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ERIC Number: ED528836
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 57
Developing Number Sense in Kindergartners at Risk for Learning Difficulties in Mathematics
Jordan, Nancy C.; Dyson, Nancy; Glutting, Joseph
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
In the present study, the authors developed and tested a purposeful eight-week number sense intervention for kindergartners from low-income families. Participants were recruited from kindergarten classes in five schools. Building on other investigations (e.g., Baroody et al., 2009; Chard et al., 2008; Ramani & Siegler, 2008), the present randomized controlled study demonstrates that key areas of number sense can be boosted in kindergartners with established risk for mathematics difficulties or disabilities, many who come to school with far fewer learning experiences than their middle-income counterparts. These gains were successfully captured on a number sense assessment tool that is sensitive to short-term progress in kindergarten and there was some transfer to more conventional written calculation tasks. Although most children seemed to gain from their regular mathematics curriculum, the intervention provides them with added benefits in a relatively short time period. This type of number sense intervention, which can easily be implemented in kindergarten classrooms, holds promise for evidence based response-to-intervention (RTI) service delivery models in schools. The intervention could be used for time-limited prevention of mathematics difficulties, or it could be expanded beyond eight weeks for more intensive ongoing assistance, with the aim of preparing children for success in primary-school mathematics. A limitation of the study is the lack of a small group intervention comparison group, one that did not involve numbers. It is possible (although not likely) that the number sense gains seen in the intervention group were due to special treatment more generally, rather than to the specific number activities. The authors felt it important, however, to determine initially whether they could boost children's number sense performance relative to a business as usual control, and the finding that the intervention children changed most in the areas we emphasized (e.g., number recognition, number knowledge, calculation) argues against Hawthorne effects. In a follow-up study, they included a language intervention condition, carried out in small groups, for comparison to the number sense condition. Preliminary analyses suggest the number sense intervention beat out the language intervention on mathematics but not on language outcomes. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)