Reading Experiences in the Kindergarten Classroom
The additional time that children who attend full-day kindergarten spend in school increases their exposure to a variety of instruction activities—learning phonics, reading books, reading from a basal text, and so forth. Findings from the ECLS–K suggest that public school children who attend full-day classes make greater reading achievement gains during the kindergarten year than their counterparts who attend half-day classes (figure 8). On a reading scale that ranged from 0 to 72,8 the average kindergartner in a full-day program gained 10.6 points over the school year. For children in half-day kindergarten programs, the average gain was 9.4 points.
These differences persist when other characteristics associated with kindergarten program type and/or children’s academic success (e.g., race/ethnicity and poverty status), and classroom characteristics that might be related to kindergarten achievement gains (e.g., class size, presence of an instructional aide), are taken into account (Walston and West 2004).
8During the kindergarten year the reading assessment scores ranged from 0 to 72. In 1st, 3rd, and 5th grades, the range increases as items are added. (back to text)
Figures and Tables
Figure 8: Public school first-time kindergartners' mean reading scores and mean reading gain scores (unadjusted), by program type: Fall 1998 to Spring 1999
Table FS8: Standard errors for the public school first-time kindergartners' mean reading scores and mean reading gain scores (unadjusted), by program type: Fall 1998 to spring 1999