Fostering At-Risk Kindergarten Children's Number Sense

Arthur J. Baroody, Michael D. Eiland, David J. Purpura, Erin E. Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A 9-month training experiment evaluated whether computer-assisted discovery learning of arithmetic regularities can facilitate kindergartners' fluency with the easiest sums. After a pretest, kindergartners with at least one risk factor (n = 28) were randomly assigned to either a structured add-0/1 training condition, which focused on recognizing the n + 0/0 + n = n and the n + 1/1 + n = the number-after-n rules, or an active control group. Using pretest fluency as the covariate, ANCOVAs revealed that the structured add-0/1 group significantly outperformed the control group on both practiced and unpracticed (transfer) n + 0/0 + n and n + 1/1 + n items at the delayed posttest and had significantly larger gains in mathematics achievement. Key instructional implications include: Early intervention that targets discovering rules for adding with 0 and 1 and family-specific developmental prerequisites is feasible and more effective than typical classroom instruction in promoting fluency with such basic sums. Such rules may be a critically important bridge between informal and formal mathematics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-470
Number of pages36
JournalCognition and Instruction
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychology(all)


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