This experiment tested the hypothesis that organizing arithmetic fact practice by equivalent values facilitates children's understanding of math equivalence. Children (M age = 8 years 6 months, N = 104) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 practice conditions: (a) equivalent values, in which problems were grouped by equivalent sums (e.g., 3 + 4 = 7, 2 + 5 = 7, etc.), (b) iterative, in which problems were grouped iteratively by shared addend (e.g., 3 + 1 = 4, 3 + 2 = 5, etc.), or (c) no extra practice, in which children did not receive any practice over and above what they ordinarily receive at school and home. Children then completed measures to assess their understanding of math equivalence. Children who practiced facts organized by equivalent values demonstrated a better understanding of math equivalence than children in the other 2 conditions. Results suggest that organizing arithmetic facts into conceptually related groupings may help children improve their understanding of math equivalence.
It Pays to be Organized: Organizing Arithmetic Practice Around Equivalent Values Facilitates Understanding of Math Equivalence.[Article]
McNeil, Nicole M. 1; Chesney, Dana L. 1; Matthews, Percival G. 1; Fyfe, Emily R. 1; Petersen, Lori A. 1; Dunwiddie, April E. 1; Wheeler, Mary C. 1
Journal of Educational PsychologY | Publish Ahead of Print, POST AUTHOR CORRECTIONS, 25 June 2012