The study includes 136 third grade students from 35 classrooms in 12 schools in 1 urban school district in the midwest.
The student sample included 39% males and 61% females. 5.2% of students were American Indian, 3.7% Asian, 40.7% Hispanic, 26.7% African American, 21.5% Caucasian, 0.7% biracial, and 0.7% other. 78.7% of students were receiving free or reduced price lunch. 11.9% of students were in special education, and 46.7% of students were English language learners.
Students in both conditions received 1 hour of core mathematics instruction from their classroom teachers. The core curriculum was Investigations in Number, Data, and Space (Technical Education Research Center, 2008).
SBI intervention students also received 30 min of supplemental mathematics instruction using the assigned tutoring program (SBI) 5 days a week for 12 weeks from a trained tutor outside the classroom. The schema-based instruction (SBI) included 21 lessons from 5 units, with explicit instruction and guidance in solving one-step and two-step word problems using schematic diagrams and word problem checklists.
Students received instruction in place value, addition and subtraction, and WPS strategies from their textbook. The SBC included lessons from the following units: Trading Stickers, Combining Coins; Collections and Travel Stories; Stories, Tables, and Graphs; and How Many Hundreds? How Many Miles?
Support for implementation
SBC tutors received 1 day of tutoring, and SBI tutors received 2 days of training. SBC tutoring included 3 topics: an explanation of the district-adopted third-grade mathematics program content and instructional strategies; discussion of how students might approach the problems presented in the program and techniques for analyzing student solutions, explanations, and difficulties; and guidance to use the program’s mathematical tools and materials. SBI tutoring included 2 topics: a description and review of the curriculum and materials; and guidance to implement essential aspects of the curriculum (e.g., explicitly modeling think-aloud problem-solving behaviors, providing feedback, monitoring student performance, facilitating student think-alouds to reflect on and monitor the problem-solving processes).