WWC review of this study

Reducing the gap in numerical knowledge between low- and middle-income preschoolers. [Linear board game vs. numerical activities]

Ramani, G. B., & Siegler, R. S. (2011). Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 32(3), 146–159. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ922466

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    88
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: March 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

Slope of Number Line Estimates

Linear board game vs. Other intervention

0 Days

Linear Board Game versus Comparison;
59 students

0.50

0.30

Yes

 
 
15
 
More Outcomes

Arithmetic- absolute error

Linear board game vs. Other intervention

0 Days

Linear Board Game versus Comparison;
58 students

1.30

1.90

No

--

Linearity of Number Line Estimates

Linear board game vs. Other intervention

0 Days

Linear Board Game versus Comparison;
59 students

39.00

29.00

No

--

Numeral Identification

Linear board game vs. Other intervention

0 Days

Linear Board Game vs Comparison;
59 students

8.50

7.90

No

--


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: 61%
    Male: 39%
  • Race
    Other or unknown
    24%
    White
    76%

Setting

The study was conducted in six preschools serving middle- to upper-middle-class families. Three of the six preschools were affiliated with universities. The authors compared performance for the children in the university-affiliated and non-university affiliated preschools and found no differences.

Study sample

Children ranged in age from three years and five months to four years and eight months. The sample was 61 percent female. The racial/ethnic composition of the sample was 76 percent White with the remaining 24 percent a combination of Asian, Hispanic, Biracial, or Unknown. The Hispanic classification was treated as a racial category

Intervention Group

Children were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: a linear board game condition, a circular board game condition, or a comparison condition that performed numerical activities. This review treated the contrasts between the linear board game and numerical activities conditions as main findings, and contrasts between the linear board game condition and the circular board game condition were treated as supplemental findings. In the linear board game condition children played a linear board game with an experimenter. The board game had ten colored squares with numbers appearing in sequence and increasing from left to right. The spinner had two values: one and two. The spinner would be spun, and the individual would count the number of spaces being moved. If the child did not count properly, the interventionist corrected, the child repeated. The child usually won. The child played the game approximately twenty times over four sessions during a three week period. Each session lasted fifteen to twenty minutes. Each round of the game lasted two to three minutes.

Comparison Group

The numerical activities condition serves as the comparison group for the main findings in this review. Children in the numerical activities comparison condition were given three tasks in a repeating cycle, including number string counting (counting poker chips given a random number), numeral identification, and object counting. For this review, the circular board game condition was treated as a supplemental comparison group. Children in the circular board game condition played a similar game with the main difference being the shape of the board. The authors controlled for time spent performing experiment-related activities by pairing children in the numerical activities comparison group with those in the other two groups who were of similar age and who spent similar amounts of time meeting with the experimenter. The pairing variable was included in the statistical impact models.

Support for implementation

The article states that the sessions for the two intervention conditions and the numerical activities condition were led by the first author and two research assistants. No other information is provided regarding how these experimenters were trained.

Reviewed: November 2015



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

Study sample characteristics were not reported.

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: 61%
    Male: 39%
  • Race
    Other or unknown
    24%
    White
    76%
 

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