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ERIC Number: EJ1115468
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Oct
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
Exploring the Connection between Arithmetic and Prealgebraic Reasoning at First and Second Grade
Powell, Sarah R.; Kearns, Devin M.; Driver, Melissa K.
Journal of Educational Psychology, v108 n7 p943-959 Oct 2016
Children in the elementary grades are expected to solve equations to demonstrate prealgebraic proficiency. Prealgebraic differences may emerge based equation type (i.e., standard vs. nonstandard), the operation shown or required for solution (i.e., addition or subtraction), and the position of the unknown. Prealgebraic differences may also be influenced based on arithmetic proficiency. We evaluated the performance of 1,796 1st- and 2nd-grade children on a measure of standard and nonstandard equations to learn whether arithmetic fluency predicts prealgebraic performance, which characteristics of prealgebraic items determine item difficulty, and whether certain demographic variables contribute to prealgebraic performance. Results indicate prealgebraic differences by grade level and season (i.e., fall or spring) of administration. Arithmetic influences prealgebraic performance, and nonstandard equations that require a relational understanding of the equal sign are most difficult for young children.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 2
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A