Examining computational skills in Prekindergarteners: The effects of traditional and digital manipulatives in a prekindergarten classroom

Cassandra Mattoon, Alan Bates, Rena Shifflet, Nancy Latham, Sarah Ennis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The authors investigated benefits of digital technology compared with traditional manipulatives in relation to preschoolers' development and learning of computational skills. The sample consisted of twenty-four 4- and 5-year old children who attended a half-day prekindergarten program five times a week in a university laboratory school in the Midwestern United States. Children participated in small group instruction targeting computational skills. In one class, the teacher provided traditional manipulatives. In the other class, the same teacher provided digital manipulatives in the form of touch tablets with software apps. Both groups of children demonstrated significant increases in correct responses to computation questions on the Test of Early Mathematics Ability-Third Edition (TEMA-3). This practitioner study contributes to current research by using performance-based assessment to compare the impact of digital versus traditional manipulatives on young children's computational concepts and skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEarly Childhood Research and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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