WWC review of this study

Helping Preschoolers Learn Math: The Impact of Emphasizing the Patterns in Objects and Numbers

Zippert, Erica L., Douglas, Ashli-Ann, Tian, Fang, Rittle-Johnson, Bethany (2021). Grantee Submission. Journal of Educational Psychology, v113 n7 p1370-1386. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED610851

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    211
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: January 2023

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards with reservations
Cognition outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Researcher-developed Teacher-Based Patterning Assessment (TBP)

Repeating patterning and numeracy tutoring—Zippert et al. (2022). vs. Literacy and numeracy tutoring, and business-as-usual

4 Days

Full sample;
211 students

-0.18

0.00

No

--
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Researcher-developed Teacher-Based Patterning Assessment (TBP)

Repeating patterning and numeracy tutoring—Zippert et al. (2022). vs. Business as usual

4 Days

Intervention and business-as-usual sample;
143 students

-0.11

0.07

No

--

Researcher-developed Teacher-Based Patterning Assessment (TBP)

Repeating patterning and numeracy tutoring—Zippert et al. (2022). vs. Literacy and numeracy tutoring

4 Days

Intervention and literacy and numeracy sample;
140 students

-0.25

-0.07

No

--
General Mathematics Achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Research-based Early Mathematics Assessment (REMA) Short Form – General Math

Repeating patterning and numeracy tutoring—Zippert et al. (2022). vs. Literacy and numeracy tutoring, and business-as-usual

4 Days

Full sample;
211 students

-0.40

-0.43

No

--
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Research-based Early Mathematics Assessment (REMA) Short Form – General Math

Repeating patterning and numeracy tutoring—Zippert et al. (2022). vs. Business as usual

4 Days

Intervention and business-as-usual sample;
143 students

-0.40

-0.43

No

--

Research-based Early Mathematics Assessment (REMA) Short Form – General Math

Repeating patterning and numeracy tutoring—Zippert et al. (2022). vs. Literacy and numeracy tutoring

4 Days

Intervention and literacy and numeracy sample;
140 students

-0.39

-0.42

No

--
Numbers and Operations outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Research-based Early Mathematics Assessment (REMA) Short Form – General Numeracy

Repeating patterning and numeracy tutoring—Zippert et al. (2022). vs. Literacy and numeracy tutoring, and business-as-usual

4 Days

Full sample;
211 students

0.09

0.06

No

--
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Research-based Early Mathematics Assessment (REMA) Short Form – General Numeracy

Repeating patterning and numeracy tutoring—Zippert et al. (2022). vs. Literacy and numeracy tutoring

4 Days

Intervention and literacy and numeracy sample;
140 students

0.09

0.00

No

--

Research-based Early Mathematics Assessment (REMA) Short Form – General Numeracy

Repeating patterning and numeracy tutoring—Zippert et al. (2022). vs. Business as usual

4 Days

Intervention and business-as-usual sample;
143 students

0.09

0.12

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: 44%
    Male: 56%
  • Race
    Asian
    4%
    Black
    29%
    Other or unknown
    13%
    White
    54%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    9%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    91%

Setting

The study took place across 5 public and 7 private preschools in the United States.

Study sample

A total of 211 children between the ages of 4 and 5 were included in the study. The 211 preschool children were taught by 41 teachers across 12 preschools. Approximately 56% of the children were male and 6% received special education services in school. Fifty-four percent were White, 29% were black, 4% were Asian, and 13% did not report a race. Nine percent were Hispanic or Latino and 91% were not Hispanic or Latino.

Intervention Group

The repeating patterning and numeracy tutoring intervention was a 2-week program designed to improve preschoolers’ knowledge of and ability to duplicate, extend, and abstract repeating patterns, and identify the unit that repeats in those patterns. It also aimed to help children develop a conceptual understanding that numbers in the counting sequence follow a specific rule. The tutoring used tasks that were developed from an established math curriculum for preschool-aged children (Real Math Building Blocks) and the learning trajectory for repeating patterning that guided its development (Clements and Sarama, 2007). The repeating patterning component made use of variety of manipulatives and strategies: tangram blocks, unifix cubes, beads, pipe cleaners, pompoms, and use of body movements. The numeracy component involved the use of unifix cubes, foam cubes, toy bugs, and songs. The intervention was offered in a small group; children were paired based on their patterning ability at pretest. A graduate-level research assistant provided direct instruction, modeling, and feedback for five 30-minute sessions. In each session, twenty minutes were dedicated to patterning activities and 10 minutes were dedicated to numeracy activities. The tutoring sessions were completed over 2 weeks with no more than 3 sessions per week.

Comparison Group

There were two comparison groups in the study: a literacy and numeracy tutoring group and a group that received no tutoring (a business-as-usual comparison). The literacy and numeracy group received tutoring that did not involve repeating patterning. The literacy component consisted of instruction on oral language and early literacy skills taken from an established literacy curriculum, Opening the World of Learning, by Dickinson et al. (2014). The numeracy instruction was the same as in the intervention condition. Like the intervention condition, a graduate-level research assistant delivered direct instruction, modeling, and feedback for five 30-minute sessions to pairs of children over the 2-week period. Twenty minutes were dedicated for literacy activities and 10 minutes were dedicated to numeracy activities. Students in the business-as-usual comparison group received no tutoring as part of the study.

Support for implementation

The study did not indicate any support or training offered to the providers of the intervention.

 

Your export should download shortly as a zip archive.

This download will include data files for study and findings review data and a data dictionary.

Connect With the WWC

loading
back to top