The study took place in 40 Head Start and state-funded preschool classrooms in California and
New York. The classrooms were from four programs in California and two programs in New York.
Twenty Head Start and 20 state-funded preschool classrooms were randomly assigned within
program type either to an intervention group receiving Pre-K Mathematics with DLM Early
Childhood Express Math or to a business-as-usual comparison group. Teachers volunteered to
participate in the study, which took place during the 2002–03 school year. Of the 40 participating
in the study, 33 were included in the PCER Consortium (2008) study that is described in
Appendix A.2. The study began with 316 children from low-income families, combined across
states. During the study, 38 children left, resulting in an analysis sample of 278 children. The
mean age of the children in cohort 1 was 4.4 years. Fifty-three percent of the children were
African American, 22% were Hispanic, 22% were Caucasian, 4% were Asian American, and
4% were interracial or another ethnicity. Forty-eight percent of the children were female.
Teachers implemented the Pre-K Mathematics curriculum classroom activities with small
groups of four to six children in twice-a-week, 20-minute sessions for 29 weeks. Each week
involved a new math activity. The small-group sessions included activities from the seven units
of the curriculum: (a) counting and number, (b) understanding arithmetic operations (fall unit),
(c) spatial sense and geometry, (d) patterns, (e) understanding arithmetic operations (spring
unit), (f) measurement and data, and (g) logical reasoning. In addition, teachers supplemented
the Pre-K Mathematics curriculum activities with two other instructional activities: (a) 27 computer
activities based on the DLM Early Childhood Express Math software, and (b) mathematics learning
centers, which included materials from the small-group activities and additional mathematics
materials from the classroom. Home activity materials parallel to the classroom activities were
sent home every 1 to 2 weeks for parents to use with their children. Teachers tracked children’s
progress using a Math Mastery Form, and intervention fidelity data were collected using the
Fidelity of Implementation Record Sheet developed by the first two authors of the study.
In addition, teachers used a pre-existing general curriculum in their classrooms (curricula
included The Creative Curriculum®, High/Scope, Montessori, or specialized literacy curricula
and curricula developed by local teachers and school districts).
Teachers in the comparison group classrooms implemented the curriculum as business-as-usual
in their programs. The curricula used in the comparison group classrooms included The Creative
Curriculum®, High/Scope, Montessori, or specialized literacy curricula and curricula developed
by local teachers and school districts.
The study measured intervention and comparison group children’s mathematical knowledge
with the researcher-developed CMA. All the children in the study were assessed at pretest
before implementation of the intervention began in intervention classrooms, and at posttest
after intervention classrooms completed implementation of the program. For a more detailed
description of the CMA, see Appendix B.
Support for implementation
Teachers participated in a 4-day workshop at the beginning of the school year that focused
on implementing the first three units of the curriculum and another 4-day workshop at mid-year
that focused on implementing units four through seven. In addition, teachers were provided
on-site training approximately twice a month and implementation fidelity checks once or twice