+ Executive Summary
+ Children's Reading and Mathematics Achievement in Kindergarten and First Grade
Organization of the Report
Approaches to Learning
As children enter kindergarten for the first time, about three in five (58 percent) often to very often exhibit behaviors associated with a positive approach to learning (e.g., show eagerness to learn, persist at tasks), according to their teachers (table 5). A positive approach to learning is part of a successful learning experience. Children who frequently exhibit a positive approach to learning as they begin kindergarten do better in spring kindergarten and first grade reading and mathematics than children who exhibit these behaviors less frequently (i.e., the former have higher mean t-scores). Moreover, children who frequently exhibit a positive approach to learning are more than twice as likely as other children to score in the top 25 percent in reading and mathematics at the spring of kindergarten and first grade (tables 7 and 8).
In terms of children's specific reading skills, children who frequently demonstrate behaviors associated with a positive approach to learning as they enter kindergarten are more likely than children who less frequently demonstrate such a positive approach to learning to understand the letter-sound relationship at the beginning and ending of words as they are completing kindergarten, and are more likely to master sight words and words in context as they are completing first grade (table 8). A similar pattern occurs in mathematics (table 9). Children who frequently demonstrate a positive approach to learning are more likely to have mastered the set of skills associated with ordinality/sequence by the spring of kindergarten (70 versus 43 percent, respectively). And by the spring of first grade, these children are more likely than other children to be proficient in addition and subtraction and multiplication and division (84 versus 64 percent, 34 versus 16 percent; respectively) (table 9).