Teacher and students using unifix cubes.

Early Mathematics is Critical.

Early math skills are strong and powerful predictors of success in school and future socioeconomic status. Today, educators need resources to counter and rebalance the learning loses endured by students due to school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Measuring Early Mathematical Reasoning Skills Project will provide K-2 teachers with assessment tools to identify gaps in understanding for students at-risk for math difficulties around numeric relational reasoning and spatial reasoning.

Research indicates that early mathematics is the strongest predictor of future achievement in school, with similar results across boys and girls, low-and high-socioeconomic families, and black and white children (Duncan et al., 2007).

Students’ early mathematics knowledge is a more powerful predictor of their future socioeconomic status(SES)at age 42 than their family’s SES as children (Ritchie & Bates, 2013).

Why is MMaRS important?

The Measures of Mathematical Reasoning Skills system has the potential to improve mathematics achievement in the short- and long-term and STEM outcomes. In order to provide quality interventions and identify students who need additional support, teachers and schools systems must have access to high-quality data (Datnow, Park, & Kennedy-Lewis, 2012). The Measures of Mathematical Reasoning Skills system will assist in early intervention efforts by providing teachers and school systems with easy-to-administer screening tools that are reliable and provide valid interpretations about students’ numeric relational reasoning and spatial reasoning skills. This system of screening tools will support schools in implementing RTI.

How do we get there?

The Measures of Mathematical Reasoning Skills will provide teachers with a tier classification for (1) numeric relational reasoning using the T-NRR and (2) for spatial reasoning using the T-SR. Following the typical schedule for screening, three screeners will be developed for each grade level (K-2) for administration at the beginning, middle, and end of the year to monitor students’ learning and design appropriate instruction based on data from the screeners. At the end of the project, the prototype Measures of Mathematical Reasoning Skills systems will be ready for use and for extended usability and feasibility research.

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