|Title:||Story Talk-Kindergarten: Developing a Cognitive-based Vocabulary Intervention|
|Principal Investigator:||Wasik, Barbara||Awardee:||Temple University|
|Program:||Cognition and Student Learning [Program Details]|
|Award Period:||4 years (07/01/2021 – 06/30/2025)||Award Amount:||$2,000,000|
|Type:||Development and Innovation||Award Number:||R305A210106|
Co-Principal Investigators: Hindman, Annemarie; Byrnes, James
Purpose: The purpose of this project is to develop Story Talk-Kindergarten (ST-K), a multifaceted intervention that will support teachers through training and coaching to use evidence-based book reading and extension activities to increase vocabulary knowledge in low-income kindergartners. Kindergarten is a critical year in children's learning to read. Many children in high-need schools require additional support in developing vocabulary, a significant predictor of reading. This project addresses a gap in instructional practices to increase children's vocabulary knowledge and support their learning to read.
Project Activities: In Years 1–3, the research team will work collaboratively with kindergarten teachers each year to iteratively develop the components of ST-K. During this time, the research team will collect child data to inform the usability, feasibility, and fidelity of the intervention. In Year 4, the research team will conduct a pilot test of ST-K as well as a cost analysis.
Products: This project will result in a fully developed vocabulary intervention that can be used flexibly with existing kindergarten curricula and is aligned with the previously developed Story Talk-PreK. ST-K will include 120 trade books, as well as Story Maps (soft scripts of key vocabulary and questions for each book, and extension activities) that support vocabulary development. The research team will disseminate findings to researchers, curriculum developers and publishers, practitioners, and the general public.
Setting: This study will take place in public, low-income schools in an urban school district in Pennsylvania. Within this district, 46% of the students are Black, 16% are White, 24% are Hispanic, >85% are low income, 12% are ELs, and 15% have been diagnosed with disabilities.
Sample: During each year between Years 1–3, participants will include six kindergarten teachers and their students (24 per class, 144 total). During Year 4, thirty teachers and their students will participate in the pilot study.
Intervention: Story Talk-K is a book reading intervention designed to improve children's vocabulary development. ST-K includes three components: book reading, Center Activities and Strategy Instruction. Each book has a Story Map, which is a teacher's guide that includes book-related, key vocabulary words; child friendly definitions; and before, during, and after prompts for teachers to ask that promote conversations with children. Center activities are related to the book reading and support children's use of vocabulary words. Strategy Instruction small groups explicitly focuses on explicit instruction of key vocabulary words. ST-K provides training and coaching to teachers. ST-K includes an academic year of daily book reading and small group activities that support children's vocabulary development.
Research Design and Methods: In Years 1–3, the research team will work collaboratively with kindergarten teachers each year to iteratively develop the components of ST-K. During this time, the research team will collect child data to inform the usability, feasibility, and fidelity of the intervention. In Year 4, the research team will conduct a pilot test of ST-K as well as a cost analysis. For the pilot study, the research team will conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) study, with random assignment at the classroom level. Intervention teachers will receive training, coaching and a set of materials including books and Story Maps. The training and coaching will support teachers' conceptual and procedural knowledge to implement ST-K components. Comparison teachers will receive all the books during the evaluation and at the completion of the study will receive the Story Maps. The research team will assess participating children in fall and spring of the preschool year.
Control Condition: In the pilot study, classrooms assigned to the control condition will use business-as-usual instructional practices.
Key Measures: The research team will measure children's project-specific vocabulary acquisition, receptive vocabulary (PPVT-4), and expressive vocabulary (EOWPVT-4). The research team will also measure teachers' instructional practices using the CLASS measure of classroom quality, a project-aligned assessment of teacher knowledge of intervention content, and teacher and coach fidelity of implementation measures.
Data Analytic Strategy: For the pilot study, the research team will use multilevel modeling to determine the promise of ST-K on improving children's vocabulary. Models will control for child-level covariates at level 1 and treatment and classroom-level covariates (e.g., % EL) at level 2. Effects of ST-K on teacher outcomes will be assessed using comparable multiple regressions.
Cost Analysis: During Year 4, the research team will carry out a cost analysis using the "ingredients" method. The research team will track the actual personnel time and budgetary expenditures and enter them into the CostOut tool, which includes national averages for teacher salaries, coach salaries, facilities costs, and materials.
Related IES Project: Story Talk: A Cognitive Research-based Vocabulary Intervention for Preschoolers (R305A140034)