Early literacy skills play an important role in children's success in school. Especially important to better literacy skills may be the quality of the classroom environment (emotional support, classroom organization, and instructional support) across the early years of schooling. This study used an a priori threshold of quality approach to understanding the possible link between the number of years of better classroom quality over four years, from kindergarten through third grade, in relation to children's literacy skills by third grade. This study examined a representative sample of 1292 children followed from birth who lived in low-wealth rural counties in the United States. These children were followed into school with classroom observations conducted each year from kindergarten through third grade and literacy related achievement measures in pre-kindergarten and third grade. Findings suggested that even after controlling for poverty related variables, the quality of the home environment, school entry literacy skills, and teacher rated literacy instruction, children who had more years of better classroom quality had higher third grade literacy scores. Additionally, we found an interaction effect, suggesting that children who entered kindergarten with lower emergent literacy skills benefited more from a greater number of years of better classroom quality in relation to reading comprehension in third grade. Thus, more years of better classroom quality may help in narrowing the gap between those who enter kindergarten with higher literacy skills and those who enter with lower literacy skills. (C) 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Cumulative years of classroom quality from kindergarten to third grade
Prediction to children's third grade literacy skills
Vernon-Feagans, L., Mokrova, I. L., Carr, R. C., Garrett-Peters, P. T., Burchinal, M. R., Vernon-Feagans, L., Greenberg, M. T., Blair, C. B., Burchinal, M. R., Cox, M., Garrett-Peters, P. T., Frank, J. L., Mills-Koonce, W. R., Willoughby, M. T., & Family Life Project Key (2019). Cumulative years of classroom quality from kindergarten to third grade: Prediction to children's third grade literacy skills. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 47, 531-540. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2018.06.005