The effects of early numeracy (ThinkMath) intervention on Norwegian low performing students early numeracy skills development

  • Aunio, Pirjo (Projektledare)
  • Mononen, Riikka, University of Oslo (UiO) (PI)
  • Melby-Lervåg, Monica (PI)
  • Lopez-Pedersen, Anita (Deltagare)



    The importance of educational support in children’s early schooling is widely acknowledged. In order to identify the children in need of extra support in mathematical skills (i.e., those who perform in the lowest 25th percentile; Geary, 2011), the need for research-based and validated mathematical assessment tools is paramount. In many countries, there are good tools for identification of the low-performing children (e.g., Van Luit, Van de Rijt, & Aunio, 2006; Wright, Martland, & Stafford, 2006), but there is a lack of such tools in Norway. In addition, there is lack of evidence-based intervention materials to be used by Norwegian teachers with students who struggle with early numeracy learning.
    This development of early numeracy assessment and intervention tools in Norway is now starting with this project. The first aim of this project is to develop an assessment tool that addresses the most critical numerical skills that we know have a great impact on children’s mathematical development (Aunio & Räsänen, 2015; Desoete et al., 2009). The development of the assessment tools in Norway is based on the Finnish mathematical assessment tools for kindergarteners and first graders (Aunio & Mononen, 2012a, 2012b). Schooling in Norway is quite similar to schooling in Finland, making the choice of having the basis from Finnish assessment tool relevant. The new assessment tool for Norwegian first graders will include tasks measuring the core numerical skills, such as, understanding mathematical relations, counting skills and basic skills in arithmetic. These areas were selected as they are in the core of early mathematical development and predict the later outcome in mathematical achievement (e.g., Aunio & Räsänen, 2015). The second aim of this study is to see the effects of ThinkMath intervention materials on children’s early numeracy learning. This part of the study is conducted as a randomized control trial intervention study in Oslo region.
    The relevance of this study is both practical and scientific. First, it will provide information of the performance of mathematical skills of Norwegian children at this age group and will provide the schools with a research-based assessment tool, in order to identify low-performers in mathematics and thus supporting these children with a remediation of these difficulties. The study will also produce evidence of small group intervention materials (ThinkMath) effects on children’s early numeracy learning.
    The time line of this study is 1.12.2015-31.11.2019.
    Gällande start-/slutdatum01/12/201530/11/2019