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Browsing by Subject "core numerical skills"

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  • Lahdelma, Minja (2019)
    Goals. The purpose of the study was to research the effect of the ThinkMath intervention pro-gramme on the mathematical skills of pre-school students. ThinkMath is based on the meta-analysis of Aunio and Räsänen (2016) where they identified the core numerical skills of 5–8-year olds. The skills are 1) symbolic and non-symbolic number sense, 2) understanding of mathematical relations, 3) counting skills and 4) basic skills in arithmetic. This study determines the starting level of low achieving pre-school students and the effect of the intervention on their development compared to the control groups. Methods. The data was collected as a part of the ThinkMath project during autumn 2013 and spring 2014. A total of 189 pre-school students from Northern and Southern Finland participated in this as-sessment. After the first assessment children were divided into four groups: very low achieving (VERY LOW, N=20) and low achieving (LOW, N=18) intervention groups, and low achieving (LOW C, N=14) and typically achieving (TYP, N=137) control groups. During autumn 2013 chil-dren who scored under 25 percentile were given additional training, except for the group LOW C. In December 2013 the children had a final assessment and in March 2014 a delayed assessment. The differences in skill development between groups were analysed by ANOVA. Results. In the beginning of pre-school VERY LOW differed from both LOWs in total scores and counting skills, and from LOW C in understanding mathematical relations. Immediately after the in-tervention both intervention groups had improved their skill level more compared to control groups in mathematical relations and counting skills. In the delayed assessment the same difference in im-provement in mathematical relations was still found compared to both control groups, and in count-ing skills to TYP. VERY LOW increased their total scores faster than both control groups and LOW faster than TYP. Despite of the greater skill development VERY LOW didn’t catch up TYP starting level during the half year assessment period. Both LOWs reached the TYP starting level in all other sections except for mathematical relations. The results of this study indicate that the intervention programme supports the development of relations and counting skills but is unable to close the gap between low achieving and typically achieving pre-school students