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The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between first grade student's self-regulation skills, literacy outcomes, and the time that students spent in non-instructional activities in the classroom. Students were assessed on their self-regulation skills and literacy skills in the fall and spring. Classroom observations were videotaped three times during the school year and videos were then coded to measure the amount of time that students spent in instructional and non-instructional activities as well as the time teachers spent managing their students' attention and the time children spent managing themselves. This study looked at two types of non-instruction: productive and non-productive non-instruction. Hierarchical linear modeling revealed that overall, children with lower self-regulation were more likely to be in classrooms where more time was spent in non-productive non-instruction whereas in activities where children were managing themselves, children with stronger self-regulation tended to spend more time in productive non-instruction. For literacy outcomes, children who were in classrooms with higher amounts of non-productive non-instruction had less literacy skill growth in the spring and this effect was even greater for children who had lower amounts of self-regulation skills in the fall unless the teacher decreased the amount of non-productive non-instruction over the course of the school year. Similar effects were also observed for self-regulation growth: children showed lower self-regulation gains in the spring if their teachers spent more time in non-productive non-instruction and if time in non-productive non-instruction increased, self-regulation growth was even less. Finally, for activities in which the students were managing themselves, more time in productive non-instruction was associated with greater amounts of self-regulation growth in the spring. These results show that reducing the amount of time of non-productive non-instruction and increasing the amount of productive non-instruction (but only to a certain extent) can be important for both improving children's self-regulation and for increasing literacy skills.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
Carol Connor, Professor Directing Thesis; Chris Schatschneider, Committee Member; Janet Kistner, Committee Member; Joyce Ehrlinger, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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