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Crossing the 30 Million Word Gap

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Lorrie Corder

on 25 June 2017

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Transcript of Crossing the 30 Million Word Gap

Data Results + Reliability and Validity
or "Will the research results hold fast so others can bridge the word gap too?"
There were three learning goals in the study. Here are the goals and summary of the results:

Learning Goal 1: Identify at least 5 more alphabet letters than the number known previous to the study.

58% of the students or 7 out of 12 fully met this goal. 5 of the 7 had letter identification instruction plus handwriting instruction.

Learning Goal 2: Name and demonstrate all 7 of the basic strokes for letter formation and form the letters L, N, X, U, and S. (Only 1/2 the class or 6 students received this training)

50 % or 3 out of 6 students fully meet this goal. The three who did not meet the goal were younger and so were less cognitively and developmentally ready to write.

Learning Goal 3: Identify and write at least the first 3 letters in one's first name.

66% or 8 out of 12 student fully met this goal. 5 of the students who met the goal had both letter recognition and handwriting training.

The assessment tools used in the study have Test-Retest Reliability and Formative Validity. To read more about these and other types of reliability and validity in academic assessments see: https://chfasoa.uni.edu/reliabilityandvalidity.htm
Bridge the 30 MillionWord Gap !
Expedition Overview
When last you met the researcher...
Research Statement
Fuel for the journey!
Evidence that Impacts Student Learning
We shall overcome the gap!
The Education of an Action Researcher/Expedition Leader !
or "What the researcher learned and how will she pay it forward?"
It was a dark and stormy winter expedition into the unknown world of early literacy. Would the researcher's students be able to increase their alphabet recognition skills if they had instruction in handwriting of letters? Would these skills give them the tools necessary to bridge the 30 Million Word Gap ?

To re-view the initial expedition plan visit:

Meanwhile the researcher and her students have completed their journey and are ready to demonstrate their findings. Grab your pack, rope, and carabiners. Lace up your hiking boots and prepare to bridge the gap.
As shown in the results summary, handwriting training did improve student ability to identify alphabet letters. This gives the researcher confidence to fully include both the Letter People and Zaner-Bloser Handwriting curricula in future teaching. The researcher found that as suggested in her literature review, students who were closer to 50 -54 months old were cognitively better able to absorb and apply the handwriting instruction and more physically capable of holding a pencil properly. Common sense and the experience from this study showed that twelve days is in no way sufficient time to teach handwriting. In subsequent teaching, the teacher will provide smaller pencils for the younger children. Pre-writing practice for all ages will begin much earlier in the school year so that all three learning goals can be fully met by all students by the end of third quarter.

In this way, the researcher will be able to use the 4th quarter to extend student learning to include lower case alphabet letter identification and letter sounds. This will mean the researcher's students could show up to 2 years of growth in the area of alphabet knowledge and handwriting!

Five insights and a summary of the researcher's next steps are as follows:

1) Handwriting instruction can improve student ability to recognize alphabet letters.
2) There is an actual neurological connection in the brain that links handwriting to letter identification and reading.
3) There are six stages of pre-writing that children follow on a continuum before they can form legible print.
4) Hands on activities increase engagement in letter identification. Two of the most effective were the use of props and food. For instance while learning the letter X, the researcher shared a Xylophone with her students. The instrument was also labeled with the printed word Xylophone. When learning L, the students made lemonade. Props and food help with letter recognition by providing a link between the 5 senses and the content. They also promote vocabulary development.
5) The researcher's school assessment tool for preschool name writing needs to be revised to reflect the six stages of pre-writing in order to demonstrate growth in a more developmentally appropriate way.

Professional Development: 1. Share results with principle and staff. 2. Prepare a revised assessment tool with principle and staff. 3. Share revised tool with the Director of Instruction for approval to implement. 4. Arrange for additional training for staff in the use of the Letter People and Zaner-Bloser curricula and supporting materials. 5. Implement letter identification and handwriting training in developmentally appropriate ways from the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.
Handwriting instruction does improve the ability of children aged 36 to 54 months to identify uppercase alphabet letters.
The great leap over the chasm! Read on to discover:

Summary of the results
Reliability and Validity Statements
Evidence that impacts students learning

Handwriting and letter identification are steps to reading and writing success.

Interpretation of Research Results
Results of the Impact of Hand Writing Instruction on Letter Identification: An Action Research Project
by Lorrie L. Corder
Presented to: Diane Bouirsaw, Ph. D.
TCHED 6910
Summer 2017
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