WWC review of this study

Playing linear numerical board games promotes low-income children’s numerical development. [Number board games vs. color board games]

Siegler, R. S., & Ramani, G. B. (2008). Developmental Science, 11(5), 655–661. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ849743

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    36
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: January 2022

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Mathematics outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Percentage of correctly ordered numbers

Number board games vs. (Not applicable)

0 Days

Full sample (number based board game vs. color based board game);
36 students

0.80

0.62

Yes

 
 
38
 
More Outcomes

Number line Estimation-Percent Absolute Error

Number board games vs. (Not applicable)

0 Days

Full sample (number based board game vs. color based board game);
36 students

0.37

0.28

Yes

 
 
31
 


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.


  • Female: 56%
    Male: 44%

  • Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
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    Pennsylvania
  • Race
    Black
    59%
    White
    42%

Setting

The study recruited students from a Head Start program and three childcare centers that served low-income urban families in Pennsylvania. These students are the sample for Experiment 2, the focus of this review.

Study sample

The mean age of the children in the intervention group was 4.6 years, and the mean age of the children in the comparison group was 4.7 years. Overall, 56 percent of the sample was female; 58 percent were Black and 42 percent were White. The families of 96 percent of the participating children were classified as low-income, and they received government subsidies for childcare expenses.

Intervention Group

Children met with an experimenter for four 15-minute sessions over a two-week period. Sessions were conducted one-on-one between the experimenter and child. The experimenter explained the rules of the game to the child and then they played the game for the rest of the session. Each game lasted between 2 and 4 minutes. It was estimated that each child played approximately 30 games over the course of the sessions. In the intervention condition, the children played a simple game based on numbers and counting. The game board had 10 squares labeled with the numbers 1 through 10. The experimenter and child alternated using a spinner that had one half labeled 1 and one half labeled 2. If the spinner landed on the 1 side, the child would move one square forward on the board; if the spinner landed on the 2 side, the child would move two squares forward. The child stated the numbers as they moved through the board. If they started on the square labeled 3, and their spinner landed on 2, they would move forward two squares and say 4 and 5 as they moved. If the child miscounted, the experimenter would correct them.

Comparison Group

The children in the comparison condition played the same game as the intervention group, except that the comparison group's game used colors, rather than numbers. Specifically, the game board for the comparison group included 10 squares with different colors in the squares. The experimenter and child alternated using a spinner that had colors matching the colors of the game board squares. The child would move forward to the corresponding colored squared based on the color the spinner landed on. The child would state the color of the squares they moved through on the board. If the child misidentified the color, the experimenter would correct them. The duration of sessions was the same for the comparison and intervention groups and each child in the comparison group also received the intervention one-on-one with the experimenter.

Support for implementation

A female graduate student led the games for children in both the intervention and comparison groups.

Reviewed: November 2013

Meets WWC standards without reservations


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.


  • Female: 56%
    Male: 44%

  • Urban
  • Race
    Black
    59%
    White
    42%

Reviewed: September 2010

Meets WWC standards without reservations


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.


  • Female: 56%
    Male: 44%

  • Urban
  • Race
    Black
    59%
    White
    42%
 

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