WWC review of this study

# The Effects of Strategic Counting Instruction, with and without Deliberate Practice, on Number Combination Skill among Students with Mathematics Difficulties[Word problem instruction with strategic counting practice vs. control]

Fuchs, Lynn S.; Powell, Sarah R.; Seethaler, Pamela M.; Cirino, Paul T.; Fletcher, Jack M.; Fuchs, Douglas; Hamlett, Carol L. (2010). Learning and Individual Differences, v20 n2 p89-100. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ872585

• Randomized Controlled Trial
examining
101
Students
3

Reviewed: March 2020

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Algebra and Algebraic Reasoning outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index
Evidence
tier

Find X

Targeted Math Intervention vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample (WP with strategic counting practice vs BAU);
101 students

6.27

3.94

Yes

28

Whole Numbers Computation outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index
Evidence
tier

Four subtests of the Grade 3 Math Battery (Fuchs, Powell, & Hamlett, 2003)

Targeted Math Intervention vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample (WP with strategic counting practice vs BAU);
101 students

0.39

-0.34

Yes

29

Double-digit Addition & Subtraction (Fuchs, Hamlett, & Powell 2003)

Targeted Math Intervention vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample (WP with strategic counting practice vs BAU);
101 students

0.39

-0.33

Yes

27

Whole Numbers Word Problems/Problem Solving outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index
Evidence
tier

Targeted Math Intervention vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample (WP with strategic counting practice vs BAU);
101 students

0.40

-0.35

Yes

29

Targeted Math Intervention vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample (WP with strategic counting practice vs BAU);
101 students

0.04

-0.41

Yes

20

KeyMath-Revised Problem Solving

Targeted Math Intervention vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample (WP with strategic counting practice vs BAU);
101 students

0.14

-0.32

Yes

19

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.

• 21% English language learners

• Female: 43%
Male: 57%

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Tennessee, Texas
•  Black 53% Other or unknown 38% White 9%
•  Hispanic 33% Not Hispanic or Latino 67%

### Setting

The study took place in two urban school districts (Houston and Nashville). Students were from 13 schools in Nashville and 18 schools in Houston (p. 5).

### Study sample

The study included 53% African American, 33% Hispanic, and 9% White students. Almost half (43%) of the students were female, 21% were English Learners, and 31% were students receiving special education. Three-quarters (72%) were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

### Intervention Group

Students in the strategic counting with deliberate practice group received one-on-one tutoring outside the classroom (in addition to their regular reading and math instruction). Tutoring was offered 3 times per week for 16 weeks, with each session lasting 20-30 minutes. These 48 sessions were divided into four units. The introductory unit addressed basic skills needed to solve word problems, including how to use strategic counting to solve number combination problems, reviewed algorithms for answering double-digit addition and subtraction problems, taught how to solve a simple algebraic expression, and taught strategies for checking their work when solving word problems. The remaining three units focused on word problems, which required the basic skills taught in the introductory unit. Pirate Math was used as the word-problem tutoring protocol. Practice in strategic counting was incorporated into every lesson in the three word-problem units.

### Comparison Group

Students in the comparison group received their school’s regular math instruction with no additional tutoring added. In Nashville, the math classrooms used Houghton Mifflin Math. In Houston, schools selected their own math curriculum but the curriculum had to be guided by Houston’s Alignment Planning Guide, which was aligned with the Texas high-stakes test.

### Support for implementation

Tutors were provided a script for each tutoring session. Tutors studied the scripts prior to tutoring sessions so that they could conduct the tutoring sessions without having to read directly from the script (p. 7).