Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 423–430 | Cite as

Exploring Interactive Writing as an Effective Practice for Increasing Head Start Students’ Alphabet Knowledge Skills

  • Anna H. Hall
  • Michael D. Toland
  • Jennifer Grisham-Brown
  • Steve Graham


The current study used a pretest–posttest randomized control group design with 73 Head Start students, ages 3–5 years. The researcher served as the interactive writing teacher for the treatment group, rotating to five different classrooms in one Head Start center 3–4 days a week for 13 weeks. Children in the treatment group received a 10–15 min interactive writing lesson each day in small groups within their own classroom settings. Children in the control group received standard literacy instruction in small groups with their own classroom teachers. Child outcome data on upper case, lower case, and letter sound identification were collected before and after the intervention for both groups. Based on the large frequency of zeros on outcomes, zero-inflated Poisson regression analyses were performed. The results of the study showed that children receiving interactive writing identified more lower case and upper case letters at the end of the study relative to children in the control, but no differences were observed on letter sounds. While continued evaluation of the interactive writing strategy is needed in the preschool setting, the evidence from the current study shows encouraging trends in alphabet knowledge skill development as a result of this strategy.


Interactive writing Early childhood Head Start Emergent literacy Writing 



This study was supported by the Child Care Research Scholars Grant Program, Grant Number 90YR0060, from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily represent the official view of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna H. Hall
    • 1
  • Michael D. Toland
    • 2
  • Jennifer Grisham-Brown
    • 2
  • Steve Graham
    • 3
  1. 1.Clemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  2. 2.University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  3. 3.Arizona State University, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers CollegePhoenixUSA

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