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Reasoning about Representations: Effects of an Early Math Intervention

Journal article
Authors Görel Sterner
Ulrika Wolff
Ola Helenius
Published in Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research
ISSN 0031-3831
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Education and Special Education
National Center for Mathematics Education, NCM
Language en
Keywords Mathematics, intervention, number, reasoning, representations, number-sense intervention, working-memory, young-children, mathematics, curriculum, achievement, skills, difficulties, knowledge, trajectories, disabilities, Education & Educational Research
Subject categories Mathematics, Pedagogy


The outcomes of a longitudinal randomized number sense intervention including pre-, post- and follow-up tests are reported. The intervention was conducted in Grade 0 when children were six years old. Using Concrete-Representational-Abstract principles, a structured explicit 10-week program focusing on numbers and collective reasoning about representations was conducted by the classroom teachers. In addition to their regular mathematics teaching, a trained control group received an equally structured and explicit intervention program but without the critical mathematics component. The children in the experimental group outperformed the children in the control group on number sense growth between the pre- and the post-test. There was also a sustained effect of the intervention nine months later when children were assessed in Grade 1.

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