Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Self-regulation Game Predicts Kindergarten Achievement

Date:
June 9, 2009
Source:
Oregon State University
Summary:
Early childhood development researchers have discovered that a simple, five-minute self-regulation game not only can predict end-of-year achievement in math, literacy and vocabulary, but also was associated with the equivalent of several months of additional learning in kindergarten.

Early childhood development researchers have discovered that a simple, five-minute self-regulation game not only can predict end-of-year achievement in math, literacy and vocabulary, but also was associated with the equivalent of several months of additional learning in kindergarten.

Claire Ponitz from the University of Virginia and Megan McClelland of Oregon State University assessed the effectiveness of a game called the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders (HTKS) task, which is a new version of the Head-to-Toes task developed by researchers at the University of Michigan. Both tasks have proved effective at predicting academic skills among preschool age children.

The researchers assessed a group of 343 kindergarteners from Oregon and Michigan. Their self-regulation, or ability to control behavior, was measured with the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders task, a structured observation requiring children to perform the opposite of a response to four different oral commands. For example, children were instructed to touch their toes if told to touch their head, and vice versa.

They found that students who performed well on his behavior task in the fall achieved strong scores in reading, vocabulary and math in the spring, compared to students who had low performance on the task. In addition, the research showed that the children who performed well on the task scored 3.4 months ahead of peers who performed at average levels on mathematics learning.

"It's amazing that this game works as well as it does," McClelland said. "It is simple to administer, fun for the kids, and predicts children's academic achievement."

One area where the task did not make a difference was assessing children's interpersonal skills. McClelland explained that the game is not "emotion-oriented," meaning it is not set up to trigger an emotional response. Instead, the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders task tests children on important classroom-related behavior such as listening, following directions and remembering instructions.

"We know this task predicts end-of-year achievement," she said. "Now we want to take the game to the next level."

McClelland is planning to do an extensive evaluation of the task for her next research project, testing the task with an even larger group of children. She also has a number of research projects under way with OSU graduate students, including one that uses a variety of fun games to improve a child's ability to regulate their behavior.

She said she has made a simple DVD that demonstrates the task, and in response has received requests from around the world from researchers who want to use the task with young children.

"The evidence strongly suggests that improving self-regulation is directly related to academic achievement and behavior," McClelland said. "If we can make a difference early in a child's life, they have that much more of a chance at success."

Their results were published in a recent issue of the journal, Developmental Psychology.

J.S. Matthews and Frederick Morrison from the University of Michigan contributed to this research, which was funded by a grant from the Department of Education and National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. For the past two years, Ponitz's work has been funded through an Institute for Education Sciences Postdoctoral training grant to the University of Virginia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oregon State University. "Self-regulation Game Predicts Kindergarten Achievement." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090608162547.htm>.
Oregon State University. (2009, June 9). Self-regulation Game Predicts Kindergarten Achievement. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090608162547.htm
Oregon State University. "Self-regulation Game Predicts Kindergarten Achievement." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090608162547.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins