WWC review of this study

The Effectiveness of Teaching Number Relationships in Preschool [Building Blocks software, with rekenrek and ten-frame activities vs. business as usual (Mathematics: The Creative Curriculum Approach)]

Jung, Myoungwhon; Hartman, Paula; Smith, Thomas; Wallace, Stephen (2013). International Journal of Instruction, v6 n1 p165-178. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1085361

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
    , grade

Reviewed: June 2022

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards with reservations
Mathematics outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Test of Early Mathematics Ability, Third Edition, (TEMA-3)

Building Blocks software, with rekenrek and ten-frame activities vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
73 students





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: 44%
    Male: 56%

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The study took place in a recently built public preschool building located in a suburban area outside of Chicago, IL. Four classrooms were included in the study.

Study sample

The authors reported that all students were between the ages of 3-5 with a mean age of 4.61 for the intervention and a mean age of 4.61 for the comparison. Fifty-six percent were male and 43.8% were female; 31.5% of the sample had an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Intervention Group

The intervention consisted of practices and activities the intervention teachers implemented using whole class instruction with their students. Teachers taught activities in their classrooms Monday-Thursday for 5-10 minutes with their regular classroom routines. Three activities were used during training sessions (rekenrek, Building Block software, and ten-frame). Rekenrek uses colored beads to show different number arrangements. The teachers showed different number arrangements and asked the students to recognize the quantities. The second activity used, Building Blocks software, provides children with computer-based mathematic activities. These activities were designed to strengthen children's understanding of number relationships. The final activity used was ten-frame. Teachers presented a "fishing net" activity once a week in which children were asked to find how many fish were caught in the fishing net.

Comparison Group

Teachers in the comparison condition taught mathematics as usual and did not incorporate any of the intervention activities.

Support for implementation

Teachers received two training sessions on all activities. Additionally, upon request, each activity was demonstrated in the teacher's classroom but only for the first week of the study. These teachers were observed at least twice a week to ensure fidelity of the intervention.


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