WWC review of this study

Effects of Fact Retrieval Tutoring on Third-Grade Students with Math Difficulties with and without Reading Difficulties [Conceptual fact retrieval instruction with practice vs. control]

Powell, Sarah R.; Fuchs, Lynn S.; Fuchs, Douglas; Cirino, Paul T.; Fletcher, Jack M. (2009). Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, v24 n1 p1-11. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ827128

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
    , grade

Reviewed: October 2019

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Whole Numbers Computation outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Automatic Fact Retrieval

Targeted Math Intervention vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Conceptual fact retrieval group vs. Comparison group contrast;
68 students





Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • 8% English language learners

  • Female: 48%
    Male: 52%

  • Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    Tennessee, Texas
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
    Not Hispanic or Latino    


The study took place in third grade classrooms in Nashville, Tennessee and Houston, Texas schools.

Study sample

Students were 9.1 years old on average. Approximately 47 percent were female, 73 percent received subsidized lunch, 23 percent were in special education, and 12 percent were learning English as a second language. The racial and ethnic background of students was 50 percent black, 27 percent white, and 23 percent Hispanic.

Intervention Group

Students assigned to the conceptual instruction with fact retrieval practice group received one on one tutoring. Each session consisted of computer-assisted instruction (7.5 minutes), flash card practice (4 minutes), math fact family review (2 minutes), and math fact review (4 minutes). The sessions covered addition and subtraction facts. The computer-assisted instruction was given using Math Flash, an interactive program that uses number line illustrations to represent addition and subtraction facts. The flash card practice involved math fact flash cards without answers and flash cards with number lines that represented math facts using the number line. Both review activities were pencil and paper activities. For the math fact family reviews, students wrote addition and subtraction facts about a given number. For the math facts review, students recorded answers to math facts. In addition to learning math facts, students in this condition were provided explicit instruction on fact families and how facts relate to one another. The tutoring took place 3 times per week for 15 weeks, and each session lasted between 22 and 25 minutes.

Comparison Group

Students assigned to the comparison group received no tutoring.

Support for implementation

Across the three tutoring conditions, 22 research assistants or project coordinators served as tutors. The tutors received a two-day training. The research team provided tutors with scripts that covered the key concepts and vocabulary used in each lesson; tutors did not have to follow the scripts word-for-word. Prior to implementation, the tutors reviewed the scripts and practiced tutoring on their own and in groups with other tutors. A project coordinator observed a tutoring session for each tutor, provided feedback, and checked in every 2-3 weeks with each tutor to review any issues or questions.


Your export should download shortly as a zip archive.

This download will include data files for study and findings review data and a data dictionary.

Connect With the WWC

back to top