Effects of Ability and Settings on Kindergartners' Reading Performance

Linda A. Meyer, James L. Wardrop, C. Nicholas Hastings, Robert L. Linn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This report presents findings from the testing of approximately 650 children in two cohorts at the beginning and end of their kindergarten years and from 9 full days of observations of their classrooms. Data were collected in three school districts, of which two had half-day kindergarten programs and one had a full-day program. Descriptive findings and results from multiple regression analyses reveal strong relationships between the children's Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT) scores upon entering kindergarten and their spring scores on three measures of reading performance—the WRAT, the Chicago Reading Test, and the Woodcock Reading Comprehension paragraphs. There were also substantial and significant differences among districts on the end-of-year measures. No differences were identified for time of day (morning vs. afternoon class) or for the interaction of teacher and time of day. Among the process variables studied, “confirming feedback” was most frequently significant at the teacher level. Teachers in District A collectively accounted for 60% of the significant findings with respect to classroom instruction. The results suggest that what happens in kindergarten classrooms, rather than the length of the school day, determines children's reading ability at the end of kindergarten.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-160
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Educational Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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