Date of Award

5-2016

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Special Education: M.S.

Department

Special Education

College

School of Education

First Advisor

JoAnn Johnson

Second Advisor

Ming-Chi Own

Third Advisor

Carol Conkell

Creative Commons License

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

Keywords and Subject Headings

movement, motor development, cognition, pre-academics, pre-literacy, preschool

Abstract

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify the impact participation in a movement

program has on prekindergarten-aged (4-5-year-old) children’s pre-literacy skills.

Twelve children, prekindergarten age, 1 year before kindergarten eligibility, enrolled in a school readiness program, participated in the study for six weeks. The 12 children were divided into two groups, a treatment group that participated in the daily movement program and a control group that did not participate in the movement program but engaged in free choice activities in the classroom. The treatment group participated in the movement activities in a room separate from the classroom. This room designated as the S.M.A.R.T. room is where all the children enrolled in the early childhood program participated in the S.M.A.R.T. activities. Pre-literacy skills for all children in the preschool program were measured in the fall and in the spring in line with the program’s progress reporting schedule using Individual Growth and Development Indicators-Early Literacy® (IGDI’s-EL) Literacy (picture naming, rhyming, and alliteration). The movement program used was Stimulating Maturation Through Accelerated Readiness Training (S.M.A.R.T.) Early Childhood. The program, developed by A Chance to Grow, includes activities for training children in eye/hand coordination, mental focus, gross and fine motor skills, sequencing, left/right awareness, and spatial relations. Pre-literacy skill scores were compared between the two groups to determine if children who regularly participated in a structured movement program obtained higher scores than children who did not.

Results for this sample indicate there was not a positive correlation of an increase in literacy scores for either group that participated in this study.

Comments/Acknowledgements

Acknowledgment

Writing a thesis has been a process for me. Working full-time, synchronizing university deadlines with the availability of study subjects, along with academic school calendar made this a mission of project management. To complicate matters, in the middle of writing my family and I moved away from the area, making this process arduous and at times frustrating. I have learned the value of patience and the understanding that “all things happen in due time” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

With that said, I appreciate the assistance of the Sartell Early Childhood Program for granting me permission to use the children enrolled in the school readiness program for the study. I thank Brittney Soldner for following through with requirements needed to conduct the study with the children in her classroom with fidelity.

I want to extend gratitude to my committee chair, JoAnn Johnson, for her consistent and steady support throughout the past few years guiding me through this process. Writing a thesis was very intimidating for me and she was always positive and gave me the feeling that I could do it, and was available when needed.

To my family for putting up with, “don’t touch my study stuff,” allowing me to work through this process without complaint or negativity.

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