •  What’s  new  in  interven:on  research  
  9. 9. Consequences of getting off to a slow start in reading Mean words read by each child in reading sessions at three points in 1st grade Biemiller, 1977-78 90 Good Average Poor 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 October January April
  10. 10. Consequences of getting off to a slow start in math B Lower SES J Higher SES 0.7 J Mean Proportion Correct on the CMA 0.6 J 0.5 J B 0.4 B J 0.3 0.2 B B 0.1 0 3,0 3,9 4,0 Age Courtesy of Starkey & Klein NSF Grant 4,9
  11. 11. Math  and  Reading:  Similari:es  &  Differences   •  Both  strongly  predict  school  readiness  at  the  end   of  pre-­‐kindergarten  (Duncan  et  al.,  2007)   •  Reading  is  more  studied  than  math  (20:1)  and   reading  programs  outnumber  math  programs  6:1   •  Children’s  math  learning  exquisitely  sensi:ve  to   teacher  knowledge  of  and  aRtudes  towards  math   (Ramirez  et  al.  2013  -­‐  transmission  of  a<tudes  and  math   anxiety  from  adults  affect  young  children’s  achievement)   •  Math  and  reading  comprehension  at  the  end  of   secondary  school  are  strong  predictors  of  post-­‐ secondary  reten:on  and  employment    
  12. 12.   Useful  Things  to  Know  about   Learning  Difficul:es    
  13. 13. What  do  we  know  about  learning   difficul:es?   •  Reading  and  math  difficul:es  are  equally  common   •  40-­‐50%  of  children  with  reading  difficul:es  also   have  math  difficul:es  (good  to  know)   •  Learning  disabili:es  are  life-­‐long  condi:ons  if  not   treated  (based  on  longitudinal  studies  of  reading   and  math  from  childhood  into  adulthood)   •  A  significant  propor:on  (but  not  all)  of  learning   difficul:es  can  be  prevented  with  EARLY   interven:on    
  14. 14. What  do  we  know  about  learning   difficul:es?   •  Best  prac:ces  for  preven:on  include  mass   screening,  use  of  evidence  based  interven:ons,   frequent  monitoring  of  progress  and  adjustments   to  instruc:on  as  needed  (more  later)   •  General  risk  factors  include  poverty*,  language   learning  status*,  neurodevelopmental  disorder,   difficul:es  in  a`en:on  and  behavior   •  Let’s  talk  about  early  child-­‐specific  risk  factors  
  15. 15. Early Skills Implicated in Reading Development and Difficulties Code   Focused   Skills   Meaning   Focused   Skills   •  Print & Letter Knowledge •  Phonological Awareness •  Emergent Writing •  Vocabulary Knowledge •  Listening Comprehension •  Narrative Skills Adapted from Whitehurst & Lonigan (1998) Reading  
  16. 16. Early  skills  implicated  in  math   development  and  difficul:es?   •  We  know  less  for  math  than  for  reading  but  math   research  is  burgeoning   •  Early  number  sense  might  be  important  
  17. 17. Can  5  month  olds  add  and  subtract?  (K.  Wynn,   1992)
  18. 18. Large Number Acuity – Number sense at a glance (Mazzocco et al., 2011)
  19. 19. Early  skills  implicated  in  math   development  and  difficul:es?   •  Early  number  sense  might  be  important   •  Domain  general  cogni-ve  abili-es  might  also  be   important  
  20. 20. What general cognitive abilities might support math development and why? •  Visual-­‐spa:al  working  memory?   •  Mental  models  –  manipula:ng  quan::es   •  Phonological  skills?   •  Quality  of  language  representa:ons  and   overlap  with  reading     •  A`en:on?   •  Ability  to  focus  on  task-­‐relevant  info,   sustain  a`en:on  throughout  problem   solving  &  ignore  irrelevant  info  
  21. 21. Longitudinal  studies  help  us  figure  out  which  child   risk  factors  are  important  for  later  math •  What  are  they?   •  Measure  change  over  :me  in  the  same  individuals   rather  than  a  snapshot  at  single  point  in  :me   •  What  can  they  tell  us?   •  Not  causal,  but  tell  us  something  about  temporal   order  of  events  –  important  for  skill  development   •  Longitudinal  studies  of  math  &  reading  in  high  risk   samples   •  Disadvantaged  preschoolers*   •  Neurodevelopmental  Disorder  compared  to  TD  
  22. 22. Knowing  something  about  early  developmental   risk  factors  for  later  reading  and  math  informs:   1.  Earlier  assessment  for  risk   2.  Preven:on  and  early  interven:on  
  23. 23. Early Risk Factors for Math (Barnes & et al., in preparation) Beginning  of   Pre-­‐ kindergarten   Kindergarten   1st  grade  
  24. 24. At the end of kindergarten Low/No  Risk  Group  =  130   At  Risk  Group  =  97   Highest  Risk  Group  =  81    
  25. 25. Three  Risk  Groups  (based  on  TEMA-­‐3   percen:le  score  at  end  of  kindergarten)          
  26. 26. What  did  we  measure  at  the  beginning  of  pre-­‐k?   •  •  •  •  Number  sense   Working  memory   Phonological  awareness   Many  other  poten:al  risk  factors  that  did  not  predict   math  difficul:es  in  kindergarten  or  1st  grade    
  27. 27.              Quan:ty  Comparison                             Example  of    2:  1  Ra:o      
  28. 28. Quan:ty  Comparison                             Number  constant  but  length  is  different      
  29. 29.              Quan:ty  Comparison                                
  30. 30. Object-­‐Based  Arithme:c     Step  1:  Child  observes   tester  place  lambs  on  mat  
  31. 31. Object-­‐Based  Arithme:c   Step  2:  Screen  goes   up  and  child   observes  tester   slide  in  a  lamb  
  32. 32. Object-­‐Based  Arithme:c   Step  3:  Child   uses  lambs   to  create  what  is   behind   the  tester’s   screen  
  33. 33. Visual-­‐Spa7al  Working  Memory  
  34. 34. Phonological  Awareness   •  Look at these pictures: Pig – Ball – Sun – Car My word is: Sunshine. Say “Sunshine”. Now point to “Sunshine” without “shine” •  Say: “Sunflower”. Now say “sunflower” without “flower” •  Say: “Feet”. Now say “feet” without /t/
  35. 35. What  skills  at  4  years  of  age  predict   group  risk  status  at  6  years? Phonological     Awareness   Visual-­‐ spa:al  WM   Early   Number   Sense   Correct  Classifica:on  of  81%  of   Highest  Risk  and  Lowest  Risk  Groups    
  36. 36. Children  at  Risk  in  kindergarten  remain   at  risk  in  1st  grade
  37. 37. Longitudinal  Study  of  Math  in  Typical  and   Atypical  Development  (Barnes  et  al.,  in  press)   •  Spina  Bifida   •  Typical   Development   Birth   36  &  60   months   •  Visual-­‐spa:al   working  memory   •  Phonological   Skills   •  Math  Calcula:ons   •  Math  Fluency   •  Quan:ta:ve   Problem  Solving   8-­‐9    years    
  38. 38. What abilities at 36 and 60 months of age are important for math at 8-9 years of age? Phonological   Awareness   Math  Calcula:on   ✔     Single  Digit  Math   Fluency   Visual-­‐Spa7al   Working   Memory   ✔     Quan:ta:ve   Concepts   ✔     ✔     33 33
  39. 39. What do we know from these studies? •  Early  abili:es  in  phonological  awareness,  visual-­‐ spa:al  working  memory,  and  number  sense   contribute  to  later  abili:es  or  difficul:es  in  math  (3   to  6  years  later)   •  Phonological  awareness  predicts  both  math   (par:cularly  arithme:c)  and  reading  difficul:es  so   maybe  this  underlies  the  high  rates  of  co-­‐occurring   learning  difficul:es  in  math  and  reading  
  40. 40. Longitudinal  Study  of  Reading  in  Typical   and  Atypical  Development  (Pike  et  al.,  2013)   • Spina  Bifida   • Typical   Development   Birth   36  months   • Visual-­‐spa:al   working  memory   • Listening  Comp   • Narra:ve  Skills   • Inference-­‐making   abili:es   9-­‐10    years     9-­‐10    years   • Reading   Comprehension  
  41. 41. What  do  these  findings  mean?   •  Phonological  awareness  is  a  cri:cal  early  precursor   of  later  word  reading  and  reading  fluency  (I  didn’t   show  you  this  study)   •  Early  (36  month)  working  memory,  listening   comprehension  and  narra:ve  abili:es  influenced   inference  making  abili:es  6  years  later,  which  in  turn   was  related  to  reading  comprehension     •  Difficul:es  in  reading  and  math  have  some   overlapping  but  also  some  different  early  risk  factors        
  42. 42. Implica:ons  of  Research  for  Early   Iden:fica:on  of  Risk   •  Risk  for  reading  and  math  difficul:es  can  be   discerned  in  the  preschool  years   •  Co-­‐occuring  behavioral  (e.g.,  a`en:on)  and  learning   difficul:es  infer  greater  risk   •  Children  in  early  grades  who  start  low  and  are  slow   to  grow  are  dispropor:onately  from  disadvantaged   backgrounds  (Jordan  et  al.,  2007)  -­‐  such  children   need  careful  monitoring  and  interven:on  
  43. 43. Implica:ons  of  Research  for   Assessment   •  important  to  mass  screen,  and  then  frequently   monitor  progress  for  children  who  do  not  show   progress  using  short  progress  monitoring  probes;   •  Rhodes,  R.  L.,  Ochoa,  S.  H.,  &  Or:z,  S.  O.  (2005).   Assessing  culturally  and  linguisGcally  diverse   students:  A  pracGcal  guide.  New  York:  Guilford.  
  44. 44. What  do  the  findings  mean?     •  Without  addi:onal  interven:on  for  children  at  risk,   classifica:ons  of  risk  status  in  math  are  fairly  stable   from  kindergarten  to  1st  grade  (similar  to  findings  for   reading  in  other  studies).   •  But  it  doesn’t  have  to  be  this  way!    
  45. 45. What can we do? 1.  Privilege  Preven:on  &  Early  Interven:on  over  Diagnosis   because  early  iden:fica:on  of  “risk”+  evidence-­‐based   classroom  interven:ons  and  progress  monitoring   (star:ng  in  pre-­‐K)  reduces  later  LDs   2.  Screen  for  risk  for  learning  and  behavioral  difficul:es   •  Screening  and  progress  monitoring  ≠  diagnosis  or   iden:fica:on  of  a  learning  disability   •  Interven:on  without  assessment  might  lead  to   incorrect  instruc:onal  decisions  (blood  pressure   analogy)   •  Assessment  without  links  to  interven:on  is  not   useful  (blood  pressure  analogy)  
  46. 46. What can we do? 3.  Monitor  progress  for  children  at  risk  frequently   with  differen:a:on  of  instruc:on  as  needed   4.  Provide  considerable  PD  and  support  to   teachers  for  screening,  progress  monitoring  &   evidence-­‐based  instruc:onal  strategies   5.  Use  a  :ered  approach  to  general  educa:on   prac:ce  in  the  early  primary  grades  
  47. 47. Assessments and tiered instruction in Response to Intervention (RTI) models formal,  norm-­‐ referenced   diagnos:c  tests   formal/informal   curriculum   based  tests   Tier  3   Special  educa:on  services  for   iden:fied  students   Tier  2     Small-­‐group  instruc:on  for   at  risk  students   formal/informal   screening  and   progress   monitoring   Tier  1     Evidence-­‐based  instruc:on  for  all  students   in  whole-­‐  or  small-­‐group  seRngs   Assessments Tiered Instruction
  48. 48. Randomized  Control  Trials  for  Tier  1  JK  Math   50 45 40 35 30 25 Building Blocks Pre-K Math Tools of the Mind 20 15 10 5 0 Improvement
  49. 49. Why use a tiered approach? •  Some  students  will  not  show  adequate  growth  despite  “best   classroom  prac:ces”  and  so  will  need  addi:onal  instruc:onal   support  to  prevent  or  reduce  the  impact  of  learning   difficul:es   •  Current  knowledge  base  exists  to  guide  early  iden:fica:on   and  interven:ons  for  these  at-­‐risk  students  –  What  about  in   pre-­‐K??   •  Promotes  early  iden:fica:on  and  treatment  of  children  at-­‐risk   for  learning  problems  –  PREVENTION  model   •  Direct  link  between  teacher  assessment  and  interven:on   •  Approach  needs  to  be  supported  by  teacher  PD   •  Despite  using  a  :ered  approach  some  children  will  s:ll   experience  significant  learning  difficul:es.    
  50. 50. More on Tiered Model in pdf of slides that will be posted
  51. 51.     General  Principles  for  Instruc:ng   Children  with  Learning  Difficul:es  or   Disabili:es   Based  on  Fletcher,  Lyon,  Fuchs,  &  Barnes,  2007   Learning  DisabiliGes:  From  IdenGficaGon  to   IntervenGon    
  52. 52. General  Instruc:onal  Principles   1.  Increase  :me  on  task  -­‐  supplement  (not   supplant)  instruc:onal  opportuni:es   2.  Provide  explicit  and  well-­‐organized  or   systema:c  instruc:on  with  opportuni:es  for   prac:ce  and  cumula:ve  review  of  both   founda:onal  &  higher-­‐order  skills    
  53. 53. What is meant by “explicit instruction”? "   “Explicit instruction is instruction that does not leave anything to chance, and it does not make assumptions about skills and knowledge that children will acquire ‘on their own’ ”(Torgesen, 2004) •  •  •  Directly teaching letter-sound associations Explaining and showing students how to use visual imagery to enhance comprehension Directly teaching number facts using manipulatives, number lines etc.
  54. 54. What is meant by “systematic instruction”? •  •  •  Instruction guided by a comprehensive scope and sequence Instruction in all critical skills and knowledge Careful and systematic review to insure mastery and retention
  55. 55. General  Instruc:onal  Principles   3.  Skills  based  instruc:on  (phonological  awareness,   decoding,  arithme:c)  needs  integra:on  with   instruc:on  in  higher  level  skills  (vocabulary  and   listening  comprehension,  math  problem  solving).   Weak  founda:onal  skills  should  not  stop  teaching   of  higher-­‐level  skills.     4.  Gains  in  reading  and  math  are  specific  to   instruc:on  in  reading  and  math          
  56. 56. General  Instruc:onal  Principles   5.  Frequent  monitoring  of  progress  to  inform   instruc:on  is  key  -­‐  privileges  :mely  interven:on   over  wai:ng  for  a  diagnosis  (wait  to  fail  model)   6.  Special  educa:on  and  general  educa:on  need   be`er  integra:on.  The  :ered  model  is  an   example  of  such  integra:on.    
  57. 57. Implica:ons  of  Research  for   Preven:on/Interven:on   •  Some  reading  and  math  curricula  for  pre-­‐k  children   have  undergone  RCTs  and  some  are  effec:ve   •  Effec:ve  Tier  1  programs  help  children  with  learning   difficul:es  h`p://­‐media/policy-­‐updates/ mee:ngs-­‐briefings/inves:ng-­‐our-­‐future-­‐evidence-­‐base-­‐preschool   •  But  they  are  not  enough  for  some  children  with   learning  difficul:es   •  Take  into  account  weaknesses  in  cogni:ve  abili:es  in   interven:ons  -­‐supports  for  these  weaknesses  is   some:mes  built  into  effec:ve  interven:ons   •  What  else  can  we  do  for  young  struggling  learners?  
  58. 58. Our  new  study:  Barnes,  Klein,  Starkey   •  Randomized Control Trial of an Intervention for 4 year-olds at High Risk for Math Difficulties •  Tier 1 + Tier 2 supplemental math instruction 4 days per week •  OR Tier 1 + Tier 2 supplemental math instruction 4 days per week + cognitive (attention/memory) training 1 day per week •  OR Regular Tier 1 math program in classroom •  Trial in its second year in TX and CA
  59. 59.   Vigilance  and  Execu:ve  A`en:on  Games:  McCandliss                  
  60. 60. What  we  DON’T  know  about  cogni:ve   interven:ons  for  academic  skill  learning   •  Whether  combined  neurocogni:ve  and   skill  specific  (i.e.,  math)  interven:ons   might  be  helpful  for  some  children  with   learning  difficul:es  (Melby-­‐Lervag  &  Hulme,  2012)   •  Whether  the  age  of  the  child  might  make   a  difference  in  terms  of  the  effec:veness   of  cogni:ve  interven:ons  (Wass,  Scerif  &  Johnson,   2012)    
  61. 61. Where  are  we  at  with  combined  skills-­‐specific  +   cogni:ve  interven:ons  for  young  children  at  risk   for  learning  difficul:es?   Combined  academic  and  cogni:ve   Interven:ons  for  Learning   Difficul:es   Open-­‐ Minded   Skep:cs   Educa:on   Researchers   Educators  
  62. 62. Thank you!
  63. 63. Tiered Approach to Assessment & Instruction •  Tiered models sequentially increase the intensity of the instructional interventions •  Children who do not meet progress in one layer are then provided with the next tier of support •  Prevention model rather than a “wait to fail model” also called Response to Intervention Model or RTI
  64. 64. Tier 1: The Foundation •  Core instructional program taught by classroom teacher •  Provides evidence-based instruction to all students •  Progress monitoring of all students to identify those students who are not displaying adequate progress (3 x yr) •  On-going Professional Development to support teacher knowledge of assessment and evidencebased practice
  65. 65. Tier 2 Supplemental Instruction •  Students who do not make progress in response to regular classroom instruction are provided with the next layer of support •  Classroom teacher works with school team to develop Tier 2 interventions •  Tier 2 interventions may include: •  Additional instruction time, small group instruction •  Instruction that is more structured, explicit, and systematic with increased opportunities to respond •  More frequent progress monitoring probes
  66. 66. Tier 3 •  For students who do not exhibit growth in response to Tier I and II instructional layers •  Referred for more extensive educational or psychoeducational assessment •  Information from assessment + information from teacher/school team is used to guide intervention efforts •  More extensive, more individualized interventions
  67. 67. Questions? Marcia Barnes, Ph.D. The University of Texas at Austin #HatchExperts |
  68. 68. Next Month What’s REALLY Happening with Technology in Early Childhood Programs? Thursday December 5th, 2-3:30 ET Dale McManis, M.Ed., Ph.D. Karen Nemeth, Ed.M. Fran Simon, M.Ed. Register Today: #HatchExperts |
  69. 69. Facebook STEM Giveaway #HatchExperts |
  70. 70. Wait, there’s more! $25 $25 Fill out the survey for your chance to win #HatchExperts |
  71. 71. The Winner is... #HatchExperts |
  72. 72. Thanks for Coming! See you next month! #HatchExperts |
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