WWC review of this study

Effects of Preschool Curriculum Programs on School Readiness (NCER 2008-2009) [Let’s Begin with the Letter People vs. business as usual]

Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research Consortium (2008). National Center for Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED502153

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    196
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: June 2022

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Language outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Test of Language Development: Grammatical Understanding Subtest

Let's Begin with the Letter People® vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
184 students

9.89

9.33

No

--
More Outcomes

PPVT-III

Let's Begin with the Letter People® vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
184 students

92.27

91.33

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

PPVT-III

Let's Begin with the Letter People® vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
150 students

95.23

94.00

No

--

Test of Language Development: Grammatical Understanding Subtest

Let's Begin with the Letter People® vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
151 students

9.99

10.08

No

--
Mathematics outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Child Math Assessment-Abbreviated Composite Score

Let's Begin with the Letter People® vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
184 students

0.69

0.65

No

--
More Outcomes

Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement (WJ-III) Applied Problems Subtest

Let's Begin with the Letter People® vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
184 students

98.54

99.28

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Child Math Assessment-Abbreviated Composite Score

Let's Begin with the Letter People® vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
151 students

0.71

0.72

No

--

Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement (WJ-III) Applied Problems Subtest

Let's Begin with the Letter People® vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
151 students

101.42

102.40

No

--
Reading & Literacy Related outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Woodcock-Johnson III (W-J III) Spelling subtest

Let's Begin with the Letter People® vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
184 students

100.53

97.37

No

--
More Outcomes

Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement (WJ-III) Letter-Word Identification Subtest

Let's Begin with the Letter People® vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
184 students

107.81

106.04

No

--

Test of Early Reading Ability - 3rd Edition (TERA-3)

Let's Begin with the Letter People® vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
183 students

93.27

92.76

No

--

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (P–CTOPPP) Elision subtest

Let's Begin with the Letter People® vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
184 students

9.76

10.11

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Test of Early Reading Ability - 3rd Edition (TERA-3)

Let's Begin with the Letter People® vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
151 students

94.76

93.96

No

--

Woodcock-Johnson III (W-J III) Spelling subtest

Let's Begin with the Letter People® vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
151 students

103.61

103.46

No

--

Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement (WJ-III) Letter-Word Identification Subtest

Let's Begin with the Letter People® vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
151 students

108.13

109.53

No

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

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    Texas
  • Race
    Black
    13%
    Other or unknown
    58%
    White
    29%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    45%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    55%

Setting

Let’s Begin with the Letter People and the comparison were implemented in full-day Head Start and public pre-K (Title I and non-Title I) programs in Houston, Texas.

Study sample

For the Let’s Begin with the Letter People group, 7% of the children were Black, 33% were White, and the remaining 60% were multiple races/other/unspecified. Forty-nine percent were Hispanic (race unspecified). For the comparison group, 19% of the children were Black, 24% were White, 7% were Asian or Pacific Islander, and the remaining 50% were multiple races/other/unspecified. Forty percent of the comparison group were Hispanic (race unspecified).

Intervention Group

Let’s Begin with the Letter People (LBLP) is a prekindergarten curriculum in which literacy learning is integrated across topic areas including science, health and safety, art, mathematics, spatial concepts, and music, as well as development of large and small motor skills. This curriculum focuses on supporting development of literacy and language skills such as oral language, phonological and phonemic awareness, and letter knowledge. The curriculum lessons are provided in multiple contexts (such as circle time, small groups, and large groups) and activities (like center activities and story times). Classroom practices include teacher directed activities, application of skills, and independent practice on curriculum activities. The LBLP classroom includes clearly defined interest centers (for example, Paint Corner, Drama Center, and Mathematics). The curriculum materials include Letter People (huggables). Each Letter Person represents a letter of the alphabet and has distinguishing characteristics that are associated with the sound represented by the letter.

Comparison Group

Teachers in the comparison condition used teacher-developed, nonspecific curricula.

Support for implementation

Teachers received curriculum implementation training prior to the start of the 2003-2004 school year. The teacher sample included 45 teachers who participated in the pilot year of the study (2002-2003), and seven new teachers who started in 2003-2004. A total of 44 (37 returning) teachers participated in the study during the second year of implementation. The new teachers received 12 hours and returning teachers received 6 hours of curriculum implementation training.

 

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