Jessica Black
Affiliation: RSU 10 Hartford Sumner Elementary School
Title: Investigating the Effects of an Early Reading Intervention on At-Risk Kindergarteners
Abstract: This study examined the effects of an early reading intervention on a group of at risk kindergarteners. The effects are compared to a similar group of at-risk kindergarteners that did not receive an intervention. Using the Scott Foresman Early Reading Intervention (ERI) treatment students were given 3 30-minute lessons a week for 6 weeks while non-treatment students received no intervention. The ERI placement test was used as a pre and posttest measure. Results indicated treatment students benefited from the 6-week intervention, as scores were significantly higher on letter naming and letter sound knowledge. Implications for early reading interventions are discussed.

Amanda LaBelle
Title: Making Space for Place: Exploring Place-based Education at an Island Community School
This mixed-method study explores how one school has sought to maintain its tradition of place-based learning in an isolated rural community. The research examined the role of place-based education at the school, community and teacher perceptions of place-based education, and potential barriers and supports to using this approach in a public school environment. Data sources included interviews, a community survey, and a teacher survey. Findings suggested that even with a strong belief in the use of place-based education at the school, and ample resources for implementation, there are still several barriers to incorporating it into a public school environment.

Michelle Laliberte
Affiliation: RSU 78
Title: The Effects of Freeplay on Self-Regulatory Skill Development
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine how access to freeplay during the school day influences self-regulatory skills during academic tasks.  When students learn to self-regulate through play, the transition into learning can be more efficient. The association between free-play and self-regulation were examined using quantitative parent survey data and qualitative classroom observations in a Kindergarten class.  Findings indicate that when freeplay time is given students are more ontask during content instruction.  Findings also indicate that parents feel freeplay should be part of the Kindergarten schedule.

Juliana Liberman
Affiliation: The Children’s Schoolhouse
Title: Accuracy of Teacher Predictions
Abstract: The researcher investigated the accuracy of teacher’s predictions of their preschool students’ academic abilities. Data was collected from seven teachers in six different preschool programs who made predictions on a total 71 students. Overall, 52.1% of the teachers made accurate predictions across CPAA subscales. For phonemic awareness and patterns and functions, the teachers were more likely to overestimate the scores. Teachers were more accurate in predicting scores for male students, except for reading and phonics/writing.

Alison Michaud
Affiliation: Educare Central Maine
Title: The Effect on Preschool Children’s Social and Emotional Behavior After the Implementation of the Opening the World of Learning (OWL) Curriculum
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the social and emotional effects on preschool children after the implementation of the OWL curriculum. Data was collected from a preschool classroom at Educare Central Maine. The results from the parents survey show that the majority of parents feel that their child improved or at least stayed the same in social and emotional skills. The DECA results show that the OWL curriculum had little to no effect on these same skills.

Kelly Payeur
Affiliation: Bowdoin College
Title: Getting Back to the Roots: Parent Attitudes and Nature-Play
Abstract: This study explored the effect parent attitudes had on children’s nature-play and how children engaged with nature at a nature-based preschool program. Nature-play is when children are playing in and with nature. A convenience sample was drawn from a private liberal arts college children’s center. Questionnaires and interviews were administered to parents and children. Additionally, children were observed at the center for 90 minutes during outdoor play. All parents reported the positive value nature-play had for children, yet parents were outside with children less than twice a week. When parents could not or would not go outside, young children preferred indoor activities to be around the adult.

Penny Poolman
Affiliation: Southern Kennebec Child Development Corporation
Title: The Impact of Curriculum and Coaching Supports in Supporting Quality Improvement in Classrooms
Abstract: The purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine how a change in the preschool curriculum and the use of coaching supports to help teachers implement the new curriculum influences process quality as measured by the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) Tool. CLASS scores for six classrooms were examined over a three year time period as classrooms moved from using the Creative Curriculum to the OWL Curriculum. Teacher surveys gathered information about how they thought the curriculum impacted their teaching practices. The results showed that overall the average CLASS scores in each domain, increased over three years.

Gabrielle Thérèse Potvin
Affiliation: RSU 50 – Southern Aroostook Community School
Title: Intentional Touch in the Preschool Classroom: A Teacher’s Influence
Abstract: This study examines the influence of a teacher’s intentional-positive physical touch on four children in a public preschool classroom in rural Maine.  Children were not physically touched by the teacher for two weeks and then, following an intentional-positive touch script, the teacher engaged in intentional-positive touch with the children for four weeks.  Data was collected broken into six categories: Intentional-Negative, Intentional-Neutral, Intentional-Positive, Unintentional-Negative, Unintentional-Neutral, and Unintentional-Positive.  At the end of six weeks children were engaging in less Intentional-Negative touches.  Unintentional-Neutral touches almost doubled and Intentional-Positive touches increased steadily in the female students.

Elisa Sousa
Affiliation: Children’s Center Early Intervention and Family Support
Title: Adverse Childhood Experiences Based Parenting Training: a case study
Abstract: A landmark study between the Center for Disease Control & Prevention and Kaiser Permanente’s Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego found that adults had adverse health effects that were linked to their childhood experiences (Felitti, Anda,& Nordenberg et al., 1998).  This case study reviewed the data collected from six individuals who identified they had adverse childhood experiences.  These six individuals provided data through three surveys: Find Your ACE Score Calculator, Protective Factors Survey, and an original survey. The results from this research suggests that the six week parent training does increase parental level of ACES knowledge, decreases parental stress, and increases parental knowledge of child development.

Megan Waterman
Affiliation: Educare Central Maine
Title: The Effects of Music on Children’s Sleep Patterns at Naptime in an Infant/Toddler Classroom
Abstract: This mixed method study investigates the effects of type and timing of music on children’s sleep latency and duration at naptime in an infant/toddler classroom. Sleep is critical in the early years of life to ensure healthy growth and development and music has been known to promote relaxation and the preconditions for sleep. Data was collected in one infant/toddler classroom at an Early Head Start site in the Northeast. The type and timing of music exposure prior to naptime were varied for six weeks. Children’s length of time it took to fall asleep, how long they slept for, and notes about other factors that may have influenced sleep patterns were recorded. Results showed that type and timing of music did not have a significant effect on children’s sleep latency or duration. The findings provide evidence that there are numerous factors influencing sleep at naptime and that any soothing music can be beneficial.
Keywords: music, sleep, young children