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FY Awards

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Longitudinal Study of a Successful Scaling-Up Project: Extending TRIAD

Year: 2011
Name of Institution:
University of Denver
Goal: Scale-Up Evaluations
Principal Investigator:
Clements, Douglas
Award Amount: $1,895,857
Award Period: 3 years (5/1/2011-4/30/2014)
Award Number: R305A120813


Previous Award Number: R305A110188
Previous Awardee: State University of New York, Buffalo

Co-Principal Investigators: Julie Sarama, University of Denver, and Carolyn Lazer, Abt Associates

Purpose: Some research has indicated that early childhood interventions have lasting effects, while other research suggests that the effects of early childhood interventions diminish over time. This mixed evidence base warrants further research on the sustainability of early childhood interventions and the need to identify elements of continued support necessary for preserving initial gains from early childhood interventions. To that end, the researchers will assess the long-term effectiveness of the TRIAD (Technology-enhanced, Research-based, Instruction, Assessment and professional Development) program on students' mathematics achievement by extending an IES-funded scale-up evaluation ( The original sample of pre-Kindergarten to Grade 1 students in the scale-up evaluation will be followed for four additional years during Grades 2 through 5.

Project Activities: The researchers will evaluate the long-term effects of the TRIAD program on students' mathematics achievement by following the original sample of pre-kindergarten to Grade 1 students during Grades 2 through 5.

Products: The products of this project include information describing the long-term outcomes of the TRIAD program on elementary mathematics outcomes and future published reports of the projects' findings.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The setting for this study includes elementary schools in New York and Massachusetts.

Population: The schools are located in diverse racial and socioeconomic, low-resource communities. The study sample will consist of at least 900 students from the original TRIAD scale-up evaluation.

Intervention: The TRIAD intervention consisted of two treatment groups. The general TRIAD intervention included the use of the Building Blocks researched-based pre-Kindergarten mathematics curriculum, teacher professional development, and use of the Building Blocks software and Building Blocks Learning Trajectory web application. The second treatment condition, TRIAD plus Follow-Through, included the same components as the general TRIAD intervention, plus a follow-through intervention with participating teachers during the students' Kindergarten and Grade 1 years. In this condition, teachers were informed about the students' prior mathematical accomplishments and competences, and provided tools (e.g., Building Blocks software and Learning Trajectory web application) to support the students' trajectories of learning in mathematics.

Research Design and Methods: Participants in the original scale-up evaluation included 1,305 students, 106 pre-Kindergarten teachers, 270 Kindergarten teachers, and 345 Grade 1 teachers. Schools were randomly assigned during pre-Kindergarten to one of three conditions: TRIAD; TRIAD plus Follow-Through at Kindergarten and Grade 1; and control. In the current study, the researchers will follow the original sample of students when they are in Grades 2 through 5 to collect data on the students' mathematics achievement. In addition, the researchers will also follow up with the study's original pre-Kindergarten teachers to examine the sustainability of the TRIAD intervention.

Control Condition: Students in the control condition during the original TRIAD evaluation received business-as-usual instruction in mathematics.

Key Measures: The measures to be collected include the Tools for Elementary Assessment in Mathematics (TEAM), school records and state mathematics assessments, a teacher and administrator questionnaire and interview, a parent questionnaire, and the Classroom Observation of Early Mathematics Environment and Teaching (COEMET). The researchers will randomly select classrooms for observations, adjusting for the number of TRIAD children in the classroom, with a heavier sampling of classrooms that have more TRIAD children.

Data Analytic Strategy: Data analyses include hierarchical linear modeling to assess the long-term impact of the TRIAD intervention on students' mathematics achievement at Grades 2 through 5. Growth curve modeling will also be conducted to determine which early mathematical knowledge and skills are critical for long-range student success in mathematics.

Related IES Projects: Scaling Up TRIAD: Teaching Early Mathematics for Understanding with Trajectories and Technologies (R305K051057)

Publications from this project:

Clements, D.H., and Sarama, J. (2012). Learning and teaching early and elementary mathematics. In J.S. Carlson and J.R. Levine (Eds.), Instructional strategies for improving student learning: Focus on early mathematics and reading (pp. 107-162). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Clements, D.H., and Sarama, J. (2012). Mathematics learning, assessment, and curriculum. In R.C. Pianta, W.S. Barnett, L M. Justice and S.M. Sheridan (Eds.), Handbook of early education (pp. 217-239). New York: Guilford Press.

Sarama, J., and Clements, D.H. (2012). Walking the same broad path (with side trips): Response to comments. In J.S. Carlson & J.R. Levine (Eds.), Instructional strategies for improving student learning: Focus on early mathematics and reading (pp. 205-212). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Sarama, J., Clements, D.H., Wolfe, C.B., and Spitler, M.E. (2012). Longitudinal evaluation of a scale-up model for teaching mathematics with trajectories and technologies. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 5, 105-135. doi: 10.1080/19345747.2011.627980

Sarama, J., Lange, A., Clements, D.H., and Wolfe, C.B. (2012). The impacts of an early mathematics curriculum on oral language and literacy. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27(3), 489-502.

Weiland, C., Wolfe, C.B., Hurwitz, M.D., Clements, D.H., Sarama, J., and Yoshikawae, H. (2012). Early mathematics assessment: Validation of the short form of a prekindergarten and kindergarten mathematics measure. Educational Psychology, 32(3), 311-333.