Date of Award

8-2018

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Child and Family Studies: Family Studies: M.S.

Department

Child and Family Studies

College

School of Education

First Advisor

JoAnn Johnson

Second Advisor

Ming-Chi Own

Third Advisor

Marc Markell

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if 10 minutes of additional physical movement every school day for 18 weeks would affect cognitive development (pre-literacy skills) of Kindergarten students and to determine what areas of pre-literacy test scores were affected.

Twenty Kindergarten students from one Kindergarten classroom located in a central Minnesota public school participated in the study for 18 weeks. The 20 students were randomly divided into two groups, an experimental group and control group. The experimental group participated in the structured daily movement program, which was Stimulating Maturity Through Accelerated Readiness Training (S.M.A.R.T.) in a separate room and the control group did not participate in the movement program, but engaged in free play activities in the classroom. Free play consisted of the students having the option to use the same academic materials as the experimental group and play academic games, but in an unstructured setting. Both groups had adults to assist them with the academic pieces if needed. Pre-literacy skills were measured by DIBELS Next assessment for all Kindergarten children in September, 2017, and again in January, 2018. The skills assessed included Letter Naming Fluency and First Sound Fluency; the assessment also calculated a composite score for those skills. The mean score of each group was calculated in each area and compared pre-study and post-study.

Results of this study indicated participation in 10 minutes of S.M.A.R.T. movements daily over an 18-week period had a positive impact on pre-literacy test scores in the area of Letter Naming Fluency. In the area of First Sound Fluency, the results of the study indicate the additional movement activities did not have a positive impact on pre-literacy test scores. The overall average composite score reveals participation in the S.M.A.R.T. movement curriculum did not have a positive effect on all pre-literacy skills.

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