WWC review of this study

Effects of small-group tutoring with and without validated classroom instruction on at-risk students’ math problem solving: Are two tiers of prevention better than one? [Word problem tutoring in Tier 2 (with or without word problem intervention in Tier 1) vs. no word problem tutoring in Tier 2 (with or without word problem intervention in Tier 1)]

Fuchs, L. S., Fuchs, D., Craddock, C., Hollenbeck, K. N., & Hamlett, C. L. (2008). Journal of Educational Psychology, 100(3), 491–509. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ807859

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    243
     Students
    , grade
    3

Reviewed: November 2019

At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Whole Numbers Word Problems/Problem Solving outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Math problem solving - immediate, near, & far transfer

Targeted Math Intervention vs. (Not applicable)

3 Weeks

Tier 2 SBI tutoring (with or without Tier 1 classroom intervention) vs. no Tier 2 SBI tutoring (with or without Tier 1 classroom intervention);
243 students

33.87

19.52

Yes

 
 
33
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Math problem solving - immediate transfer

Targeted Math Intervention vs. (Not applicable)

3 Weeks

Tier 2 SBI tutoring (with or without Tier 1 classroom intervention) vs. no Tier 2 SBI tutoring (with or without Tier 1 classroom intervention);
243 students

58.64

33.42

Yes

 
 
34

Math problem solving - near transfer

Targeted Math Intervention vs. (Not applicable)

3 Weeks

Tier 2 SBI tutoring (with or without Tier 1 classroom intervention) vs. no Tier 2 SBI tutoring (with or without Tier 1 classroom intervention);
243 students

28.87

15.06

Yes

 
 
32

Math problem solving - far transfer

Targeted Math Intervention vs. (Not applicable)

3 Weeks

Tier 2 SBI tutoring (with or without Tier 1 classroom intervention) vs. no Tier 2 SBI tutoring (with or without Tier 1 classroom intervention);
243 students

14.10

10.07

Yes

 
 
12

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 2% English language learners

  • 75% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 46%
    Male: 54%
  • Race
    Black
    64%
    Not specified
    8%
    White
    28%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    7%
    Not Hispanic
    93%

  • Urban
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    South

Setting

The study took place in Grade 3 classrooms across four academic years in a metropolitan school district of the Southeast United States. SBI classroom instruction was implemented at the classroom level, and SBI tutoring was implemented in small groups.

Study sample

Of the 243 AR students in this contrast, 46 percent were female, 75 percent were eligible for subsidized lunch, 64 percent were African American, 28 percent were European America, and nine percent identified as other. Also, seven percent were Hispanic, two percent were English language learners and 12 percent were in special education. All students in this contrast were at-risk for mathematics difficulties.

Intervention Group

The intervention in this contrast (Tier 2 SBI tutoring) included instruction in small groups of 2 to 4 students. Three 20-30 minute tutoring sessions were conducted each week (totaling roughly 940 minutes across all session). The intervention took place after the general math problem solving unit was taught in the regular classroom. The content in the Tier 2 intervention mirrored the content in the Tier 1 classroom, but the Tier 2 intervention was more targeted on the most difficult concepts, used more manipulatives, included more opportunities for scaffolding to support student learning, and taught students self-regulation strategies. The sessions had four 3-week units, with each unit addressing a specific problem type (shopping list, buying bag, half, and pictograph). Each unit began with 5 sessions of instruction that covered the underlying concepts and structural features of the problem type and used concrete objects. The students and instructor would explain together why and how they used each step in a solution strategy. Over time the students worked on problems independently. In sessions 6-9, the problems now varied in cover story and had transfer features (different question or irrelevant information). Self-regulation strategies were included in the intervention during some of the cohorts but not all. Research assistants served as the tutors.

Comparison Group

Students in the control group for this contrast did not receive SBI Tier 2 tutoring. Some of them did receive SBI Tier 1 classroom instruction (but some did not).

Support for implementation

All research assistants (RAs) received a one day training session that provided with instructions, demonstrations, and scripted materials to study. RAs then practiced in pairs before conducting one lesson for a project coordinator who graded the delivery of the instruction. RAs were also given a three-hour training before the start of each unit, and all sessions were audiotaped from which RAs received corrective feedback.

Reviewed: April 2009

Meets WWC standards without reservations

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 55% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 51%
    Male: 49%
  • Race
    Black
    42%
    Not specified
    7%
    White
    41%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    10%

  • Urban
 

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