Math Readiness: Early Identification of Preschool Children Least Ready for Formal Mathematics Instruction in School

Abstract

Key mathematics competencies mastered in kindergarten are associated with higher mathematics achievement in later elementary and middle school. Unfortunately, deficits in math understanding can begin before students enter school, often due to home environments that lack sufficient mathematics enrichment. Moreover, the gap between students who begin school behind and their more prepared peers only widens as students move through successive grades. As a result, developing ways to quickly assess and address gaps in students’ mathematics foundations at school entry is critical to ensure future success in math. The present study evaluated the implementation of an adaptive digital mathematics program designed to assess and teach number sense skills to 292 low-SES children in 20 preschool classrooms in Southern California. Analyses revealed that children with low prerequisite knowledge and possibly low executive functioning skills were unable to progress effectively in the program. This study explores early identification of children who may not yet be fully ready to take full advantage of school mathematics instruction, and calls for educational programs that can quickly detect children who may benefit from early mathematics remediation, before the onset of formal schooling.



Author Information
Anastasia Betts, University at Buffalo, United States
KP Thai, Age of Learning, Inc., United States
Daniel Jacobs, Age of Learning, Inc., United States
Linlin Li, WestEd, United States

Paper Information
Conference: IICEHawaii2020
Stream: Education & Difference: Gifted Education

This paper is part of the IICEHawaii2020 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Anastasia Betts, KP Thai, Daniel Jacobs, and Linlin Li
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