Lastinger Inquiry Project By Sarah J. Pre-K Ages 4-5 Parents as Partners: Getting Ready for Kindergarten
The issue that led me to my wondering was… <ul><li>As I gave parents updates on their child’s progress, I gave them specific skills to practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Many parents wanted to help their children practice these skills, but didn’t know how or had a very limited time to do so and needed quick, concise activities. </li></ul>
Current research emphasizes the importance of early learning. Birth to kindergarten is a critical time period for this growth. My goal as a teacher of early learners is to have my students be ready for kindergarten. Research also says that parents should be a part of this process. “Schools can make a difference in parents' expectations and perceived roles vis-à-vis the education system. Policies and practices that promote openness and communication between parents and teachers are necessary for building trust and shared orientations that can elevate parent interest in children's learning at home and at school, leading to better scholastic achievement (Trumbull, Diaz-Meza, Hasan, & Rothstein-Fisch, 2001).
School-family teamwork and collaboration are more likely to produce positive results than are school systems and families working independently (Mapp, 2002).“ Many parents in the community I work in want to help their children be more successful, but are unsure how to do so. Others work sun up to sun down. The quality free time they have to spend with their children is limited. I planned to send home fun activities that parents could do with their children to practice specific targeted skills. I wrote and received a grant to help me accomplish this.
My Inquiry Question How will presenting parents with all materials necessary to increase specific academic skills help their child be more ready for kindergarten?
Sub questions <ul><li>Upon implementing the program, will the students’ scores go up in areas of literacy on the Galileo Preschool Assessment system that I use in my classroom? </li></ul><ul><li>Will parent attitudes change as far as their role of being their child’s first teacher? </li></ul><ul><li>Will the students not participating in the inquiry have lesser academic gains in the targeted time period? </li></ul>
Method: I sent home special folders weekly that contained two activities and a learning log. Each time the parents practiced the activity with their child, they signed next to that day and recorded how many minutes they spent doing so. The grant I wrote and received purchased the materials I needed to implement the program. I requested that they return the manipulative letters to school, but sent the activity sheets back home for future practice. My focus for this inquiry was my students’ language and literacy skills.
Data Collection: I printed their beginning skill levels for the targeted areas as part of my pre-data. I also sent home a pre-survey to parents. The pre-survey told me about their home literacy environment and what kinds of skills, if any, that they practiced with their children. This survey, along with their skill levels, helped me choose the activities that were most beneficial. Half of my class took part in this inquiry by receiving language and literacy activities.
In the middle of April, I printed their current progress reports. In addition, I sent home a post-survey to the parents. This survey provided me with information about how helpful they thought the projects were and whether or not their attitudes have changed about being involved with learning in the home environment.
Learning Log Data <ul><li>The students in purple took part in my inquiry project. </li></ul><ul><li>The other students were my control group that received math activities. </li></ul>5 30 minutes 5 S.O. 0 0 0 L.I. 5 10 minutes 7 S.A. 3 25 minutes 5 K.F. 2 15 minutes 1 H.G. 2 20 minutes 1 M.R. 1 15 minutes 1 G.H. 1 45 minutes 1 J.M. 5 35 minutes 4 S.G. 1 15 minutes 6 WS.L. 5 10 minutes 1 J.C. 1 8 minutes 1 A.T. 5 15 minutes 7 I.A. 4 30 minutes 1 J.L. 2 30 minutes 5 J.T. 2 30 minutes 8 E.M. & P.M. 1 30 minutes 4 O. S. On average, how many days a week did they complete the activity? What is the average time they spent on the activities? How many learning logs were signed and returned? Student Initials
Data Analysis: <ul><li>Half of my class took part in this inquiry by receiving language and literacy activities. The other students received math activities. </li></ul><ul><li>At the end of the inquiry, both groups of students had made significant gains. </li></ul><ul><li>My literacy group started out knowing less than ten letters and their corresponding sounds. Of this group, almost half reached my goal for them to know more than ten letters. </li></ul><ul><li>Of those four, three made amazing progress and now know 20 or more letters and sounds. </li></ul>
In response to my sub questions… <ul><li>Upon implementing the program, will the students’ scores go up in areas of literacy on the Galileo Preschool Assessment system that I use in my classroom? </li></ul><ul><li>Yes!! Even the students that did not make as many gains as others still did make some gains . </li></ul><ul><li>Will parent attitudes change as far as their role of being their child’s first teacher? </li></ul><ul><li>Yes!! Feedback from the post-survey was very positive. Parents enjoyed the activities and felt that their child was more ready for kindergarten. </li></ul><ul><li>Will the students not participating in the inquiry have lesser academic gains in the targeted time period? </li></ul><ul><li>No, because their literacy levels were higher to begin with and they made gains in math as well . </li></ul>
This project has impacted my journey as a learner by… <ul><li>Reminding me how important parents are as partners. After all, parents are their child’s first teacher. </li></ul><ul><li>Reminding me how important it is to step out of my own little world and into the power of collaboration among colleagues. </li></ul><ul><li>Reminding me there is still so much I want to learn!!! </li></ul>