TeachME Professional Development

Early Childhood Intervention and Education Research

Executive Summary

1. Institute of Education Sciences (IES)-supported research shows that there are critical associations between features of pre-kindergarten classrooms and positive children's outcomes, as demonstrated by each of the following EXCEPT:

A. The extent to which teachers are observed providing emotional support to children in their classroom is positively associated with children's growth in social competence

B. Research findings show that participation in higher-quality classroom environments is associated with improved learning outcomes for young children

C. Studies indicate that children within classrooms characterized by relatively high levels of emotional support and instructional support show greater growth over an academic year on measures of cognitive and instructional achievement

D. IES-supported research indicates that children enrolled in early education settings exhibit great variability in their skills and risk factors

Research Related to Educational Practices Designed to Impact Children's Academic and Social Outcomes

2. Teachers can use specific practices to improve children's language, literacy, mathematics, cognitive, and social skills, such as reading books in a certain way to improve literacy and incorporating types of activities like board games to improve mathematic skills.

A. True

B. False

Research Related to Measuring Young Children's Skills and Learning

3. Research findings show that some measures commonly used in the early childhood community may not provide reliable information about children's skills, and that there is a need to conduct ongoing evaluations of measures commonly used and to develop new measures that provide reliable data.

A. True

B. False

Research Related to Professional Development for Early Educators

4. Study results show that classroom instruction can be improved by providing professional development to teachers, and that impacts are not only seen in what teachers do in their classroom, but also in:

A. How children are behaving

B. What children are learning

C. How children are interacting in their environment

D. All of the above

5. One of the greatest benefits of IES-supported research is that we now definitively know what minimum thresholds of classroom quality are necessary to optimize learning

A. True

B. False

Preamble from the Institute of Education Sciences

6. A critical component of IES research has been rigorous evaluation of the impact of programs, practices, and policies on education outcomes, and this enterprise has provided education leaders and practitioners with extensive amounts of scientifically valid information on which interventions appear to be effective in achieving their intended goals.

A. True

B. False

Context and Organization of This Report

7. Young children who exhibit delays in language, literacy, mathematics, cognitive, and social skills due to the presence of various risk factors typically face elevated likelihood of secondary delays or disabilities as well as future academic and social difficulties.

A. True

B. False

Early Childhood Classroom Environments and General Instructional Practices-Background

8. Demographic information indicates that in today's early childhood classrooms:

A. Today the preschool population is more heterogeneous than in the past, as recent Census data indicate that about one-third of all children under five years of age are from racial or ethnic minority groups

B. In 2009, almost one in every six preschool children lived in a family with income below the Federal poverty level

C. One in five preschool children has a parent who was born outside the United States and lives in a household in which a language other than English is spoken

D. In 2009, 348,604 infants and toddlers and 731,754 preschool-age children were enrolled in early intervention and preschool programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Contributions from IES-Supported Research-Contribution 1

9. Experts have found that the quality of teachers' emotional support for children as well as structural features such as class size, child-to-teacher ratio and teacher credentials were directly related to children's academic and social outcomes.

A. True

B. False

Contribution 4

10. One noteworthy research study has shown a significant relationship between children's history of maltreatment and homelessness during the early childhood years and:

A. Rates of school absence

B. Poor peer interactions

C. Academic achievement

D. Age-level performance

Classroom Instructional Practices and Children's Learning

11. Today, many children still attend classrooms that are organized to promote learning through play activities that each child chooses, even though this type of classroom organization is associated with smaller learning gains over the school year when compared to classrooms that include teacher-directed learning.

A. True

B. False

12. Within early childhood classrooms, children tend to participate in few of the interactions that have been demonstrated to support or accelerate development and learning, which is probably due to the classroom language environment, the content of instruction, and:

A. The lack of adequate praise and feedback

B. The children's peer group

C. Poor social competence

D. Inadequate engagement

13. Observations of teachers in classroom environments that serve children at risk demonstrate that they typically engage in frequent conversations with children, connecting their actions through language, and that they use abstract vocabulary and concepts in these conversations.

A. True

B. False

Contribution 6

14. IES-supported research suggests that there is very little instruction in mathematics and science occurring within early childhood classrooms, and what does occur is generally limited to naming common shapes and counting up to relatively small numbers.

A. True

B. False

Contribution 7

15. Many children in preschool settings, particularly those funded by public streams, spend their days interacting with classmates who may well exhibit significant lags in language, literacy, cognitive and social skills, and therefore do not have exposure to others who could model examples of advanced cognitive and social skills.

A. True

B. False

Educational Practices Designed to Impact Children's Academic and Social Outcomes

16. Early childhood classrooms are different from the later primary grades in that children spend about 25% of their classroom time in free-choice activities rather than focusing on academics.

A. True

B. False

Cognitive Development

17. Cognitive developmental theory and research has identified important _____________ skills that are related to children's learning in mathematics and literacy and that will likely improve overall learning outcomes.

A. Critical thinking

B. Problem-solving

C. Concrete-contemplative

D. Abstract-reasoning

Language and Literacy Development-Background

18. In order for children to achieve skilled and fluent reading in the primary grades, they need to develop their vocabulary, their ability to draw inferences, and listening comprehension, which are all decoding precursor skills.

A. True

B. False

19. Which of the following is NOT one of the findings of IES-supported research pertaining to language and literacy development.

A. Teachers can support children's early reading skills through sustained silent reading

B. There is a need to differentiate more- and less-effective curricula that support children's early reading.

C. Supplemental literacy instruction can be beneficial for children who are at risk for reading difficulty

D. Children with problem behaviors may benefit from particular types of reading instruction

Contribution 12

20. Although children who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) are at risk for significant reading disabilities, long-term prognoses for them has improved due to technological advances with cochlear implants and early detection of hearing loss through universal hearing screening programs.

A. True

B. False

Math and Science Development

21. The relation between early math knowledge and future math achievement is particularly strong and persistent; with it being roughly twice as strong as the relation between early and later reading achievement.

A. True

B. False

Contribution 14

22. The preschool math-oriented curricula that features small-group and whole-group activities, computer games, and family activities to be done at home and relies heavily on computer software as a means of conveying mathematical content and engaging children's interest is:

A. Pre-K Mathematics

B. Big Math for Little Kids

C. Building Blocks

D. Corrective Math Strategies

Contribution 15

23. The ability to translate accurately among representations of numerical magnitudes, known as numerical comprehension, is a critical skill in enhancing overall arithmetic proficiency.

A. True

B. False

Contribution 16

24. The Response to Intervention (RtI) approach to helping young children gain math skills is aimed at identifying children in need of special assistance, along with preventing difficulties from arising, remedying difficulties that do arise, and providing the tools teachers need for instruction and progress monitoring.

A. True

B. False

Contribution 18

25. While a cumulative growth model suggests that a child's learning in mathematics reflects their earlier understandings, a _____ model calls for instruction in important mathematics concepts which will allow children to catch-up with their more advanced peers.

A. Delay

B. Lag

C. Ebb

D. Linger

Contribution 19

26. Preliminary evidence indicates that when an instructional approach that integrates scientific inquiry and literacy is implemented, both boys' and girls' learning and motivation for engaging in science increases.

A. True

B. False

Social-Emotional Competence

27. Estimates of the prevalence of challenging behavior in preschool children range from _____ percent of the population, and between _____ percent of young children enrolled in Head Start exhibited persistent problem behaviors.

A. 10-15% 10-23%

B. 8-13%; 8-21%

C. 12-20%; 12-25%

D. 5-10%; 5-15%

Contribution 20

28. Teachers who used praise linked with a specific behavior, which is known as targeted praise, reported a decrease in class-wide challenging behavior during small group activities.

A. True

B. False

Measuring Young Children's Skills and Learning

29. Recent scientific pursuits have led to the identification of valid and reliable ways to measure children's learning across the language, mathematic, and social domains.

A. True

B. False

30. Direct, individualized assessment of preschool aged children is time-consuming and costly, and the routine use of standardized assessment measures with young children has been challenged because results of assessments with this age group are typically less reliable than with older children and adolescents.

A. True

B. False

Contribution 23

31. While it is extremely important for practitioners to have access to tools that yield reliable and valid scores to measure young children's skills across various areas, it is also necessary for them to be able to use these tools to monitor children's progress over time and to make important decisions about children's status, such as whether a child exhibits a disability.

A. True

B. False

Professional Development for Early Educators-Background

32. In order for professional development to be effective in improving teacher-related outcomes, it must contain each of the following elements EXCEPT:

A. It addresses important content knowledge

B. It provides individuals with opportunities to test their understanding by trying things out and receiving feedback

C. It occurs within a collaborative environment

D. It is profession-driven, building on the current needs and strengths of the educational community

33. Substantial evidence indicates that brief workshops are effective in promoting lasting changes in instruction because they generally provide practical strategies that can be easily implemented.

A. True

B. False

34. Professional development interventions that promote teachers' use of effective approaches for teaching important academic and social skills with _______ and that use data to make informed decisions about instruction are expected to promote children's learning by improving teachers' instruction.

A. Consistency

B. Fidelity

C. Integrity

D. Steadfastness

Contributions of IES-Supported Research

35. One method to assist teachers is to assign a more experienced coach or mentor to help provide effective strategies for teaching critical early literacy skills in the classrooms, as results tend to suggest that coaching improves teachers' instruction when compared with teachers who do not receive coaching.

A. True

B. False

Contribution 25

36. Studies indicate that when children are in classrooms where teachers have participated in a one-semester professional development intervention targeting phonological awareness and language comprehension, the students show significant gains in vocabulary skills and understanding of initial sounds.

A. True

B. False

Summary and Conclusions

37. Experts believe that one important question for education research is to explore in what ways special features of ______________ are related to children's development and learning in specific domains.

A. Instructional methods

B. Peer interactions

C. Classroom quality

D. Teacher style

38. While certain intervention approaches have been used effectively to support elementary school children's learning, they are only beginning to be used in early childhood programs, and in particular, further attention to the development of assessment tools that can be used quickly and reliably to monitor preschool children's progress in academic and social learning domains is needed.

A. True

B. False

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