One benefit of the No Child Left Behind legislation (2001) has been the increasing attention on the importance of the skills learned in the pre-kindergarten period for later academic achievement. There is a growing awareness that mathematics skills in kindergarten and beyond are influenced by the formal and informal mathematics skills acquired in the pre-kindergarten classroom. In recent years, a body of research has emerged pointing to the contributions to children’s learning from pre-kindergarten program quality as indexed by structure and process elements in the classroom. Results from this study point to three major findings. First, the growth of mathematics skills from pre-kindergarten to kindergarten for the full sample varied between classes but was not significantly associated with the elements of the classroom environment selected for study. Second, classroom elements were differentially related to growth of mathematics scores depending on children’s scores at pre-kindergarten entry.Third, overall differences between high- and low-performing children at pre-kindergarten entry are evident in their growth through kindergarten.
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